Something's Gotta Give

photo courtesy of atomicjeep

I know it's been too long, and I apologize. I've been doing a lot of mental processing lately, and I just haven't made time to sit down and put it down on paper, er, computer. But here I am . . . finally!

Back when I started Editor Joy, I had a newborn baby. Just one. And I felt like I was drowning. Flailing my arms and grabbing for life supports, I could barely keep my head above water. There was so much to do, yet this little helpless infant required so much of my time. I remember desperately asking my friends how they did it, how they got anything done; and no matter what their answers, I rarely found any help or comfort (because, as I later learned, every baby AND MAMA is different).

Now, I look back at those days and laugh at my ignorant self. To think, finding one newborn to be overwhelming and drowning all of my free time. Ha!

The transition to two continues. It's already been over seven months, and while I gave myself months to establish a routine, I'm finding myself rather frustrated that seven months later, I'm not much further than I was when I only had one child to deal with--some days I feel like I've backtracked.

I know this isn't rocket science, but I can't believe I have so much less time for me now. I'm not saying this in a selfish the-world-revolves-around-me way; it's more of a it'd-be-so-nice-to-do-all-the-dishes-and-pick-up-my-bedroom-before-bed way. I just don't have time to do much else than take care of my girls.

I still sound like I'm whining. I'm not. I'm learning. And the lesson that a friend of mine told me three years ago is still kicking my butt--something's gotta give. For the first few months, I gave up (for the most part) a healthy lifestyle. Eat whatever, exercise is optional (which means it doesn't happen), and cook what's easiest. These last few months I've picked back up on the healthy lifestyle, and cleaning my house has been suffering. I tell myself that something has to give, and right now it's the house. But I have a hard time accepting that. I feel restless in a dirty house. I cringe when I see a layer of dust thick enough to write my name in. I gag when I see buildup on my cupboards from severe neglect. I know something's gotta give, but I'm waging a mad war with my type-A personality: I want to pretend I gave up something, but really I want to prove to the world that I can do it ALL. Wahahaha. haha, hehe.


Yeah, House, 240 points; Joy, 0.

I know this is a ridiculous battle. I mean, in twenty years when my kids are grown, and I have oodles of free time on my hands, I won't look back on these years and wish I had cleaned the house more and spent less time with the kiddos. But I am really learning something about myself when I see how hard it is for me to let go of the house.

So, fellow mamas. What is it for you? What's gotta give in your life right now so you can stay afloat?


This Is Us said...

I try to spread the neglect around, only sparing my children. Well, most of the time. If I'm totally honest, there are times that I choose to take a shower and turn on PBS. Or leave the little one to fuss so I can just finish chopping the veggies. I don't think anyone can do it all. Something always has to give, some people might just choose not to share or admit their limitations. You're doing a great job, Joy!

The Copper Pot said...

I struggle with this too. I feel like a bad mom if I make my son sit and watch me vacuum (although he loves the vacuum). It's hard to balance everything. How do moms that work full time do it all??? Crikey.

Camille said...

Joy, I feel your pain--two kids is crazy. I know you guys didn't end up going the preschool route, but what about getting a little more childcare--even four or five hours a week with a mother's helper? This has been huge for me, because that way I can get some work done and also get some of the housework done. (I am the same way about the messy house, and I have finally come to terms with the fact that I can't function well in clutter and chaos, so clean is a must). Not that I am even *close* to figuring it out myself, but this helps. :)

Joy said...

So glad to know I'm not alone. It certainly helps. =)

kyna said...

I think that the illusion that we can do it all is the one paradigm that has to shift. We as stong independant women want to believe that we can do it all and with grace while looking cute! Well we can't, nor do our sweet families expect us to. Our expectations are all our own and can be adjusted as suits our families needs. The Copper Pot...I am a momma who works full time, and no I do not do it all. What is "all" anyway? I think that doing it "all" is just doing what God has placed in your life at this time to do. There is grace for the other stuff. Right now in my life, there is grace in the chaos. If clothes are clean, bottles are clean, and everyone is fed and bathed...that is a success! The toys being picked up and the dusting...well that will have to wait for another time. Joy you hit it on the head something has to give! We just have to be willing to give it up to God and allow his grace and mercy cover us. Keeping our sweet families as the priority, the rest is just stuff. Thank you for sharing this its always good to know we are not alone in this thing called mommahood.

Rebecca Weiland said...

Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed the post and all the comments. I don't take time to read stuff like this and it does help when others are honest and say that can't get it all done either. There will be a few exceptions to the rule, but gosh Joy from the looks of you and your family, I'd say you have it all together!!! I struggle with working with my children, eating healthy and the house well it goes and I've learned not to be embarrassed anymore... Well, at least more comfortable should people stop in. OR, worse yet when I invite guests and don't have time to clean.