Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stretched

Some days I feel stretched. Thin (unfortunately not the skinny kind of thin!). In the Lord of the Rings Bilbo makes a statement that he feels thin, "Like too little butter spread over too much bread." I think that hits the nail on the head for me as of late.

The demands at being a stay at home mother can be overwhelming at times. I feel like there are so many things to do and not enough time in the day. I am sure that both working moms and stay at home moms can agree with that statement.

But, I think that when you stay at home, it weighs a little more heavily on you when you don't get things done. When the laundry remains in a huge, unfolded pile (or in my case, folded in baskets but not put away!), when the dishes start to gather in the sink for one too many days, when the toys don't get picked up nightly or a nice coating of dust begins to linger on the furniture. I know what needs to get done, but sometimes I just don't have the time. And when I do have the time, I don't always want to do it.

I am lucky that Jason never complains about these things. My housekeeping seems to go in cycles. For a few weeks the house will be a pit of despair, then in usually one or two days I have everything as neat as a pin. I vow that things will stay that way. Ultimately, one by one, things begin to unravel. Realistically, it's impossible to keep your house spotless when there is a toddler running about. I know this. And I really feel that I've accepted it. Except, every once and awhile I get that nagging that I should be doing a better job.

I don't know if I've ever really mentioned this or not, but I am the sole Organizer for my Mom's Group. I love this group and the women and children that belong to it. I don't know what I would do without the strong friendships that I have built with them, especially since all of our children are the same age. I'll be honest with you though, it's very hard to be the Organizer of any group.

I plan all of our meet-ups (an average of 3 per week), as well as start discussion forums, post ideas for other members, keep track of our funds, email/interview/encourage prospective and new members and sincerely try and get to know all of the women that have joined. It's no easy task. And sometimes it feels like a full-time job. I feel obligated to attend every meet-up that I set up. Which is very time consuming and probably the number one reason why the only magazine my house will ever appear in is "CLEAN ME!".

And while I no longer work full-time outside of the home, I usually work 3 Saturdays a month at my old job. Recently Jason and I have realized that my Saturdays away from home have deeply cut into what little family time we have on the weekends. By the time I get home in the afternoon (usually 2 pm), Aidan is down for his second nap and we have lost almost the entire day. I love the extra spending money (which I use for outings that Aidan and I go on with our Group, or to just buy the occasional item for our house), but I don't feel that it's worth it anymore.

We have decided that I am going to leave my job permanently at the end of April. I know that I will miss working, but it will be worth it so that we can spend more time together as a family. Perhaps we can start taking little weekend mini-breaks to different parts of Texas, or simply spend a day at the beach. Whatever we do, I know it will be wonderful to do it as a family.

Now that Aidan is getting older, I feel that I need to spend more and more time playing with him. When he was younger he really wasn't interested in playing with me. As long as I was in the room he was happy. But, in the past few weeks he has become very insistent that I am involved in whatever it is that he is doing .From playing catch, to stacking rings, to just being silly. He has developed a love of hide and seek and we seem to play it for hours on end sometimes! I love that he wants to spend more time with me, but now it makes it even harder for me to accomplish anything when he is awake.

And that's where I begin to feel thin. Stretched. And guilty. Guilty that I can't do it all. Because I feel that I should. Why aren't I able to? Why can't I just buckle down and do it?

I feel that before I had Aidan I was much more organized. I love lists. Although I hardly ever utilize them anymore. I would write out a montly calendar for all of our meals ahead of time, I would always have lists of what needed to be done on a daily basis on the fridge and in my purse. I knew what I needed to pick up at the grocery store. Now? Notsomuch.

I will not blame this on my child. I know that with motherhood comes change. And I have embraced that change. I love being a Mom. I just wish I knew how to go about it in a way that didn't cause me anxiety and guilt.

Do you ever feel thin? Stretched? How do you deal with these issues? Do you have any advice for me as to how I can "do it all" without feeling guilty and overworked?



2 comments:

  1. Yes, I feel stretched every day of my life. Truly! I love mamahood and wouldn't trade it for anything but most days, my brain is controlled chaos ... as is my house.

    I wish I had wisdom to share ... maybe a few other "been there done that" mamas can chime in with advice for both of us!

    P.S. I got your email and will respond when I have an extra brain cell to spare to type. ;)

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  2. While I am clearly not a Mom, I also feel guilty... stretched thin, overworked. In my case, it's balancing a new marriage with the hard task of getting the PhD. I want to be there for my husband (still feels super STRANGE saying that word) while still being a strong student. I honestly don't know how other people do it so seemingly gracefully. There is one student here with a 10 year old son as well. Unimaginable! Anyway, I am confident you are doing a great job, Em. BTW: I love dust and embrace it daily :-)

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