Updated: Dec 7, 2020
As parents, we often pride ourselves on the number of hats we wear, right? Unpaid taxi driver, personal chef, dedicated spouse, gratified individual, amateur medic, working professional, undervalued housekeeper, skilled mediator, familial receptionist...the list goes on. I was absolutely guilty of the same proud peacocking the vast majority of us fall into, but guys. I hit a wall. My hat rack was full and I could not stack any other hats on my weary, unkempt head.
I was simply done.
I’ve never been great at asking for help or even at delegating, for that matter. I’ve always felt the need to carry burdens on my own and figure things out as a team of one. More than that, I had always been good at it (or so I thought).
Then, my daughter was born. Can I just tell you that my perfectly poised hats, all balanced just right, collectively came crashing to the ground?
Being a bonus Mom is serious business and, in doing it, I have always felt like a parent. But the truth is: there is a start and a stop with bonus parenting. Bub is here for a weekend and then he goes catapulting back to another form of his reality. Having my daughter added to our mix and truly becoming a full time parent made me realize there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to wear all the same hats and stay sane.
At first, things would come up and I’d think, “That’s okay. I can handle that.” “Sure!”, I would say to events. “Okay!”, I would say to helping with things that didn’t concern me. I was a yes man, determined to prove to myself and the universe that I could still do it all.
Spoiler alert: I COULDN’T. More than that, I *shouldn’t*.
It’s taken me some time but I’ve had a few awakenings over the last several years. I have always thought I had to wear all of the hats. “No one else can” or “This is my thing”, I would think. But the truth is: I wouldn’t LET others pluck a hat from my rack. And in doing so, I enabled the “I have to do everything!” mentality. Why? Because I had trained those around me to know just that: “She will do it all”... “She doesn’t mind.”
I have come to realize that this “gotta do it all” mentality is a gross disservice to the people in my circles that want nothing more than to be equal contributors to our little worlds. From an amazing spouse to grandparents and friends alike, we all appreciate being able to help and contribute. Why? Because we all know what it’s like to wear all of the hats. And we all know it truly takes a tribe.
In this season where we are physically distancing ourselves and attempting to be educators and remote employees and still wear all of our regular hats, I am reminded of this: I do not HAVE to wear all of them. My hat rack is maxed? Okay. Let’s pick a few we have space for and we’ll hang the rest until we feel like our heads have room for more.
So, if you’re like me and you struggle with a head that wants to hold it all, I would like to remind you: you don’t have to take it all on. Say yes to the hats that matter and polish off a peg for rest.
We all need the help. Don’t max out your rack.