It’s always something

I don’t know why… But I always thought that raising kids during the little years were going to be the trying times of parenting.  Overly exhausted all the time.  Meeting needs every 5 minutes (or every three.)

As my kids watched Aladdin a few years ago, I really could identify with the Genie.  When he is explaining to Aladdin that his wish would be freedom, instead of having to say *poof* “What do you need?”   *poof* “What do you need?”   *poof* “What do you need?”  

Not that I feel like I have the need for freedom.  Rest, yes.  But freedom, not so much.  I get it Genie.  All. Day.  Long.

 

So, back to me being hopeful and naive.  I guess I thought when the kids were able to “function” more or less by themselves – aka no more diapers, bottles, hold me – that I would not feel so run down.

Well.  Not so much.

Now with two in elementary school (and a spirited preschool boy), it’s the emotional battle that drains the body AND the mind.  It’s not anything necessarily specific (although there are times  ahem…recently  that it IS something specific.)  But just dealing with school and homework and those little brains that are asking questions and engaging with me in ways that I didn’t see coming.  That is what I am in  *poof* “What do you need?  now.

Recently – it has been something that hit each week.  Please can mommy get a break?  Can you kids take turns falling apart?  Do I get a week to fall apart too?   Why can’t we all just get along?

And it began to bring me to a place of despair.  But then I see that I don’t want to live there.  I need encouragement.  I need it for myself.  I need it to give.  And there is only one place to get it.

From the Lord.

I need to know that I am designed to take care of these little people every day.  Every minute.  Even when I don’t feel equipped.  I am.  I look to the Lord.  He is I AM.

He gives the equipping.  He gives the rest.  He gives the hope.  He gives the joy.

All I have to offer are open arms.

Dog days of Summer

Why is it called the “dog days” of summer?

According to my “thorough” search on the internet, they were originally named by the Romans, the hottest days of summer coincided with the rise of the star Sirius, “the Dog Star.”  They traditionally start the first week of July and end around mid-September.

Armed with that fun fact, summer marches on…

So my dog days?  I. Am. Tired.  It is HOT.  My kids have endless energy.  And even after a day that should send them to sleeping late into the morning, 6:15 am arrives and – BAM – they are raring to go.  me, not so much.

The even the fun of summer doesn’t wear them out:  playdates, camps, trip, and swimming  {I personally don’t consider swimming a “fun” one… I have 3 non-swimmer kids.  So I can’t just set them loose.  And don’t forget about coating them all with sunscreen.  Multiple times.  And then afterwards I have 3 wet kids.  Luckily after swim lessons I have 2 sort of swimmers.  Not ready for the swim test, but swimmers, as in:  they don’t sink instantly.}

And we have to be sure to get in summer reading, school workbook review time, and school supply shopping  {not that these things can’t be fun, but compared to the other list…}  

And, oh yeah, we need groceries.  And we need clean clothes.

I long for school to start.  For the freedom of routine to be back with us and to have moments in my day that are free of screaming.  Screaming with joy or in anger.  Both are loud.  Freedom to write – as it has been lacking as of late.  Freedom to read.  Wait, read a book?  Bold statement there!

But then I see the calendar dates flying by, like one from a cartoon where the days just fly off to represent the passing of time.  And I just want time to stop.  I want to hold on to each day that summer has, because I will never get this time back.  When they are little and screaming.  When they want my help.  When they think that I am really fun.  When I have to buckle them all into car seats when we make that trip to the zoo.

Finding this balance of wanting time to march forward and wanting it to stop at the same time.  That is what is wearing me out.

But I will never have control of time.  So I choose to listen to the screams and enjoy the 1000th “mommy” each day.  (well as best that I can)

 

 

 

Procrastination

I am good at getting things done.

But I’m also good at getting distracted…

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Wait… where was I?

See, it happened again.  So I’m setting a goal for myself.  I’m going to try to fight through my procrastination tendencies.  Really, my procrastination is this:  getting distracted and underestimating how long things really take or how long I’ve spent on them.  It’s a distracted underestimation procrastination!!!   say that fast 3x

I’ve always had the underestimation thing.  It takes 10 minutes to get everywhere, right?  Maybe that’s why I have a tendency to be late.  The lateness is something that I have almost cured.  It only took a year of training to break that cycle.  I still have my moments…

But the distractions are still here.  And it’s time for them to hit the road.

Let’s chalk it up to mommy brain:  maintaining children, maintaining a household, and everything in between.  My brain seems to just takes little breaks every now and then, and I guess I’m not aware of it.  So here’s to being aware of what my brain is doing!!

So the first step is to identify when it’s happening.  To catch myself in the act of doing nothing!  I’ve started keeping a daily chart, tracking what I’m doing every half hour.  I feel silly.  But it’s helping me get more done, just by writing it down and being able to visualize my day.  I’m mindful of the time already.  But I want to make it a habit to not lose time.  So I will continue and find where those timelessness pockets occur!

The second step is to just do it!

just-do-it

Just jump into whatever I’m putting off, all the while being mindful of how long it’s taking.  So what I’m doing is working in 15 or 30 minute increments, depending on the task.  I also need to realize that tasks really don’t take as long as I think.  Like emptying the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, or …blogging.  The end result is good, but checking something of my list — great!  Whatever the excuse in my head, I need to just do it anyway.

And I need to remember to keep a eye on those

…what was it,

oh yes, distractions.

What…are you waiting for

I have done a lot of waiting in my life. The main one was waiting for my children. Waiting through infertility. Waiting through adoption(s). So I’ve gotten pretty good at waiting. If it were an olympic sport, I probably wouldn’t be able to compete for my country, because I have achieved professional levels in my sport!

So I’m used to waiting. Waiting for something to happen.

Now…or later.  It’s either/or.  You can’t have both. Right?  You are either living in the now… Or putting everything off until later.  But when does later come?

So maybe it should be now or never. The time right now is the only time it will ever be here. So what am I waiting for?

Right now.  I don’t feel like I am living in the now.  I just muddle through the day and hope that later works itself out.   Yep, I’m a planner and an organizer.  But my piles of later just keep adding up.  The crazy, mundane, exciting, irregular rhythm of each day just doesn’t allow for me to get past the right now.  Contradictions.  Because each day is the same, but totally different.  And each day can be mundane, but nothing close to boring.  Plenty of time, but no time to do anything.

Right now.  How do I make the most of right now.  What am I doing with my time NOW?  Is it worth it?  Is it something that needs to be done?  Is it making a difference in my life or in the life of others?  Is it something that I’m going to want to do again – because that is one good test of if something is worth your time.  Just like I don’t want to waste calories or money – time is not something to be wasted.  But it feels that those other two have visible consequences. You can see the number on the scale or the number on the bank account.  But time is ever-replenishing.  But really now will never be here again.

Later.  So later sits and waits.  Waiting for what?  When I am going to get to the later?  I guess the answer is NOW! What am I waiting for?  I want to be more intentional and deliberate – in what I do and how I spend my time.  I want to spend this precious commodity of time wisely.

I feel like most days I’m just trying to make it through the day.  Either trying to just survive by kind of shutting my brain off.  Or the opposite… trying to get everything done – at all costs.  Neither are positive or what I want to be doing.   So what do I want to be doing?

I need to put the big rocks in, instead of filling the jar with the pebbles of distraction and busyness.  I want to see the things that are important and pursue them with fervor.  What am I waiting for?