Sometimes balancing too many plates can hurt complete strangers. How do I know? I was a recent victim.
I was reaching to get a plate at a breakfast buffet for myself when it hit me. On the side of my ankle, from about 4 feet in the air. Donk. Crash.
“Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry. This is what happens when I try and multitask for my children. See, Honey? I’m a disaster!, ” she said as she let out a huge, heavy sigh. She almost looked like she was going to cry. You see, she was on vacation in Orlando, trying to show her kids fun. Her husband didn’t look like he was having much fun at this point.
I glanced over at two mouse ear-clad kids, about 8 and 10 years old. They weren’t shocked. Something told me that they have had this little scenario play down a few other times. Mom was losing it— all in the name of taking care of them. Neither of them was holding anything. No juice glasses, no muffins, nada. The woman they were used to holding everything was there holding nothing but a deep sense of resentment.
“Are you okay? How is your ankle? Oh, I’m so sorry.”
I just put my arm around her. She was one of so many moms, me included, who had come to the realization ….
We were trying to hold too many plates. One’s going to break. It’s just a matter of time, and who going to feel the most impact. This time it was an unsuspecting stranger.
Here’s a few questions to ask ourselves to find out if we’re trying to hold onto too many plates:
1. How many plates can I hold?
2. Is anyone being hurt because I’m holding too many plates?
And the most important question of all….
3.Am I holding someone’s plate who should be holding it themselves?
Ouch. Yeah. That plate. Or plates. Those kids staring at their mom in the hotel breakfast line looked to me perfectly capable of holding their plates. That’s not an unloving observation, it is the reality that I have faced myself many times.
Our kids can only learn hold their own plate by dropping a few. They have to understand the force of gravity. They have to learn the “two hands” rule. All of this can’t be prevented by us throughout their lives. Plates have to be broken. The pieces have to shatter, they have be cleaned up and they have to learn to carefully move on to another plate.
So, to the mom who’s balancing too many plates, put them down. Give them to whom they belong. Brace yourself for a few crashes and know that it will be okay.