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A Katyite Struggles to find the differences between Life’s Necessities and Life’s Extras  

The day began like any other—the warm Katy sun gently brightening our bedroom. Its beams lightly danced across the alarm clock that was just about to go off at a leisurely hour. Our son was still sleeping happily in his own bed. The lovely smell of freshly brewed coffee wafted—okay, so I’m lying through my teeth.

Here’s how it happened: our diabetic cat (see a previous blog) still feels the need to eat throughout the night. His next vet appointment is in a few days. So, after being rudely awakened at various hours of the night, here he was again early in the morning. Our toddler son was also at our bedside with his new exclamation, “I need food.” Wonderful.

The day’s agenda loomed in my mind: “Doctor appointment at 9:30; haircut at 10:30, and then to work. Oh, is there a way to visit the triplets in the NICU today? We’re going out of town, we can’t visit tomorrow, we need to go. Need to get gas in the car and pick up a few grocery items.”

Coffee can wait. How many of us feel similar most days? What can we do to stay sane?

Organization will only take you so far. I have learned two of the best words that will make your life a little easier: “Help” and “No.”

The cat can be fed by both son and husband, as well as myself. Our hungry tot can messily pour himself some juice and grab a banana. That will be a good start for his breakfast. The haircut and the doctor’s appointment cannot be rescheduled again—that is a necessity. The triplets cannot visit us, and that is a necessity. So this is where asking for help becomes important. The babysitter can watch our son who is too young to enter the NICU and we can go spend some valuable time with them. Oh, and we can pick up some groceries on the way home.

I have learned the hard way—by getting sick, rushing around, ignoring myself and my family’s needs—that no one can do it all. We need a support system. We need to say “no” to extras—taking over the class play, being homeroom mom or dad, exercising for an hour seven days a week. We can’t say “no” to our necessities—paying bills, work, worshipping, family.

How have you learned the difference between extras and have-to’s? I’d love to hear from you, and I’ll do my best to respond!

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