I wrote the first part of this post over a week ago. It is a testament to the last week’s craziness that I am just now being able to finish it. Oh well! It still holds true.
I am struggling with exhaustion, frustration, and edging toward burn-out. In the past month, I have been trying to live as if I am already a stay-at-home mom while continuing to fulfill my obligations at work. It’s really the essence of what made me want to make this change, but knowing that the end of this season is in sight makes it so much harder to wait for it.
It feels like those last few weeks of pregnancy. You know that your life is about to change immeasurably, you know the change is going to be challenging but rewarding, and you know that there’s nothing that you can do to make it come any faster without creating problems. I have been trying to diaper the baby before it has even been born.
In the last few weeks I have been cleaning, decluttering, baking, cooking, meal planning, bargain shopping, budgeting, and blogging. I do pretty much all of those things anyway, but I have been in super-hyper-overdrive. I have been running myself into the ground.
I am going to have to find some perspective and balance. I am enjoying doing the things that I have been doing, but I have added too much too fast. I can’t expect to be able to do what I have never been able to do just because I quit my job. I still have at least 6 weeks to work before I can really embrace the changes that I am so looking forward to.
The last week at home with a sick baby has both helped and hurt this challenge in unforseen ways. I have had to accept the fact that sometimes, you just have to nap with the baby…even if there are dirty dishes in the sink. I have also lost a good bit of the cleaning head-start that I had achieved with my initial adrenaline rush. My house is a wreck again. Arrgh!
The positive side (and there’s ALWAYS a positive side) is that I have purged so much stuff that my house is cleaner than before even as messy as it is right now. There are about 30 fewer cups and glasses available to BE dirty, so there are fewer dirty cups and glasses. There are about 500 fewer pieces of clothes available to BE dirty, so I have done a maintainance level of laundry washing all along instead of just pulling yet another outfit from my clothes basket.
I am making progress, but I want to do so much more. I want to have the time and energy to do everything. It is frustrating to be so limited, but it is just God’s way of making us prioritize. He will only give us one “tank of gas” per day, and only 24 hours to use it. If we try to do more than we are capable of, our bodies will stop us in our tracks. I want perfection. I have never been close to it, but I am sure that it is lovely.
Just imagine–all of the laundry is washed and put away…maybe even ironed. All of the dishes are clean, and there is a delicious, nutritionally-balanced meal on the table that kids and husband will both love. The bank account is at a comfortable level, and all of the bills are already paid for the month. The pantry is well-stocked with the foods and supplies that we need. We have a family devotion every morning in which we share our prayers with each other and grow closer to God and each other. We never raise our voices in anger, and all….
Ok…I get it. I have watched too many 50’s era TV shows.
Reality is nothing like that, but a girl can dream, right?
I am not really trying for perfection. I have to remind myself of that frequently. I am working for PROGRESS. I am taking baby steps toward a cleaner, better, more peaceful, and more joyful home. Until I am home full-time, I have got to find a way to pace myself. In fact, I will need that discipline even once I am at home too.
For me, for now, I think that finding “balance” means taking a Sunday afternoon nap while my boys sleep. It means that sometimes, the dishes have to wait. It means that I understand that it’s not always a good thing to push yourself to your limit. Sometimes it is needed and necessary, but sometimes it’s just overactive perfectionism and pride.
Now, I have to wrap this up. I’m going to catch a quick nap.