View Full Version : So how do YOU do it all???
12-01-2007, 10:27 PM
I don't know if it is the holidays, a new job with more responsibility, crazy kids, laundry for five with a 4 year old who changes her clothes 19 times a day, or being 33, but I have been completely exhausted of late, and never feel like I have time for anything. So I'm asking you, my online support system, who do so much, how do you do it!!??
I guess life started to get wonky about a month or two ago when I switched jobs. Same hospital, but went from being a mental health counselor, which is sort of a specialized babysitter, to a therapist - much more in line with my background, but way more responsibility. I see patients now, do family sessions, run more groups than the full timers, and just never seem to have time to get it all done. I'm paid for 20 hours, but always work more, and although I finally have a set schedule, I'm never quite sure when I'll come home.
Which is stressful when I get here. The kids are either sleeping or doing their night-crazies (I swear they are part cat). The days I have off I just seem to use poorly, by the time I catch up on chores, there is little time for quality time with them. My dh is great with everything, but he's trying to plan a house project, and constantly asking me questions about what kind of bedroom I want, or where I think the windows should be. It takes every fiber of my being not to jump about, pulling out my hair, shouting "I don't care, I just don't f**&&& care!!!"
And that's not even Christmas - with the shopping, baking, cooking, crafting, decorating ....everything elseing!
Do I need therapy? Or just a good stiff drink? :teehee:
Thanks - I needed the vent.
12-01-2007, 10:29 PM
A good stiff drink is always a good idea. :thumbsup:
12-01-2007, 10:31 PM
Thanks Mason!:teehee: Perhaps I'll go do just that ... without my knitting...
12-01-2007, 10:41 PM
I totally empathize with you. My life is nuts...30 hour a week job, two children, high schooler playing soccer both at school and travel, plus full-time college student. I'm fortunate in that my children are older, though.
I suggest that you try to let go of some of your expectations. Many things just don't have to be done. Skip the Christmas cards this year, do gift cards as gifts, let go of the house cleaning. Your children are too young to care about those things. What's most important is that you focus on them when you are home. The rest doesn't matter.
Also, try to stick to your work schedule. This is tough for me too. But the reason you work part-time, I suspect, is to be home with your family. Be firm at work, and be firm with yourself, keeping your priorities straight.
When the kids are asleep, have a glass of wine or an Amaretto Sour (my personal favorite). Take a hot bubble bath. Give yourself about 15 minutes to unwind and relax. You'll be a better mom and wife for it.
12-01-2007, 10:46 PM
Well, simply put - I don't do it all. The hubby has to load/unload dishwasher and if he doesn't then neither do I. Seems simple but it has taken me over a year of being married to realize that the world doesn't end if I don't get dishes done before going to bed or if mail sits on the kitchen table for a week. I keep the bathrooms clean, sheets changed etc, but am trying to let go of all the control and order I had when single.
Try to focus on the big things and enjoy Christmas.
12-01-2007, 10:50 PM
Well, simply put - I don't do it all.
This is wonderful advice! I've been married over 18 years, and for about 15 of them, I did just about everything. When I went back to school, I felt overwhelmed and just quit doing stuff. The kids have responsibilities (and even though your's are young, they can help out too). Dh has to do stuff, or else it doesn't get done. I've slowly gotten used to things not being done. Even if it does get done, it just has to be done all over again a few days later.
12-01-2007, 11:48 PM
You *can't* do it all without breaking. Nobody expects you to be Superwoman. Take time to enjoy your life, too; what's the point of it if it's just a dreary list of tasks? There's always going to be dirty dishes, laundry, and cleaning to do, but in the long run, are you going to wish you spent more time with your kids or more time cleaning? I'm not saying let everything drop, but I feel like a lot of moms (especially working ones) put way too much pressure on themselves about that kind of thing.
12-02-2007, 09:19 AM
I agree - you can't do it all! I work f/t, have 2 kids 11 and 7, and a husband who works nights. It's tough. I do work from home, but it's not all glamor and fun like most think. It's even harder to separate work from home. I used to homeschool too. I put the kids in school, I made a schedule for when I will do laundry (Monday and Thursday - not everyday), I set chores for the kids (yours are young but they can help a bit too) and I don't stress out over what doesn't get done. When I get overwhelmed with clutter or the need to sweep/mop, I just do it. I use phone time to clean. LOL
Just take a deep breath - set and keep a work schedule - that is so important. I used to work all day every day an hour here, and hour there. But no more, now I have a set schedule as though I was in the office and I'm done when the kids get home. My husband helps out too, I can't do it all. Be sure to take some time for yourself, even if it's only 15 minutes a day to relax. You need it and so does your family. :)
12-02-2007, 11:05 AM
:hug: (just going to give you a hug cause I agree with everyone)
12-02-2007, 11:42 AM
NOBODY does it all--unless they are either hyper, don't have a life, or permanently in a manic state!
I'm in school full-time, tons of homework, 2 busy teens, nightshift (12-hour shifts) hubby who has projects of his own. The housework waits, except for dishes and laundry which the kids do.
Give yourself permission to be human, vent here when you need to, have that drink, and TAKE A REAL DAY OFF!--spend the day in your pajamas (declare it a pajama day to the kids and read a book with them in bed--take a nap with them while you're there).
Tell the boss that you're trying to do too much and spreading yourself too thin--you can't do as many groups etc as the full-timers and do them properly, you need to cut back a bit.
Buy storebought instead of baking, decorate with a few big things (tree, wreaths, some giant bows or bells, tape Christmas cards on the walls as you recieve them) instead of a bunch of little stuff.
Work will smooth out, hubby's project will come to fruition, the Christmas holidays will pass.
12-02-2007, 07:22 PM
Thanks for the encouragement! :hug: I think what really gets to me are a few days of non-stop action, like the last few have been, and I just get overwhelmed - like last night. I also feel like I have time, but just use it non-productively, so my resting time isn't all it could be. I know so many people do so much more than I - even the weeks I have school, it's pretty manageable - so I feel bad at times that I complain and get stressed when others do sooo much more - which I know is counter-productive, but alas ...
You all are right on with your suggestions to keep my schedule at work and let go of some stuff. And I agree we often put too much pressure on ourselves; it's so easy to feed into all the societal ideals about moms, working and being everything to everyone. I think tomorrow, I will spend the day playing with my kids. Countrykitty - I love your idea of a pajama day!! It's like a sick day without being sick! ( i knew i was stressed when I was hoping to catch my dd cold so I could just be sick and relax:teehee: )
12-02-2007, 07:38 PM
From one mommy to another:hug:
12-02-2007, 08:33 PM
Countrykitty - I love your idea of a pajama day!!
I thought I was the only one who did pajama day!! My kids love it when we do this. Nothing but movie and snacks all day. The rule is that no one gets dressed. We're not going anywhere or doing anything else...including chores!
12-03-2007, 02:23 AM
As one person once told me, do what you can, delegate the rest. So between my wife and I, we switch off on different things depending on what's needed.
12-03-2007, 10:52 AM
I definitely don't do it all either. I used to work but am home with the 2 kiddos and still don't do it all! Oh, the laundry is all in the basement and you have no socks up here? Sorry. Go get them. Can't bring them ALL up? Go get more socks tomorrow then too. I'll get the laundry when I get it. :)
I think most importantly though is to watch your work time. I know, new position and all, but you get paid for 20 hours, stick to 20 hours. I was in healthcare too and know all the paperwork and personal involvement....but you'll be in for counselling yourself if you keep it up! LOL! Good luck and vent anytime!
12-03-2007, 11:48 AM
I spoke at a ladies tea yesterday about this very thing. Simply put...stop trying so hard.
There are no time management techniques that will create a well balanced life. They may make you more efficient, but your priorities are determined by your heart. You will make time for what you are passionate about, and you will neglect the things that matter less. You order your life by what you love.
Sit down and decide what matters to you. If spending time with your kids is important to you, then decide which household tasks absolutely MUST be done and do JUST those. When your kids grow up, they won't remember a spotless home, or perfectly ironed clothes. But they will always remember a mom who made time to be with them.
You can't do everything. Martha Stewart can't even do everything. She has a crew of people who clean and decorate for her. She has staff whose only job is creative...thinking up the new stuff. Martha is just a face on the empire.
Sit back and enjoy your holidays...if that means that you don't send Christmas cards to everyone, or you don't make Christmas cookies from scratch this year, so be it.
12-03-2007, 12:47 PM
I haven't read all the responses yet, but it sounds to me like you need to prioritize a bit. Figure out which things you really want to do (especially with Christmas things) and then remind yourself that it is OK to let the other things go! You don't have to 'do it all'! Then, maybe make yourself a (loose) schedule for the housework type things so that you can get one or two of the things done each day and then spend the rest of your time doing what you want to do. That way you can 'see' that the housework things will get done so you won't have to stress about them, and you'll be able to relax during the 'scheduled' family time too.
I work FT and have two young daughters. I have learned over recent years that I just have to let some things go so that I can take care of my family and also myself! I won't be good for everyone else if I don't take care of myself. That's a hard lesson for moms to learn.