Sometimes I think it may be impossible to find a happy balance in my life. With all of the little things that go into running a household and taking care of four kids, I have to make a point to fit in time for other things or they just wont get done.
There are always places in the house that need attention, errands that need to be run, phone called that need to be made, kids that need to be bathed, whatever. So if I spend all of my time working on my to-do lists then I should have this feeling of accomplishment, but no. The last couple of days have had me moving constantly from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed and yet I didn't actually go anywhere. My to-do list is still about 30 items long and Im seeing no end in site. For everything that gets crossed off, another two things get added. This part I am fine with.
What is killing me is that I am going and going and going but I've spent very little time actually with the kids. Chris has kinderstart this year which is a once per month day at school to familiarize him to his classroom and teacher for next year. His next session is this coming Monday and we haven't even opened his bag of activities that we were to practice at home. Or there's this folder that I keep at my desk full of artsy things and coloring pages that I mean to do with the kids, but again I never get around to it.
Then there is the time for myself. I am a single mother with four kids. If I do not take time for myself, then I will not be able to function, like period. This is important. BUT my problem is how much time should I be taking? If I try to have a shower, exercise and have some computer time all in one day, Im probably asking for too much. I used to have my evenings after all the kids were in bed but Josiah has kinda stopped sleeping so I don't actually get quiet time until I am asleep with him beside me.
I guess it all comes down to priorities, but I just cant actually say that one thing is more important than the others. To me everything in my life is important right now. I have goals and ideals for my life and the lives of my children but without the time to put into those, they are nothing but guilt inducing thoughts. So what do I do?
My current strategy is to just do whatever each moment allows me to do. Yesterday I had to go out to shovel the driveway three times for a total of almost two hours. I obviously could not commit to all of that at one time so I did it when Josiah was napping and the other kids were all occupied. I also made a homemade beef stew yesterday as well as all of my regular laundry, dishes, other mundane chores. So yesterday was nothing more than just living really. I got nothing special done from my lists and I spent very little time doing anything with the kids. I had Michael help me with the stew but hes two so it was more like he played at my feet while I chopped veggies. I tried to have a shower all day but it just never happened because all of my free time (and by that I mean time without a baby/load of laundry/various kid belongings in my arms) went to shovelling. I didn't have to worry about getting time for exercise because of the shovelling but that's about the only productive thing that I did. I even had to get my computer time in by stuffing my meals in my mouth with one hand and typing with the other.
This is just not working for me and I don't have a clue as to what I can do about it. My thoughts keep going in circles and like everything else I think it may come down to money. If I had my evenings back, I would have a lot more time to accomplish both things around the house and personal things. To get those evenings back, I need Josiah to sleep better so what could I do to make that happen? Should I give up breast feeding because I am seriously not enjoying it anymore and the switch to formula may help with the night time sleeping? I would have switched by now if there wasn't the issue of the cost of formula. Breast feeding is cheap and convenient and with my current time and financial crunch, should I really be taxing myself more? But then again if Josiah was formula fed, I may end up getting more time because of a more regulated sleep schedule. Gah!
Then there is the issue of my car. I mentioned that it is going to scrap at the end of the month for a variety of reasons really. I have another car lined up which is a million times better but that needs a couple of small things before I put it on the road. Those couple of small things equal about five hundred dollars, and that is on top of the four thousand that I need to pay for the car itself. So ya, financially Im not having the best month. I completely believe that this is not the time for me to go back to work but I still wonder if we would be better off. A little bit more money would help around here but then at the same time, holy hell the scheduling and GUILT of trying to fit everything in then would be killer.
I know that things change quickly and the organization of our house could be different next week but I feel like I need to make some changes now. I need to find more time with the kids doing things that are fun for them and not just helping me. I also need to get some of these really pressing things crossed off of my to-do list. Maybe if I can just find some way to add an extra hour to my day? I already get less than seven hours of interrupted sleep each night so I doubt I can cut any more out of that.
Ive been sitting here trying to figure out a way to end this post but my breakfast is gone, my tea is cold and the baby has been napping for a half hour already. I honestly do not have time to sit here and think of something to say! Fitting, I think.