So it turns out, this was the worst week to push my “Get Things Done Now” list to a lower priority. I signed up to organize Family Bingo Night at the boys’ school. That has to all come together and be ready for this Friday night. Then Luke’s birthday party is happening on Saturday and I haven’t deep cleaned my house since before Christmas Then our beloved Seahawks went and made it to Super Bowl XLIX so we are having a party at our house on Sunday. And to top it all off, Tim is gone on a business trip all week and won’t be home until about a half an hour before Bingo starts.
Last weekend, I was dreading this week. Don’t get me wrong though, I was excited for all those events, I just knew the lead up and aftermath would be hard on me personally. Can someone anticipate and dread something at the same time? I guess so, because I’m that someone, even if I’m the only one in the world that it happens to. I felt I had made significant changes in my priorities, for at least a couple days, and successfully reshifted my focus. This week was going to challenge that.
But then something magical happened. I anticipated all the craziness so I made a million lists and planned everything out according to what I needed to get done each day. Somehow time multiplied. I was able to make check marks on my list and also make time to pay attention to my family.
Another amazing thing occurred when I actually asked for help. For the record, I hate asking for help, but this whole blog-writing-therapy is worming it’s way into my everyday life. I am actually forced to put into practice all the thoughts I put on here. So, thank you. I don’t know if you realized it, but you are my stand in therapist/accountability partners.
All the people around me know what a hermit I am and so, they stepped up and offered to help. They are taking care of my boys for bits of time. They are helping me set up for the party. They are bringing over dinner one night AND helping me clean up one party to get ready for another. They are amazing. They weren’t looking for ways they personally wanted to help, they looked for ways they knew I needed to be helped. It’s a selfless bunch and I’m lucky to have them.
Normally, I would have smiled and said no, I don’t need help, I can do it ALL BY MYSELF. Usually I would have projected that, look at me thing, I’m so great, I can do everything, I don’t need you, I’m fine. And then I would have crumbled inside and had multiple freakouts that Tim and the boys would have had to witness. To top it all off, I would have been resentful and begrudging each event and all the people the whole time.
So my lesson this week, and not to be forgotten for the rest of my life, is ask for help and take it when offered. Also, let my people know how crazy these things make me so they know when to step in.
I also came to the realization that I was off the hook to “be present” for my family every minute of every day. I took my cues from them.
I like to think of myself as being the parent who is somewhere in the middle of helicopter hovering and the free range, see you in two days parenting. Of course that’s my perfect view of myself and who’s kidding, I probably slide too close to both of the extremes at times.
There were times when Tim and the boys wanted my full attention and I was able to mentally drop the to-do list and focus on them. There were also times they were busy and didn’t want me around. Playing with the neighborhood kids doesn’t really sound fun with mom tagging along. Also, there were times that I had to multitask and I didn’t feel guilty (well almost, that self guilt thing is hard to shake). Not every week is going to look as full as this week. And because I had militantly organized my to-do list, I was able to take breaks when I Jack wanted to explain to me all about a new level on Skylanders or Luke wanted to play Uno or when Tim had a quick break from all the work in Seattle and could chat for a bit over the phone.
I also took teeny me-breaks to recharge my batteries a bit. Chatting on the phone or messaging friends, going to the gym, eating lunch out or reading a quick chapter. All these gave me little boosts to get on with the day.
As I mentioned before, there is a balance with everything in life. When things are evened out, life tends to run more smoothly. Each day, week, month and year I need to take a hard look and figure out how to get that balance. That’ll definitely be a challenge because half the time I have no flipping idea what I’m doing. I guess I’ll be balancing and managing freakouts here and there too and that’s okay, I’ll deal.
I’m not going to lie to you though. This week has tapped me out and I will probably hibernate next week. I will take some non-people-interaction time to heal myself and get my energy stores back to full. And if my people need me, I will be there for them. But they are big boys and they can pour their own cereal and call it dinner!