A Cry for Help!

It's Wednesday morning.  That means I have approximately 2 hours of time to do what I need to do while Will is at school and Ellie is spending the morning with her Lovie.
I need to clean my house (again.)
I need to run an errand for my husband.
I need to wash my hair.
I need to exercise.

But today, I threw those needs out the window.  (For a little while)
I'm allowing myself one hour at Starbucks to try to catch up on some blogging and website work for the marathon & team Where There's a Will, There's a Way.
I have 52 minutes remaining.  
I have a great playlist on my headphones & I'm sitting outside like a real unemployed writer with my laptop or maybe a college student (except that I no longer look 19.  But I can pretend.)
I ordered a yummy decaf drink.  I'm pretending it is no-carb and sugar-free.  The pretend version is so much yummier.  While I'm at it, I think I'll pretend that I'm out for a run too.  And that my hair is clean.
Goodness, look how quickly I'm crossing things off my to do list!

I'm really struggling with feeling overwhelmed lately.  Will is in half day kindergarten and Mommy is struggling. Big time.  The tears aren't helping things.  (Mostly mine.  Seriously - 4 weeks in & I still cry when I drop him off sometimes (after he gets out of the car.)  How can I have a kindergartener?!)
I love the half day - he's not ready for a full day and still takes daily naps.  He also sleeps late and the responsible adult around here has a hard time waking up herself so a school that starts at 9:30 is kind of ideal for us.  
But I always feel so rushed.  I feel like we race to get out the door and get homework done and I drop him off & then Ellie and I race around town to do errands or to accomplish tasks at home and then we race thru therapy and then we race back to get Will and then we race to get home for naps.   I'm told that other moms of kids in half day school say it is always a hard season.
 I have dropped out of Bible Study Fellowship for this year.  I loved it but at this season of life I knew I needed to focus on my kids and spouse and house.  Also, there's the whole time conflict with Will's school and I don't think they would appreciate me walking in an hour late.
My mom says it's not saying "no."  She says it is "making choices."
I'm trying to make choices - to exercise more and to clean my house and to play with my kids and to spend time with girlfriends.
I'm having a hard time finding time to blog.
I'm also having a hard time keeping my house clean and feeling like I ever get on top of just regular house maintanence projects.
Good grief - the amount of small plastic action figures in my life are going to push me over the edge.
So here's my question.  (Finally.)
All of you moms out there of small children:
Is this normal?
Do you always feel behind?
Do you have any great organization tricks?
I could look on pinterest but I'm not really sure how that whole pinning thing works.  Maybe there is a facebook support group for people who can't seem to get their act together?  I don't know how to do facebook either.
Yes.  I know it is 2012.
(Do you know what goes down fast?  A pretend no carb, no sugar decaf Starbucks treat. )
If you can offer a mommy some advice, I would so love it. 
It seems like people always tell moms of young kids that "the dishes will wait but our children will grow up too fast and be gone."
But here's the thing that hit me a few years ago,
Yes, those dishes will wait.  But the pile will grow and grow and if I neglect the dishes and laundry then someone will call CPS on me and I will lose my children.
I don't want to be supermom.  I am fully aware I can't do it all.
I just don't want to always feel so rushed.
Any tricks to help you get through the day without feeling so rushed?
Any tricks to help you feel like the kitchen or living room that you just picked up isn't exploding already?
(better yet perhaps)
any affirmations that maybe you too, while in the years of little people in your home, feel this way?  Is this normal?

Back to my pretend life.  And also catching up.  36 minutes.

9 thoughts:

Kelly said...

Hmmm... tricks? I can't really think of any, but I feel the same way! I will say that having Caleb in full day Kindergarten leaves our schedule a lot more wide open (on the days that I am not running back and forth to preschool for Abby). So maybe it will feel easier when Will is going all day... at least schedule wise! I wish that Caleb could have done half-day kinder too, but with public schools, we didn't have the option. Anyways, having him gone all day has been sad, but I have noticed a little decrease in my work load throughout the day. Still, this stage of life is CRAZY! I guess I will have to check back to see if anyone else has a trick or two!

Mike and Christie said...

I think you are totally normal. :)
We had 4 little boys within 4 years, but I remember so well how hard those days were, along with the joys.

I kept a list on my refrigerator of house hold chores to do for each day so that I could check it off as things were done and feel like I accomplished something.

I stayed HOME. Going out takes a LOT of time, so I saved it for special times.

We had a designated play room, and every hour, I would have the babies pick up the toys and put them all away by singing a song and showing them how. Even our 1 year old could help.

I limited the amount of toys and put some things away in the closet. Every 2 or 3 weeks, I'd trade things out when the children were sleeping so they wouldn't see and then it was like everything was new again! (with the exception of a favorite doll or teddy)

You are so wise to play with your children and consider them more important than a perfect house.

Inbetween shifts of kids, my house was just how I wanted it....but it wasn't that important. With the new crew of girls, it is back to messy and loud and fun. :)
And, one time, I scrubbed the floor and took a picture just so I could look at it, because I knew in the morning, somebody would spill something awful.

Mike and Christie said...

One more thought for consideration. Your life is NOT normal. :) Gee thanks, right? It isn't. Neither was mine.
It takes a LOT of extra time to get normal things done when your children have special needs. They can't just run, get in the car and buckle themselves in. There is a LOT they CAN do, but how many moms do you know who have to wash prosthetic socks?
And if they are gel socks it takes on a whole new life. :/
Most kids don't go to therapy or doctors all the time.
Be kind to yourself, you are creative and awesome, and this season in your life will pass, and you will actually miss it.

My name is Annette said...

I in no way have all the things you have on your plate on my plate.
But I do know the feeling of feeling rushed & never feeling like things are getting done. I have no solutions. (yet) :)
I've basically come up with a survival method.
I do one load of laundry a day (well except for the days I forget)
Fridays are my BIG clean day (vacuum, bathrooms etc.)
I maintain pick up throughout the week. and keep the kitchen clean. I make beds/clean rooms everyday.
I can't remember the last time I dusted/cleaned the glass panes on my french doors etc. :)
AND the the cleaning I do do daily usually doesn't get done til after naps... so if you stop in before 3 there is almost a guarantee of dishes in the sink.... mmmkay?
Hang in there... people say that we'll miss these days... there are a few things I can almost guarantee I WON'T miss. :)
We'll get through it

Lisa Johnson said...

Hey there! I thought I would throw in my two cents. First of all, life with small children is exactly how you describe it and it is SO hard. I am in BSF and actually just today our leader said this in lecture. "If you feel as though your life is disorganized and you cannot keep up with the daily household tasks, pray. Pray that God would give you order. Pray that God would show you how to order your life so that you can keep the house up, laundry, cleaning, mail, etc." She talked about how she would pile up her mail when she had small children and bills would end up late because she was so disorganized (I totally do that mail thing, ugh!) and she prayed so hard that he would give her order and she found a system that kept her organized. We keep all of our toys contained to the playroom and I do clean up the entire main part of our house (kitchen, bkfast room, den, playroom) every night so that it is picked up and ready for the next day. I know that it will get destroyed again tomorrow, but it keeps me sane to go to bed with a clean house. I always make lunches the night before school mornings (Field goes to school 3 days a week and I work one day a week) and lay everything out on school mornings. Our clothes (even mine and even if I am just going to wear work out clothes), backpack, lunch box, meds, sippy cups filled and ready to go in the fridge, etc. That way, in the morning all we have to do is get dressed, brush teeth, and eat bkfast but all of the packing is done. I always plan our meals for the week on Sunday and do grocery shopping for the entire week at one time. I can only handle one grocery trip a week. I have a ton of great crock pot recipes if you want. You can email me for them: Lbjohnson3@gmail.com. I am NOT good with laundry and I let that pile up so definitely need tips for that. The hubby usually ends up just doing his own because it takes me forever to get to laundry. :( I hope this helps!

Janai Rogers said...

You are totally normal or we're both weird. I complain at least once a day about not having enough hours in my day. I have finally decided its not about me. I put my kids before me in every way. When I want to whine about me, I try to look at my kids...are they happy? If yes, I'm doing the right thing. I'm choosing to say "not now" to a lot of stuff because I never want to say that to my kids. Plus, I can speed lean like no other when the time comes! Enjoy your babies! You are an amazing mom!

ywilbur said...

well, I feel like this every day. One thing I do is live with the clutter. I just don't care that JK never picks up toys because nobody other than his neighborhood buddies ever come in the house! Occassionally my teen will want to stay at home and have a friend come watch t.v. and guess what! they clean. My teen despite having FASD is quite self sufficient and does his own laundry, etc... He will even cook a meal.

My worst is that I work 8:30 - 4:30 most days with occassional required 11-7 day. I have to leave work even early days at 3:00 run up street pick ups JK drive to Gram's get back to work within hours so can pretend it is my lunch break (even though I eat lunch earlier---we get 2 15 minute breaks so I use those back to back to eat lunch). Then I work for 1 hour or so and go get JK. Just throws a bit of hectic in.

Other than that I make lots of schedules but never follow them! Ever. We just don't do much is main way to save time and sanity. My pretend is that everyone else recycles enough for me because I am soooo wasteful: I use only styrofoam cups and paper plates and many times plastic forks, spoons, styrofoam bowls, etc... I seriously don't own more than 2 cups! I'm such a polluter!

I feel like it takes all my energy to get 'main' points of life in: food/meals, appointments, cleaning (ha!). And I've really been neglecting my dogs lately!

Haha, you just got me stressed out and worrying about all I have to do. Sorry guess I have no advice.

Mama Bear said...

1. Give your self a hefty dose of grace.
2. Give up perfection (easier said than done, of course!)
3. The piece of advice from my Mother that constantly runs in the back of my head is, "How do you eat an elephant?" Answer: "One bite at a time." EVERY task looks too big in its entirety. But if you just start tackling it one step at a time, pretty soon you are done. (I use this trick with my marathons too, by the way!)
4. When all else fails, tie a knot in the end of the rope and hang on for dear life.

You are doing a great job. Don't let your mind make you feel otherwise. Hang in there!

Love My Crazy Kids said...

It sounds normal to me. It's an adjustment, for sure, having one in half-day school. Organization/cleaning tricks:

1. Use the weekend to get ahead so all your cleaning during the week is maintenance. I think you can have a 2 hour "family clean" sometime during the weekend (if that, it's usually 2 hours here because of the complaining) and then just do random cleaning during the week (make a list of what needs to be done).

2. 15 minute pick-ups throughout the day. I ALWAYS go to bed with dishes in the dishwasher and it running, a picked up house, and a load of laundry at the top of the stairs ready to be thrown in. I come down in the morning, throw in the laundry, fix breakfast, make lunches (you can do some lunch ahead, but I'm not good about it), and breathe.

3. Do your errands on errand day and keep one day sacred as a "stay home" or "fun day".

4. Meal plan and use a crockpot. A lot! Freeze double batches of things so when you cook you are cooking for 2 nights. At night do prep work for the next day or do it during naps...or ask your little helpers to wash the veggies!

5. This too shall pass. Make time for you and your kids. You can keep things totally clean and organized or you can be one of those "15 minutes until clean" people. I strive or 15 minutes. I vacuum everyday...usually in the morning because it's picked up at night (I get up at 6:30-7 and we don't leave until 8:30, I have time to do a quickie vacuum), other than that I have a list I work from. I do a load or 2 of laundry everyday. I have to or I get behind.

I feel like after 10 years of motherhood and 4 kids I kind of have a handle on things...and then this weekend we added a puppy! We'll see how this goes...

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