Saturday, April 11, 2009

a struggling mom

Over marriage, motherhood has been, and is, the most refining thing in my life. Lately, I've been wrestling with how challenging life is as a mom, how "my" time has become so limited and how too often, I choose to clean up my kitchen or do a quick email rather than really engage with my kids. Don't get me wrong, they aren't neglected. But, it's pretty fair to say that I consistently feel that constant nagging question of "how should I *best* use the time right now?" and I give in to doing something that probably could have waited. Perhaps its the whole "tyranny of the urgent" that plagues me. If you aren't familiar with this short essay it basically says that too many "urgent" things vie for our attention on a daily basis and we give too much weight to those things, when really, there are only a few necessary things we should be doing (or striving to do) over and above that which seems oh-so-urgent. Really, the "urgent" things often can wait, if we are honest with ourselves. I don't know. I'm sad to say there are numerous times I choose something for me over interacting with my kids. I know I'm not alone in this; I've had several conversations recently with good friends. I'm struggling to find the balance between "it's-OK-to-do-some-of-my-daily-tasks-now" and "put-it-all-down-for-the-sake-of-the-kids." Undoubtedly, because my job as a homemaker has many facets besides one-on-one time with them, it's easy to get caught up in being 'tasky' because there is much that needs to happen on a daily basis. But, I often find it difficult to put aside a chore for the sake of one-on-one time with them. Yet, they are my legacy, they are wht matter most. Where is the balance? It seems I'm constantly weighing my options and it gets really old: Should I clean the kitchen now while Maggie is finishing breakfast? Or should I just sit with her for a few more minutes? Should I read a book while they are napping? Or should I take a nap? Or should I do some dinner prep? Should I make a phone call? Or should I run my 2 errands after naptime? ARGH! It gets exhausting and I often feel like a failure for not doing everything I had hoped to accomplish in a given day. Really, no one is putting these expectations on me, except myself, but still.

I'm just struggling to find a happy medium, where I can regularly be content with my unfinished and ongoing to-do list and my time to just play and be with my children.


  1. Suzanne, you are very normal (as opposed to "Abi-Normal"...remember Young Frankenstein? Your mom and I often say this and smile...what a funny movie. You are a wonderful mother to Maggie and Curren. Before I turn on my "fix-it" mode, I need to stop and remember that you need someone to just listen, not to offer solutions or suggestions. I will listen to you anytime. I'm just a phone call away.

    We had a fun fun time with all of you. It wasn't long enough, for sure. We can't wait to see you in December, if it works out.

    Love, Dad

  2. this post really resonated with me...

    i have spent alot of time waiting for when i will suddenly feel like i know what i need to know to be what i feel i should be....if that makes sense. i know in my head, but have to remind myself over and over, that i will constantly be learning on the job, and that i believe that i was a better mother 2 years ago than 3, and am even better now.

    i often struggle with what you described here, and as much as i hate that feeling of guilt-which is there no matter which thing i choose, chores or some extra child time-i feel like it keeps me from going too far in either direction, if that makes sense. my house will never be an absolute pig sty, and my children will never feel neglected, even if i didn't do everything up to my impossible standards.

    ok, that was a really long winded comment. i could go on and on, but i will stop. thanks for sharing, i love reading about what's going on with you-i really feel like it helps me know you better.

    i will keep you in my prayers, that you would find your balance in daily life and peace with what you can and can't accomplish.

  3. I just love that your mom is called Marmee! You know I hear you on all this, friend. There is great value in sharing it with others and knowing that you aren't alone. Just remember that it's because you care so much that is is so hard - now just to not let it make you crazy! You ARE doing a great job and I know some days you'll feel better about the decisions you make than others. I do think that's just life for you, but over time hopefully it will get easier and easier to figure it all out. Love you, friend. xoxox