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I got a text from a working mommy girlfriend yesterday. All it said was, “I’m struggling.”
We’ve all had those days, yes? You’re at work but things aren’t going well, and, on days like this, there also is a crisis of some kind at home that you are trying to work through and your heart is heavy and you can’t just start crying at your desk. But you can’t just up and leave at 11 o’clock in the morning either. Especially not if you are the sole bread winner. And yes, there are mental health days, and yes, you can take a half day every once in a blue moon when life gets heavy, but we can’t do that over and over again, or we won’t continue to be employed for long.
I called her as quickly as I could.
“What’s one thing you need to do today before you leave? Just one thing that has to get done?”
She told me.
“Okay, do that. Just do that one thing. You can do that. Set your timer for twenty minutes and then let yourself get up, maybe walk outside for five minutes, feel the sun, breath the air, and then go back for another twenty minute work block. Text me when you’re done.”
We talked about how strong she is and why she needs to be strong. We talked about setting goals in small blocks of time, it’s easier to see your way to lunch time than it is to see your way to the end of this crisis. I told her I loved her, because I do.
I encouraged her to also focus on controlling what she could control and just giving the rest to God. I suggested that she make a list of what-she-knows-for-sure to bring her peace and focus her back in on the good. We talked about seeing all tasks through her main life-filter (mine: what is good for my kids) and of making a list of resources that she has that support her.
Smart woman that she is, she put on headphones, put her head down and worked one project at a time, one time-block at a time. (Music brings her peace and headphones minimize the number of people stopping by one’s desk to chat.)
She made it. All the way to five o’clock. And she got the first project done. And then the next one. And then another one after that. And then she went home to her babies.
Life is not always easy, in fact life is rarely easy.
We’ve got this, sister. We can do this. Mommies are strong. You are. You are stronger than you think. When you are struggling, when it seems like the wave is threatening to overwhelm you and take you under, call for help, and then take your day one essential piece at a time.