I love our home-centered life of family togetherness, I truly love the old-fashioned domestic work I do each day, I love schooling the children at home...yet although this lifestyle might be reminiscent of a simpler time, some days it feels anything but simple!
Some days, if I am not careful to pace myself, I just run around in circles going crazy, not knowing what to do next.
Today is pretty typical. The house is messy, of course. Everywhere I walk, crumbs and random floor debris and sometimes even bits of oatmeal stick to my socks (which have holes in them, but I don't have time to go shopping for new ones). The laundry is piling up to a veritable mountain because I didn't do it for one day. I have five packages for customers I need to get ready for shipping, that are sitting there waiting for me. I tried to get them done this morning, but Amy wouldn't stop crying--I believe she is teething right now and is much fussier than usual--so I paused to nurse her and put her down for a nap, and then I grabbed a quick shower and then it was time to give the other children lunch, and then we returned to lessons, which didn't go very well because Amy was awake again, and not happy.
Once lessons were somewhat finished I put Amy down for another nap, left the children with Kira (who is almost 13) for a few minutes and took a brisk walk to the nearby dollar store to pick up a few little things we needed. When I got back, I made up a batch of pumpkin muffins, which was accomplished because the boys were both playing video games...an activity I try to keep under control, but sometimes it's so useful to keep them quiet and out of trouble for a little while!
Now, I am sitting down for a few minutes to write this post and enjoy a muffin and cup of tea. The boys are playing outside, Kira and the baby are watching Kiki's Delivery Service, and things seem calm for now. Yet, there is still laundry I need to do. The garbage needs to be taken out. There is bread to go into the oven. Chris will be home from work very soon and I will need to start making supper. After supper, although we normally like to relax and have family time, I know I will need to get those packages wrapped up--our customers mean a great deal to us and I don't want to keep them waiting! This will take a big chunk of the evening. By the time I do that, and get the supper dishes cleared away, and if I am lucky, find time to sweep these dirty floors, it will be time to start the bedtime routine, which is lengthy because I stubbornly insist on reading each boy a bedtime story, no matter how busy or tired I am. After everyone is in bed I will fold the laundry, organize school materials, and write my 'to do' list for tomorrow. Maybe Chris and I will watch something funny on Youtube for a few minutes before bedtime.
I will get a fair amount accomplished today, but there is so much more I need to do. I have not yet started the quilt I want to make Jasper for Christmas. Every day I write on my list "cut quilt squares" and every day I don't get around to it. I need to start work on other Christmas gifts too, but have done nothing! I also wanted to make Christmas stockings for the children this year from some holiday fabric I was given, but I know I will probably never get to it. (If I had been smart, I would have started that project back in the summer when I had time!)
All week I have wanted to make it to Sears to buy us all some much-needed new pajamas and slippers, since all sleepwear and slippers were 40% off this week. I haven't had a single chance to drive all the way out to the mall and I know now I am going to miss the sale. Poor Kira, her pajama pants are halfway up to her knees!
There are several letters I'd like to write to friends, but they remain unwritten day after day.
And need I mention that the bathtub has needed to be scrubbed for over a month? Or that the wall next to the front door has been covered by some kind of reddish sticky fingerprints (jam, maybe?) for weeks and I haven't cleaned it yet?
Sometimes I feel so sad that I just can't do everything that I want to. Why, oh why can't I just have another hour or two per day? Or maybe a maid! But this type of thinking doesn't help. The only thing that helps I find, is to try to pace myself. Instead of fretting and running around, I have to force myself to take a deep breath, and move slowly and deliberately through each task. I try to take the time to do each thing properly, because tasks rushed through don't feel really completed at all, and then I feel even worse. For example, I have to force myself to properly brush my teeth and not rush, I have to force myself to sip my tea instead of gulp, I have to force myself to stay and cuddle with the baby for a while after she has fallen asleep because I know I need a rest too...even though I want to rush away and have a look at my 'to do' list. Forcing myself to slow down requires a great deal of self control, but I have learned it's the only way to get anything properly done and not feel like I'm losing my marbles.
Does anyone else notice this same phenomenon? I mean, that rushing and multitasking really don't work in the long run, that the only way to stay sane is to slow down, even if things don't get done?
By the way, sorry there are no pictures today...I tried taking pictures of the laundry piles waiting to be done and the toys waiting to be shipped, but my camera died...because I keep forgetting to recharge the batteries! One more thing on my 'to do' list! ;)