My Big Rocks

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I saw this video posted on Facebook today.  I loved the message behind it, and the way that it is illustrated here.  So it got me thinking about my priorities.  I am usually like the lady here, trying to shove the big stones in with the pebbles, and then feeling frustrated because they won’t all fit.  I have always understood this concept, and I recognize the need to prioritize.  But my problem lies in deciding what my priorities really are.  As a perfectionist I tend to think that EVERYTHING is important.  So I spend my days sweating over all the “little stuff”, and then still feel like a failure because I didn’t get around to something important like paying a bill or reading to the kids.

So this video inspired me to sit down and make a list of my Priorities.  These are my “Big Rocks”.  If I can shape my schedules and routines around these, and fit the little things in the spaces in between… well… it might work.  Might be another last ditch effort to attain the ever elusive organization that I was born without… but it can’t hurt!

(These are in no particular order)

  • Home Organization (Bills, Budget, Menu Planning)
  • Kid’s Education (Reading to the kids, helping with homework, preschooling at home with Xander)
  • Work
  • Marriage (spending time with Hubby)
  • Getting Organized (getting rid of clutter, scheduling, filing)
  • Family Time (fun, arts and crafts, outings, movies, etc.)
  • Spiritual Growth and Personal Time
  • Morning and Evening Routines
  • Health and Hygene
  • Friends and Extended Family

So.. I didn’t include “Cleaning / Chores” in my list of priorities… but let’s face it, I’m gonna do that whether it’s on the list or not.  Also, if I consider that a “Big Rock”… it will be like all those little pebbles taking up space and I’ll have to leave out some of the other big rocks.  I DID include Morning and Evening Routines, because I have found that without these… the housework will build up really fast and things will really get out of control. 

So, it’s a start.  I have my list, now when I’m wondering what to do; if I just remind myself “Big Rocks First”, I think I’ll be on the right track!

Wordless Wednesday; Back To School

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Come see more Wordless Wednesday blog posts!
Participating?  Leave me a link in the comments… I’d love to see yours!!

Tackle It Tuesday; Mommy on the Go

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I’m posting this week’s Tackle It Tuesday post a bit late.. and after you read more you will see why.  This post can also be rhetorically titled “What DIDN’T she do today?”

First of all, today was the 2nd day that my girls are back in school.  So we were all up and getting ready by 6:30 am.  By 7:30 we were out the door, walking to the schools.  (It’s about .72 miles to the school from my house, according to MapQuest.  So one round trip is about a mile and a half… good excersize, if only it wasn’t so darn HOT!)  Anyways, the reason I walked them both to school is because I wanted to go to this meeting for volunteers at the Elementary school, which started at 8.
The meeting was fun!  I was there with around 20 other moms, in the teachers lounge.  They had coffee and snacks.  First, the Parent Liason of the school gave us some information about being a school volunteer, and some other classes they have available for parents.  (There is a Parenting/Child Safety class they offer thru Arizona Kith and Kin… I signed up… it sounds really interesting… plus they give away some free stuff!)  Anyways, after that she told us that every Tuesday we are welcome to come to the Teacher’s Lounge at 8:00 to help.  In the back of the room there were piles of things that teachers needed help with…. papers that needed to be cut, glued, stapled, or laminated for use in the classrooms.  So we all just found ourselves a project and got to work!  It was fun just hanging out with some other moms and working on these projects.  (Despite the language barrier… several moms there only spoke Spanish; I am hoping to make some friends and return on Tuesdays when I can!)  We left around 11:00. 

Once I got home, I was amazed and suprised to find that I felt MOTIVATED to do some housework!  I think the time out of the house did me good!  Here’s what happened next;

11:40 – 12:10 – cleared and wiped the countertops, scrubbed the stove top, washed the dishes, started soaking the stove top burner pans

12:25 – 12:55 – swept the kitchen floor, mopped the kitchen floor, scrubbed the stove top burner pans and put them back on the stove, took the bottom crisper drawers out of the fridge and started soaking them, sprayed cleaning solution on the bottom shelves of the fridge (it’s really gross down there!) Then I made Cheese and Avacado sandwiches for lunch.

1:15 – 1:45 – CLEANED OUT THE FRIDGE! EEEWWW! But better now!!! I also took out the trash!

2:00 – 2:30 – put away the clean dishes, sprayed air freshener, lit scented candle, picked up toys and junk in livingroom, straightened living room.

2:38 – went to the bus stop to pick up one kid, then drove a few blocks to pick up the other kid.  Thank goodness my husband got home early today and I was able to drive to pick them up, rather than walking that mile and a half again!  It was 105 and Humid!

3:15 – started making a menu plan and grocery list while *attempting* to help Kenzi with her homework.  Math is NOT my strong point.  —> Husband to the rescue!  By 4:30 I was ready to go grocery shopping.
Next I came home, unpacked the groceries, and cooked dinner.  Good thing I had cleaned out that fridge BEFORE going grocery shopping!

Now it’s 8:00 pm.  The temperature has dropped and a storm is rolling in.  I still need to wash the dishes and give the kids their baths before I can really call it quits.  I think I could call this WHOLE DAY a “Tackle It Tuesday Project”, but really the “project” that I’m proud of is my clean fridge.  Remember that Weird Al Yankovich song “Livin’ In The Fridge”?… yeah…. well…

Last week hubby decided to thaw a frozen turkey in the fridge.  He’ll probably kill me if he sees I posted this.  But how else would anyone know how great a job I did when they look at it now and see this?…

So shiny and blood-free, the way a fridge should be.  Unless this is an episode of TruBlood.  In which case, I need to stock up!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Tired

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TIRED.

This ever-working, always-moving, on-the-go
mother
is tired.
My core aches and even when I
stop to rest,
I feel the Earth is moving still-
spinning, orbitting.
It will pass me by if I don’t move with it.
Look, another year
another candle on
another birthday cake,
and children run, laugh, scream
and pass me by.
Stop.
Let me hold you,
look at you,
cradle you one more time
before I’m too tired
to remember.
If I could stop the Earth’s rotation
and just float
with you in my arms,
sleeping and laughing and smiling
I would never grow
tired.

Falling apart; it’s cyclical

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My interest in things has always been somewhat cyclical.  I will have an idea, work on a plan, obsess for a while… maybe even get something done, but after a while I get bored…. or overwhelmed, and suddenly I’m not “into it” anymore.  Usually this is because I think of a new project or goal (or two or three) and just get totally overwhelmed.  I am the Queen of unfinished projects.

I’ve come to realize that one of the biggest things that brings me down is my perfectionism.  “If I can’t do it ALL, and do it PERFECTLY, then why bother?”  For some reason my sense of self-worth gets tangled up in my projects, and when I realize I have fallen off track, the depression sets in.

I just don’t know HOW some people do it.  Especially mothers.  You know, those “perfect moms” who manage to do all the great mommy stuff like; homework/studying with the kids, taking the kids to the park/library,  going to school functions or meetings, AND taking their kids to cheerleading or baseball or youth group or whatever it is their kids are involved in.  On top of this they also do the grocery shopping, menu planning, cooking, and cleaning, and while their houses might not be spotless, they aren’t any worse off than my house… probably much better on most days.

For me,  just keeping the house “livable” and the kids fed is pretty much the extent that I can handle.  I’m constantly fighting with the pile of laundry that I spitefully call “Mount Washmore”.  Getting the groceries planned, bought, and put away sucks more life out of me than anyone knows.  Most days, just keeping the kitchen clean enough to eat out of and the livingroom clean enough to “live” in stretches me impossibly thin.  The thought of adding in homework, reading to the kids, or taking them ANYWHERE; well that’s just crazy talk.  Then there’s keeping the kids clean, fed, uninjured, and occupied.  I just don’t have it in me to do it all.

Not that I never do any of the other things.  It’s just, I don’t feel like I do enough.  I often come up with these great “plans” and schedules… for the kids, but mostly for myself.  These schedules have ways in which I can fit in the housework AND the studying, AND the fun.  All goes well for 1 week, maybe two.  Then the schedule starts to falter; no – I start to falter.  I cut something out.  Then another.  Either the housework gets neglected, or I don’t help the kids study or do crafts with them.  Then, the whole thing is scrapped and I do nothing for a few days straight.  It was just too much.  Either the kids, or the house.  How can I choose?  Sure, the kids are more important than a clean house.  But if they don’t have a clear place to study or read, and can’t find their school supplies, or can’t eat dinner until some dishes are washed, that’s not good for them either.

Today, I realize there are only 2 weeks till school starts.  In the beginning of summer, I had great plans for making sure the kids studied all summer.  Kenzi was going to do math every day, Alyssa was going to practice her sight words.  I even had preschool activities for Xander.  That lasted about three weeks into summer.  After we stopped, I kept telling myself,  “We’ll start again next week.”  But somehow that never happened.  “All or nothing”  has gotten me nowhere.

This is all part of a cyclical pattern with me.  I will suddenly realize I’m slacking in one area, pick up the slack, then lose momentum and fall apart.  Then I find a huge store of motivation within me, and it starts again.   Right now I’m on the “falling apart” end of the spectrum, feeling mostly overwhelmed to the point where just washing the dishes seems like too much work.  Next week, I’ll probably be buzzing around like Super-Mom, doing insane amounts of housework every day as well as making plans and schedules for homework after school and all the fun, wonderful, important things I want to do for and with my family.

I’ve decided on a theme song for my life;

St. Anne’s Day

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So today was my mom’s birthday. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!) Anyways, I was online and I saw something about today being St. Anne’s Day. It caught my attention, so I looked it up.
In the Catholic faith, there are many feast days for Saints and people of the Bible. Traditionally, July 26th is the Feast Day of St. Anne, who was the mother of Mary. She was Jesus’ grandma! St. Anne is the patron Saint of Grandmothers, housewives, unmmarried women, and women in labor. My mom was raised in a Catholic family, and I don’t know if she was named after St. Anne or not, but I found it very interesting that the day of her birth is the celebrated feast day of Anne (her name!) I’ll have to ask her about it next time I see her. (I forgot to ask her today while she was here.)

Whether there is a connection or not, it’s a good day to say an extra prayer for Grandmothers everywhere, and to pray for guidance in the areas of being a good housewife and mother.  I am thankful for my mom and all that she does, and that she is such a great grandma to my kids!