On doing Less

Katherine - posted on 04/28/2012 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I had really ambitious plans for tonight:



Get home from work (around 6pm).



Do homework with kiddo.



Practice piano with kiddo.



Bedtime stuff and then read a chapter of Harry Potter with kiddo (we just started the first book).



Make dinner for tomorrow night.



Call mom.



Catch up on work stuff.



Get stuff organized for tomorrow.



Write this blog post.



Do yoga.



Read (currently making my way through the Steve Jobs biography, although very slowly).



Get to bed by 10pm.



Ha! I hope you’re laughing because seeing all my plans written out here makes me laugh with the realization that I was kidding myself thinking I can do all that and get to bed by 10pm (an epically early time for me, mind you.)



I’m terrible about making insanely unrealistic to-do lists. In fact, as I started writing this post I glanced at my to-do list sitting next to me and it’s not a list that I could have possibly accomplished in one day. Yet when I wrote it this morning that’s what I was aiming to do. And the downside is that now I feel like I failed when in fact, I wasn’t going to ever succeed in the first place.



I know we hear this advice all the time but I’m going to repeat it again and try to listen myself this time:



Sometimes you just have to do less.



Also known as: Give yourself a break. Realize you’re human. There are only 24 hours in a day. You can’t do it all. (Shall I keep going?)



So here goes my attempt to practice what I preach. A half hour of yoga would be really beneficial right now, especially because I skipped my regular yoga yesterday and my body is stiff and my mind is racing. But I am tired and I am deciding that resting (and attempting to get to bed at a reasonable hour) is more important so I am going to skip it. I’m also going to put this computer away as soon as I finish this post and not catch up on work. I might hate myself tomorrow morning but I also know that I would be horribly inefficient if I tried to be productive now and have a better shot at plowing through the 20 must-reply emails first thing in the am. And the whole getting organized thing? I’m going to ask my husband to check kiddo’s dance bag stuff (yes, going to ask for help, did you hear that novel idea?) and trust that we’ll figure out the rest in the morning.



In other words, I am going to choose to do less, to not attempt to get everything on my mental to-do list accomplished and to get some rest instead. A day at a spa would be perfect, but getting to bed when I need it because I’m exhausted is close second.



Do you write unrealistic to-do lists or are you pretty good at not trying to be a constant to-do overachiever?

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Janine - posted on 05/27/2012

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My to do list every day during the week is:
* make sure kids are fed
* make sure to show kids and husband love
* go to gym on lunch break
followed by the less important:
* unload/load dishwasher
* do one load of laundry

I used to do the crazy long lists too and one day I sat down and thought about what was absolutely necessary and I came up with the one above. The house is messier but I noticed there is less whining and stress in our evening.

Danielle - posted on 05/22/2012

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I come up with unrealistic to-do lists, but actually do manage to get the things accomplished at some point -- it just takes major life tetris sometimes to get everything to happen between my working 56hrs/wk between two jobs, taking care of kids, starting back to school myself, paying bills, coordinating volleyball here at work, juggling everyone's appointments between my & my hubby's schedule (ex sometimes helps w/kids' appts) and trying to get sleep.

I'd love a day at the spa! However, I was happy just being able to enjoy a mani/pedi on Saturday before the wedding and for being able to take off from the 2nd job for one week so I could actually get some sleep to offset the stress of the upcoming (now passed) wedding. The sleep was a godsend too after extra busy hours with DHS foster training & state GOP convention (I was a delegate) -- no way I could've done all that & 2nd job to boot.

Guess us moms get done what we can when we can no matter how tired we get cuz we have to. Hang in there, and keep making lists. It's all the better to remind you of all you do & what you've gotten accomplished!!

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Laura - posted on 08/27/2012

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I always am comparing myself to "High School Laura"! Fact is, I'm NOT High School Laura. I have two kids, in a serious relationship, and have an adult job. I have been on a journey this past year realizing that although the list is short, it is all comprehensive. As a mom, I clean, educate, love, play, and clean some more. As a significant other, I cook, clean, and love. As a working adult, I have to pay attention to detail, intereact with customers, be proactive, and manage my time. I always thought in my head "you were STUCO VP, NHS VP, on Debate, in Drama, had a job, and still had time for friends. Why is this so hard?" But at the end of the day, I AM NOT HIGH SCHOOL LAURA. It's been difficult trying to keep that in perspective but I am learning, and accepting it. I think that has been the hardest part, accepting it.

Carla - posted on 07/12/2012

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I am a BIG FAN of LISTS...in fact, without them I may forget about the essentials like hubby and kids! But lately my biggest dilemma is: I have forgotten what I wanted to write on the list by the time I get to it; which could be only a few minutes.

I fear I'm losing my memory, or is it because I just have too many thoughts swirling through my mind, like planning the working day, reaching targets at work, planning social events with friends, and holidays, and of course, taking care of the daily needs of my 7 month old triplet boys?

[deleted account]

I agree with the lingere thing.. plus find it uncomfortable and being uncomfortable is not 'sexy' for me... plus whats the point of lingere if your partner is temporarily gone and the relationship requires much mending? sex is not gunna fix the breaches.. I know this for sure now... re: your daughter, Danielle, I know that seperation and divorce is really devestating. I underestimated that for my kids. It really tugs at their hearts, so if she is blaming that, divorce (if that's what you meant: could be wrong), it may be worth looking into it or simply hearing her out. Obviously I don't know if she's being abusive and difficult, but my mum and dad separated and divorced when I was 18 and not until the 3rd or 4th breakup with my husband did I realise that even though I was 18 and was 'past the development years', the divorce really pulled away all my security as a person... I am getting help now, but its even taken a long time to find the right councellor to work through it.... I guess we can just love our kids and listen to them.. plus for her coming up to graduation, it is probably scary, but the more we teach our kids about areas of adult life where we have gained victory and success, if they are willing to listen and learn, they too can begin to have some ways and means to be prepared for 'out there'...

Danielle - posted on 06/13/2012

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I might wear the lingere if I was comfortable w/my body. As it is, I feel as if I'm ballooning up. If only I was filled with helium so I could float away from work & school! But no, there are bills to pay and things to take care of.

While I'm glad I'm not single any more, my daughter seems to try to blame all the problems on that when it's more that she's scared of being thrust into the real world next spring after she graduates from high school and so she's regressing in her responsibilities and mentality. Kiddo doesn't realize it doesn't do any good to come to a complete halt when trying to merge onto the highway of adulthood; you need to get up to to speed & get out there. That's causing most of my stress nowadays :/

Alexlee2012 - posted on 06/13/2012

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Seems you're too busy,don't fotget to relax yourself !So choose some lingeries for yourself as a gift.
Sexy , the fun is bound to be doubled.

[deleted account]

I hear you... is the kids dad your ex-husband? I find some of the things my husband did used to annoy me so much and sometimes he wouldn't censor what they watched on TV. I sensor TV alot cause theres so much rubbish on TV these days... Re: men... I am not seeing anyone else... I believe that when I married I made a covenant and I am keeping my end of the bargain even if he can't or doesn't want to..... I know that sounds odd to most, but the decision gives me the most peace and thats how I know its right... re: the kids watching violent things, I tell my kids that they can cover their ears and eyes if they see or hear things they feel are wrong and can always leave the room... kids are super perceptive... their spirits pick up all sorts of things we don't and terrible images can give them terrible nightmares.. they can learn to guard themselves even when you are not there.... how old are yours? mine are 5 and 8...two girls..

Katherine - posted on 06/11/2012

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Well I'm seeing someone so that helps. He makes me laugh. But we have our moments. It's hard because he only takes them on Saturday so I have them 6 days. He's just unreal sometimes (dad). He let's them stay up too late and them come home sooo cranky. He also let's them watch violent things.
He just drives me nuts. It's hard to deal with.

[deleted account]

Sometimes I think I don't laugh enough... even though it was difficult when my husband (ex-now) was here... he was very funny and made me laugh alot... I need to find some funny videos and have a good belly laugh... too many problems can make me too serious.. how about you.. how do you deal with the emotional component of parenting on your own...?

Katherine - posted on 06/11/2012

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Well I'm a single mom, so yes I do struggle a lot. I have missed out on a lot of my daughters events in school :( But I have to work. And I can't be late. So I hear you.

Tracey - posted on 06/11/2012

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What about if you're the breadwinner and the bread is won at home, where you are seemingly constantly taken away from your plans? anyone else struggle with this?

Danielle - posted on 05/27/2012

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One of the reasons why I've continued working my 2nd job is so I can afford having someone come into the house every 2 weeks to do the heavy cleaning. It sucks that I get less sleep but it's relieved stress on the household as a whole. I can't wait to start working out now that summer's here. I'm hoping the pool's hours are decent enough this summer to let me get some lap swimming in :)

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