How Full Is Your Plate?


How Full Is Your PlateI’m at a stage in my life as a parent and a woman where my plate is generally full to the point of overflowing. I’m a stay at home mom to four active children, and it’s my job in our family to manage not only my own calendar but theirs as well. I’m a classroom mom and a chauffeur, a chef and a maid, kisser of boo-boos and enforcer of rules. On top of those duties, which I’m sure are familiar to working and stay at home moms alike, I’m an activist, a fitness instructor, and a community theater participant.

It’s crazy and it’s busy, and it can be exhausting, but I love my life.

Lately though, with the upswing of articles and posts about the value of self-care and the importance of knowing when to say “no,” sometimes I feel guilty about keeping my plate so full and wonder if I’m doing myself or my family a disservice by being a consistent “yes” person.

Should I take some things off my plate?

Then a dear friend made a brilliant point: maybe I just have a different sized plate. There are people who are given capacity and energy for a life that would overwhelm and exhaust someone else. Some are gifted with laser focus to tackle things one at a time, but are paralyzed by too much at once. Others have the ability to sit and be still, living in each moment and listening to the needs of their bodies and their families.

My plate right now is a platter.

Each thing I have piled onto it is life-giving and affirming and energizing to me. There’s nothing I want to scrape off into the proverbial garbage, because doing so would feel like a loss, not a gift. I don’t know that this will always be the case. We all go through seasons in our lives and we have to give ourselves the grace to make changes that keep us moving forward in healthy, productive ways.

Maybe right now you are in a small plate season. Are there things in your life that would provide relief if you were to let go of them, or say “no” to? Let them go! Love yourself and your life where you are, and use the capacity you have in this moment. I challenge you though to examine your motivations for saying “no.” Is it because it seems like you should, that you’re doing too much, you’re doing more than other people might, or it’s just one more thing on that already-full plate? Consider the size of your own plate.

I’ve learned that sometimes saying “yes” to the right “one more thing” can absolutely change your life…for the better.