I am a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Right now, in my in box, I have:
Two emails regarding a "Year End Pizza Party."
Five emails concerning a "Little Buddy Party."
Seven emails pertaining to bananas. That's right, people. BANANAS.
And as more and more parents from three classrooms hit "Reply All,"
I fear that I may spontaneously combust from request overload by dinnertime.
A few weeks ago, my fellow Mama, Kristen, shared a post on her personal blog called "Working Moms and Narrow Margins", about how one unforeseen development (like a sick child) or one unexpected request ("Can you bring muffins for the class tomorrow?") can throw a busy mom's carefully calibrated life into immediate chaos. I was one of many commenters who empathized with Kristen, while also offering this unsolicited advice: You need to say no more often, I calmly advised.
It's a wonder she didn't reach through the computer screen and slap me.
I'm fabulous at saying no. In fact, TODAY I AM SAYING NO TO BANANAS. But still, saying no takes time and energy. There is guilt (even though my son hates bananas.) There is self-recrimination (even though I personally attended school for 18 years, never encountered bananas in any educational setting, and still turned out fine.) There is regret (even though I predict that 85% of those bananas will ultimately end up in the campus trash.)
But mostly, there is just more and more last-minute email, until school finally gives way to summer.