One idea I’ve read on a few mommy blogs is the suggestion (or survival tactic if you prefer) to be realistic about what you can get done while staying home with kids. For those who haven’t yet indulged, I can let you know that childcare is both wonderful and exhausting, all-consuming, constantly-attention-demanding. And at the same time, the amount of work seems exponentially increased as you struggle to get things done in a more limited time-frame. Just as one example: prior to baby, I did laundry once a week. 2 or 3 loads on weekends. Now, it’s often a load a day, sometimes up to 3.
Though the temptation (for a task-obsessed woman like me) is to do more, more and more to catch up, a home life of peace and serenity dictates otherwise. After all, proper care of baby requires a certain attention. And life is about more than a clean home. Thus the suggestion to prioritize and limit what you want to get done. You might choose a few things you absolutely must do every day; you might choose a very small list of items you want to get done above the necessities.
I’ve been trying to give this a whirl lately. It is a challenge. Some days I do manage to pick just a few items to do and let the rest go. Then the next day: it’s catch-up time! And while I can see the wisdom of prioritizing and being realistic, my desire to move our family ahead (finish the house, sell the house, downsize our lifestyle, save more money, on and on) keeps my list longer than feasible.
I guess I’m saying, while picking 3 things to get done each day makes so much sense when I consider it holistically, I’m not emotionally ready to fully embrace it yet. However, I’m willing to dabble with it and see if it becomes more appealing over time.
Today, for example. Morning: I cleaned the kitchen. Then we had a fun morning out at the library, book sale, lunch out, home with napping baby, reading and napping. Then back into high-speed mode as we changed sheets, did laundry (multiple loads through the day, drying, folding, putting away), picked out my outfits for the week, and helped with more cleaning and purging. Then, after baby’s bedtime and before couple time (yay, time for that tonight!), I mixed up a cake to bake – really wanting chocolate cake! On the plus side: I was about to go out shopping with baby in the afternoon, actually driving down the street, when I saw her signing for milk/nursing in the rearview mirror. So I turned around and came home, nursed her, and didn’t bother going out again. Good choice, less stress, much more fun to be home.
For tomorrow, there are a few things I’d like to do. I want to make up a batch of facial scrub for me and my sister. I want to get some writing done (on the singles paper – must get back in the swing of things). There are some friends I’d like to call. We want to visit my mom. I’d love to sort my fabric supply and purge; also go through a small stack of magazines and pull pictures. And just some down time and reading time would be wonderful! Plus meal planning for the week and maybe groceries. Reality: I’ll prioritize the facial scrub, down time writing and meal planning. The rest can wait, unless they happen magically.