Spinning The Plates Of Motherhood


platesIn my previous life as a teacher, my boss used to talk about spinning plates, and how we couldn’t always keep all of the plates spinning. Sometimes we have to let a plate drop so we can keep all the other plates going. It’s something that stuck with me then and continues to stick with me through motherhood. Essentially, we can’t be all things to all people, and we cannot keep all the plates up in the air all of the time.

Sometimes something has to fall.

So it got me thinking about some of the plates mothers have to keep spinning:

  • Work
  • Friendships
  • Housework
  • Meals
  • Keeping the house full of groceries
  • Washing
  • Extra curricular activities
  • Therapies
  • Appointments
  • Sleep
  • Eating
  • Exercise
  • Staying sane
  • Self care

The list is literally neverending. (and exhausting even to just read!)

When life is going well we can usually keep all these things going and the plates continue to spin. But what about when things aren’t going so well? Many mothers try to keep all the plates spinning which causes us a lot of stress and heartache. I speak from personal experience when I say some of us experience feelings of failure. I am guilty of not taking my own advice on this one, but we NEED to learn to let a plate or two drop.

It isn’t a failure to allow something to give. You choose what “plates” to let go, and you choose how long for. 

For me it’s doing dishes, homework, and housework that I drop. Thank goodness for the Roomba is all I can say. When I am feeling overwhelmed I try to do more self care to keep myself sane. I ditch homework to spend quality time with the kids (naughty I know, but they are only this little once and adventures are learning too!). My husband and I have stand offs over who is going to do the dishes and I almost always lose! I will call our babysitter so we can get a date night booked and spend some time being silly and having fun. Everyone needs to be silly sometimes!! I’ve recently discovered meditation (thanks Headspace App), so I try to put the principles I am learning from that into place and clear my mind of negativity. That one is particularly hard!

Take it easy mama – you are human and everyone needs a break sometimes.

Look at the things you have to do, work out which ones can be left for a few days, and give yourself time to feel better before you pick them up again. It really is ok to let a plate or two drop so long as you can do it without giving yourself a hard time. This journey is hard. Raising children is HARD! So don’t be so hard on yourself, because chances are you are rocking it!!

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I am Viv, stay at home mom (mummy) to Edison who is 7 and Arlo who is 5. I am married to my best friend and university sweetheart Steve. In October 2014 we moved 5321 miles from our beautiful Victorian home in Sheffield, England to Anaheim Hills and are loving the wild adventure this move has turned our life into. I am so very grateful that this move has given me the opportunity to quit my kinder teacher role to stay home with my crazy whirlwinds and enjoy the adventures of modern motherhood. I love farmers markets with my little foodies, antique shops, restoring antique finds, reading, baking, eating out and trying not to spend everything we have in Target! Oh and chips. I LOVE chips (crisps for any Brits reading this). All the chips.


  1. Hey viv
    Love this..
    We have just been talking about this in staff meeting tonight…a whole staff meeting devoted to well being. Good is good enough!
    Lots of love my twiglet friend xxxx

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