We watched with held breaths the other evening as Nik Wallenda walked a tightrope high above the Chicago River with no harness and no net.  We talked about his bravery.  We gave it a go ourselves.

Maddie walking the tightrope (jump rope).

Maddie walking the tightrope (jump rope). 

I often feel like I’m walking a tightrope myself as a mom.  I struggle every day – sometimes every moment – to catch my balance.  One foot in front of the other, I walk.

When Katie refuses to wear socks and she screams, “No, no, no!” and she balls up the socks and throws them across the room and throws herself on the floor and cries.  “Pick your battles, Dana,” I tell myself.  “Don’t give in to her tantrums,” my other self reminds me.  One foot in front of the other, I walk.

When Maddie cries at the Park District Halloween party because she doesn’t know anyone and she wants to leave but she wants to stay and play games but only if I stay too but I can’t because it’s a kids-only party.  “She has to learn to socialize,” I tell myself.  “Oh, just take her home,” my other self whispers.  One foot in front of the other, I walk.

When I have new coaching cycles to start and a presentation to finish and emails to check and a blog to update but it’s our day off today and the girls are playing school and I want to play with them too but the work is piling up and I feel so behind in everything.  “Take an hour and work on your presentation while they play,” I tell myself.  “Close the computer and play with them,” my other self says.  One foot in front of the other, I walk.

Parenting is a tightrope act – every day, every decision.  No harness, no net.  Just one foot in front of the other.

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15 thoughts on “Tightrope

  1. Tightrope, juggling – none of it is easy. It’s a big challenge for a working mom with little kids. You have a good mantra for yourself “One foot in front of the other, I walk.”

  2. My daughter has these moments too, Dana, & we talk them over. Sometimes it depends on the surroundings which ‘step’ she takes. I guess I’d like to say that either decision brings different results, & that’s often okay. You described it so beautifully.

  3. Oh I remember that walk. And it doesn’t get any easier when they are teenagers. Now as my children are grown, I realize that not every decision was as important as it seemed at the time. I hope you have a good strong partner holding your hand as you walk. I know there are many doing it on their own, but it helps to balance when there is someone there to lean on.

  4. So true! I like the tightrope image. I always think of juggling but walking a tightrope feels better to me somehow. I think it is an easier image to remember to pace and balance. Thank you — I am coming home from a conference and I know I will be behind at work and at home. I will think of you and remember to balance.

  5. Dana,
    I love Maddie and the tightrope. I can do this kind – flat on the ground. Otherwise, major case of acrophobia! Some days it seems like every single minute has to be balanced and others seem to flow better. Continuing to grow, learn and stop and play are all important!

  6. Ours is a demanding profession, requiring extra vigilance to stay balanced because as educators, we want to give 199% all.the.time. …. to everyone. Pick your battles, plant one foot in front of the other, and believe, always. Balance is possible. Family comes first.

    Glad you stopped by my blog, so I could find yours in return. Following.

  7. Balance is key as you said. And with that comes reflection about what is the most important/fulfilling for a particular segment of time. I don’t have young children any more, yet I find that balance continues to be discerned in other ways. Thanks for your post.

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