This is How I DON’T Juggle Everything by Goldie Tenenbaum Grossbaum

This is How I DON’T Juggle Everything by Goldie Tenenbaum Grossbaum

I heard this wise piece quoted in a class given by the powerhouse international speaker Mrs. Miriam Swerdlov (if you’ve never heard her, you SHOULD! You can hear a weekly half-hour class by Mrs. Swerdlov at 212.444.1900). This piece touched my Eema-heart so deeply, it moved me to tears…so I knew I had to share it with all my dear JewishMOMs:)

Of all the things I’ve discovered in the past 11 years of motherhood, I’ve reluctantly come to terms with the fact that I cannot micromanage every corner of my house or everything my kids are doing.

Actually, I cannot micromanage anything.

PJ’s end up in the middle of the playroom and don’t necessarily get put in the hamper.

Wet towels pile up on the floor of the bathroom after shower time.

I don’t always know if everyone washed their hands before supper.

It can take a few days until I get wind of a particular project going on in one of the kids rooms.

(Very) often the beds are not made.

Oh, of course, I have a rule that everyone has to make their bed every morning. But a rule is only as good as the way it’s implemented.

And I’m not able to implement everything, all the time.

Many times I have to let things go.

And I’ve decided that that’s ok.

Really, it’s all just a juggling game.

We are all jugglers. And if you’re a mom, that takes your juggling to the next level. You add a couple extra hundred balls and up the speed by 500% or so.

But the aim of the game is not just to be a good juggler. It’s to realize that not all my juggling balls are the same.

On the contrary, they are quite opposite. Some of the juggling balls are glass; the most fragile and delicate type.

And some are made of extremely durable rubber; no matter how hard they fall, they will bounce right back up.

The goal of the game? Don’t confuse which balls are glass and which are rubber.

Myself. My husband. My kids. Each one of them. The smiles on their little faces. The atmosphere in our home. These are my glass balls. These cannot be dropped, no matter the circumstances.

The house. The laundry. Fancy dinners. Matching socks. Sales. Beds that are made up each morning. Clean floors. A clean bathroom mirror. Sinks that don’t have dishes piled up. Walls that don’t have some marker designs. DIY projects and cutesy homemade crafts.

They are all rubber. Every single one of them. If I drop them for an hour, a day, a week, (a year)…I know they will bounce back up. Eventually.

And that truly guides me through each day, as I watch my rubber balls scatter in all directions, further and further from my grasp.

Organized closets? That’s a rubber ball, it’ll bounce back.

Quality family time and not losing my cool? That’s a glass ball.

I can not let it drop. It is not worth the price.

So when people ask me how I possibly juggle everything, I just tell them, “Actually, I don’t.”


You can read more articles by Goldie Grossbaum at


  1. wow!! what a wonderful metaphor!
    thank you for this gift!

  2. love this! thank-you Chana Jenny for this wonderful piece and for all your wonderful pieces that often literally change my day.

  3. Technical correction – Goldie is not Mrs. Swerdlov’s granddaughter.

    Thanks for a great read!

  4. DL Menucha

    Btw the author of this piece , Goldie Grossbaum is not a grandaughter of Miriam swerdlov. Her grandmother is Mrs Edelman from Springfield Ma.

  5. Goldie Grossbaum

    thanks for sharing my piece, I’m so glad so many fellow moms relate to it! I originally posted it on my blog, , where I post my motherhood thoughts and musings. (Additionally, while Mrs. Swerdlow is a dear former teacher of mine, I am not her granddaughter 🙂 )
    Goldie Grossbaum

    • JewishMom

      whoops!!! sorry, I thought she said her granddaughter wrote it, but I guess she said that her granddaughter send it to her….sorry for the confusion

  6. Brilliant, and so, so important

  7. Ayalah Haas

    Thank you for posting this.
    In my opinion, it’s worthy to review this article every week!

  8. Hadassah

    Thanks for sharing! excellent metaphor..

  9. I loved this. I guess we all have different “rubber” balls tho… I need cleanliness and neatness in order to focus on my kids: I get very distracted by mess and can’t function as well
    so that’s important for me in order to be able to catch those glass balls of happy faces!!

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