I was having one of those typical, hysterically crazy days when you have young kids: On top of a hectic morning of swim lessons (theirs) and conference calls (mine), I had to finish a work project in time to whisk my girls to their afternoon activity. When I was finally done, I fed them lunch and then raced around, packing a bag with a ridiculous amount of snacks, diapers and extra clothes.
After I quickly locked up the house, herded the kids into the car and buckled them into their seats, I breathed a huge sigh of relief that we were on our way at last. I patted myself on the back with my free hand, the one that wasn't holding my fifth cup of coffee.
But there was only one problem: I couldn’t remember where we were going.
I was drawing a complete blank. For a couple of minutes, I had no idea what I’d been rushing to get ready for. Were we going to a party? A play date? The park? Only after I’d taken a look at what I’d brought in my bag and saw the extra socks did I finally remember that we were going to a gym class.
This was one of those "aha" moments, when I finally admitted I had way too much on my plate. I knew that if I didn’t make some changes I’d end up being one of those moms you hear about on the news, who drops her kid off at daycare and forgets to pick him up until three months later.
As parents, we’re always trying to do it all, but here are some ways to know you’re probably doing way too much:
1. Your daily to-do list is longer than your last Costco receipt
2. You’re constantly misplacing things: your keys, your sunglasses, your toddler.
3. You’re amazed at how clean and organized your kitchen is and then you realize you’re standing in an Ikea display.
4. You’re bragging about all the things that are crossed off on your to-do list until your husband points out that you’re holding your son’s spelling test.
5. You have the foresight to put a chicken in the crockpot before you start your day. Except it’s not a chicken, it’s a pound cake. And it’s not the crockpot, it’s the dishwasher.
6. You’re so proud of how your Skype call is going until your kid tells you you’re talking to the TV.
When someone asks you what you have planned for the week, they actually grow a beard before you’re done answering.
7. You forget to go to an event. Even worse, it was your sister’s wedding and you were a bridesmaid.
8. You’re excited to be first in the school drop-off line, only to discover it’s because it’s Sunday.
9. A parent calls to remind you of a scheduled play date at your house—while they’re waiting outside your door and you’re 10 miles away, getting your teeth cleaned.
10. You volunteer to work at the school book fair, but don’t remember to show up until your kid is in sixth grade.
11. You’re so pressed for time, you ask your gynecologist if she has a drive-thru window.
12. You’re proud of yourself for packing your kid’s lunch, until he calls you from school asking why there’s a hair tie, some Advil and lip gloss in his lunchbox and then you find his lunch in your purse.
13. You call your daughter by the dog’s name, and she’s so used to it that she just answers.
14. You forgot to bring your glasses to the playground and realize you’ve been yelling at the janitor to come sit on your lap for the last 20 minutes.
15. When someone asks you what you have planned for the week, they actually grow a beard before you’re done answering.
16. Instead of hunting for Easter eggs, you send your kids off into the house looking for all of the cups of coffee that you’ve poured and then forgot about.
17. You’re trying to schedule so many things online at once that you’re actually not shocked to discover that you’ve signed up your 6-year-old for a Lamaze class.
18. You know how important self-care is, so you finally get around to hiring a babysitter and make reservations for dinner. Then you remember your kids are away at college.