Thursday, January 7, 2010

Balancing Act

Stormy weather here at the house of Harried Mom, mainly related to me. Things should be good, the kids are back in school; the Christmas tree and decor are down and away until next year; this should be a time of renewal, a fresh start to get it all right. Why do I feel so overwhelmed by things to do?
The house really needs a good cleaning, and here it is late Thursday morning and I haven't done a thing yet. (Well, I did get the kids out to play at the Rec center for an hour, so that's something!) Nor do I really much feel like it - my hands are already chapped and raw as it is, and cleaning with a 2 and 3 year old isn't much fun on a good day, let alone with a moody Sarah.


The to-do list is a mile long, as well as the 'want to-do's'; it seems the 'wants' never get their turn as a priority. I'm struggling to find the balance between the two, as well as fit in exercise (who knew it would be so hard to find 25 minutes a day?) blogging (clearly a must do!) and don't get me started on Puzzle Edward. He is Evil. And really? He is a perfect example of my lack of balance. I've been neglecting lots of other things while trying to finish the darn thing.

I'm seriously thinking of applying for a part-time job at Borders. It's like Mommy Heaven in there. Rarely any kids, it's peaceful, quiet and soothing. They have pretty little things, and books, and coffee - my own personal Nirvana. The way I figure it, that should give me enough cash to hire someone to clean my house for me, and maybe have a little pocket money on the side. You know, to help cover diapers (since Sarah apparently wants to wear them forever) and clothes (since William is growing inches overnight).

Trying to find your balance is hard. Ask William, who's face met the ice on Saturday. He looked like a Klingon. Or as if he had a 2nd nose (poor boy). The trick, I guess, is when you fall, get back up and try again. And maybe wear a helmet next time.

I suppose life with four kids isn't always going to be gingerbread houses and sweetness, but I never imagined it would be this stressful. So many little people with their own personalities, ideas, needs, and wants. I keep expecting them to be little adults and get frustrated when they act like kids. Adjusting my expectations and practicing patience will be my challenge for the year ahead (yet again!)

So out with the old - piles and piles of outgrown clothes, baby toys and furnishings we no longer need - and in with the new - our 8 year old house is showing the wear and tear of 4 small people, and the touch-up paint is GONE. (It's not crazy to want to repaint with the same/a similar color, right?) I'm also hoping to harass Matt into getting started on our bathroom this winter - we desperately need a storage cabinet, and the shower drain freezes in cold windy weather; after 8 years, we'd like to just fix it already.


If only fixing up the house were as easy as decorating gingerbread.

22 comments:

  1. You should put the puzzle Edward away and not look at it for a bit.
    The stuff will get done, it's just a matter of time. The elusive time factor. :/

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  2. Awww, Jen...I hear ya! Whenever I feel so overwhelmed, I hear my Dad saying "In the time you spent complaining about it, you could have had it done." I used to hate hearing that, but it really is good advice :) Good luck!!

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  3. Oh man can I relate! The never enough time issue gets me every single day. I've got a 2 year old that tells me each time as she is going potty in her diaper but has NO interest in going on the potty. Why couldn't she be potty trained as easily as #1??? My oldest who will be 4 in a week has reverted back to acting like she is 2 and my sweet little 4 month old now has a cold. Hearing a tiny one cough is just pure torture. Oh & did I mention my house also needs cleaning, laundry gets done but never completely caught up, working out - ohhh i wish I could get the time oh & motivation to do something about this baby weight and one of the most important things... I so wish I had a minute to spend with my hubby. Maybe once all the germ bugs leave my house we will farm out the kiddos to my sisters & go for a "date". I want to live in gingerbread land - ahhh a girl can dream!

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  4. I've been feeling the same lately. Our house is looking decidedly tired, not to mention dirty, after only three and a haf years here. I need to touch up all the scratches and dents. And how I long for a real bath tub but now that it is trade show season I am on my own with the boys for the next couple of months. Keep posting and I'll keep reading and commiserating.

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  5. I always feel like this, especially at the beginning of a new year. I get so frustrated when there is so much to do and not enough time or desire to do it! But the good news is..you have the whole year to do it! I try to accomplish one thing...just focus on that and try to forget the mountain of other stuff that needs to be done. You poor little guys face, that looks soooo sore:( Hope he is doing better

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  6. It's a cruel trick of nature that the New Year starts in the dead of winter. Statistically more people commit suicide in January. That's how depressing it is. And this is the time of year we're supposed to make resolutions and improve ourselves???? Wrong! Generally I try to be gentle with myself in January. It's cold, it's dark, and I already feel bad enough about myself! Yes, I'm all for self-improvement, and I'm ready to eat better and start exercising again after the indulgence of Christmas. But I think it would be sooo much easier if the new year started in...well... ANY OTHER MONTH!

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  7. Jen, and this is why we drink.
    ...and don't you love it when people ask you, "Do you work?"

    Bite me. All I do is work.

    Hang in there.

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  8. I hear you! My want to list is huge... I've been delegating my have to list more to the kids lately...
    Our house is only 15 years old, but looks middle aged... Yeah - touch up paint is gone and there are dings in the walls. I'd love to repaint, but that requires entries to my want to list.
    Good luck to you! I wish I had a puzzle handy to drown my sorrows in...

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  9. January is long, and cold, and boring - hang in there!

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  10. You are a saint. I'm struggling with TWO.

    I think your little job idea sounds perfect!

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  11. I feel the same way! About the cleaning and the lists. But I do think the kids get easier when they are all in school--except the homework gets harder!

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  12. I'm so glad you're back. I've been missing you! This week has been crazy around here too. My kids are whacked out. And I have no motivation to clean, organize, eat better or exercise!

    Those gingerbread houses are so so cute!

    Big XOXOX's

    Jen

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  13. I wish I could relate, but over here, getting everything done and doing all the things that I want to do is so easy. My kids are perfect. My house is perfect. And dont even get me started on my body.SO FREAKIN perfect.

    I wish I had more to do in my day. More cleaning. More mess. More crying. More demands. More dinners to cook. More busy and less free time.

    And I wish I had more kids. Like a hundred more. And I want a smaller home. And less money. And I want my 104 kids to all want me to play with them all day long all at once. I want them to never shut up and keep on talking and talking and talking...

    my life is so perfect. I actually live in a gingerbread house. It is fabulous in here.
    Sorry I can't help you out.

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  14. lol Laura.

    Since we are in school holidays which are lasting forever and a day here down under I have basically just cut out having a to-do list. I had a huge one before Christmas and it didn't all happen and I wrecked Christmas because of it. so now I'm just not making any...

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  15. I wonder if some of the angst comes from the fact that we were expecting to have "so much time" during the holidays, and get so much done. And here we are "back to the normal life" and we are still knee deep in the same stuff that was there in 2009! I agree, baby steps. The house wasn't disorganised in a day, and it won't get reorganised in a day either. Get plenty of sleep, tackle 15mins in each area that is bugging you, then 15 mins of fun stuff. Then tackle another area for 15mins. Then another fun thing.
    All the best! I know what you're going through!

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  16. This is a very charming and honest post about motherhood.

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  17. I feel for you- I really do and I only have one baby at home during the day. Cleaning is a major chore to me, so I try to squeak out of it and keep putting it off...until the dustballs start growing in the corner (yuck!).

    BTW, fantastic pictures of the gingerbread houses- what did you shoot them on??

    ~Becca

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  18. I feel for you- I really do and I only have one baby at home during the day. Cleaning is a major chore to me, so I try to squeak out of it and keep putting it off...until the dustballs start growing in the corner (yuck!).

    BTW, fantastic pictures of the gingerbread houses- what did you shoot them on??

    ~Becca

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  19. Great post. Love the ice skating pics. But more importantly, your honesty and candor.

    Sending you a cocktail.

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  20. Um yes! You've said exactly what I've been thinking. Only I have a mere three children to look after ;) I want to get everything done in an impossible amount of time, and all I wind up doing is feeling overwhelmed and running in circles. When I actually do accomplish some of the To-Dos they just get un-done {think floor-mopping, vacuuming, etc.} within the first five minutes and leave me wondering why I ever spent the time on them. Sigh. Guess we could all learn a lesson from Laura.

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  21. so we bought they same gingerbread kit and yours turned out MUCH better lol.... My want lists are growing by the day and we too are desperate for repainting. I can no longer stand the fingerprints, smudges, and god knows what littering my walls about 2 feet high.... I hope the stress and oberwhelming feelings leave... Hugs and enjoy that glass of wine that you so very much deserve!!!

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