Friday, May 21, 2010

Balancing Act

I've had a headache every evening for the past week. I'm one of those people that automatically thinks, "Brain tumour!" when I get a twinge anywhere above my chest. But today I realised: I'm just exhausted. Ex. Haust. Ed. (that could be Latin for "a mother's work is never done").

I've been feeling a little spacey, a little more impatient with my kids, a little distracted and overwhelmed with the demands of teaching kindergarten, managing a home, raising little ones, and all the many tasks of living in the country. When I saw that my husband had forgotten to grab the movie rentals (that are now 3 days late) AGAIN, I thought my head was going to explode. That's perhaps irrational, to roar and curse because you're going to pay a late fine.

It's just that, sometimes in your life as a woman and/or a mother, something small like that can topple your precariously-balanced sanity. When the running commentary in your mind sounds like this: "pick up vanilla extract for Violet's birthday party, finish reading assessments for senior kindergarten, fill car with gas, get estimated cost of class trip to principal, remember to bring potatoes to school for bumblebee art, figure out why that duck is limping, where are my keys???, oh, don't forget to pop cheque for swimming lessons in Helen's mailbox", having to deal with getting the movies back to the store just pushes it all past manageable.

Manageable? Who am I kidding? I'm exhausted. I have about 15 tasks spinning in my head at any given moment. When I fall into bed at night, I barely have time to marvel at the enormous accomplishments of the day (as I type, beautiful raspberry cupcakes are baking in the oven...a Martha Stewart recipe, no less!!) before I'm completely passed out.

Blogging is yet another task, albeit a gratifying and enjoyable one, that I've imagined is something I MUST do. Some days I find myself staying up late experimenting with a knitting design because I feel like I should be posting more tutorials. Or as I make dinner, thinking, "I should take a picture of this". I've noticed that I am increasingly perceiving and experiencing a lot of moments through the lens of my camera, or thinking "I should put this on the blog!" Of course, when you have moments like these, how could you think of NOT grabbing the camera?

This is our May long weekend. We are celebrating Violet's birthday tomorrow, I've reserved Sunday to finally get the clothes all sorted and prepare for the GREAT BEDROOM SHUFFLE, and Monday is the day...we'll finally start resuming a sense of order in our upstairs. I also hope to shout less, cuddle and play more, and take each moment as it comes.

And so, as a step towards retaining my sanity and preserving my health, I am going to take a break from blogging on weekends. I need to reduce the distractions in my life to take care of myself. I can be somewhat compulsive about things like this (I feel that since I've started out posting almost every day, my huge following (haha!) expect it, and may not check in anymore if I take a few days "off". Then I wonder...why am I blogging? I need that reminder now and then that it's a FUN creative outlet. It's not a competition, it's not a job (yet!), and it's not meant to add more pressure to my already-full life.

What step can you take to release some of the pressure you put on yourself as a mom/woman?


  1. You could kid yourself and claim that all this antics keeps life 'interesting', but boy... it's exhausting to be a working mom! Only when your body starts to let you down do you realize that you're always working in 5th gear... I was totally convinced that after having a cyste removed Tuesday and sitting up in the hospital bed within an hour of waking up after the surgery, cuddling up with a kid desperate to inspect my stitches, that the next day I was going to be back at work, doing everything as usual... And here I am, on Saturday, still knackered and having trouble hanging up the laundry ;)

    Then it's time to just let the housework slip for a bit, take a hot bath or just sit in front of the telly with the spinning wheel... and to DELEGATE ;)

    A wee explosion and some arguing does help though, as while I took the kids out and calmed down from my strop (it is soooo annoying when you can't do what you want), hubby cleaned out the scullery and turned on the barbecue. Now, all is well...

    Hope the headache clears soon and you'll be enjoying a great day tomorrow!!! Say happy birthday to little Miss Muffet from us!!!

  2. I totally get it, and agree completely. Most of the time I find our weekends are more exhausting than the week. I have a job every second Sunday at a fibre store in Ottawa called Wabi-Sabi. It is not the right word to describe it as working. It is a time that is for me and only me, and then there is the yarn. Those Sundays can't come soon enough at times.
    Enjoy your long weekend.

  3. Stephanie...I love how real your blog posts help me to feel. Does that make sense? I have made my farm my full time job (including children) until after the harvest. Then we'll see how it goes from there....and I still feel like the 'to do' list never ceases to exist...have a blissful break....see you when you return..K

  4. Perhaps, my unusual life and child is a blessing in that I give myself the permission to take care of myself as I know it is absolutely critical that I remain well (both physically and mentally)......I know this is the case for all mothers but it is a wee bit different in my case. One thing I have learned over the years and have become VERY aware of is replacing the word "should" with the word "could." The word itself (should) just guilts you into doing something and feeling like you don't have a choice. Try it and feel the difference.
    Unfortunately, sometimes we as mothers have to learn the hard way that our well-being deserves our attention. Good for you for hearing the whispers of your tired, down-trodden soul. Have a wonderful weekend.
    P.S I dare you to get naked and join V in the sprinkler!

  5. P.S That photo of V with the raspberries on her finger tips just about put me over the edge with laughter. Sooooooooo hilarious!!

  6. Wow, I hear you, that is EXACTLY what I am going through right now - even just with my 3 days of blogging. It feels like a job sometimes but other times I get so much joy from it.

  7. A very belated thank you for the wonderful comments you had left on my last post!

    I love this post of yours! Not only for the adorable photos of your kids, but you also seem to be articulating what goes on in my head when it comes to blogging. It's become less of a priority for me these days as I find myself more focused on enjoying the moments with the kids. I used to have a bad habit of constantly writing blog posts in my head rather than living in the moment.

    I'm so glad you are blogging and I love what you share about your life... I hope that you continue to find the joy in the creativity as we ALL benefit :)


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