WebMD BlogsWebMD Doctors

Learning to Be Okay With Dropping the Ball Sometimes

mother and child laughing
Hansa Bhargava, MD - Blogs
By Hansa D. Bhargava, MDBoard-certified pediatricianSeptember 18, 2018
From the WebMD Archives

Have you ever forgotten about a call or a meeting? Or missed an event at your child’s school because it fell off your calendar? Or showed up on the wrong date for your kid’s friend’s birthday party? As a working mom, I can tell you that I’ve dropped balls like these. In fact, it happened today.

I had a hectic morning getting my twin 12-year-olds out the door. After tennis practice last night, we were up late doing homework. So, we got a late start this morning, which cascaded into a delay getting into the car for drop-off. I was upset with my daughter for taking so long to get up and eat, so the car ride turned into a heated exchange. I was still recovering as I sat down at my desk to start my day – and then I looked at the time….and panicked. I had missed a conference call!

I was absolutely horrified. How could this happen? Was there something wrong with me? How could I be so irresponsible? The self-antagonizing questions kept surfacing. Maybe I couldn’t manage everything. Frustration, annoyance, guilt all overtook me.

I ended up calling a friend to talk about the missed meeting. She listened quietly and then confessed that she had done the same thing more than once and had felt terrible too. Somehow knowing that this happened to other, seemingly confident and capable women too made me feel a bit better. It wasn’t just me. And then I started thinking: Why do we feel we have to do all of this perfectly? And when we do stumble once in a while, why must we beat ourselves up for it?

Now I am not saying that it’s okay to miss calls or meetings. It is not. But I think that once you’ve remedied the situation, it’s important to let it go. Don’t continue to blame yourself. Accept that with so much going on, balls can sometimes drop.

As working moms, we carry a lot on our shoulders. Studies have shown that not only are kids overscheduled and stressed, but parents also feel like they are and have difficulty managing it all. Over 50% of parents that are working say that they are challenged. And this is because work is just one aspect of life. Most of us have a ‘second job’ of driving kids to activities, helping with their homework, managing home finances, juggling social schedules, and doing the everyday chores of meals and laundry.  Often, there seems to be no time to think or for ourselves.

And this is why it’s important to let go of our small mistakes. Fix them and move on. And that’s what I did. I emailed the person I was supposed to be meeting with and apologized. The meeting was rescheduled and ended up being quite productive. And it was okay.

I realized that there will be times when things will fall off my plate. And in those times, I will simply pick them back up and keep going. I will always try my best, but I’ll be okay when I stumble. Because the ability to accept yourself the way you are ultimately helps you be stronger, happier, and better at everything you do.

WebMD Blog
© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Blog Topics:
About the Author
Hansa D. Bhargava, MD

Hansa Bhargava, MD, is Chief Medical Officer at Medscape Education and a board-certified pediatrician. She is the author of Building Happier Kids: Stress-busting Tools for Parents. With expertise in parenting, mental health, and pregnancy, she has helped develop the WebMD Baby App and WebMD Pregnancy App. A regular contributor to Forbes, she is frequently interviewed by major news outlets on issues of health and well-being in children. In addition to her work at Medscape Education, she has collaborated with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and is an elected executive member of the AAP Committee on Communications and Media.

More from the WebMD Doctors Blog

View all posts on WebMD Doctors

Latest Blog Posts on WebMD

View all blog posts

Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Read More