MOMI LEARNS| You don’t need to always catch the ball

Mar 9, 2018 | Life, Only Berlin

MOMI LEARNS| You don't need to always catch the ball

MOMI LEARNS| You don’t need to always catch the ball

Early last week, both my grade six and grade nine boys have been sleeping late at night for two consecutive days already.  The younger one finished a ukelele group project due in three days time.   My elder one, on the other hand, got busy with a truss bridge he needed to submit by the end of the week.

Concerned,  I asked them how was their division of labor.  Both my boys relayed to me that no one wanted to work so they took charge.

Though they enjoyed making the ukelele and the truss bridge and learned from their projects, I was somehow bothered by their set up.

Before they left for school last Thursday (day of submission), I told them something I hope they consider valuable.

If someone throws you the ball, you don’t have to catch it.

Richard Carlson

MOMI LEARNS| You don't need to always catch the ball

MOMI LEARNS| You don’t need to always catch the ball

To reduce the stress in life, you don’t need to save everyone and take charge of everything.  It may be easier to say yes than no because we don’t want to let anyone down.  But it isn’t healthy to always be the hero and suffer from being the martyr.

Then I elaborated to my boys that they need not always take the bait of answering everything.  Because there will probably someone else to take the responsibility.   Plus, the project was supposedly a group effort, thus each member should be involved.

I figured from the looks of my children that I wasn’t making sense. So I explained further.

Not catching the ball doesn’t mean we just don’t care.  It only shows we know our limit.  It means we take responsibility for our part in the process.  If we catch all the balls thrown at us, we may go berserk.  We also let ourselves be a victim of the situation.  Sometimes, we become so overwhelmed by all the balls thrown our way that we no longer know how to manage life.  To manage life then, we need to know what ball to catch and what we need to avoid.

Their school bus arrived just in time for me to finish my lecture.  I just hope my boys got the message clearly.

MOMI LEARNS| You don't need to always catch the ball

MOMI LEARNS| You don’t need to always catch the ball

Most probably they did.

Anyway, this mother is just so proud of her children.  They know they needed to submit that project so they took charge.  But more than that, they displayed that they can be real valuable team members.  And I am seeing that this characteristic is something that would bring them success and fortune.  But then again, I just hope they manage to catch only the ball they can handle.


  1. Veeyah | The Indy Miss

    Exactly. Group projects really stressed me out back in high school as classmates would be quick to finger-point the ‘leader’, expecting them to take the lead AND do everything for the team. I’m sure you were able to explain the message quite clearly, but with the fear of not submitting anything and their genuine love for what they’re supposed to do… your kids made a very mature decision. 🙂

  2. duffelbagspouse

    So true. We as mom especially try to keep many balls in the air at the same time. We need to prioritize and say no sometimes. Although– I can see both of your kids decided they wouldn’t settle for an incomplete, soy should be very proud of them while you teach them to these skills.

  3. Adriana

    Great post. As mothers we focus on ways to avoid stress. In reality we are creating more stress in our mind,

  4. tina grant

    Very good advice and well explained to your children. It’s okay to take a step back in life sometimes and let someone else take charge. Kudos to you for explaining this to your kids.

  5. Crystal Carder

    This is a great thing to teach your kids! Having boys myself, you couldn’t have explained it better – it really is a great life lesson.

  6. justbusylovinglife

    Great advice!! It can be so hard to say no, but sometimes you just have to!

  7. Aduke Schulist

    This is great advce. I think a lot of people will take advantage of their helpful spirits in the future. It’s great to teach them this advice now.

  8. Sarah Bailey

    This is such a great post, perhaps something every Mum should read as I am sure sometime it can feel so overwhelming.

  9. Alicia

    Ya know. It doesn’t get any easier in college. I was always the one stepping up to take charge of group projects. My grades were important. Unfortunately, that meant lugging the weight of the whole team. It’s a hard lesson to learn to step back and say “No.” And let someone else have a turn at taking the wheel, but it’s an important lesson to learn.

  10. Tiffany

    Good advice! It is ok to say no and that is an important lesson to learn.

  11. TColeman

    We sometimes focus way too much on trying to do too much at one time. It is so true that we don’t always need to catch the ball when it is thrown at us.

  12. Nicole Caudle

    This is great advice. I get easily stressed with the kiddos, I have to remember I can’t do it all.

  13. Ruth I.

    I agree! Sometimes we need to catch the ball because we have to. But we should also consider that we need support to be able to carry and shoot it to lessen the stress and burden.

  14. Oyinkan Ogunleye

    I think theres a lot of pressure on moms to be perfect but its totally okay to remember that you’re human and its okay not to be perfect.



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Motherhood, as I live it, is a gift not everyone can appreciate until she learns to truly live it. More musings and realizations, fun discoveries, and mommy tips at Momi Berlin's blog.

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