Here's a little peek at my internal monologue as I wade through life:
Gosh, it's so freaking hard to be a mom. I want to be a good mom. I want my kids to trust me and depend upon me. I want to know their souls deeply. I want to protect them and nurture them. …
I have the best kids ever. I can't imagine how hard it would be if I had to work outside the home and be away from them. Oh but… man, what if I could be away from them sometimes?? Have a nice break from the screeching and shirt-tugging. Happy sigh…
Aw, but then I might miss that perfect moment of a spontaneous kiss shared between them. Or the times when Gemma drops everything she's doing just to make Avi laugh for ten minutes straight. Or the moment Avi walks out of the bedroom dressed head-to-toe in Gem's clothes because that's what little sisters do. Yep, I love staying home with them.
But sometimes, I wonder if I'm doing enough. I do have a shiny, very expensive degree from a fancy, private university. It's actually not shiny. It's quite literally collecting dust atop our bookcase in the office. My lovely degree… in Spanish. Yeaaa….. well, I did teach Spanish for one year, that's gotta count for something, right? And I've tutored on and off for the better part of the past 10 years, so that counts too, right? Ugh. I'm a failure.
And then just throw in all my other passions as well. I'm obsessed with birth. Obsessed. I love it. I really actually love talking about contractions and placenta and oxytocin and just all of it. I am loving being a doula. I should work on my doula business a bit more. I'm not a very good advertiser. Maybe I can drop some business cards off at some …places… like I dunno. A chiropractic office? Yea, cuz they'd just let me do that. ??? I'm seriously not good at business-y type stuff.
Case in point - Radiantly You. I love that company. So pumped to be an IWG with them. But I feel like I never have enough time to devote to RY stuff. Am I just a failure at everything?
Now I have this new passion for crafting, because ya know, I have TONS of extra time to just sit around making home decor items. But the other night, I stayed up till 1am making the most gorgeous wreath. At least I think it's gorgeous. We'll see if anyone else does? Crafty goodness for sale comin' y'all's way in no time. Just gotta finish up a couple more items so I can actually have something to show for my new "business" not just like "Hey world, gotta wreath for sale. Yep. Just one. But she's a real beaut. Any takers?? No… oh okay, that's cool. Oh! You?? Yes, sold to the lovely lady in yellow!! Check me out a successful little businesswoman, just sold my first piece. Can't wait to sell more… oh wait, there are no more. Crap!" Mhm. That's me - jane of all trades, master of none. Master of the "I started an awesome project that I'll never finish." Cuz I'm awesome at stuff. Except not.
I like to think I'm doing okay at this whole Mommy thing.
When I'm doing especially good at the mommy thing is when my business stuff really flops out hardcore. How does one do it all? Really and truly.
Then I remember the answer: the key is all in the schedule, they say. Get yourself a calendar, a planner, they say! Write everything down, map it all out, have a plan! Life will be so much easier, they say.
Schedules are my achilles heal. Planners are my kryptonite.
The minute I bust one out, draw up a business plan, map it all out, create a family schedule, etc, I can pretty much guarantee the household will fall into shambles within 2 weeks' time. Because I also have this amazingly helpful quirk called perfectionism. That was sarcasm ncase ya didn't catch that. The problem with being a perfectionist with a planner is that these two gorgeous little creatures whom inhabit my home and accompany me ever.y.where. don't really care that I have blocked out 11:15am-11:30am for wreath-making. Nope. They'll still spill an entire box of beads, or poop their diaper, or smear peanut butter everywhere or need helping finding their other Elsa sock regardless of what I have on the schedule. So I do my best to be flexible and try to get back on track but then I start to get sweaty palms because I realize there's no way I'm gonna get to everything on my list for that day which means I won't be able to cross it off which means I failed which means I'm not perfect which means mommy anxiety and of course it's always dinnertime. Right??
How is it ALWAYS dinnertime?? Like, sometimes I just need one second to cry or breath or change my playdoh covered pants, but I can't because I have to make dinner right now. And then Rocky finally arrives home in time for me to launch the children at him and retreat to the kitchen where he'll find me in the fetal position staring at not-yet-defrosted chicken as I rock back and forth trying to figure out how to somehow make this edible for my family in the next half hour because ya know, Rachel Ray make 30 minute meals, and dammit, so should I. And just like that, I'm stress-paralyzed.
Yes, it's a thing.
It's about this time that I realize I'm overloading myself. I need to scale back. I need to lower my standards because otherwise I'm literally going to go crazy. And my girls don't want a crazy mom. I mean… a little crazy, that's okay. But not psycho crazy. That's no good. Y'all know what I'm talking about. So my solution? Meh, who needs a planner?? Life was way less stressful when we just naturally allowed the days to flow. Don't get me wrong, we have a routine. Everyone needs a routine. Kids… they need a routine. But a routine is different than a schedule. At least in the mind of a perfectionist, it's different. So as we settle back into our natural routine, that's when I realize so many of the things I strive to accomplish just don't always fit into our routine. Small humans are all consuming. They're designed that way.
I sit down to write a card and like moth to a flame, my toddler comes over and literally starts
scream-begging (scregging?) to have the pen in my hand. I try to give her a crayon as an alternative. That totally works.
Just kidding. It actually just pissed her off. Now she's scream-crying (scryming?) in her rage at me for being so condescending as to offer her a crayon when the gloriousness of the ballpoint pen is so clearly available. So my only solution is to remove the temptation. So I put the card and the pen away, far up, out of reach. Out of sight, out of mind. I'll finish it later I guess. (I'll find it a week later and go, Crap!! I never finished that!) For now, I have to go hold Avi, nurse her, play with her for at least ten minutes to calm her back down. There's goes 15 minutes of my life spent on writing my return address on an envelope. Nice.
This particular blog post was written in about 5 different chunks of time spread out over 2 weeks' time. This exact moment as I try to finish it, I'm lying on the floor on my stomach with both girls on my back pulling my hair begging to play horsey. I'm not making that up.
I dunno. Maybe I'm an anomaly though. Maybe there really are moms out there who are awesome. They blog twice a week. They run a successful home business. They're healthy physically and emotionally. They are bff's with Jesus. Their marriages are stable and beautiful. Their kids are smart, well-dressed, behaved. Do these women exist? Are you one of them? If so, please tell me your secret.
But if the answer is "Scheduling! Planning!" then I might cry. :)
Okay but for real, I am asking for advice. How do you juggle everything without becoming stress-paralyzed? Or is that just a part of the job that I'll have to learn to live with?