Monday, September 1, 2008

Finding the balance

My life is busy. Full of chores, opportunities, interests, things to do, places to go, people to see.
How do I find the balance?

This has been a constant question for me lately. Lately being over the last 6 and a half years, since I got married. But especially since having my number 3 baby. So many days just seem to slip by, and often the only real thoughts that go through my mind are to do with house chores- what I need to get done, and how to get those things done.
Pretty sad really.

When my Mum was up visiting recently, we were discussing this. I was feeling overwhelmed by the duties of running the house, and just feeling snowed under in general. And she said something to me which really impressed upon me. She said "Try not to be overwhelmed by ALL the things you need to get done. Concentrate on one things at a time, and feel satisfied with your efforts when you achieve something. When you are hanging the washing, try to enjoy the moment. Think about the fact that you are getting the washing hung.......... not that you also need to do the dishes, clean the floors, and cook dinner (whilst caring for the children!)." I have really been trying to do this, and it works!! As soon as I start to stress, and do the mental to-do list thing, I stop myself and just concentrate on the task at hand. One thing at a time. I feel less stressed, and am taking more time to complete each task and feeling the satisfaction of doing so.

We also talked about prioritising. It's something I find really difficult to do. As I move about my house, there are so many little things to be done that I can get constantly distracted from what I'm supposed to be doing......... and nothing ever gets completed. I hate that feeling!! You can end the day feeling like you've achieved nothing.

SO, I've been trying hard to prioritise, and also to commend myself on achieving little things.
I've worked out that:

Each day I need to prepare meals for my family, pack lunches, keep the dishes up to date, drive Saraya to and from school, keep the house generally tidy, and do one to two loads of laundry (wash, fold and put away). That is it!
They are the basics, and I can actually do these things each day and feel like I am achieving my basics list. Cleaning can happen once each week, as I find the time. Baking can happen once a week, particularly if I have a bit of a session in the kitchen and bake double-batches of things while I'm at it. Hooray for the freezer! Wrapping individual pieces of cake or slice in cling-wrap and freezing them makes packing lunch-boxes through the week easier. General tidying happens throughout each day. Watering the garden? While the children are playing outside. Cleaning out cupboards, sorting stuff........ all those kinds of things are good to plan for weekends when there's an extra set of adult hands around! Planning a big job like this probably means leftovers for tea too, so I try to think about this before starting something. These extra jobs are harder to plan for, but the opportunities always present themselves sometime and I just have to seize the moments! Since deciding on my basics list, I am less hard on myself since I don't feel I need to do every single thing every single day. Just the basics.

With this little guy still only 3 months old, I need to relax and spend time enjoying him. He is growing up incredibly fast, and I know that soon I'll be free to do more housework and gardening and other stuff I want to do on a regular basis. For now, I'm happy to keep things simple and as peaceful as is possible around here.


Renata said...

Please thank your mum from me for her words of wisdom! I've been feeling very snowed under since moving here & feel that I have to run to get through my day (in fact the only time I get to sit down is meals & when I'm blogging - which I often feel guilty for doing). I shall try to enjoy each duty - rather than thinking of everything else that needs to be done! Thanks for sharing!

Tereza said...

that so me too right now:) Sounds like a wonderful plan!!


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