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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Finding The Time

I honestly don't know how some mothers do it, especially those with more than one child and no help, or those that work full time. And those that have more than one child and work full time are my absolute heroes!

I really have no business complaining. I have a husband, who is a very hands-on father, a sister who babysits from time to time AND a nanny two days a week for 10 hours and I still feel like I'm drowning.

I'm drowning in obligations or things I feel like I should be doing and never seem to find the time to get to. Am I alone?

Sure, we are just coming out of a holiday season, which is busy and overwhelming for everyone. And yes, we did just moved and it will be a while before the dust has settled, the boxes are all empty and the piles have disappeared, but nevertheless, my 'To Do' is long and grows daily. Here are some of the items currently at the top:

  • Find new pediatrician.
  • Find new general practitioner and dentist.
  • Write and send holiday thank you cards.
  • Call umpteen companies and change our address.
  • Figure out a plan on how and when to start potty training Lucas.
  • Hire a picture hanger (don't ask, just trust me when I say that it will save my marriage by doing this).
  • Go through closet, bathroom products, books and photos. Organize!!
  • Get my ass back into the gym.
  • Start researching nursery schools.

It goes on and on and on from there...

I realize none of these things are dire, but they weigh heavily on my mind.

How do you find the time to stay fit, connect with your spouse, spend quality time with family and friends, have a coherent conversation on the phone, keep a daily blog, read blogs daily, read anything, watch your favorite shows, shop for a wedding gift, make dinner, stay on top of the laundry, etc., etc., etc.?! How do you do it all? And better yet, how do you do it all WITHOUT the guilt? How do you do it and still be present for your child?

Please don't say "better time management" or "by prioritizing", because I think I'm pretty good at both of those. My problem is that once Lucas goes down for a nap or it's bedtime, or I happen to have some "me time", I honestly need the time to decompress, gather myself and my thoughts and have absolutely zero desire to jump into a task. I need the quiet.

Since becoming a mother, I have found that boredom is SO underrated.

So, again, how do you do it?

Stay up all night?


I really want to know. What are your best tips and tricks?

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Anonymous Tim@sogeshirts said...

Not being a mother or parent at all I really can't answer your questions. All I know is that you can't do it all and some time for yourself is definitely necessary because if you are always putting others first you will eventually go nuts.

I want to check back in on this post later because I would love to see what all the moms say. Honestly with that much of a to do list I don't know how you or the other moms do so much.

December 28, 2010 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

PHEWWW I'm up late and read this post and just sighed a great sigh. I'm a newlywed by 4 years ;) and have no kiddos, extremely organized, nanny by day, coach by afternoon, wife by evening :)...I think about when we will have little ones and the judgement that might be placed upon me for 1. Having a nanny/glorified babysitter during the week 2. Messy home (which my home is NEVER MESSY) 3. And possibly quitting work altogether. As organized as I am....I can organize everyone else's home and life just a nanny I find joy in it. I feel terrible for the crazy mom's of 1, 2, 3 kids out there trying to make their marriage intimate, their work a priority, get to church on Sunday and still get their hair done once in a while! But I have no clue how I will be able to be organized when I'm the one in that position! You are my hero..the whole how do you do it question is probably lost somewhere in the bermuda triangle. I think the best thing is that you are actually asking "how do you do it?"....that you care! You go girl! Keep up the hard work and love.

December 28, 2010 at 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't sleep enough. :) Honestly, I wish I were just being funny, but that's how I manage to get what I get done (that's not "all" by any stretch of the imagination). On my to-do list for 2011 is to take better care of myself, get back to the personal trainer and get more sleep.

I don't think it's possible to do it all. Since I began freelancing more this past year, even more has to give. I don't ever feel guilt, though. That's my one rule: no guilt. (Denial, on the other hand, is awesome!)

December 28, 2010 at 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Nichole said...

Tonya, you've touched on something that I have been struggling with so much lately.

I feel like I'm doing a million things and none of them terribly well.
Things are slipping through the cracks left and right.
Whenever I try to come up with a plan, the only one I can think of is to do less. So what do I cut? What goes? Ultimately, I can't decide, so I keep doing it all and the cycle continues.

I do know that something has to give. I'm not sure what, but I'm determined to figure it out in the new year, because lately? I just don't like me that much.

Sorry I'm no help!

December 28, 2010 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Yep...the half-ass syndrome. Just trying to get things done. Take your time and do it right the first time - that's my two cents.

PS - no potty training plan...just use some general tips or you'll go crazy - trust me!

December 28, 2010 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger pr0udmom0f3 said...

I just do it. Simple as that. I get at least 6 hours of sleep a night. I wake no later than 7 each morning.

I refuse to give up my "coffee time" in the mornings. I also find that "my" time of energy is in the mornings. So I get most of my day put in to that time slot.

When it comes to blogging, I just write. No thinking to it. I don't sit there and "wonder" how I should word something. I let it flow naturally from my fingertips.

Having three kids is wild enough. But adding in the fact that one is Bipolar with ADHD, OCD and anxiety problems in to the mix, you HAVE TO "just do it". Or else, all your time and energy is on the kids.

I love my children, but I don't center ALL of *my* life or time around them. In my head, I am more than "just" a mother and wife. When I became those two things, I didn't stop being me. I am STILL my own person with my wants and needs.

So, I make sure that I also have time in EVERY single day where I get to do what I want.

December 29, 2010 at 4:59 AM  
Blogger Gigi said...

Im a little different.

Unfortunately, I just let the me time go. Because I can't enjoy me time anyway if I have a list of to-dos looming over my head. What's the point?

So when I have free time, I try to accomplish JUST two or three things on my list - even if they're just phone calls. And if I can say I did those 2 things on one day, i feel like I've accomplished something.

I agree with Nat on potty training. It's definitely something you do when the kid shows the signs and no sooner.

good luck!

December 29, 2010 at 6:40 AM  
Blogger Kimber Leszczuk. said...

I combine my me time into my bath/shower time. Each morning I take a bubble bath and I take a book in with me. That is my quiet time/my me time and it happens before I face the day and the tasks and everything else I have to do. It helps center me and get me ready for the busy craziness of everything that is going to follow. Sometimes I will even take a cup of tea or hot chocolate in with me. Even if I only get twenty minutes and one chapter in it is a locked door and everything else shut away outside it. I am safe alone and have time for just me.

December 29, 2010 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger luckydame said...

I don't know how I do it.

I work full-time, kids in daycare, etc. Probably why I'm giving up on my blog....I just don't have the time. I do alot of my 'to do' lists while the kids sleep and I get up by 5am to prep the day. I still don't get everything done and I still have major guilt at the end of the day.

I don't even hang out with my friends because, by the time I get home from work, I just want to be with my kids. But what can you do?

Though I'm thankful for online shopping, that saves me a BUNDLE of time.

Good luck with the juggling act.

December 29, 2010 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger SurferWife said...

Plain & simple, I just don't expect myself to get everything I want done. It's just not reasonable nor should I expect myself to be mother/wife extraordinaire.

Also, as the kids get older they are far more independent & require less of your time.

December 29, 2010 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger CityMom2 said...

I have two "only" children - ages 16 and 25.

They currently live in Hollywood, together, because the younger one is an aspiring actor.

But here's the important stuff:
1. Is what I'm doing right now benefiting my child?

2. You don't have to get organized. Put child locks on the whole house.

3. If you MUST do some culling then put your child someplace safe for 15 minutes. Choose 1 (one) cupboard to clear out. If you have not used it this month then throw is away. I'M GIVING YOU PERMISSION TO THROW IT AWAY.

4. Children need love, boundaries and parents who are willing to establish those boundaries while putting their own needs aside.

5. You and your husband must negotiate on discipline, eating habits, bedtime, etc. AND stick to it. Do Not be wishy washy. SET BOUNDARIES! Your child needs them. Never let the child play mum & dad against each other.

And the half-ass syndrome? I "left" my career 16 years ago and NEVER looked back. Took a 10K cut in pay that we could not afford. But it was worth it.

Ask friends about pediatricians and nursery schools. If you have no friends in this area then have your husband ask coworkers.

You'll figure it out. And get some're going to need it.
Best news? Me and the hubby did a damn fine job. We have 2 great kids and I never did get organized.

December 29, 2010 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Sherri said...

Wow! I totally get where you're at, and I hate to say that I think I live like this on a day-to-day basis much of the time! Each new change in the family routine, whether it's a new school year, new house, new job, just alters the flow of everything.

You are so right that none of the things on your list are dire or life and death issues. BUT when you add them all together they create a stress that you don't need. It's almost like you may as well add "choose private high school" and "plan 25th wedding anniversary party" to the list because I have to say the list of to-do's NEVER ENDS!

Having said all that, I think what I do is pick and choose each day what will make ME feel best about accomplishing. Some days that means no "me time", but loads of laundry get done and I feel good about that. The next day I may allot more time to write and ignore the dust and on that particular day I feel good about THAT. But I am never really one step ahead of everything that I "need" to do.

And when I do choose to do something? I have a "half-ass" rule. I do it well and finish it if I can, trying not to leave it just half-ass done. To me, that creates stress.

Hang in there, friend! You are at a very busy time in your life right now, so choose what's important to you.

December 29, 2010 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger gingerbreadmama said...

Two moms (who are now grandmas and raised their kids without all the technology that makes our life easier and who also worked and had husbands that traveled) told me the same thing when I was pregnant with baby #2 and that was "put it all in perspective, and realize that some days are going to be harder than others and that is ok."

I have days where I don't think I am going to make it through and I have days where I get more done then I thought possible. Like others who posted, sometimes I do it all half-assed. And all the days since I went back to work in October after maternity leave and Lance started paramedic school are a blur!

Thankfully I have friends like you that remind me about sites like so when I realize I have run out of diapers, I can have them delivered to my door the next day, and I can cut myself some slack instead of beating myself up for being a forgetful, bad mom.

I measure each day by how happy my kids are and thankfully they are both very happy, thriving, funny and sweet. I do work extra hard to make sure I have adult time with my husband and that he and I have time to talk and connect. And I ttry to do something for myself, like workout (even though I have to get up at 5am to fit that in) and I use my lunch break at work to eat with friends without the kids, so we can talk and chew each bite, or run my errands, or get a pedicure, or sit in the sun to read.

Like others who have commented, I don't always get enough sleep. I always watch my fav tv shows two or more days late, the last 3 movies I have seen in the theater have been animated and I don't blog as often as I would like. And when I got the stomach flu, I was so thankful Lance wasn't working that day so I could puke and sleep in peace for 12 hours!

I wouldn't change anything though, you just figure out how to adapt to the life you have now. Soon enough my kids will be old enough to have their own lives
and I will miss the chaos! So, you just do it and be happy with what you got done.

As for your list, ask your friends about preschools and pediatricians and dentists. Referrals will cut your research time in half. And don't stress on the potty training, it can't be forced so just start off a little here and a little there and it'll happen. The Dr. Merry's Pottypal toilet seat and a sticker reward board worked really well for us but we didn't see real results until MZK was closerto 3.

December 30, 2010 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger Leah said...

Wow! Look at all these comments! Damn! Seems like this is the universal problem. We all just don't ever have enough time in the day!
Just know that I'm ALWAYS a phone call away to help you out! XOXO : )

January 1, 2011 at 9:53 PM  

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