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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Seeking treatment for my overscheduling disease

Hi, my name is Betsy, and I am an over-commiter.

I've been trying to be better. Just the other day, when my son's baseball coach sent out an e-mail asking for a parent to be the volunteer coordinator, I started a reply e-mail saying I'd do it and then stopped myself -- abandoning the reply all together.

In the office, Online Editor Emily Donohue has named this chronic overscheduling — obviously a disease — after me. Some of the symptoms of DeMarsia include irrationally believing an inordinate number of things can be done in one day, completely misjudging travel times and the inability to say "no."

I've suffered from this strange ailment for years, but only in recent weeks has this begun to manifest itself as insanity. You see, we've been very short-staffed here at The Saratogian, but I haven't been able to stop telling people that I can handle yet another task during our already long workdays. Thank goodness for Emily, who has taken to grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking me violently whenever I start to say "yes" to something ridiculous. Well, OK, she doesn't do that, but I do get a stern look as she tries to set me straight.

We can only do so many things in a day, and what I'm learning is that jam-packing every one of them leaves no opportunity to get a refill. And we all know you can't run on empty.

So, what kinds of treatment are available to those who suffer from DeMarsia? For starters, I decided that, because I had a day off coming to me, that I would take my birthday off from work yesterday. I'm not someone who ever has time to kill, but after a nice lunch out at 50 South with my husband, I got to do just that, browsing around a store before picking up the kids from school. It was kind of weird for me, but I rather enjoyed the feeling of doing nothing, even if only for an hour.

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