I just watched an Oprah show which focused on a woman who left her baby in her car by accident. 8 hours later the baby was discovered, and had died of heatstroke. So so so sad.
One might think that those of us trying to have a baby – naturally or through ART, might be outraged or horrified by this woman’s actions. But I am full of compassion and empathy for her. She is devastated, her husband is devastated, and she is now, a year later, making sure that the sacrifice her baby daughter Cecilia made, sends a message to all of us out there. I want to help to get that message out there.
The big lesson from that show and that poor woman was that she was total overwhelmed that day and lost the plot. She was a vice principle at a school, and school had just started its new term that day. Her husband normally took the children to shool/daycare in the morning. That day he had a dentist appointment and he asked his wife to take the kids to school and daycare. She took the 1 child to school, but it was too early to drop off her baby at daycare, and she had a list as long as her arm of things she was focusing on for that day. The pressure was on. She drove to her work (school) as she normally would and started her day. 8 hrs later as she was preparing to leave, her colleague asked her if she had just picked up her daughter from daycare, as she had seen her in the car. All hell broke loose, as she realised what she had done and rushed to the car, to find little Cecilia, dead.
Gosh, I have to breathe in, just to anticipate her agony in that moment, and all the moments thereafter. When afterall it was just a mistake. A big one, granted, but still a mistake. It could have happened to ANYONE!
She was overwhelmed, trying to be everything to everyone, trying to take care of everything. There is no such thing as being super mom – being a mom, wife, and have a job/business, and be able to do all those things / roles with attention, focus and mindfulness. Something has to suffer at the expense of other. Wake up everybody! Its time to take stock of your day to day life, and look at what you are doing with your time. Does it have any meaning? Or are you racing onto the next thing, thinking of what you need to get done, thinking of what you haven’t accomplished for that day. A lot of people out there live this way. Part of that is due to the messages we receive about how we ‘should be’ in our society, and also the expectations we create of ourselves. But it is time to take responsibility for ourselves. For our wellbeing!
I remember a time when I was living in London, and had an experience where my brain completely overloaded, because of the amount of things I had to do that day. I was leaving to fly long distance to SA from the UK that evening, I had a client lunch meeting that day, I had get all my work up to date and complete a couple of assignments, and pass on anything that needed managing while I was away to a colleague. I also participated in being interviewed on a radio show at the time on a weekly basis. 10 years ago, that was a pretty big deal.
Well, I completely forgot about the radio show! I went out, did my thing and came back, to find my boss blowing smoke out of his ears that he had had to take over on the radio show that day. (this was a task he not wanted any part of – partly because of his nervousness to be on the air) I was horrified. But I knew what had happened. I had taken on so much that my brain had shortcircuited! That was a big lesson for me that day. Not really in terms of consequences, but more about my own integrity and conscience about the professional I wished be viewed as. And dealing with the stress of taking so much on, realising that I could only do so much.
Thankfully it wasn’t a life or death situation. What I really want to draw your attention to, is that its time we looked at our own schedule and see if we need to slow down. We live in a world where we are technologically able to do so much more, and then we agree to take it all on, when in reality we cannot.
When you are in the unique situation of infertility, it is at a time like this, that you really want to be paying attention to this issue. Its an issue many many women taken on when they are trying to be everything to everyone. The stress that it brings is enormous, even if it doesn’t feel apparent. Stress and feeling overwhelmed is our enemy when we are trying to conceive. The journey of infertility, is difficult enough as it is without having the extra pressure!
So ask yourself these questions? Am I trying to do too much? Who can I ask for some help? What I am putting in my schedule, that isn’t really that important? How can I slow down? And am I present, and paying attention to my own wellbeing, as well as those around me?
The effects of overwhelm and stress and over commitment might be as devastating as losing a child due to a lapse of memory, it might not – but, what is it costing you right now?…..
Maybe being a good mom to the children you already have, maybe your relationship with your spouse, or maybe the possibility of making a family of your own.
I would love any questions, or comments. If anyone is curious as to how coaching might help in this situation, please go to my details on my contact site to call or email me.
with all things in balance,