There are things I resolved to do... work on a second novel, get in shape, twice weekly yoga, meditate a few minutes every day.
I have accomplished exactly 0% of this.
My kids, our schedule, the heat maybe and my indecisiveness have me so exhausted that I can't even think about trying to carve out time to write a book. I wake up in the morning and immediately jump into GO MODE. Before I even sit up in bed, I'm going over and over in my head what we need to do today, how much time we have to get dressed and fed and brushed and ready, what work I need to get done and how much time I'll need to do it, fitting in the gym, working around Louisey's nap and Scouty's activities and making sure that the girls are getting the most fun of their summer as humanly possible.
I'm failing at everything I set out to do for myself. I don't even know where to begin, except maybe waking up at 5am and cutting time with Kurt out of my life completely. I could make the girls play quietly in their rooms for an hour or two each afternoon instead of swimming and playing in the sandbox so that I could write my articles. I could keep Scouty from playing sports or participating in other activities so that we could go to the gym during that time. I could tell Kurt that the two hours we see each other each day isn't as important to me as working on my writing and cut him out.
Does this all sound like one big excuse? I know that people are fond of saying, "If you want something, you find a way to make time for it."
But, what if you want happiness for two people who are totally dependent on you, and you want a relationship with your husband and you want your children to have experiences and fun and exposure to many different things in the world. And you want to cook everything from scratch because you want your children to be healthy and you want to have relationships with your friends and you want to have enough money to pay your bills and buy groceries, so you have to do work. And you want to write a book and get in shape.
What if there just isn't enough of you to find a way to make time for all of the things that are important to you?
I feel like even having dreams for myself creates stress for me. Like, if I just gave up and decided that my one goal was to make my kids happy and make sure they're healthy, and that I was going to dedicate all of my resources to that task... denying about my own interests and needs, I would feel better than I do now.
Writing a book, getting in shape, taking yoga class... these things just end up hanging over my head, being pushed to the bottom of my to-do list and making me feel like shit about myself because I don't get to them. Every time I mean to write in the evening and can't because Kurt gets sick with the stomach flu and I have to stay with the girls. Every time I put on my workout clothes and decide to go to the gym as soon as Louisey wakes up from her nap, and she wakes up grumpy and hungry and throws a tantrum and we don't make it out of the door before it's time to pick up Scouty. Every time I decide that I'm going to start working on my articles in the afternoon while the girls play and they come up to me and say, "Could you please play Orbeez with us?" and I don't want to tell them, "I can't pay attention to you, because getting my work done is more important than playing with you."
All of these things make me feel like an unbelievably unsuccessful person. I feel out of control, like I don't get to make my own choices about my life.
The truth is... about three times per week, I get to the gym for an hour, but it's on a haphazard schedule that just happens when it happens. Once or twice each week, I get a chance to write something I want to write. Every week, I get my work done on time... but just barely. I'm not exactly thriving at being a put together writer who works out every day and manages stress properly and attends to her interests and maintains friendships, juices every day for two meals and initiates satisfying sex with her husband.
But, I'm okay at trying. I'm okay at getting out of bed in the morning. I'm okay.
Do you want to know something else? I'm really, really good at being a mom. I'm really good at making sure my kids are happy and engaged with the world. I'm really good at giving them life experience, at taking them out to see the world, setting them up to be confident and secure, making sure they're happy and healthy. It takes up almost all of my time and energy, but I'm doing a really good job.
What would happen if I focused more on the things I'm doing right, than the things I'm failing at?
|fancy preschool tea parties|
|movies in the park|
|thai food even though it's too spicy for Scouty|
|idlewild park with our cousin, baby c|
|grumpy shy breakfast with friends at Sugar Cafe in Dormont|
|playing on the big girl playground|
|even the big girl slide|
|big 4th of july parades|
|beautiful, healthy, happy kids|
Happy summer to you and your beautiful babies, families and friends. Let's try to take it easy on ourselves. We're doing the best we can.