In addition to the craziness of Easter weekend, my husband and I had a serious discussion on Sunday night about some of the goals we have for ourselves before the end of the year. We are already 3+ months into 2015 and I have to be honest, I haven’t crossed many things off of my big to-do list.
I wake up Monday morning to smiling and hungry faces, an often messy kitchen and a list of appointments to keep or schedule. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with exactly just how much needs to be done around the home. As a stay-at-home mom, I gladly take on the responsibilities inside the home like meals and housework. It only makes sense to me that is I am already feeding my kids, I can feed my husband. It only makes sense if I am already picking up the toys in the living room, I may as well vacuum.
Housework doesn’t bother me. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I just don’t want to do it and I wait until the very last minute to do the bare minimum. Like, I hear the garage door opening as my husband returns home and I quick run downstairs and change a load of laundry as if I had been a prisoner in the laundry room all day. Don’t worry, I don’t have my husband fooled for one second.
Housework does get to me when I let the deep cleaning go for too long. When, I start to look around my house, and although it is tidy and items are put away, to me the house can look dirty. Like, the ceiling fan in the bedroom has started to collect dust or when I walk across the kitchen floor, little dried food pieces stick to the bottom of my feet.
Like anyone who works outside of the home, I have a list of things to accomplish in a single day, and a grand scheme of things list for things I need to accomplish in a week, month, or year. I have meetings with the dentist, doctor, school teacher, and bill collector. I have an agenda to keep my kids learning, entertained, busy, rested, fed, and loved. While, I may not report to anyone or get paid for what I do (I get paid in more ways than money), I have responsibilities I enjoy undertaking, but also responsibilities that completely stress me out.
I am lucky I naturally enjoy shopping and it is a part of my job description. I get to purchase all home necessities, groceries, clothing, toys, entertainment, and gifts. But, I also bear the burden of how much I can be spending, and how I can keep the costs as low as they possibly can be. I really can be a penny-pinching cheapskate to the point where all fun is sucked out of a Target trip. On other days, I can buy myself a $8 coffee, $40 pair of shoes, toys for the kids, order pizza for dinner and not really give a damn.
In addition to keeping the house clean, needs met, and bills paid, my ultimate goal is to keep my children happy. Let me set up a scene for you: the kids wake up at 8 am, by 9 am they are fed, washed and dressed. From there, we either head out the door for school and the gym, or we have the opportunity for the day to run it’s course. Guaranteed at some point during the day, someone gets bored, throws a fit, gets hungry, gets tired, acts naughty, gets lazy, spills something, watches too much television, makes a mess, picks a fight, cries for an unclear reason, hurts another accidently or intentionally, or breaks something.
On top of just keeping my kids happy and uh, ALIVE, we need to have enough one-on-one time with mom, time for play, time for learning, outside time, time for family and friends, time for books, time for activities, and time for rest. It is an all-day, all heart, body, mind, and soul consuming job. There are plenty of days when I think to myself, “I am just doing this all WRONG.” We should be doing MORE. My kids should be happier, smarter, and more content.
I feel like part of my job has to include the opportunity for self-forgiveness, awareness of the good, confidence in the structure of our day to provide for us, ignoring perceived judgements from others, and that being together and happy is ultimately the number one priority. At the end of the day, I am the only one who can do this job and I work towards my kids and husband being able put their heads on their pillow at night with some peace, happiness and fulfillment.
Maybe, half my job is just trying. If I am making an effort, the day doesn’t have to be perfect.
How do you juggle work, home, kids, and life? Do you feel you are doing a good job? How do you keep a positive outlook when the to-do list keeps growing and growing?