Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Never-Ending To-Do List

Lately, I have been feeling really overwhelmed with balancing it all.  It's nothing too specific that is causing this feeling although maybe I have a few too many things on my plate and need to remove one or two.  (Or just figure out how to let go a little better!) Is it me or as our kids get older is there more to do and not less?

The problem is that I am feeling more and more behind every day.  It is affecting my ability to just sit down and play with my kids without worrying about what item on my list isn't getting crossed off.  I am not devoting enough time to my paid work.  I cannot remember the last time I had alone time with husband in what could even remotely be considered a "date night."  And the list could go on...

Adjusting to being a full-time SAHM has been fairly easy for me.  (Seriously, husband, it has!)  I really do like being home, I love having significant time with my kids (well, most days), and the cherry on top, witnessing "firsts" that I otherwise would not if I was working.  Now if only it was that simple. 

Unfortunately, I don't solely "stay home" with my kids.  I also have two part-time jobs which thankfully I can (mostly) do from home, yet do require a handful or more of hours each week.

Throw in all the other things required for keeping a household running as well as trying to find a little "me" time here and there.  (My "me" time these days is going to the gym and I aim for 2-3 days a week. Without it, my kids could witness their very own apocalypse.)

Yes, I know it could be worse in a million different ways. Yes, I know I only have 2 kids and many moms juggle all this and more with more kids and a full-time job.

The real problem here is me.  Woah.

I need to learn to just let go of the things that don't matter too much (like if the house has been vacuumed this week), and focus on the bigger picture (like watching Brother and Sister finally learn to play nicely together).

In my own defense, if I may, I am a classic firstborn.

Some may call this an excuse, but hear me out.  You see, I have been reading "The Birth Order Book" by Dr. Kevin Leman and it has been a truly fascinating read.  Incidentally, my Mom has literally been quoting this book for years, to which I always have groaned and rolled my eyes.  She forced it on me a few months ago and now I cannot seem to stop talking about it.  This birth order stuff is for real.  Seriously, go read it!

Dr. Leman might just be spying in my windows.  As a firstborn, I am a perfectionistic, conscientious, well-organized, list-maker.  (Ever written something down that you already did just to cross it off? Yeah, you're probably a first born too...)  How's that for a confession- everyone who knows me is shaking their head in agreement right now. (And I just lost all the last-borns reading this right there.)

There are a whole bunch of great qualities that come with being a first-born though - 64% of US presidents have been first-borns!  I have always set high goals for my professional and personal life and worked my butt off to achieve them.

Being at home now has created new and different (and maybe not as lofty) goals for me and adjusting to this change has been tricky.  While I am who I am, I am also learning that it's OK to just not get anything done on the list for even one day. 

Regardless of your birth order, I know that these feelings are shared by many moms and dads out there.  Juggling work, family, and all of the responsibilities therein is no easy feat these days and parenting has changed significantly since my parents were doing the parenting.

I do believe some of this is simple self-awareness.  So here I am putting it out there publicly: I am aware, that I need to work on balance and letting go.  I need to let go and enjoy the ride.  I am counting on you to hold me to this...

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