Multitude of Hats

It is 9:12 pm. So much for posting at lunch. Life at work is way too busy.

I am wearing too many hats right now and none of them are looking that good on me.

Mom to Calder. Our relationship works the best when we spend the maximum amount of time possible together. Calder pushes the limits less. I am more patient. We have more fun. Regardless of the amount of time Hugh and Calder spend together, their relationships thrives. My relationship with Calder doesn't work that way, but very slowly I am beginning to figure out the way it works best. Lots of time together is critical.

Mom to Tripp. Grieving the loss of Tripp takes a significant amount of time out of my day. I think about him constantly and, of course, spend time writing. When I don't have time to think and write, I don't feel as well.

Wife. Hugh and I have talked for about 20 minutes today over supper. Calder was crying for 5 of those minutes. I just got home from volleyball and am now writing. He is working on a university class he is taking. I don't really think I need to say more.

Teacher. All of my classes this semester are new curriculum. Having a semester off has put me behind in my planning. I take pride in doing a good job for my students and for me a good job doesn't happen unless I do work before the students walk in.

Tournament Organizer. The high school I teach at and another school in the city host an annual 10 team volleyball tournament this weekend. The list of duties associated with this is long.

Coach. I am helping coach the sr. girl's volleyball team. Last year I did my best to be at every game and practice. This year, I committed to go to some practices and most of the games. The main reason for my decrease was my relationship with Calder.

Jordan. I like to run. I like to write. I like to play with Calder. I like to curl up on the couch and let Hugh rub my feet.

I had a tremendous day. This morning my mom hat was looking a bit worn (both Calder and Tripp's). At school I scrambled to do tournament things only to realize in less than a week I need to have unit tests and new units ready to go in all my classes. After school, Hugh and I had our 20 minutes and I was off to practice. The girls are terrific and I had fun, but I keep thinking, at what cost. Last year in November when volleyball season was done, I told Hugh I was not coaching anymore. My relationship with Calder suffered and if I couldn't coach and be mom to one, how could I coach and be mom to two?

Tripp isn't here, so in June, I thought, what the heck. The girls are great. Why not just help out a bit? Now, I am questioning how I ever thought that was going to work. I love doing all the things I am doing, but I don't like that I doing a mediocre job at all of them. I would rather be able to do a good job at a few of them. It is especially upsetting to me when my relationship with Calder suffers.

If I had to drop any, there is no question that my volunteer activities, although rewarding, are not as important in my life compared to all of the other things. Do less, better. 

It is now 9:46 pm. Sixteen minutes past my bedtime. I am finding thinking about tomorrow a bit daunting. In a perfect world, I would just quit volunteering, but I committed and people are depending on me, so it isn't that easy. I know that the Jordanwife, and mom to Tripp hats are likely to be put on a back shelf for the next little bit.

Any advice out there? How do you keep all of your hats looking best? How do you find time to wear each hat the amount of time it deserves or needs?


  1. Jordan, I made a decision this summer to let go of the coaching. I love it as you do, but there is a cost associated to it and it was less time with my kids (as it sounds like with you!). The thought ran through my head of keeping Chase out of gymnastics because I didn't think I could handle another day of committments! Then I realized that was a stupid thought. Why should my own child suffer for volunteer work? I made my decision and am very happy with it. Maybe if we weren't going through new curriculum things would be different, but that takes up a lot of my time and that is a necessity for work. Brad is frustrated with me as well as last night we spoke for about 10 minutes! Something needs to go for you and I think you know what it is. Maybe it will be hard to get out of this year as the season has already started, but it never hurts to ask. If you are overloaded you need to think about that. The worst that can happen is they say "no". Good luck!

  2. You have to decide what is most important to you in your life. I think you know what it is as well. As Calder gets older he will want to spend more time with his friends and less time with mom. Enjoy the younger years. You won't regret it as you can't get that time back.

  3. I completely agree with Erin S. There will come a day when you have plenty of time to coach and do other things. Enjoy every moment you can while Calder is young and willing:)
    Plus, I really believe in making our relationships with our partners top priority too. Hugh is kind of important as well:)

  4. The extra-curr I do is all during school, with the occasional evening commitment. I made a decision when my dad passed away in my 1st year of teaching that I would never put other children before my own, and this includes being home asap after school for Will, especially since he's in bed by 8 at the latest. My time with him is too precious and I would miss out on far too much.

    In terms of the wife hat, I am working on that one. We are starting to institute a mandatory date night every couple weeks or so by alternating babysitting nights with my brother & his wife.

    For myself, I have commited to getting to the gym at least 3 times a week and to spending guilt-free time out with my girlfriends at least once a month. We also host friends at our house every two weeks or so, just so we don't lose touch with them either.

    I'm not saying I have a perfect balance, either, but I'm trying! I think the #1 thing to remember is that you have to take care of yourself before you think about taking care of everyone else.

  5. p.s. Have you thought about taking in an intern? I have one this year who is FABULOUS and is making my work life so much easier! I know it's not a guarantee that you'll get a "good one", but it might be worth a shot!

  6. I also have given up the volunteer duties. It is rewarding, but i can do those things when my kids are older. As every parent does, we want everything for our for me my oldest is 6. So that means hockey starts this year, plus he has piano lessons in the winter. Ethan is 3.5 and has swimming lessons and also wants to learn to skate this year. Soon enough Kyle and I will be running with three kids. I want to be at as much of these things as possible. I don't want to be missing it for "other peoples kids".

    We are doing nothing wrong. We are spending the presious time we have with the ones closest to us.

    Honestly, almost everyone involved with volunteer groups understand if you decide to leave for personaly reasons. Most of these people has children of their own and would completely understand.

    Do what is best for you, and especially your relationship with Calder and Hugh, nothing is worth sacrificing that.


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