Thursday, March 19, 2009

"One step forward...two steps back"

Or is it "Two steps forward, one step back"? I can not quite figure that out right now. As far as responsibilities and duties, I seem to have a difficult time finding the right balance. I suppose it all comes down to time management. Let me explain...

It seems like when my house is in good order (not perfect, but picked up and mostly clean), I am less stressed. I know this. But, it also seems like when my house is in good order, that there is less time to do school with Rylee, call a friend, catch up on my blog or email, etc. So, I set out to rectify the school issue and put aside more time to spend with Rylee. Then, dinner is late, the dishes are overflowing the sink and the same load of laundry I put in the washer at 8:00 am is still sitting in the washer.

This past Sunday night I started to get a little stuffy. I figured I was coming down with a cold. Monday I felt tired and very sneezy, but was really OK. Tuesday night I only got a couple of hours of sleep between my achy ears and head and Gracyn waking over and over. I had a fever as well as congestion and achiness all over. Matt actually stayed home from work to help care for the kids and do the necessary running around that comprises my Tuesdays. By yesterday, I felt mostly better and was fever free. I found no clean pants for Noah, so I had to dress him in a pair he had worn the day before. Don't worry...they had only been worn a few hours the day before, but it quickly became obvious we were in crisis mode as far as laundry was concerned. I had to use a big dish towel just to wipe Gracie's hands after breakfast because all the dishcloths were dirty. So, yesterday I started putting the house back in order. You ladies know how it gets when you are sick.

It seems like I can get a couple of areas of my life to really run smoothly, but then I turn around and the other areas have fallen into neglect. I feel like one of those circus acts where the guy starts spinning china plates on top of a pole. He gets one spinning, them moves on to the next, then the next. After a few moments he has to go back to the first plate to get it spinning faster again, or else the plate crashes to the ground. Every day its painfully obvious that I am NOT Super Mom or even Super Woman, for that matter. One day my kids are thriving and the house is kept up, but I have neglected to send out several birthday cards, my laundry room looks like Kilimanjaro, I have not spent any time reading my Bible or praying, and I realize with horror that I cannot remember how many days its been since my kids were bathed. Ouch...just keeping it real. I know I can not be the only one who struggles with the balance of life. Motherhood seems to find me striving to keep a tenuous balance of the different areas of my life. One day I am Super Wife, but Lousy Mom. The next day I'm Martha Stewart, but griping at the kids for tracking mud into the freshly cleaned kitchen and annoyed that once again school took a backseat to life.

I guess it comes down to this; choices. How do I choose to spend my time? I'm the first to admit that I spend too much time on the computer. I also know that I need to pray for wisdom and grace. Wisdom to know how to prioritize my day and spend my precious time, and grace to stick with that plan and manage it all. It does help to know that I am not the only one who deals with these same dilemmas. So, fellow mom's, its confession time. Let's be honest and take off out "Super Mom" cape and mask and share. Did your kid have to wear dirty clothes like mine did this past week? Do you have leftovers that are weeks,not days old in your fridge like I do? Does your yard look like a toy graveyard like mine does right this minute? Please share and make us all feel a little better...Are you brave enough to be honest and keep it real?


*Kristyn*Maia*Mekai* said...

Woohoooo ! A blog that I can fully contribute too ! :)

Let's see, in the past week, I forgot to charge my phone, which made it die while talking to someone ;)... I forgot to put gas in my car and ran out of gas on the street (God Bless the Enterprise Rental guys across the street who took mercy on us and went and got gas)... I also tried to rush and unload one of my furniture deals, so I backed my car up in front of my house and got stuck in the mud. (God Bless my mom and her AAA ).... wait, I am not done... I went to the wrong pharmacy for Maia's medicine AND I forgot to go to her parent/teacher conference on Friday. As far as laundry... well I was so frustrated at how often I have to do laundry and how often we run out, that I went to Walmart and bought the kids 30 pairs of socks and Mekai 10 extra undies.

All that to say this. . . okay we probably should have clean laundry done, but who cares if it is all folded and put away. We should have perfectly clean houses, but who cares if our kids can't run with joy thru them, because we are worried they will mess it up. I'd rather skimp on the chores and have time with the kids, hands down any day.

We are all perfectly imperfect. Just embrace it. :0)

carole said...

Well said, Jen. Today being Ian's birthday, I got up early and went to Wegmans to get stuff for dinner before Tim had to leave for work. Then we had french toast for breakfast and tuna melts for lunch and homemade pizza for dinner and carrot cake for dessert. And now the kitchen is a tremendous mess, I just had to clear a "kilamanjaro" off of my bed, and tomorrow I'll be starting way behind. BUT I hope that Ian had a great day.

Do you know what's cute? At dinner he said, "You know what's funny? I don't feel any different now that I am seven." :)

Jen said...

I am SO glad you posted this today! I've been sick, piles of laundry, kids in dirty clothes, kitchen counters...what kitchen counters, the one and only thing we did accomplish this week was our maple syrup unit study (thanks to library books). I've come to realize that I also spend so much time on the computer. I've started setting a timer. I allow myself 10-15 mins at a time. I am also forcing myself out of bed a half hour earlier to spend time in God's word. It really helps. Oh yes I got my brace off!! Thanks again for sharing.

Kiley said...

I really relate to your post and I'm getting nervous with group lessons starting up soon and Tball and preparing for our baby as well as the normal stuff. Ahh, one day at a time and a prayerful attitude help me...but I could use a nanny/housekeeper/assistant! Ha, ha!

Amy Jo said...

OH yeah! I believe there is no perfect balence; it's a constant monitoring to see what takes priority. I keep thinking that eventually I"ll get the hang of it, but maybe not!


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