The dictionary definition of dropping the ball is “making a mistake or mishandling things”. No one likes to make mistakes, but noone is perfect (with the exception of Justin Timberlake). The more responsibilities a person has increases the chances of that person making a mistake. The timing of a woman reaching middle management usually lines up with the time she is starting a family. The responsibilities of being a new mom combined with the responsibilities at work cause these women to make mistakes at work and at home. So most times the mom either quits or takes a career limiting position with less responsibilities so she can handle the responsibilities at home. And because of this, women represent only 18% of executive leaders in the workforce.
One of the best books I’ve read is Tiffany Dufu’s Drop the Ball. In Drop the Ball Tiffany urges women to embrace imperfection, to expect less of themselves, and to expect more from others. Embracing imperfection allows you to drop responsibilities that are less important to you so you can focus on what you truly care about. When your to-do list is controlled by you and what you feel is important, you won’t feel like you are constantly making mistakes. So drop the ball by delegating or simply not doing the task because it’s not important to you. A brilliant concept that I think all women need to hear. Tiffany has great examples of how she dropped the ball as a new working mother in order to succeed. I won’t spoil the book, but I thought I would share the top 10 examples of how I drop the ball so I can be a good mom while continuing on my career path.
1. Don’t Look At My Floors– I don’t have a ton of time to clean and hiring a cleaner in Vancouver is way too expensive. So I’ve lowered my standards on what a “clean house” is. I still have to put all kids toys away for my OCD brain to function, but if you come to my house please look at our view and not the dried milk splattered all over the floor. No joke, while I was typing this post Thomas turned his sippy cup upside down and showered our dog and all of Charlie’s horses with milk. The struggle is real folks.
2. I Will Most Likely Miss Your Birthday – It took me 33 years to accept the fact that I am terrible with birthdays and I always will be. I can’t keep track of how old people are which is apparently important for children and for people above the age of 50. My niece Sophie means the world to me so I sent my sister a text wishing Sophie good luck on her first day of Kindergarten. She was starting Preschool. FAIL. Also, Mom – I’m not 100% sure how old you are. Let’s talk.
3. Charlie Had Another Accident – Does my 4.5 year old still pee her pants occasionally? Yes. Do I care? No. This drives my husband absolutely nuts. But for some reason I don’t care. Sometimes she doesn’t even realize she has peed her pants so I stopped strategizing how to get her to stop a long time ago. She’s a smart girl, she’ll figure it out.
4. I’m Sorry Ruth – If you work with me I can assure you that you will not see me at the office potluck. I don’t like to cook and I don’t like to stand around and chat at work, so my pot luck attendance is essentially just me dropping off chips and leaving. Sorry Ruth. Also, please never ever ask me to join the Company softball team. Unless by “softball” team you mean “happy hour” team then I’m in.
5. My Yard is a 5 out of 10 – I will never get yard of the month. But I will never get worst yard of the month and that is more than enough for me. Yard work takes time and it increases my chances of seeing a spider and I just can’t take the chance of that happening.
6. I Don’t Buy Cards – Here is me wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy Birthday because I won’t be buying you a card. Sorry. I love giving people gifts but I hate buying cards. And why are they so expensive?? I used to be really good at sending holiday cards when it was just Matt and I and our two dogs. Now with kids I never plan ahead so I end up taking a forced last minute picture and paying overnight shipping. So I’m done. My blog will let you know how my family is doing.
7. I Never Bring My Lunch – Me at work everyday: “Hey did you bring your lunch”? Everyone else: Yep! (Micki then goes to get lunch by herself wasting money, time, and eating more calories than her coworkers). It’s a miracle I get to work by 7AM, I can’t throw in making a sandwich people. I know I should, but I can’t.
8. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Maybe) – Holiday travel has always been stressful for Matt and I. His family is in Houston, mine is in Omaha. Only recently have Matt and I come to the conclusion that we need to focus on making sure holidays are fun and stress free for our kids. And if that means not traveling to the U.S. to see our family for one holiday that’s ok. I’ll still cry and FaceTime don’t you worry.
9. I’ll Take 2 Happy Meals Please – I don’t buy organic food for my kids and I don’t plan their meals out very well. They eat fast food when we are in a rush and every morning they have a bowl of yummy sugary cereal just like I did growing up. The good news is my kids are obsessed with fruits so they eat a lot of it and in my mind that offsets the “bad” stuff. Even though I don’t think it’s “bad” stuff. I respect moms that put effort into making sure their kids eat healthy, but I pass on the $15 organic milk and I have never felt bad about it.
10. Talking On The Phone – I am really bad at calling people to catch up. I love talking to people in person but I don’t like to talk on the phone unless there is a purpose for the call. I know I should call my friends and family more, but when the kids go to bed the only talking I want to do is asking my husband what show we should watch.
Thanks for reading how I’ve dropped the ball. Let me know what you’ve done to drop the ball in order to succeed!