During vacation in Cali, free from obligations. How do I keep the vacay vibes last? Help. (http://babblingpanda.com/)

Keeping it Together

I have a confession to make- since vacation I have felt overwhelmed. I know I owe you vacation stories, and I promise they’re on their way, but right now I want to talk about “real life”. It’s hard for me to admit I am just keeping it together and that I may have a bit too much going on.

I wanna be that mom that has the house clean, products made for markets, blog posts written and laundry done with time left over to volunteer at my kid’s school: I’m not. I wanna be that mom that loves people, does all the things and feels energized by it: I’m not.

Sometimes it’s hard being a highly-sensitive introvert parent. You have to really prioritize alone time or it doesn’t happen. (And, no, I don’t count rushing around doing laundry and chores as alone time. Anything done for other people makes me feel like those other people are around. Maybe that’s weird?)

When you are a mom that needs alone time, having people always home and needing something from you can be lovely but draining. It gives you that sense of purpose you crave as an empathetic person but it also makes you feel as if you are made of raw edges and it burns you up, simultaneously. My daughter, who is 9 years old,  does this fun new thing where she follows me around, constantly talking, and she doesn’t take time to be alone. She used to like her alone time! My daughter still needs that time but doesn’t take it, so by the time Josh comes home from work (grumpy cuz he was busy), we are both cranky (cuz we were busy). Hunter, on the other hand, is like the moon, slowly orbiting but never engaging for long. He is always disappearing to build Lego or read, only to reappear, feel the tense vibe, cry or hug, and leave again.

Watching the news together. (http://babblingpanda.com/)

I just need to find my balance again: to prioritize and let some things on my to-do list slide. Right now I feel like a continental drift, slowly sliding away from my cheerful self and having tiny pieces fall into the sea. (Is that metaphor accurate? Science geeks please help!). Now, I am truly babbling, aren’t I!?

Because I love my life, I know that simple changes and shifts should help me keep it all together. There is just SO MUCH DAMN STUFF GOING ON. The end of the school year has so many obligations that involve interacting with PEOPLE (the horror), a nightmare for an INFJ personality-type. Plus, my mom is still going through her divorce which I feel with her, despite my best efforts to “just let it happen” around me.  I’m trying to get enough product tested so that I can crochet for winter markets and I still love writing- so have been trying to get a ton of that out there.

I think I need to scale back. Maybe set aside an hour a day just for me, without the “Oh I should be doing this task instead” guilt. Can I just make the weekend feeling last and last? Something to explore, for sure. It will help me keep it together, in a mental sense.

I’m not whining.  I love being busy and having creative things to explore, and business projects on the horizon. Plus, I’m grateful that I have kids that still want to hang with me and yak my ear off, cuz I hear that doesn’t last. I’m just aware that burn-out is very real and I am heading right smack into the middle of it. I know this cuz I am always finding the dark in things, instead of the light side. Isabella would say, “Like Darth Vader or Kylo Ren?” Hahaha. She has A HUGE CRUSH on Kylo Ren since she saw him shirtless in the last movie. It makes me laugh…..but is she that close to being a teen? Ack! Any moms of teens out there? What should I expect?

Running errands together! (http://babblingpanda.com/)

Things I need to do for myself:

    • Quit tidying up stuff I hate to tidy by getting rid of it. I am having so much trouble with this one!! We did a giant declutter before we downsized, and a ton more after, so I was so sure I kept only what sparked joy. Also, I’ve read countless books, watched the documentaries, and all the TedTalks on the subject that I could find. I was hoping I would have an a-ha moment that would help me: Like, “A-ha! I just need to donate X,Y,Z and I will feel that click of joy and satisfaction!” But, nope. I just walk around my house vaguely annoyed and feel slightly penned in and I can’t figure out where the imbalance is.
    • Truly, once and for all, take time for myself. From now on, I will make alone time and break time as seriously as I take my workout time. And I will make it a daily thing. I will start with 20 minutes and work from there.
    • Say no more often. Just no, as a full sentence. “No, I don’t want to do that”. Maybe, “No, but let’s do this thing instead”. I am all for getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing new things, but not if it sparks my anxiety.
    • Be okay with not finishing projects. I have all of these things that I have set aside, sure I am going to be the type of person that wants to do them someday. It hasn’t happened. Maybe I need to embrace that. One of the things I keep putting off is making a scrapbook. I used to love scrap-booking but the thought of a scrapbook project now fills me with dread. Perhaps a Groupon for a photo book and just plugging the keepsakes into one of those is more my speed at the moment.
    • Embrace an unfinished to-do list at the end of the week. I always set my sights high at the beginning of the week but there are always things that happen to throw it off and it never gets finished.

This feeling always comes in waves. I feel like I have it all together, then I feel overwhelmed and repeat- even though my circumstances haven’t changed.

Funnily enough, two ladies in Starbucks are having a convo about this exact same thing! AND adding on to the convo that their husband’s don’t understand how busy they are during the day- they get the “what did you do all day with all your free time” comments. All of us that stay home feel like we are running tiny companies and just keeping our heads above water. We are CEO, nanny, cleaner, task master, etc.! So we feel just as busy as we did when we were at work! I know that if you are working, you feel the same way. My point is that we all feel too busy and are in this together. I feel ya.

What do you guys think? Is this plan more realistic for me? Thanks for letting me babble and whine!!

What’s bugging you this week- want to share in the comments??

Are you a perfectionist over-achiever like myself? What do you do to keep yourself together and sane?? Please share- I could totally use the help.

You should check out these blog posts next:

What Does “Highly Sensitive Children” Mean?

How Grief Made Me a Better Parent

My Daughter’s Confidence.

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