I used to think I was busy. I always had a to-do-list, projects in play, and a calendar full of events. I respected my friends that had kids and knew that life gets harder once you have little people to herd, but hey, that’s just time management right? Then we had Anya, and empathy slapped me in the face. This unexplained time-suck phenomena was real! What the heck did I do with all my free time before? Not to mention, what did I do with all that money?! Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but as a control freak I’ve had some internal struggles that I’m sure all parents (especially first time parents) deal with.
- Perfect Strangers No I’m not talking about the 80’s/90’s sitcom that made the dance of joy popular, I’m talking about what your family and friends think of you. They think we’ve moved continents; hypothetically, yes we’ve moved to the misfit island of parenthood, but we are STILL alive and well. “Guess we’ll have to wait till Christmas to see you,” yes friends and family, we get it, and we would love to see you more. In fact we feel guilty that we can’t make it happen, but honestly, until we fit in work, childcare, dinner and bath time 24 hours has passed. How is that possible? We don’t even know, it’s as unexplained as a UFO. Parents, unfortunately you can’t add more hours to the day and loved ones know that we want to see you just as much as you want to see us. Sometimes the planets just don’t align.
- The Maid Needs a Vacation As much as my control freak self wants to be clean and organized, it just isn’t realistic for a house to be that way 24/7. A house isn’t a home unless it’s lived in, right?
In one week I went from a panoramic view of a serene beach to a panoramic view of complete kitchen chaos. Yes this is what our kitchen looks like on a nightly basis. Every evening is filled with cooking dinner and lunch for the next day, followed by what feels like hours of dishes until everything is clean and clear before we go to bed, only to start all over again the next night. Let’s face it, the next 10 years of our parental unit life will be dishes and laundry, but the maid can retire when chores are distributed, can’t they? Bueller? Bueller? Let’s hope so anyway.
- It’s Exhausting We love our kids, our family, our jobs, our life, but it’s exhausting! There is no magic potion to avoid this, and if there was, that person would be a billionaire ten times over. From time to time if you feel defeated, don’t fret or feel as if you are doing a bad job, its par for the course. It can only get better, right?
So what’s the lesson learned? That being organized helps your family unit run, but you can’t always be a control freak. Things aren’t always going to be neat and tidy nor organized. You can’t always fit everything you want to get done in the time you want it complete. And, let’s face it, you can’t make everyone happy. So learn to: let things go, adapt, be flexible, and prioritize. No, really prioritize, as in what NEEDS to be done and not what you’d LIKE to get done. Most importantly, do what is best for your family, spending quality time with those little people trumps all, as you can’t get back time. Once you have that all in check, take a deep breath, grab a much-needed cup of coffee and realize, you are doing the best you can and that’s all you can ask for.