Sunday, September 16, 2012

Overly (?) Idle Thoughts

I am having a really hard time lately with this work/life balance myth.  There are a gazillion articles floating around about how You Can Have It All!  or Don't Even Try!  Be happy with what have!  Neither of these theories, however, get the laundry done, my miles run, my sadly neglected blog written, much less my children snuggled, read to, homework-ed, potty trained, therapized, or taken out for a bike ride.  Never mind the fact that I should be spending at least 25% more time at work than what I'm currently logging, and stuff there, as they say, ain't getting done.

Totally unrelated soccer pictures to follow.
And before you awesome women out there tell me to take time for myself, I do.  Matt & I had date night last night and I spent today in my bathrobe, catching up with my reader.  The kids played happily & it was a lovely, much needed, relaxing day.  But the work I brought home wasn't worked and the laundry is now padding the walls around me.  Something is always neglected.

Something like remembering to call the school when we tweaked switched around our days and telling them we weren't going to pick her & that The Girl should go back to daycare on the bus (no, she wasn't left standing - but it was a last minute freak save).  Or remembering to make her follow up appointment with the ENT that we are months overdue for, garnering that shitty parent alert! in the scheduling nurse's voice.  Or remembering we'd talked about getting The Boy's eyes checked... two months ago.

Matt and I were talking about tweaking our schedules yet again, but this is the 54th time we've had the conversation and we have not yet managed to fix the problem that is there are only 2 adults and 24 hours in a day.  I went out to lunch with a friend on Friday and rambled on about the relative merits of 4x10 or 5x8 work weeks only to suddenly realize we I had said the exact same things a couple months earlier in the exact same restaurant.  She's a patient friend.

And neither of our kids are those over-scheduled bits of precociousness you hear about who learned Mandarin by age 4 and the cello by 5.  The Girl gets 1 hour private speech therapy a week and The Boy has a 3-4 month run of soccer, which is 1 hour Thursdays + one weekend game.  I'd actually really like to find the time (& money!) to try dance, piano, more speech therapy, some OT, swim lessons, maybe karate... and Mandarin (Really! How useful would that be?  Or Spanish.  Or both!).  Maybe not all at once though.

Then there was a discussion on FB involving all these parents don't believe in or feel they need private therapy.  That debate aside, I was actually left feeling just inadequate.  Ridiculous, I know, because if we're being brutally honest, even if I were a full time stay at home mom, I would not be stringing beads and sorting sensory color chips into egg cartons with my girl - I'm more the snuggle/park/book mom.  But then I felt guilty I don't have the TIME to - maybe if I weren't trying to cram the relaxing and the laundry and the park into one short weekend, I might end up thinking painting egg cartons is an awesome way to spend an hour?

I'm just going to press 'publish' on this for the hell of it, since what's the point of having a blog if you can't kvetch every now & then?  Yes, I know we're all doing the best we can.  *I* am doing the best I can.  And this is such a first world problem since I AM employed and we are all, for the moment, healthy.  Some of my friends are not.  In the face of hardship, other's and my own, where is my serenity & gratitude?  Maybe it's not so much more time I need, as acceptance.  The problem is that re-reading that Be happy with what have! article probably won't fix everything.  Maybe yoga?  Oh!  If only I had time to take yoga!


  1. I'm too distracted by that last picture to comment properly. So cute!

    There's always going to be more we could do. I was eavesdropping on moms in the waiting room at speech the other day and they were going on about immersion kindergarten and how crucial it is to start language early blah blah blah - and I had a moment of thinking, "damn, I'm glad I got off that train". Not that DS is a walk in the park but there's something kind of....freeing? about it. If you don't take it on as just a bigger project.

    1. Did you see what the dog was doing? Awesome. Didn't catch that till later.

  2. I am a SAHM and I do not paint egg cartons or string beads. Fun, yes, but Ellie would eat them and I am so not crafty. We are park/playscape people. The Bear has to run around like a wild banshee so that she can actually sit down and eat a meal. Private therapy is a sticky subject with so many opinions. I believe that each family needs to do what is best for them. We do private speech and ABA therapy. Ellie would not get ABA through the school and I have seen Ellie grow leaps and bounds with ABA. If I could choose one therapy and one therapy only, it would be ABA. Speech is another issue. We were not getting, well anything, through ECI and Bear was falling further and further behind. Hence the private speech therapy. Depending on how the school goes, we may or may not continue private therapy. btw, love the dog in the background. Great pics of your boy!

  3. Time and money... just need a little more of each. OK, maybe a lot would be better. I dream of private therapy - cause heaven knows we're not doin' it at home ;)

  4. From one snuggle/park/book mom, to another, I totally understand. And me, have you seen my child?? She SO needs the extra, extra and still, I just don't seem to get to it all the way I would like to.

    As a mom to 6, 3 grown and basically on their own you would think I would be overflowing with advice on this balance thing but alas, I have no real words of wisdom to impart. Again. Except this: try to push to the wayside the mommy guilt. Wasted energy and you know, no matter what people say, no matter how hard we try, there will always be guilt to some degree or another. I once read the words of,I believe it was an actress, when talking about motherhood and it was something along the lines of: "I do the best I can. And some days I do better then others and on the days I feel like a complete failure, I stick 10 dollars in the future therapy jar for my kids, instead of a buck."

    I swear, I was at a wedding of a friend on Saturday, and I feel like I need to apologize to everyone I spoke to because i think I said, over and over, " Things are busy, And complicated. And difficult. And mid-life is not agreeing with me ..." and on and on. So, I hear you and I understand, my blogging friend.

    Yoga ... yes. Try,try and fit it in somewhere. I am going to do the same. My late night running is not cutting it.

  5. I think as parents we're always going to have those guilty feelings and feelings of inadequacies about offering enough/doing enough/spending enough time w/our kids. I feel that w/Kayla so much. If only I did x,y,z...if only I followed through with this or that. We constantly beat ourselves up. I think it's important to acknowledge those feelings though and get it out there. You're fight...just knowing you're doing the best you can at the time is half the battle :)

  6. Just catching up- reading posts backwards- one of my fave things to do! Well, you know where I stand in re: to getting everything done GF- "breakdown". You know what- I refuse to be a flashcard mommy. I see the "special" classes and what I've seen is kids sitting around tables in small groups doing flashcard training. I hate that! Takes all of the joy out of learning. But some of that kind of process is acceptable in school but at home I want to do more creative things and have fun. Plus she works hard all day in school - just as hard as any other kid and she needs some down time too!
    (I admit to childhood trauma related to flashcards :)