A few weeks ago I decided to start seeing my therapist again. She’s known both P & I from couple’s therapy since we first moved to DC 7 years ago. Wow. I cannot believe that much time has passed! Not to mention how much our life has changed in that time…whew, just had one of those ‘whoa’ moments… Anyway, let me shelve the nostalgia sap & get to my point. I asked her if she could help me manage my life better. There are certain things that have been put on my plate that I can’t take off, then there are a few things like this blog & the TV segments that I just don’t want to give up, the problem is I have so much that I end up doing everything…well, half ass. Sorry, just could not think of a more perfect way to put it. I’m starting to realize that the reason I’ve been struggling with feelings of guilt, frustration & at the end of the day not feeling like I accomplished much of anything, is because I’m not! I’ve been trudging through my days doing my best to keep my responsibilities afloat but all the way getting exhausted & really going no where. (Those are often the times you get radio silence here on LPM)
A week or so ago I had this endpass moment where I thought to myself something has to give. I was so tired from trying so hard but the truth was P & the girls weren’t getting what they needed from me & I wasn’t exactly doing a great job of taking care of myself either. My first thought was, something has to go, & it can’t be my health needs or stay at home mom duties so it had to be this. My blog & everything that goes with it. The thought of it made me so sad. I realized in that moment how much I love this place, & honestly I truly believe God has given me these wonderful opportunities that have sprung from LPM as a blessing, He’s given me something that really gives me joy in a time where my life has had a good handful of downs. I realized in that moment that I had to have faith that if he gave me the opportunities He’d also give me the strength to do them. So now that I knew I didn’t want to give up anything, & I believed that I had the strength to carry it all how do I do it differently because it was obvious my current method was working at all. That’s when I remembered my therapist & how I often had thought of her as not only a wonderful guide for couples in crisis but also had many moments where I saw her as a woman I respect that would make a wonderful life coach. So there it was, step one. I didn’t know what steps 2, 3, & 4 were going to be but that was ok, I knew I had a step 1 & that was enough to move forward.
At our first appointment I filled her in on everything I had on my plate & gave a honest account for how well I was actually doing these things. When I was done she said, “Ok, tell you what, let’s draw out an actual plate & divide in sections what you have & want to do.” It looked a little something like this…
How much of this can you relate to? When I started to put down on paper how much I actually “do” as being the caretaker of our home & family I can’t believe how much there is that I didn’t even realize I was carrying!
Now, let me take a moment to say this loud & clear, I am NOT complaining. Not in the least, I was blessed enough to have the option to quit my full time job when Samantha was born. I can’t even fathom how much you full time working mommies must have on your plates! I love my life & everything in it & fully realize how blessed we are & much incredibly worse other people’s plates can look. I’m grateful & fully aware of the lives of others, but this is my life & I think it’s ok to say that right now it’s hard for me. It’s ok for you to say it too.
Once we had a good look at the situation she asked me, if I had a magic wand what are the critical changes I could make that would make me feel better at the end of the day.
I was surprised how quickly they came to me…
1. I want to feel like I spend more quality time with my girls. Right now they’re just shuffled along from one point in the day to the next because whether they’re home or not home I’m constantly juggling a bazillion things in the air.
2. I would like to not feel stressed everyday that the house is not neat enough or there isn’t enough laundry done or have I done the dishes before my husband gets home. I have a husband that works from home most of the day, he’s very OCD & although he tries not to complain I know that when he comes home from work, to work & the house looks like a tornado came through it can be stressful for him. I also know that I can get so behind on laundry that there are times he’s getting dressed at 3am & can’t find which pile I have of clothes that his clean undershirts might be in. Even though he doesn’t say it, even though he tells me he understands that I have a lot on my plate & it’s ok, it’s not ok with me. That is a big source of my stress & if I could just find a better system I think it’d help tremendously.
3. I want to seize the opportunity of growing my ‘career’ here at LPM by the horns & take it for all I can. I want to kill it. I know I can nail these TV segments or contributor posts I’ve been offered if I could just give it the focus it needs. I have the hunger but I’m scared I don’t have the focus because I’m so darn tired from everything else that’s on my plate. But I don’t want to let it pass.
In my 20’s I graduated from college with a degree in TV Journalism & I was really good at it, I absolutely loved it! But when it came time to graduate & send our tapes out to TV stations across the country that had job openings (usually small towns out in Nebraska or somewhere since we’d be newbies) I got scared & never sent a single one in. I’m sure I made some other excuse in my head, I ended up making a decent career for myself in marketing but looking back I now know that when I came to that endpass I took the easy road…because of fear. This time, this endpass, I want to choose the hard road because I know the reward at the end when you follow your heart will be so worth it.
Now, can spewing all of this out & recognizing what is important magically get it all done? No. Of course not. I’m still one person and am limited at that, BUT, she said let’s just start with one…
I wanted to start with girls, what could I do to make my time with the girls more meaningful? We came up with a “sweet spot” of the day that is just for them. From 3:30-4:30 it’s just us doing a craft or playing a game before I have to start dinner. No, one minute to empty the dishwasher, fold some clothes or check my email, it’s just us. They have me fully. I’ve been trying it out & I can’t tell you how good it feels. Am I still their mom the rest of the day? Of course, I’m constantly getting a glass of milk or wiping someone’s butt…however now when those little eyes close & I tuck them in their beds I don’t feel like I’m failing them as a mother. It’s amazing how changing one ‘sweet spot’ of time can make a difference. Like I said, there’s a lot more to figure out but this is a start & I’ve noticed that by making a change that ends with a positive outcome can greatly renew your sense of hope & that, that can make a world of difference.
I’ve noticed that there are some of you who have told me through comments or emails that when I write these posts about my life & this crazy journey I’m currently on, that you’re on the same one & that it’s helpful to read that you’re not alone. That’s why I’m posting this, because if it’s helping my life than chances are good that it could help yours too! At least I think it’s worth a shot.