If I do say so myself, I have naturally awesome time management skills. Well, maybe not naturally...maybe I've learned to have great time management over the years, but regardless, I rock in this area.
Except not lately. Like at ALL. These last few weeks have left me overwhelmed and unfocused many hours of most days. And when I do have some free time, I find myself wanted to collapse into a pile of mental exhaustion from the day's activities, lacking any motivation or desire to cross anything off my to do list.
This is all very unlike me. Very. What happened to my incredible ability to spin plates and wear different hats?
For some reason, I am feeling a lot of pressure lately. Pressure to get back into a good routine with our homeschooling. Pressure to declutter my house (seeing unnecessary crap...er, I mean, STUFF, in every corner is suddenly driving me insane). Pressure to stick to my recent commitment to eating right and doing the Bikini Body Mommy 90 day challenge. Pressure to keep my kids from destroying everything that I just tidied up five minutes ago.
We've also had a lot of larger time-suckers taking over the schedule (eye doctor appointments, the allergist, hair cuts, not to mention preparing and packing for, then unpacking and doing laundry from, several trips and weekend getaways) - plus we've suddenly added football practice and Cub Scout meetings back into our weekly rotation. Is it horrible that I'm so grateful that no one signed up for our new weekly Bible study this semester? Having one more night filled with people just sounds...exhausting.
I'm probably going to be shunned from the mommy community for admitting this, but the worst part is (...brace yourself...) I have not been enjoying my kids lately. For some reason, their singing is driving me crazy. Their banter is driving me crazy. Asking simple questions, even legitimate ones about schoolwork, is driving me crazy. The whining and constant talking and "Mommy, Mom, HEY MOMMY..." is driving. me. crazy.
Yet it's funny how God has been dropping snippets of hope and encouragement into my life.
This past weekend, I found a blog post in my email about being a Mental Neat Freak. After reading it, I realized that I need to do a brain dump to "sort" all of the stuff floating around in my head. I am hoping to find the time to blog more often.
On Monday, my daily devotional had this to say, "You will not find My Peace by engaging in excessive planning; attempting to control what will happen to you in the future. Just when you think you have prepared for all of the possibilities, something unexpected pops up and throws things into confusion." (don't I know it)
On Tuesday, this was in my in-box, "So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up. Galatians 6:9" (Promise?!?!?)
Then this morning, in a futile attempt to escape all that I should be doing, I cleared out my email in-box and found a blog post titled, "What about ME: On taking care of yourself as a homeschool mom."
I almost cried while reading it. THIS is what I have been needing! ME TIME. I have felt selfishly guilty for escaping for some much needed daily mental and physical rest. My kids are around me all. day. long. Sometimes it feels like my day is one big run-on sentence. I speak and am spoken to constantly. Constantly.
Jason is such a bundle of energy that I can barely see how quickly he is maturing. He's growing out of the...let's call it a...tough phase, that he's been in for more than two years. He no longer thrives on making waves or causing trouble. He can still be a challenge, but he is getting so much better. And I wish I was more appreciative.
Kaylin wants so desperately for her brothers to love and accept her, but generally gets caught in a wrestling match which ends in tears. It seems that she's drawn to me during my quiet moments when all I want is to be alone. Please, for the love of all that is good...I just want some space. Even as I type this, she's curled up on the bed next to me, forfeiting stories with Daddy to just lay near me before bedtime. And all I want to do is escape.
Then there's Ryan...my clone. He is so responsible and I feel that I've taken advantage of that recently. Soliciting him to help with extra chores or occupy Jason with a game of Duck, Duck, Goose because I just don't have it in me.
I feel consistently torn between doing what I want to do and doing what I know I should be doing. I haven't felt this way since before Jason was born...back when Ryan was the one who was the handful. I'm just feeling so...smothered all of a sudden. On Monday, it was literally giving me anxiety. Mike came home from work early (which never happens) because he had a dentist appointment and I was giddy. I asked if I could go run errands alone then head to the gym. When he asked if I'd be willing to take one of the kids with me, I nearly cried.
This is SO unlike me!!!
What's worse is that the more I want to be alone, the more the kids are attracted to me. It's a vicious cycle...like they can sense it.
I need to get my time management under control. Letting all of this out has been helpful, but the practical side of me realizes that I need to sit down and block out chunks of time for school, work, exercise, Mike, of course, and I can't forget ME TIME. Because I'm drowning without it.
Whew! I feel a little better already. Time to snuggle with my girl.