I don’t know if you’ve ever had one of these moments. A moment when suddenly it seems like a curtain is pulled back and you realize “woah I’m a real live grown up.”
It’s like wait what? I could swear I was JUST in high school, going to a choir competition… now all of a sudden I’m 30 and taking my oldest baby to the bus stop for the first time??? What happened. It seems like life whips past at the speed of light sometimes and then it slows at certain moments. Highlighting the massive amount of time that has suddenly passed, emphasizing the fact that you are indeed, a real live grown up person.
You have all of these responsibilities, chores, jobs. It’s so, SO easy to get focused on this stuff. To think about what we NEED to do, what NEEDS to be done. OMG the laundry HAS to get done today…
My question is, why? Why oh why do we do this to ourselves. I will readily admit to constantly being about a load or two behind on laundry. But guess what, it doesn’t stress me out. My kids have clean clothes, as do I and my husband even has clean clothes. We have clean towels, sheets etc. So why am I going to stress myself out over stupid crap. OMG yes a couple weeks ago I forgot to sign off on my daughter’s homework and send it in with her on Thursday. Guess what. I did it on Friday, sent a note in to the teacher and got a thank you in response, along with the understanding that these things happen and if they do we just turn them in the next day or on Monday.
At the beginning of the school year my middle daughter Bee had pneumonia. Yes it was wonderful, I was busy busy busy dealing with her. Dizzy’s work wasn’t going to get done, I let her teacher know. She understands that hey, people don’t all only have one kid, they have other responsibilities and sometimes the priority is not to be sitting down learning how to sound out the word ‘wood’. I am not in any way minimizing the importance of school or of teaching our children to hand in assignments on time. Yes it is an important thing. But sometimes other things ARE more important.
There are things we actually NEED to do and things we just think we do. If you can’t keep up with laundry, stop stressing about it. Either resign yourself to being constantly “behind” or get some help (whether paid or a friend or family member) with it. If Jr’s homework just didn’t get done because grandma was in the hospital, talk to their teacher about it. Most of them understand that real life does intrude.
What we NEED to do is take care of ourselves. That doesn’t mean making sure the house is spotless, Jr has an A in every class and everyone is absolutely miserable because they are so dead tired from constantly rushing that life is cruddy. I mean really if you’re miserable what’s the freakin’ point?
There ARE hard and fast rules that I hold myself to. I’m a night owl. My brain and energy kick in at around 8pm. I don’t know why, it’s just the way I’ve always been. I make sure that I get stuff done during that time. I don’t go to bed without my dishwasher being loaded and being ready to switch on in the morning, the girl’s lunch packed, the clothes laid out etc. I do a quick run through of the house and gather as much clutter as possible.
I’ve found that having myself do these things in the evening makes sure they get done. Some people are morning people. They love love love waking up at the butt crack of dawn, if you’re one of those people… well then do the lunches and clothes and such in the morning. What’s the point in dragging yourself around in the evening trying to get this crap done and making yourself miserable? You like being up early, you get more done when you do it wide awake and mentally alert…. kinda seems like a no brainer to me.
I spent a lot of years feeling like a failure because my afternoons were NOT spent industriously doing all kinds of stuff. It was like “well it didn’t get done this afternoon so I failed.” NO I didn’t fail I just didn’t do it the way that everyone else does it. I didn’t do crafts all afternoon, I did them in the evenings after my husband went to work. I didn’t bother to vacuum in the morning because well… it was going to be crumb strewn in about an hour anyway and why not wait to do it in the evening after the kiddos stopped being destructive tornado people?
I guess what I’m saying is this. A lot of people have a crap quality of life. That’s due to a lot of things, not all of them are in our control. But why on EARTH do we not lessen the strain on ourselves when possible? Start thinking about how to live your life happier. Not cleaner, not neater or greener (although the side result of happier may indeed be those things). Happier, limit your extra curricular if you are feeling overwhelmed prioritize your house stuff. I promise no one is going to burst in your door to make sure your linen closet is in tip top condition, so if the towels are kinda shoved into the corner of a shelf… WHO CARES. The towels are clean and ready to use dammit. That is the actual part that matters. Quit nitpicking yourself and try to live a little happier.