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Why did I think I could have it all, all at the same time?

Trying to work, wife and mother full-time nearly sent me off the deep end!

by Julie Pippert  |  1793 views  |  2 comments  |        Rate this now! 

This weekend has been a time of change, small yet significant changes, in a very good way.

Friday didn't go so well. I ended up canceling a playdate, which meant trapping the children inside the house for the entire day. That's not good. But. I didn't feel so hot. And it's a good thing I acknowledged this, because by about 3:30 I had wasted away into uselessness.

My husband picked up the ball as soon as he got home. But I stressed myself about all I didn't get to and thought I should have. I couldn't see all I had done, only all I had left left undone. My mind is consumed daily with mental checklists for home, family, and work.

On Saturday I read a blog post that reminded me that less is more, and I need to step back and take stock sometimes: I needed to figure out how to find my own less is more.

Then, later, I read another blog post by a mom who was in a similar position to me: working from home while trying to parent and manage a household. Three full-time jobs all demanding the same slots of time.She ended with the changes she was making to help life roll more smoothly, more balanced. I was so ready to be inspired.

So, instead of working, doing chores, running errands, etc. on Saturday my family and I went to the fair and had fun. Oh, did we have fun.

When we got home, later, after we put the children to bed, my husband and I talked. I admitted I had pushed myself too hard last week, had done too much, even while fretting about how much was left undone. I confessed I felt I had brought on illness on Friday by not listening to my body and taking better care. Then I said I felt trapped between obligations and self-care. Mommies don't get sick days or time off.

He asked me, "If money wasn't an issue, what would you do? What would you let go of?"

I asked a question back, "Do you mean if money wasn't an issue or if money wasn't an object?" Without waiting for his answer, I pressed on, "You know what? I'd hire a cleaner for the house. Hands down the biggest source of conflict in this house is cleaning. It's easily one of my biggest areas of frustration and resentment. I'd be a lot less stressed if tidying and maintaining was all I had to do. I'd be a lot less annoyed if I didn't constantly walk through the house seeing chores I needed to do."

I paused to think, run through what I thought must be a hugely long list of things I wanted to offload. Instead, I only found one more thing: "And subcontract some of the work. I want a subcontractor."

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2 comments so far...

  • WOW. I admire the way you and your hubby examined the issue and made a strategy for improvement...fantastic!

    You asked a great question. Why do we feel like we have to do everything? In the "good old days" extended family lived nearby and were there to help more. I don't think any woman should feel bad for having cleaning help :)

    Talk to you soon,

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 25th August 2007

  • Cleaning was a source of conflict in our house for years. My husband kept "threatening" to hire someone to do it, but we also argued where the extra money would come from. Finally, about 2 months ago we accidentally stumbled upon a service in our price range ($55 every other week), and it has been heaven sent, especially now that I'm on bedrest.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kristie McNealy on 14th August 2007