I ran into Walmart with my five children and no list because, apparently, I don’t love myself. It was also nap time which means I had a 2-year-old ticking time bomb on my hands.
As I made my way to the coffee aisle, a sweet woman stopped me. She had two kids in her cart who were fighting over a pack of hotdogs which, I’m fairly certain, someone had already begun eating. In exasperation, she said, “How do you have everything under control?”
Once I stopped laughing, I laid my hand on hers and looked deep into her eyes and shared the truth of the situation. I was on day two of dry shampoo because I’m too tired to wash my hair. I was wearing two mismatched socks that I may or may not have pulled out of the hamper that morning. Also, I’m pretty certain I forgot to brush the teeth of the younger two. That means only 60% of my children brushed their teeth that day. Now, I’m no math whiz (although I play one Monday through Friday in our homeschool,) but I’m pretty sure that’s a failing grade.
I was reading a Facebook post the other day where a friend of mine was listing the things that she was letting go of in the new year. She was learning the art of saying, “No.” Someone commented on her post saying that she didn’t see a need to say “no.” She felt that she needed to prepare herself in case she were a pastor’s wife one day and would need to do it all.
It was precious. I typed and deleted a comment several times. Eventually, I just closed my computer and walked away because life is too short, y’all.
My children take judo and one of the senseis gave the best advice the other night. They were learning how to defend against choke holds during a competition. He said, “Always tap out before you pass out.”
See, in competition, if you allow yourself to pass out you are disqualified for the rest of the tournament. But, if you tap out, you may lose that round but you are able to continue competing. Instantly, I claimed that as my motherhood mantra.
Tap out before you pass out.
There is no shame in tapping out. It’s okay to say no to things that sap your energy so that you can yes to things that inspire you. It’s okay to say no to good things in order to say yes to God things. It may be necessary to tap out of the book club, the PTO or social media so that you are able to continue in the things that matter most.
Also, there’s no glory in passing out. When you’re running around looking haggard and miserable, it doesn’t do anyone any favors. It’s okay to say, “No, thank you.”
So, dear friend, if you’re feeling like a weary wreck. You have permission to tap out.
You are loved. <3