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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Like Spinning Plates

The other day I returned from my lunch break to the question from my co-worker "What did you do for lunch today?"

That particular day, I ran home to make a quick crock pot meal, clear the dishwasher and ran to Fred Meyer looking for sweatshirts to make Halloween costumes for my kids. I said "That is tomorrow's lunch plan -- making costumes."

Her question "Did you eat lunch?" Yea, I ate soup from home at my desk (don't tell my boss though I'm pretty sure he reads my blog and now knows this).

Her next question: "When do you do anything for yourself?"

I had to stop and think. That day I was running around with my head cut off at work, home and on my lunch break.

My answer: "I went to crossfit yesterday morning at 5:30 a.m., does that count?"

To me, that counts but then I wondered if maybe I was missing something. I spend my free time going to crossfit and running -- we know that's really important to me keeping my sanity.

My life has been spinning plates for the past year. I'm thankful for my job -- one I love and that I work 50 plus hours. I unloaded some volunteer activities because I want to be there for my family and enjoy my hobbies -- like this blog. But there are times I'm finding that time is spent doing things for everyone BUT me.

More and more, I'm finding that my spinning plates are boiling over into my usually free times, like my lunch break. I go grocery shopping on my lunch break because that gives me the time with my family. I head home to do house work or get dinner prepped so I'm not rushed when we walk in the door. But I realize, I can't do it all. So I drew the line.

I finally hired someone to clean my house. That was tough for me to do but I know twice a month, my house will be cleaned and that helps. Yes, they use eco-friendly household products.

I don't check my phone, email or look at the internet until after my kids are in bed most days. Ask my husband how irritated I get when he's on phone.

I usually go to bed around 9 p.m. but now I'm trying to stay up until 10 p.m. and am using that time to read. Read can be blog posts in my RSS feed, Pinterest or just read some celebrity trash like Perez Hilton. I also try to catch up with my husband. This I know, I need to work on.

Sometimes, I find the small pleasures in grabbing a cup of coffee at Lone Pine Roasters before work a luxury since I spend my morning and evenings dropping off and picking up kids. After work pick-ups takes 45 minutes since my kids are at separate places. Being stuck in traffic isn't fun but the smiles on their faces when I pick them up is worth it.

There are times that my Tuesday night blogging at Jackson's Corner feels like a guilty pleasure since I'm not on "tuck-in duty." Don't get me wrong! I look forward to hugging my kids good-night, reading my son a book and ten rounds of the quiet game (you, know the game where you win if you're quiet the longest -- somehow I win this game every time but there are times I talk first JUST so my son can win). BUT sometimes, I just need a break.

My mission of this blog has been about the working mom whose family is trying to be green, eco-friendly and environmentally conscious. I also come to  this space to just write out what I'm going through, in hopes I'm not alone. That someone can relate. Being a working mom is tough! You have to have the stomach for it.

There are times, I wish I could make homemade bread, clean my house myself with products I made or just prep a few meals for a couple of days. I rely on products -- that's why they are there -- to help us working mothers. And sometimes, not healthy choices (like fast food) creep into my family's life. Hey, at least I'm not going EVERYDAY, right?

I know I need to take deep breathes and know that I'm not alone sometimes. There I times I wish my mom was alive so I could ask her how she was a single working mom with three kids.

I know there are times that I just need to STOP and enjoy my kids as well. My daughter seems to be 18 months going on 5 years old. My son is just sweet as ever and I want to cherish that.

What have you done to stop the plates from spinning? How do you manage?

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