January 30, 2012

Not Dead, Just Changing Priorities

This morning, I logged onto my laptop to write this post. That was over an hour ago. I got sucked into email and facebook...and don't get me started on Pinterest...sigh...

Needless to say, that is part of the reason why I've been silent more than not recently.

I am getting sucked into various social media outlets and quite honestly, my family is suffering because of it.

Sure, I love staying "connected" to my friends through Facebook, and finding awesome things that I would like to make or do on Pinterest, and enjoy the immediate gratification of email and the like...

However, I do NOT like the fact that I literally did 14 loads of laundry, dusted all the furniture, swept, mopped, vacuumed, and tidied up, taking up an entire day last week. I do not like the fact that I am turning on the television, plopping the kids in front of something I know to be "safe" viewing for them, and then plopping down in front of my computer for hours on end.

When your 22 month old starts singing the song for the new "cuddle puppet" that she's seen the commercial for 4 times...well, that sort of takes you back a bit...

Therefore, over the weekend, while BB and I were schlepping some unfinished hardwood flooring from the soon-to-be finished portion of our basement to the going-to-be-finished-before-our-kids-are-in-middle-school portion of our basement, I made a resolve that I needed to spend far more time engaged with my family, doing things like meal planning, cooking said meals, making pictures with my kids, using some of the awesome things I have stored for craft projects, letting the kids make a mess, playing play-doh, singing songs, reading books, going on "field trips", and taking the kids to the parks and playgrounds when it is warmer than 35 degrees out, getting out our bikes and sidewalk chalk since its been unseasonably mild thus far this winter (our one winter storm was while we were at the in-laws for Christmas and it's been cold only a few days since our return three weeks ago!). I need to take the time when the kids are napping to work on the long list of things I'd like to do to be a better steward of that with which we've been blessed - pass along clothing, books and toys we no longer fit - clear out the clutter, get things organized...

I started reading Jill Savage's Professionalizing Motherhood (no, I'm not being compensated for this!) last fall, along with her newest book Living With Less, So Your Family Has More . All in all, I realized last fall that I've been just sort of "doing" this stay-at-home-mom thing for the last 22 months or so - since Littlest One was born really...somehow, I just got into this mode of doing that which I had to do to keep from being overrun by germs and dirt, the bare minimum to make sure I had food in the house to be eaten, that was nourishment, not just convenience...

I decided that having an argument with BB over why there were things stacked all over the storage room, boxes and bags overflowing in my office space in the basement, getting defensive with his innocent question of "did something happen down here with a flood, or rodents?" and turning it into him attacking my mothering...yeah, it was not pretty to say the least.

At that point, hauling things back and forth, realizing that we have so many things that are unfinished, unstarted, undone, unorganized, uncleared...

I have actually made up excuses (I have lied) to my friends and turned down offers of playdates for my children because I am embarassed at the state of my home...

I realized that I have deviated, shoot, I've flat-out struck a new path, from my organized, tidy life.

And I do not like it one bit.

In fact, I feel as though I'm stuck in "Green Eggs & Ham", shouting at the top of my lungs "I do not like this, Sam I am, I do NOT like being out of control!"...

I know, not quite the friendly, rhythmic and rhyming childhood favorite we remember...but really, I do not like being a sluggard, selfishly fending off my children while my house gathers dust and dirt, laundry piles up, piles piles higher on tables and counters, stacks grow and grow, soon to topple on some unsuspecting spider, cat, child, or self if we sneeze in the wrong direction.

I do not like telling my children "we'll do it later, Mommy has things to do", and then the "things" I do include sitting on my rear typing and navigating away.

So, my dear friends, and anyone actually reading this, I'm taking some time away.

Not completely. The hiatus last year was nice, but I cannot go cold turkey on my connectedness.

However, I'm revamping a schedule. Yep, you read that correctly. I am creating a schedule, just as I would if was running a business, only I'm the only employee, and my schedule is more the tasks that need doing, the appointments keeping, the errands running.

Starting tomorrow, I'll have it in place, to include wonderful things over the coming weeks such as which days of the week I'll do laundry, clean bathrooms, change bedding, dust furniture, wash floors, bake goodies, plan menus, make grocery lists, run those errands.

Lest you start worrying, it will also include things like crafting with the kids, story time, piano lessons for Captain and Princess, and time for myself that will include, but not be limited to trips to the library for new books, time to read those books, time to workout, and time to just unwind.

I've talked to BB and we're working on being able to take a couple evenings a week wherein he's solely responsible for the kids from the end of dinner until bedtime. Not a large chunk of time, but enough that I could go meet a friend for coffee, just go wander around a store, or even just go upstairs and run a bath and soak in the tub for a bit.

We are also instituting a weekly date night wherein BB will take one of the kids out for some one-on-one time. This works out really well - each week, he'll take a different kid, and the fourth week, it will be OUR date night. If there are 5 weeks in a month, we get TWO dates!

We've got an awesome sitter - our neighbor girl is turning 15 this summer, loves little ones, wants to be a teacher, loves our kids, enjoys coming over and only charge $5/hour. Total. Not per kid...she's certified, has infant CPR certification, and because she lives next door, there's no added time of picking up/dropping off a sitter...it's glorious!!!!

For now, I've totally ignored my housework list and only got about 1/4 of it done this morning...so I'll be logging off. At least until Tomorrow...

1 comment:

Layla said...

I hope you're not gone too long! For purely selfish reasons, of course. I totally understand why you need to do this and how difficult it must be. Okay, that's a lie. I have an IDEA of how difficult it must be to be a mother but I don't know. All of that to say, I'm always so impressed and amazed by stay at home mothers.

Hopefully you'll post some pics of the crafts you make with the kids! And...why don't I follow you on Pinterest? I'm layla e., find me so I can follow you! (if you want, you totally don't have to. Okay, I'm gonna go now.)