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11th Apr

2014

Sleeperhold

Tagging out

When I was a kid my two little brothers were huge fans of WWE. I wasn’t into watching it on TV but I did enjoy acting it out in our living room. We pretended we were tag teams – when one of us was in a tight spot or getting tired we’d reach out and tag the other person to jump in and relive us. There was never any pride about tagging out; in fact, it made the game more fun. At a clutch moment when you thought it was all over, suddenly there was a surge of energy. The game went on!
As an adult, I find it much harder to acknowledge when I might be in a tough spot and in need of a little relief. This goes double for motherhood. We can do it all, right? No help needed. Even when it’s not my pride at stake, it’s a matter of trusting other people. Who could possibly do it as well as I can? Well, as any wrestler can tell you, this is dangerous territory. Before you know it, you can find yourself in a sleeper hold about to black out from lack of oxygen.
Back in my corporate days I’d pride myself on tackling back to back meetings, updating spreadsheets, managing department budgets and approving expense reports before I left for the day usually well after 5pm. This led to more than a few collapses which made me concerned for my health, but for all the wrong reasons. I must have a deadly illness! It couldn’t be the work.
Whether you’re a stay at home mom or a corporate executive, life has a way of getting us in a “perfect plex” and this is when we need to tag out. A good place to start is looking around to see who’s on your team. A husband, wife, colleague, friend, or family member are often happy to take on some of the burden. It may be that you actually need to hire this help. Trust me, this is going to be the best money you ever spent. Yes, you probably could do it all if you had to: laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, vacuuming, bill paying, dog walking, child rearing, everything at work. But honestly, are these things worth burning yourself out over? Tag out! Let someone else tackle the opponent for awhile while you go catch your breath at the side of the ring.
After you identify who’s on your team, assess where help will be most effective. Often little changes can make a big impact on your day: maybe asking your partner to take on a bit more of the morning routine with the kids so you can shower in peace, creating a chore wheel for the family, asking for an intern at work who can just as easily input your data into that spreadsheet.
It’s hard at first, I know. But trust me, the more you delegate the easier it gets. You may even be surprised how your delegates rise to the occasion. Soon hubby will be taking care of baby baths and PJs all by himself and you’ll be laying on the couch reading Facebook… um, I mean doing yoga and meditating. You might even discover it doesn’t matter which PJs the baby wears, or whether they sing your favorite song.
It’s time to tag out. Let someone else wrestle for awhile! Recharge your battery and breathe. It’ll be your turn back in the ring soon enough. This time you’ll have a bit more energy and a little spring to your step.

 

 

 

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