Thursday, November 11, 2010

We Don't Have to Do It All

... because we already do.

Here's just one of the days of the week:

Breakfast.  Baths.  Dress the kids.  Fight with Caden Persuade Caden that school is going to be fun.  Aw Sean wants a morning hug!  Running late.  Crap- Charlie needs to go out.  Charlie needs breakfast.  Good morning Yoshi!!  Change Yoshi’s food and water.  Blow him kisses goodbye.  Caden, don’t take your shirt off!  Come on, it’s time to go!  Wipe Sean’s face because he just he just smeared lipstick all over it.  Oh makeup!  Darn it.  Bring it to work and do it there.  Did I close the garage door?  I think so.  Should I go back and just double check?  No.  Yes.  See, I knew I closed it.  Caden, why don’t you want to go to school?  Hey, give that back to your brother.  That’s a bad word.  Mommy said it because the other car almost hit us.  I’m sorry I sad a bad word.  Thank you for reminding me.  Come on let’s take Sean to his class—no you can’t leave him in the car.  Let’s go, bud, Mommy’s late for work.  Bye Sean!!  Big hugs.  Damn I love big hugs.  Okay, Caden, hop on for a piggy back ride!  Let’s go, woo hoo!  Time for class.  Aw.  I miss them already.  Thanks for reminding me I need to put my makeup on.  Boss.  You sure know how to make a woman feel pretty.  Work.  Lunch—Charlie needs to go out before he pisses himself.  Grab a sandwich.  Sit outside and have a smoke.  Work.  Crappy political bull.  Drama.  Bite my tongue.  Yay!  End of day!  Dinner.  Walk.  Baths.  Laundry.  Train Charlie.  Caden, don’t share your peanut butter with Charlie- it’s gross.  Yay!  Mommy’s a dinosaur, everybody ride!  Damn I’m getting old.  This hurts.  Clean up time.  Bed time stories.  More laundry.  Text Patrick.  What is that toy doing here?  Floors need to be mopped.  Carpets need vacuuming.  Can’t anything wait?  Sit outside with Charlie.  Sleep.

When I was with X, doing it all and doing it all perfectly was a standard.  I’d be cooking dinner and he’d walk in, asking why there was a shirt on the couch or why is there a pot still in the sink.  I’d spend every moment at home rushing to pick things up, clean things, cook things, with no order other than chaos.  This transitioned into a really rough beginning of single-mommyhood.

In the beginning of single-mommyhood, I drove myself crazy trying to do it all myself and all perfectly.  I stressed everyday about the house not being sparkly clean at the end of the night.  I hit the bed at 1am feeling unaccomplished and drained.  I cried some nights because of how tired I was, mentally and physically.  Finally someone set me straight.

A mentor of mine told me, “You’re a single mom.  You are already doing it all!  This is your house, your life.  You make it work for you.  Don’t live your life revolving around it, reside in your life and enjoy it.  Make it yours.”

In order to help myself feel more organized in my household chores and parenting, I tasked each day with a certain thing.  I’d do a couple of loads of laundry twice a week.  Bathrooms once a week.  Mopping once a week.  Movie nights on Friday.  Saturday is laundry make-up day and grocery day.  Sunday is quality time day.  And so on. 

Some people use FlyLady to help them stay on top of their chores.  I use a calendar with chores assigned throughout the week. 

Whatever technique you use to help you with your chores, just keep one thing in mind:  You don’t have to do it all—in fact, you already are!  You are already doing it all; you’re rearing your kids, managing your house, paying all the bills, and working full time.  Don’t let your single mama life own you—own your life!  Give yourself a pat on the shoulder and then tackle all the clutter of demands by deciding when you’re going to do everything.  Give yourself breaks and treats.  You friggin deserve it.  Before you sleep at night, do at least one thing for yourself.  Whether it’s taking a hot bath, drinking a glass of wine, watching a movie, or smoking a cigarette outside as you watch the rain come down. 

Nothing needs to be perfect.  In fact, if you live your life feeling like anything needs to be perfect, you’re going to fail.  Give every day your best shot, accept the things you won’t get to that day, plan to get to it and put it on a calendar, hug your kids, and enjoy your evening.

Wouldn’t life be so much easier and happier if you actually allowed it to be?


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