- eating better/not eating like total crap
- keeping up with writing this blog
- having a home that is reasonably organized enough (I'm not striving for anything approximating perfection, but I do believe that a peaceful environment can help lead to inner peace, plus our family needs a place that is at least organized enough for the kids to know where things belong if we have any prayer of expecting them to put their things away. The idea of "giving myself a break" and "letting it all go for a while", which many people often suggest, doesn't really work for very long I've found.)
- leaving the premises
- making time for reading that is not on the Internet, no matter how little
- self care, like showering and spending more than 30 seconds on my appearance
- having some kind of outside interest or activity that is not related to domesticity (whether that be paid work, taking photography classes, going to Crossfit, or meeting a friend for dinner or whatever)
- having some structure to my day
- seeing other adults during the day
I've never had all of those ducks in a row on the same day, but usually I've got at least a few of them under control. Right now I've been neglecting so many that I hardly know where to begin. Plus, unless someone's about to add hours to the day, tackling some of them feels contradictory to handling others.
I haven't been doing so well lately. A lot of it is obviously from the move and the associated upheaval of my life. Plus, I really underestimated how hard it would be to get our house more than just up and running, but truly unpacked and organized with three kids underfoot. I think I was just so desperate to be done with the moving process which had been going on for 6+ months, that I wanted to think of our moving day as much more of an exclamation point than it was. Turns out it was just a semicolon. (Deep down I knew that would be the case - I'm not an idiot. Denial can be a wonderful coping mechanism, at least temporarily!) Some of my malaise would've existed even without the move, because I know it stems from summertime, that time when I envision my three beautiful children happily lazing away their days doing Pinterest inspired crafts and science projects and engaging in imaginative play, but which in reality doesn't go quite that smoothly. Yes, we do all of those things, but there sure are a lot of hours in the day to fill, and I can't help occasionally wishing that Georgia were more willing and able to sign up for a few more activities. And honestly, sometimes it just feels like I must be doing it all wrong. I suggest an idea to the girls (like making a water table out of buckets and containers and such), it gets pooh-poohed. I walk back into the kitchen after discussing said idea for two minutes, and Waylon has smeared cottage cheese all over himself and dumped the rest on the floor. We later head to Target having agreed on water balloons and bubbles as our lofty goal, only to find that they have no such supplies for sale. I try not to compare myself to others, especially the Internet/Facebook/blog world version of others, but I am only human, and I can't help noticing that a lot of other stay at home moms at least appear to be enjoying the experience more. Everything just feels so damn hard to me lately. I know that part of that feeling is based in reality - moving isn't easy, and I think Waylon's at a particularly difficult age to deal with it. (I honestly believe that if or when we ever move again, it will never be as hard as it was with a 5, 3, and 1 year old.) But I also know that part of it is just perception, and getting stuck in a rut of negative thinking. Does anyone have any specific tips for breaking a cycle of negativity? As much as this whole post may seem like a whiny rant that's all about me, it's also motivated by my wanting to be a better mom and a better role model for my kids. They deserve to just have fun and be little kids, and not soak in the effects of being around an irritable, frustrated lady all day. Lastly, I want to add that part of it simply feels like a streak of bad luck. Within the last week alone, I have gotten pulled over, dealt with fevers of everyone in my household except myself, had the muffler fall off the car, cared for a puking child, and had my credit card denied (while at the checkout with three kids and $100 of stuff), just to name a few. None of those bad luck moments are so tragic, but I have no resiliency to take them in stride like I used to.
In the grand scheme of things, I'm a very lucky girl with a great house, a great yard, and most importantly, a great family, and I know that. I just want things to feel normal again.
I hope I don't regret posting this. I'm not really looking for an outpouring of sympathy or something. This is just the over-sharer in me trying to remain semi-authentic. (Maybe I need to just buy a diary instead of always blogging!)