Jul 27, 2009

Finding Balance

I am notoriously a perfectionist. I must have certain things done in a very particular manner (just a little OCD.) Most of the time, I feel that it is not worth doing something if you are not going to give 100% effort towards completing the job the right way. I will admit that all of the propaganda I saw growing up of women from "the old days" taking care of the house and family must have gotten to me on some level.

(Image from http://www.advertisingarchives.co.uk/)

Now that I am not working, I feel the need to live up to this 50's housewife model. Don't get me wrong - I'm not about to do housework wearing a dress, high heels, and make-up. But somewhere deep inside I want to have the house clean and clutter free, the kids behaving, and dinner on the table when my husband comes home. It might be guilt that I am not helping to pay the bills any more or the aforementioned perfectionism. There is so much to do around the house and I feel bad when I don't complete everything.

I have realized that I need to find balance between my inner Joan Cleaver and my 2009 self. I can't do everything on my To Do list in one day, unless I make them more realistic. Here is the list I had made myself yesterday:
  • Wash cloth diapers

  • Wash dark clothes

  • Pick-up the husbands new glasses

  • Get the Groceries for the week

  • Look at & research refrigerators

  • Go to dollar store for table place mats

  • Clean the bathrooms (2.5)

  • Iron

  • Vacuum

  • Mop

  • Make cloth baby wipes

  • Make appointment for children's photos

  • Decide on & order photo prints for baby book

Of those items, I managed to complete six tasks - on top of having to bring the kids to daycare and the hubby to work (his car decided to die last week so it was brought to the shop yesterday morning.) If I had superpowers I might have been able to complete that list, but alas I do not.

I am mindful that I need to step back and look at the most important things in my life and set priorities. Since I have been home 2 months now, the kids have become complete Mamma's boys. The baby (Logan) will go to my husband for short periods of time, then demand for me by screaming and stretching out his arms. The older one, seeing this, cannot be outdone and will then climb onto my lap and try to crawl all over me. It gets very tiring having a constant demand for my attention and trying to keep the house in order.

The other big drain is getting dinner on the table. Once 5 PM rolls around, the kids are fussy and Logan needs to eat his dinner. It makes it very difficult to prep wholesome meals when you are trying to feed a baby and keep a 3 year old from having a melt down. To solve this problem I have decided to make weekly menus. After completing the grocery shopping, I will prepared all the fruits and veggies for the first 3 days of meals. That way I can just pull the containers out of the fridge and throw together the meal. Mid-week I will prepare the second half of the weeks produce and repeat.

I'm sure, in time, I will come to grips with the demands of my new life and find my balance.

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