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.