There are ways that I've tried to combat the overwhelming feeling that comes with juggling so many balls at once and keep me focused on getting as much in as possible without going a little nutty:
- Things like instituting a chores schedule (Mondays: our laundry washing/drying and vacuuming & dusting upstairs; Tuesdays: folding & ironing, ebanking, etc).
- I have a planner that is filled weekly and daily with tasks that I need to do or at least start to think about to make sure no aspect of the juggling acts swings too far out of control. "Add money to Greyson's lunch account online," and "Plan upcoming weekend trip to SU for 10 year reunion"
- I am faithful to Monthly Meal Planning and doing only one big grocery trip a month (filled in with small trips for bread/milk/produce as needed).
- We don't have any 'shows' and rarely watch any grown up tv, with the exception of AMC on Sundays at 9pm, of course.
- I force my tired behind out of bed before anyone else is awake in the morning for at least a half hour to an hour and a half to get the day started without little hands pulling at me.
There is a running list of things that ideally I'd like to accomplish each day. Things that fit into certain criteria. The house chores that are assigned for that day as per my weekly schedule: laundry, folding, ironing, vacuuming... Then there's the food: preparing, making, cleaning up. The kid related stuff; reading books, playing games, teachable moments, hygiene...The adult necessities: bills, scheduling appointments, returning emails/calls, groceries...My own personal stuff: blogging, writing, volunteer projects, exercise, reading...
and however it might appear out there in the world
try as I might, I just cannot seem to get it all in.
not any day.
something gets dropped because the hours in the day (or my energy) run out.
There are definitely things that I am more willing to readjust or drop all together when I inevitably need to make changes to the day's plans.
Nine times out of ten, it's my own personal agenda that gets prioritized and resorted (or dumped off the list all together). For example, in August, I put an effort into getting the jogged miles in for both my and Bullet's benefit. We got out on the trails behind our house and we did it! We made it to our goal of 30+ miles in the month of August. Which meant that the time I put in there replaced the time I have to put into something else on the list; ahem, blogging/writing which I did nearly zilch for last month.
I also put a big push into finishing our 2014 family yearbook in the last two weeks (I did it!! It's done!! only eight months later! 97 pages and filled with all of our adventures and favorite pictures! But it's done and ordered, thank goodness!!) Which means I slowed down on the jogging toward the end of the month and continued my poor output on the blogging/writing.
I'm always trying to figure out ways to squeeze the most life out of my days, and this fall season will be no exception. I'm hoping to do loads more writing - both on the blog and for my novel - and with the yearbook wrapped up and one kid in school (!!) that might be possible without dropping something else. But as history shows itself, the hours in the day don't generally line up with the ambitions I set up in my mind.
I sometimes look at the women in my life and think, how is their house always so clean? How do they do so many awesome projects with their kids? How do they fit such great exercise and healthy eating into their life? How? How do other people have it seemingly all together?
Every time I catch myself thinking enviously, I'm trying very hard to remember that 'She' is probably just like me, at the end of the night, laying in the bed and grumbling about all those tasks still left on her list that didn't get done today. That she, like me, is probably trying to weigh the day overall: "Well, I didn't get in any decent exercise, but I did read that extra book to the kids and we had a good laugh about it and also I finally cleaned the oven...so that balances out, right?"
Are we doing the same thing each night?
If yes, hi. you're not alone.
Maybe tonight as we tally and count the day's productivity we can both try to remember that if we're doing our best with what the day throws at us and our kids got hugged and giggled a little today, then we're doing pretty damn good.