June 18, 2013

on making time to do it all...

Lately, I feel like there is just too much to do. Or too much that I want to do. Sometimes I sit back and am in absolute awe of these people I see…the ones who manage to do so much. Because, quite frankly, I am not one of those people.

Yesterday evening, I came to the realization that I have started (and stopped) exercising approximately a dozen times since my daughter was born. I'm great for a couple weeks, then slowly slide into the mindset of, "Well, crap. If I go running tonight, then that means I have to shower again, which means I'm going to spend too long drying my hair, which means I'm going to not have any time to just relax with my family before Eisley's whole bedtime routine, which means I'm going to be rushed, which means I'm going to be a big ball of stress, which will defeat the whole purpose of running, which means I should probably just sit here and eat a plate of egg-rolls instead."

Well, truth be told, I haven't actually eaten egg-rolls quite some time, but I dream of them often.

I guess that these days I just feel like I simply have to make a choice and cut something out, even when I don't want to. At this point, if I want to run regularly (my number one choice of exercise, as odd as it is to admit) then I have to either get up when Jay does during the week (6AM in the godforsaken morning) or go right after he gets home from work (in order to avoid running in the darkness and getting hit by a car or eaten by a misplaced wolf or something of that nature). For a while, I was running a couple days a week after Jay got home, but I hated not having dinner with him. It felt…selfish. Or just weird. I don't know.

I can't really win with this, so perhaps my pants are just not meant to fit properly for this season of life.

And aside from running, here are also so many things I want to do creatively, but end up sitting around wondering how anyone manages to own their own business while also staying home with a toddler. It doesn't seem possible. For me, anyway.

Sometimes I don't know if I have the right personality to do something big and brave and impressive. I crave calm and quiet and time to myself…and in order to do things at the level I'd like to be able to—at least professionally—I know I'd have to sacrifice much of that calm, quiet, time to myself. It's hard to figure out where I should go with it all.

I keep thinking about other important things I want to focus on, too. Some that may sound old-fashioned to a lot of people, but are still very important to my identity. Homemaking—making meals that are healthy and delicious, organizing and decorating, keeping our little place clean and inviting. Parenting—spending one-on-one time with my daughter without other distractions, putting an effort into teaching her things, possibly starting a bit of very informal homeschooling this autumn, making time for silliness and imagination. Marriage—being someone my husband looks forward to coming home to, showing appreciation for how hard he works to support us, not looking like a ragamuffin more than once a week, not taking our relationship for granted.

Some weeks, I don't manage much more than the basics. Which, at a certain point in history, would have been more than enough. But it's almost hard living in a day and age where it seems like most everyone is more than one thing. They aren't just a mom, or a wife, or a business owner, or an artist, or a magnificent cook, or an impeccable dresser, or a yogi. People are everything. Or, at the very least, many things. And I'm not sure I'm many-things. Maybe I'm a few-things person, and need to learn to be content with that.

When am I happiest, anyway? Not when my planner is absolutely full, or I'm on the run constantly, busy all the way up to the very end of the day. Those are the days I feel the least bit like myself, actually. That's not when I thrive.

I want to do so much…mothering, staying active and healthy, reading good books, creating and maintaining my own business, having a signature dish and signature style, growing in my faith, being more than just a decent friend, sister, daughter, and wife…writing, blogging, memory-keeping, adventuring, and on and on and on. For the most part, I thought I'd gotten past the whole putting too much pressure on myself thing, but there are times when it just catches up with me and I feel like a mess. Even if I am aware of my own limits, there are still days I feel like I should do more.

And I know these are very much "drop in the bucket" problems, but sometimes it just feels good to write it out.


  1. I wrote basically the same exact thing, except less eloquently and not from a mother's perspective, on my blog last week. It's hard to navigate life when you have a lot of interests, responsibilities and passions! I have found myself in this place of wishing I could be one of those "everything" people yet feeling like I can't do much of ANYTHING well when I try to do it all. But I love so many things! And I have so many obligations! And I'm trying to be less of a slob in my house! And and and!

    Basically, I feel ya. Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Wow, I was just thinking about this today. I know how you feel-there's so much pressure we put on ourselves (thank you Pinterest/Internet in general) to be fit, be a good cook, follow our dreams...all while wearing cute maxi dresses and red lipstick. I'm not a mom yet, but I work full time and am all too familiar with the crazy pressure to do it all. It helps to focus on one thing each day (Monday=writing, Tuesday=work out, etc.)

    1. I love the idea of focusing on one thing each day…that may totally work for me.

  3. I think about this constantly. I struggle with keeping everything in balance and attempting to everything perfectly. I finally (last month) had to admit to myself that I'm not super woman and I can't do everything and even if I could, it wouldn't all be perfect. I've started focusing on the things I find most important, and so far, I've been less stressed and far more happier.

    In short - I totally know how you feel!

  4. I know... it feels so Suzy Homemaker-ish to say I want to cook nice meals and have a decent looking house, but I DO! There are days I seriously consider taking vacation time to clearn my kitchen. And I'm pretty sure there are not too many people operating businesses out of their house (including many professional bloggers) who don't have some kind of child care. Don't beat yourself up for wanting it all -- but don't feel bad if you can't make it all happen, either! (And for the record, getting up early to run really isn't that bad... just suffer through the first week or so, and it will be a habit!)

  5. I feel like that too. I live in quite a big city, and I often feel I should be out and about enjoying all the activities and festivals and making the most of it. But then I'd rather stay home and read a book, or relax in the garden, or knit. And then I almost feel guilty because of this 'you're only young once' stuff. But oh well.

  6. This is just how I feel all the time. Trying to do everything, but not really giving anything my full attention.
    I don't think this is how my one and only life should be lived, so I'm trying to let go a bit and enjoy the moment a bit more, as well as just getting on and doing things rather than thinking about them a lot.
    Not sure any of this makes any sense now, but your post certainly struck a cord with me.
    Oh and the wordless wednesday picture this week, is just gorgeous! x

  7. So, here is my quick story. I'm almost 19, and I just found your blog today, & I've been reading non-stop. I don't see what you are talking about!! You sound like you are amazing at all of the above! So many people stretch themselves so thin to try to be "many things" then they don't get to appreciate the "here and now" The average mom is 276 jobs in one! AND you don't get paid for it. Being a mom is a job, an amazing one, but that doesn't mean you don't have your hands full- Take it one day at a time, wake up, do your routine and just think for that day what you want to do just for that day to make you a better you! Sounds to me like you are doing a wonderful job, give yourself a little credit! You are certainly a role model for me! :)


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