Monday, June 23, 2014

Too Busy?

So, I have come to realize that I'm doing too much. I'm one of those people that's motivated very easily externally, and not as easily internally. What does that mean? It means that I don't do what I tell myself I will, but I am absolutely responsible if I make a commitment to someone. Hence, why I have not posted since January despite my best intentions.

Part of the problem, I have recently realized, is due to my crazy job schedule. I am a "stay at home mom" who works three different part time jobs. I have a part-time job teaching swim lessons at the Y (currently 4 days a week for 1-3 hours at a time). I have a part-time job at my church helping with their childcare ministry for Bible studies and currently a summer "day camp" for preschoolers (this can vary between 3-15 hours a week) and I have a part-time work at home job tutoring online. This doesn't even take into consideration all of my volunteer commitments (once per month in the nursery and counting the church offering, leadership position I just accepted at my "Mom's group" at another church). It also doesn't count the fact that when I go to work at the Y, I also have to drag along the kids and shower and change afterwards. Oh, and the whole being a full-time mother thing too.

I get so many "rewards" from work, that I don't realize how packed my schedule is until I try to schedule a doctor's appointment or therapy for my oldest son's sensory issues. I get the "rewards" of a paycheck every two weeks or so, and the feeling of helping others and a job well done. I get the rewards of some time without my kids (at least in the case of the Y job) and love the fact that I don't have to put my kids in childcare with strangers.

However, I do wonder sometimes if I'm stretching myself too thinly. Am I too busy for the most important things in life? Women are told that we need to be "super moms". We need to contribute to the budget, and teach our kids, and love our kids, and discipline our kids, and keep a clean, tidy house, and cook and play with our kids, and be a good wife, and take care of ourselves (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually). I heard somewhere that it's only possible to do 2-3 things well, and everything else will be done halfway. You can be a good wife and mom at the expense of yourself. You can be a good provider and mom at the expense of your marriage and yourself. You can take care of yourself and your spouse, but neglect your kids or not contribute to the household finances.

So, I think it's time to take another look at my priorities. Which two or three things are really the most important to me? Is it the $500 net a month I can bring home if I work in every possible spare moment of the day? Or is it taking care of my sanity, so I can take care of my kids and my spouse? I will say I know my priority is not taking care of the house/cooking, but we get by with the basics in those categories.

I'm also thinking that I need to find an "accountability" partner who is also focused on the same goals I have. I definitely need the external motivation. I often find myself comparing my schedule to other moms with older kids or more life experience than I have. I need to compare myself to my ideal life and not other people's lives. We can't all do everything, so let's do what's most important.