Friday, October 21, 2011

How to Handle it All


I'd love to say that I have a way to handle it all... a way to get it all done, without a hair out of place or a voice raised in fury and frustration.

But really, I would be a billionaire if I had that answer... and my house probably wouldn't look the way that it does.

Seriously though, how are we supposed to do it all? I look around at the myriad of moms out there, the SAHMs, the WFHMs, the WAFHs... and every other acronym for working, stay at home, work from home, parenting from the moon, whatever kind of moms out there. No matter what our situations in life, we are all going to hit a point where we go, guess what???
I can't do it all...

And you know what? That's totally fine.

Are your children well loved and generally happy? Win.
Do you (mostly) remember to feed the pets and your husband? Win.
Does your house look lived in and comfortable but is still relatively clean? Win.

Does your house look like someone with children lives there? Inevitable. 

I have to be honest. I struggle with this. I struggle with wanting to have a perfect house, a perfect family, time to write and time to make myself better as well as everything around me.

I feel guilty.
I feel guilty when my husband comes home from a 4 day trip and the house isn't gleaming, the floors mopped, the laundry done and a delicious dinner in the oven.
I feel guilty when I just want to sit instead of playing with my son.

But I'm coming to terms with this. Feeling guilty is what it is. Feel the guilt, then stuff it in a drawer and lock that shit away. Guilt sucks and doesn't do shit except make you drink more wine...

Try to tackle your day a little bit at a time. Make lists, knock things off and feel accomplishment in that. Stop wallowing in what you didn't do and start rejoicing in what you did.  (And now I sound like a self help book.)

But seriously, break it down into little attainable pieces.

I try to take my house a little bit at a time now. I joined FlyLady (which if you don't know what is is? Check it out... it's pretty cool).
I try to schedule my meals out for the week, so I don't have to scramble for food. I also try to build in days where I don't have to cook. "Scrounging" days.
I try to schedule activities for the kid, and also for me. Maybe a trip to the pumpkin patch for him in the morning and then during naps I get to write.
I try to be more organized and write things down and have an online calendar.

I try all of this and I know that if it doesn't work? If I have a day that I am exhausted and I don't want to go to the gym, or write, or clean or entertain my toddler? Everyone will survive. The house will not spontaneously combust because I didn't mop, and the dishes that I left in the sink will not tell anyone if I save them for the morning.

I get sad by how overwhelmed we all get. I get sad when we aren't enjoying the time that we have with our kids because we are exhausted and angry and fried. First off... you're not alone. Second... go sit on the couch and watch a trashy soap while your kid naps... I won't tell anyone you didn't vacuum.

How do you guys try to control the chaos? 


Suzanne said...

I was excited about the Fly Lady for about 12 seconds...until she wanted me to wear shoes every day. And that think about polishing my sink? If I have to do all the dishes at night, when am I going to screw around on twitter?!

The only thing I've managed to stick to is tackling ONE of the major tasks (bathrooms, cleaning the fridge, polishing things) each day. Just one. And then I get to sit on the couch and pretend there aren't crumbs all over the floor. It makes cleaning up for major events easier and lets me feel like I'm doing a good job.

But I know exactly how you feel. My husband was just gone for 2 weeks and I was FRANTIC to make the house look decent before he came home, when all I really wanted to do was nap because I was exhausted from single parenting. So I napped. Don't tell on me :)

Ashley @ It's Fitting said...

Suzanne - I totally agree. I do about 1/3 of what she wants, but I think it gives me some direction on the big stuff. I like the house blessing (gives me motivation to vacuum everything) and I love the little tasks. And sometimes, when I don't have time, I consolidate them into one day and do it that way. Makes me think I'm super productive :-)

And yeah, my hubs has been gone for almost two weeks and gets home tonight and I'm FRIED.

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