When I was teaching, I would have to submit a self-evaluation each spring. I learned that what worked for me as a teacher was being over prepared and organized. I got up extra early every morning to make sure I had a little time to eat breakfast and read the newspaper. I was one of the first people in the building and would enjoy the quiet time to set up my classroom and prepare my lessons. When my students walked in I was calm, cheery, and ready to accomplish set goals. In my evaluations, I would often relate how I approached teaching to my past as a dancer. I felt most comfortable when everything was "choreographed" and "rehearsed", and feeling prepared gave me the freedom to "improvise" and get creative while still staying on task.
I've realized that what I'm doing now is the complete opposite. It is the equivalent of arriving to work empty handed just as the bell rings. In essence I am rolling out of bed and going straight to "work". It is not working for me.
I wake up exhausted when O wakes up, entertain him in our bed until JD wakes up, then stress about my messy kitchen while feeding JD and myself (and O started cereal this morning). While we do have a few regular activities that shape our week, there is rarely a "plan". Throughout the day, I constantly feel overwhelmed by the things that I'm not doing. My house is a mess...I haven't had time to shower...JD hasn't been read to...There is nothing in the house for dinner...I haven't put a single picture in a book since O was born...
I fill spare moments checking twitter or throwing in a load of laundry, but it never feels like enough. I stay up way too late with P90X, catching up with emails & blog stuff, cleaning, and watching TV, so I'm constantly tired. I finally make myself go to bed, but lie awake thinking about what I haven't done.
I have all these fun ideas and the desire to be a great housewife and stay-at-home-mom, but I just can't seem to catch up enough to make it happen. I feel like I am going through my life right now half-a$$ing it and just surviving. In other words, things need to change.(Please don't get me wrong- I know I am doing a great job with my boys- they are happy & healthy, and we are incredibly blessed. I just want to feel the same satisfaction and pride in this role as I did in my old one. I don't mean to sound like a whiner.)
|I wish there was an area of my home that is as organized & neat as my desk was.|
In looking at an old teaching evaluation, I'm realizing that I can relate much of it to what I'm doing here, and I can easily see the areas that I want to improve. I know I would not be happy with my answers to a lot of the questions, so I have decided that starting tomorrow, I'm going to approach staying home with my boys in the same way I did my teaching career.
My new plan:
- Go to bed as close to 9pm as possible, not matter what is on TV or how neglected my blog/reader/twitter are.
- Wake up at 5am (8 hours of sleep seems like heaven right now!) so that I have quiet time for myself in the morning to eat, straighten up, and get ready for "work".
- Set a goal for each day and plan activities around that goal.
- Give JD activities that he can safely do independently so I can spend more one-on-one time with O.
- Spend the boys' nap time doing things for me- whether it's reading, writing, a shower or watching something from the DVR.
- On days that Hubby is home while they are awake, let him take the lead with the boys a little more so that I can accomplish more around the house.
I understand that my house will not be perfectly clean, meals won't be perfectly planned, and every day is not going to go perfectly according to plan. This isn't about achieving perfection. It's about satisfaction and feeling like I'm doing something to improve myself and help us enjoy my time at home even more.
I'll keep you posted on how it's working out.