My dad was driving home from work one evening when his car “took off like a rocket.” He threw the car, an economical VW Rabbit, into lower gear, but it continued to speed up. Dodging other drivers he turned the car off and cruised to the edge of the highway. After clearing his mind, he turned the car back on. Again, it accelerated at a flight worthy rate. So, he turned it off, parked it at the edge of the road and-since this was still the early 90’s-started walking.
My life has been like that car this past two months. We’d been looking around for a house that would fit our family better. Now we found it, and suddenly getting ready to move. My son loves baseball, and this year my oldest daughter decided she wants to play softball too. I love the afternoons out at the park, which is good because we average six days there each week right now. Meanwhile, multiple kids had special academic needs, and my husband is in grad school.
I tried slowing down. It didn’t work. The only things I can put down are things that are for me, and when I stopped doing them I found myself staring at other people’s lives on social media way too much. If you check more often the quality of your feed nose dives. The struggle to keep up with my responsibilities got worse, not better.
Do you recognize this pattern?
Thankfully, I have a wise friend who has introduced me to a phenomenon commonly found in modern stay-at-home spouses. Whenever you find yourself slogging away, resenting your next task because you don’t do anything YOU are excited about anymore, you know you’ve fallen into the hamster wheel of codependency. Once I noticed the pattern, I knew what I needed to do. (Deborah and I are planning to discuss this concept in more depth later this year. Stay tuned.)
For one, I needed to revisit the goals I set back in January.
Blogging goal: Grow
I’ve given serious thought to quitting. Blogging takes resources, and the only real benefit at this point is personal growth. However, recognizing the pattern of codependency in myself, I know that I need to prioritize personal growth. Keeping up with social media on top of content creation has been challenging, but I actually did a pretty good job for most of the last two months. It’s time to add a new area of growth.
The third leg of the “blogging” gig that I want to take on is product creation. I got a fantastic opportunity to work on a preschool unit study resource led by a more experienced writer, and took it. I am developing projects for my own preschoolers and will be sharing them as part of a book that comes out in August. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I think it’s going to be a good stretch. (And the resource we’re creating is going to be awesome! If you’d like to have some quality preschool units laid out for you, you’ll love it.)
New blogging goal for April : Publish at least twice on each blog, keep up with social media schedule, and book writing schedule!
In order to keep this up I need to be disciplined about completing tasks at their designated times of day, and keep a consistent eye on my planner.
Homemaking goal: Welcome
My goal was to deep clean the entire house by the end of February. I did it! Which is great, because it will be that much less work to switch houses in a few weeks.
Our current home consists mostly of one room which houses the living room, the dining room, and the play room. Between my school kids who can forget to put things away and my preschoolers who can spread things all over the house, it’s a challenge to keep this room tidy. Since Christmas I’ve been letting it go. I rationalized since I was the only one it bothered it was ok.
I’ve realized that I’ve felt uncomfortable in our home. This weekend my husband let it slip how much it bothers him. The space just isn’t welcoming when it’s cluttered.
April homemaking goal: Keep the main room picked up.
This is going to be a matter of forcing myself to take care of it, completely, at least every evening after the kids are in bed, and sometimes more often.
Goal for Self:Excellence from the Center out
Responding to busyness with higher goals is a good recipe for the flu, or strep throat, or GI bug, or burn out. In order to actually live this way I need some serious rest. So do my kids.
April goal for self: Take full stops
I’ve started mandating a stop for myself in the middle of my day. Sometimes I lay on the ground with my eyes closed and my preschoolers who don’t need naps this day crawl around on my head. Sometimes I stare out the window while they sleep. Either way, this full stop is important.
A space appeared in my planner that I can clear of appointments. I’m going to do it! Just because activities are available, doesn’t mean we have to go, and the break from making sure everyone has shoes and a water bottle and is buckled in time to get from A to B will be worth it by itself.
Shutting down is important for me just like my dad’s car that day. Sadly, that was the end of the VW Rabbit. My mom insisted on more reliable transportation. I’m hoping by pushing toward my goals my family can have a more reliable mom too.
How are you reaching your goals this month? Get some inspiration from my blogging friends.
Kate at Kitchen Floor Chronicles refined her goals
Cassidy at Freshly Planted is accomplishing some wonderful home, school, and business goals.
Mary Anne at Mama Smiles is applying Mindful Living to her family life.
And Cassidy at Three Dinosaurs is Cleaning and Organizing. Notice what she says about her goals for herself?