Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Confessions and Realizations

I have a confession.  I’m always more focused on what I could have done rather than on all the things I do every day.  It haunts me.  I go to bed thinking about what I still need to do, what I didn’t do that I should have, and what I could have done better.

I was leaving the house yesterday disappointed in myself that I didn’t heat up raviolis for my two youngest before leaving with my older daughter.  I had to ask my husband to prepare their dinner.  This is not a huge deal, by any means.  Hubby is capable of warming up dinner.  Yet I still felt this pang that I could have done it for them. 

Regardless of the fact that I signed homework, cleaned two bathrooms, switched laundry and got the dogs out – all between 3:40 and 4:25 – I was still disappointed in myself.

Where does this come from?  This need to do everything and be everything?  We all need to let go of this desire to do it all.  It’s impossible.  There is only so much time in a day and some of that time we deserve to rest.

Rest.  What a beautiful word.

I realized as I pulled out of my drive yesterday I was beating myself up over raviolis.  The kids were fine.  The bathrooms were clean.  The house was standing and their dad was perfectly capable of heating the ravioli.

Did I get complaints about the ravioli later?  Minimal.  Dad didn’t put enough Parmesan cheese on one and the other had too much.

But everyone survived.  And I realized I need to cheer myself on for all the good stuff I do every day. So much of my self worth comes from what I do for everyone else.  I crave happiness for my kids and I’ll go to the ends of the Earth to give them happiness.  Even if it comes in the form of raviolis.

But the kicker is by letting them experience things on their own, or differently than what they’re used to, I’m teaching them resilience.  I’m giving them tools to be out in the world.  I know this and it’s a work in progress.

It’s what I teach them to do for themselves that will make them successful well-adjusted adults.   I can’t do it all, and I shouldn’t.  Every day I’m also accomplishing so much more than I’m leaving unfinished.  And that’s a good thing.  It deserves applause. 

I just need to stop and breathe.  We all do.  I need to think first about all the good I’ve spread in my home on a daily basis instead of focusing on the five minutes I lost my patience.  I need to remember the one hundred things I checked off my list instead of the one thing I didn't.

We’re only human.  We do the best we can and our kids will survive on Dad’s ravioli’s.

I promise. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Getting it Done

My goodness its been awhile.  I have never left my post for such a long period of time.  It was a much needed break that involved back to school, the start of football season, visits from family and much running in preparation for my upcoming half marathon.

It's safe to say I'm a busy mama. Four kids (all in sports), working full time and juggling playdates and school activities sucks up much of my schedule.  It's a fabulously exhausting existence that I wouldn't change for the world.  I don't like to offer up much in the ways of advice, because I certainly don't feel like an expert in any arena.

I'm a survivalist.  I do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.

End of story.

But the truth is, that is my secret.  I hear "how do you do it?" "I can't imagine having four kids..." and so on.  There is no trick, there is nothing that makes moms to large families different than moms to smaller families.  We are stretched for time, yes.  But we learn early to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.

Do not push off the laundry.  Do not leave the dishwasher unloaded.  These tasks pile high at rapid rates with several kids.  If you leave it, it will multiply.  We have to get it done to stay above water.

Which creates a habit (for me anyway) of getting everything checked off my list as quickly and efficiently as possible. When I sort and deliver laundry, it gets put away.  When I come home for lunch, I sweep the floor and prep dinner.  I'm constantly thinking of what I can do to lighten my load for later in the day.

It's all about getting it done. 

And that's my two cents for the day.  I don't like anything hanging over my head.  It ruins my vibe.  When my "to do" list stretches past three or four lines I get anxiety.  I can't relax.  Staying on top of the pile is a better way to operate...no one wants to be buried underneath.

Happy Thursday Mamas!