Today, I felt a sigh coming on when the older children caught the bus. I felt overwhelmed with all I had to do, and I didn’t want to do any of it. I also was tired of feeling inbalanced–like I was letting the house go while caring for the children or ignoring the children while cleaning the house.
I came up with an idea today that really helped me. I decided that I would alternate between cleaning a room of my house, doing an activity with the children, and doing something for myself.
I started by cleaning the kitchen. It wasn’t easy to get through the kitchen. It was about a 45 minute job and there were several interruptions. One thing that helped me stay focused was that I cleaned only one counter at a time. I didn’t allow myself to start another counter until I had completely finished the prior one. Then I could see my progress.
I was delighted when I finished the kitchen. I actually got something done! I then got my son Neil dressed and then started a 50 piece puzzle with him. Caroline was busy and fussy, but I held her and entertained her while helping Neil with the puzzle.
It was then time to do something for me. I bundled the two children up and put them in our running stroller. Although it was a cold day, the sun had just come out, and it felt so good on my skin. I ran with the children for twenty-five minutes and then dropped in at a friend’s house. She was hosting a play group. We visited and made decorative paper flowers while the children played.
The day went roughly like this although I had to be somewhat flexible as the children’s needs can’t always be rigidly planned. Still, I got the kids’ fed, got them down for a nap, did a little reading and napped myself, tidied my bedroom, made dinner—you get the idea.
While I didn’t get everything done in the day that I had hoped to, I did feel more balanced. I felt that I had given the children enough of my time, that my house was at least adequately tidy, and that I even got some time for myself. I’m excited to try this tomorrow.