I had to take a “where the time goes” assessment for my orientation to the online program at Arizona State (Go Devils!). Every mother of five wants to intemperate and have in black and white how little time they actually get to themselves.
“On average, how many hours a week do you spend with friends, going out, watching TV, going to parties, etc?” was where we had to put in family time. However, do I put homework help, bathing, laundry, walking to and picking up from school etc there or do I log that under “errands”.
The end result is that I get -18. Negative eighteen hours per week to myself to do homework, sit in lectures, read etc. And I rounded an average of six hours a night for sleep. I laughed. Loudly. It woke up the baby. My god. I need an entire extra day in a week according to this generalized bs.
Sometimes there is no balance. Sometimes I listen to Three tell me about her project while I make dinner, sort laundry and helping the baby get his hand out of the shape sorter hole. (yes that was a real example). Sometimes my husband is home and I can tag him in on stuff… especially dinner making. The man can cook *swoon*. However, with his responsibilities outside of home I can’t be sure to have him here… I have been lucky for the past 6 years but we are 98% sure he will be going away for a bit coming up here soon. Being the sole day to day person is daunting but FaceTime is a really nice bandaid for extended Daddy absences. I will cling to that 2% uncertainty but I also know it is what is right, best and needed.
There is never enough time in the day. You really cannot do it all without sacrificing something. Multitasking is all good but what task should get more attention that just can’t give it? Work? Family? Yourself? For a long time I “sacrificed” my younger dream and became a stay at home mom. It took some mental adjusting but looking back on the past 9 years: BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE.
There is a lot that is sacrificed when becoming a parent. I really thought I could do it all as gracefully as a movie character. But there is no simple way. There is only personal grace. Accepting that maybe the kids won’t have perfectly braided hair. Or that dinner might be cheese, crackers and a fruit spread with a game of “what was the funniest thing you did today?” because honestly you forgot to think about it until 6 pm and the kids are “literally” wasting away from hunger.
Grace in forgiving yourself that it isn’t magazine quality clean. Grace in forgiving yourself that you napped on your lunch break. Grace in forgiving and embracing the limitations of being human.
And also late nights and too much caffeine.
We know I am all about that over caffeinated life.