Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Finding balance

Ok,  I'm having trouble balancing work, motherhood, homemaking and homesteading all at the same time. I'm feeling torn in many directions this week.  
Today was no exception.  I spent a full day at work and ended up spending an hour this afternoon with a patient who was sobbing and wondering why she should go on in life- trying to find meaning in all the hardships she has been through recently.  I really felt bad that I had to cut her short because I really HAD to leave because I only had 30 minutes to get home (25 minute walk), get the car and drive to the high school to pick up I11 after band.  I walked home, picked him up, got K9 from the after school program and dropped them off at home.  I then quickly changed clothes and drove out to the acreage.  Since it didn't rain again today I managed to get about 2/3 of the garden tilled for a second time.  I would have finished but I ran out of gas- and of course, we weren't organized enough to have brought out the gas can.  So I put away the tiller, kissed V- who was finishing up fixing the porch roof (lots of the cedar shakes had fallen off), stopped at the grocery store on my way home for milk and frozen french fries, called J14 to turn on the oven, came home, made dinner (we ate by 7! getting better), got kids through homework and sat down at the computer.  I still need to do the dinner dishes and maybe start to box up some things from the upstairs game shelf.
Any suggestions on how to make things run more smoothly?  I know that this is a temporary crazy period in my life but any suggestions are welcomed on how I can continue to preserve my sanity.


  1. I do not have any magic solution, but I AM going to check back to see if anyone else does! My best suggestion is to put the 'big rocks' into your schedule first. If the 'little rocks' do not fit in around the big ones then they just don't get done. You are only one person. What are your main priorities? What are your 'big rocks'? Kris

  2. Gosh, I too feel this way CONSTANTLY it seems and I have far less that I am trying to get done than you.

    Maybe you could occasionally give yourself permission to NOT get it all done each day, and cut yourself some slack. It really is OK to feed you family frozen pizza occasionally, well at least I hope so because I do. :)

    I totally agree with hickchick too, get what is absolutely necessary done first, and if you have more time and energy go for the rest. Otherwise try to let it go. It will still be there waiting for you, honest!

  3. Hey Judy
    You're balancing so much right now.I think hickchick has it right. Big things first....I guess that would be kids, and let the other stuff just fall into place (or OUT). Remember too, that while you want SOME things done right away with the house, some of the stuff can wait- you DO have a lifetime to work on it. I hate my life "out of order", but sometimes it just has to be!
    And if it DOES get too stressy (is that even a word?), you can come to my house and shovel 10 loads of manure. I'll feed you a fine meal, ply you with cheap wine, and you'll think life is wonderful! :)

  4. I really like Hickchick's view of it, finding the "big rocks" first and arranging the rest around them. I've been having much the same feelings as you describe lately, and I'm just dealing with work, my first year of a garden, and "me time for sanity"... Maybe this is something that *everyone*, no matter what the situation, struggles with. Even though I often think that, say, if I didn't have to deal with X I would be able to juggle it all smoothly, but then Y would likely jump in, or I would still struggle even without X. Guess what I'm saying is its never easy, but I do wish it were!

    Some things have to get shifted around, but in time they will shift back. Yes, you had frozen french fries with dinner (which is not a bad thing, mind you!), but when other things on the home settle down, you'll be back into your normal swing of meals. Yes, you may have that pile of dishes undone, but that just means that you have been taking care of your garden and making headway on one of your biggest dreams. Dish piles are worth that, no? And there will be a time again when dishes are clean right after dinner. Hang in there.

  5. I also think hickchick hit the nail on the head. Find big rocks. I may write that on my white board in the kitchen that has an ever growing list of stuff to do.

    Some suggestions for finding the big rocks:

    -What would you be mad at yourself for not doing.
    -What will create a foundation that allows others to help from afterwards (like tilling to let kids plant or transplant into)
    -What would create a health and safety issue later in the new house if it didn't get done.

    Sometime when we have to create this big huge list of things that need to get done or we would like to get done, need gets used instead of want. So turn it on its head and make lists of things that have be done in order to for other things to happen or will have bad effects if not done.

    It works for me sometimes.

    Best thing to remember is that right now you have all this on your plate but it is temporary! Keep your inside smile going. :)

  6. Thanks guys. I've really been trying to prioritize things and have been cutting corners. We've used the dishwasher more in the past week than in several months before. I've been trying to rely on the kids to get some things done and telling myself to NOT double check after them. I know all this stuff, it's just that I hate feeling overwhelmed.

    Big rocks...big rocks...big rocks....

  7. Since I've been out of school for a couple decades and my daughter isn't yet in school, I don't know when it gets out exactly but I'm guessing school is over for the summer in a few weeks? To borrow Hickchick's words, big rocks until then and then put them kids to work for you. At least that is what my parents did when I got out of school.

  8. Stop.....take a deep breath.....and think boulders! Seriously, I have lists right and left of what needs done - the most important are first, and the stuff at the bottom - if it gets done whoo hoo - if not - there's always tomorrow. Once school is out it will seem easier, I hope for you. Good luck!

  9. Everyone else has said it so well ~ all I can add is get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water. Take care of you so that you can keep taking care of everything else. You might have to let you standards drop a little right now - don't worry, you can raise them back up when you get thru all this craziness. :D

  10. I know exactly what you are going through because I have been going through the same. I've been replacing a woman I work with that has been out for back surgery. SOOO for the past 4 months I've been working full time, dealing with my pre-pubescent teen and trying to deal with all of our animals and cleaning and cooking and prepping for spring AND looking for a new place to live. I don't suggest getting to the point of snapping like I did! Do the most important first. For me, that was taking care of my daughter so I actually talked to work about cutting my hours down. That will be a huge load off especially since we will be moving soon! Just breathe and concentrate on the moment you are in. Try not to worry about everything you have to do...just focus on the task at hand. It seems difficult at times, but that's what I'm doing.

    Thank you for your nice comments on my last few posts. You are right! We can compare before and after pictures of our run down dream homes.

  11. Hickchick's advice helped me get through a similar period this time last year (moving, gardening, work...)

    It is a fleeting moment and you'll find calm before you know it.

  12. Ditto what everyone else has said - goodness if you weren't having a hard time we'd wonder about you. Fingers crossed for getting the old house ready and you getting settled in the new place as soon as time allows.

    Just do your best and give your family a hug so they can hug you back! "I'm not afraid of all the work staring me in the face, I can sleep right next to it!"

  13. Everything that I wanted to say has already been said. I agree with everyone. I was thinking about your walk to work, though. Would things be easier and more convenient if you were to drive to work or is that possible? Don't stress about dinner so much. It's okay to take shortcuts when you've got as much going on as you do. You'll more than make up for it when you get to harvest your garden. Hang in there!


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