Where does time go?
It is hard to believe that September is nearly over. My whirlwind of activities meant some things had to be placed on hold. Sadly one of those was my blog. Fear not! As I have returned with even more cool stuff to share. Most recently nearly every waking minute was consumed by planning for an Event for health, birth, and childhood. It had over 500 attendees, 70 vendors, 60 classes, amazing treats, impressive gift bags, and so much more. What time that was left over I used to cover schooling. Having decided I can be some type of Super Mom, I am taking more credit hours right now than at any other time since my son’s birth 2 years ago. Meanwhile I still have the responsibility to be the best mom for my son, and wife to my husband, as a possibly can.
Taking Care of Me
Trying to juggle life’s responsibilities can be hard at times- Impossible at others. I am far from good at balancing life’s demands but there are some things I have learned. I have to take care of myself- the whole “if mom isn’t happy no one is.” My health is important, and so is my mental health. When I forget about me, I begin to hate, dread, and avoid the work I am doing. I tend to run myself out until I am on empty. I end up having an anxiety attack and lashing out emotionally at those closest to me.
There was a day when I was needing to drive a round trip of 3 hours, had tons of homework due, a planning meeting, and about 100 emails to deal with. All those things would have been fine, but then I was called to help a new mom with breastfeeding. That one addition task made the rest of the day daunting. I really wanted to help the mom, and do everything else, but my anxiety had me scared to the point that I didn’t even want leave the house. The solution- cut something out. I decided it would be better to miss the planning meeting, which required 3 hours of round trip driving. I had the evening to make dinner, do laundry and to spend time with my son. Just taking the time out to relax (yes I am the only person alive that doing all steps of laundry is relaxing) and to work on other neglected tasks. This may not seem like taking care of myself, but trust me, cutting out the driving, and eliminating the task, removed the pressure that was building and I began to feel better about myself. It also made it so I could better focus on helping the new mom with breastfeeding, since I wasn’t thinking to myself “crap I need to hurry up, I have 1 million things I need to do.”
Taking care of family
I can’t forget about my family. I have felt for the last month, as I was burning the candle at both ends, that R2 was being raised by the Disney Channel. We would wake up, get breakfast, I would turn on the tv, open my laptop, and begin to check emails, private messages and notifications. I would have lectures going in the background as would answer questions and solve problems. After an average of 2 hours of this I would go outside with R2, our black Lab, my phone, laptop and textbook. Depending on the day I would either write emails to perspective vendors, or I would do homework. After an hour or so we would come in, I would rotate a load of laundry, toss toys into their buckets, make lunch and set up for nap time. My little guy will only nap on my lap so I would make sure I had everything within reach for the 1 to 3 hours stuck on the coach. This is always my most productive time of day. It is my “me” time. After nap time I usually start dinner.
For me a crucial part of surviving being overly busy is a crockpot. I toss in a meat, some vegetables, some sort of sauce, and let it cook. Prep time is usually only 15 minutes, my crockpot averages 4 hours for a full roast, and only using 15 minutes for prep gets my family a healthy meal with time to spare. After dinner was made we would either go outside again, or it would be more tv time, and more computer time for me. I have seen my son get more interested in tv over the last 2 months than ever before, and it makes me sad. ON the other hand, my son has also learned to creatively play by himself, developing imagination. Most importantly he knows what things will make mom stop whatever she is doing. He is allowed to close my laptop to tell me to stop; he will bring me books and sit on my lap for attention. He will ask for boob when he needs cuddle time. He will climb onto his high chair to say he is hungry. All of these things would not have been developed if I was less busy, and able to focus on my son as much as I would like.
I have found the best way to keep my husband happy when I am super busy is a twofold process. A. Always have clothing washed and put away for him (not a problem since like I said earlier doing laundry is very Zen for me). B. Giving him time for his hobbies and
interests. Every Wednesday my husband goes to a local game store to run a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Most Fridays he will spend at the game store playing Magic the Gathering. Mondays we take the time to play games as a family, last night we played a card game called Fluxx, last week it was Settlers of Catan. We make a point to spend a few minutes every day just the two of us talking. We have always made sure to either hold hands or touch are toes together every night while sleeping; even if we are fighting this physical connection helps keep us connected, and has resolved more fights than anything else for us. I have learned to that balancing my relationship with my husband with everything else in life, makes everything else in life easier. He is very supportive of me, and I am supportive of him. We complete each other and do better as a team.
Whether it is school, work, church or any other responsibility, for me if I work on the other parts first I do well. If I focus on this first I get overwhelmed and do not complete as much as I would like.