It always seems impossible until its done.
As I returned to my full time job of teaching Ancient History to 8th graders, a completely rewarding and fulfilling endeavor, yet time consuming and exhausting, I wondered what it was I would be giving up as I try to juggle it all. Among many things, I wondered how these were all going to fit...
Getting 8 hours of sleep
Healthy Dinners as a family together
Playing and Quality time with Anna Cate
Nursing Molly along with Pumping and milk supply concerns
Time for our marriage
A well-ordered, fairly neat house
I even posted my fear to Facebook, and my sweet Aunt commented with this endearing vote of confidence and wise words
Sarah, darling Sarah, please take one day at a time, just one day at a time. If you will step back and look at all you have accomplished thus far, that should reassure you that you can handle the challenges. I love you.
I have really taken that to heart, and what I've realized is that I won't loose sight of those priorities....... but I'm learning I might not get them all in every day. I'm trying to forgive myself for not accomplishing it all in one day yet trusting that I won't let myself completely neglect any of the priorities.
So I'm not running every day, but I am running a few times a week. The bed isn't made every day, but in general, we are keeping up (no one has run out of clean socks or underwear). Some days, usually the days I don't run, I can breathe in a house that feels ordered. BJ cooks dinner at night for the next day as I'm putting Anna Cate to bed. Or, sometimes it is a bag of salad with some rotisserie chicken from the grocery.
I get the quality time with Molly in the mornings, and BJ puts Molly to bed at night (although she still likes a little Mommy time afterwards so I nurse her to sleep). BJ gets AC ready in the mornings, and I wind her down.
Some days I get 8 hours of sleep, some mornings I'm up at 5am nursing Molly after a late night run and other chores keeping me up late, so I'm not getting that 8 hours. Or like today, BJ gets up with Molly and gives her a bottle of formula (ghast!...that would have killed me 3 months ago, but I'm ok with it now).
Last week as we said farewell to summer, Anna Cate and I had a date to the pool for our last swim. She tread water.
She TREAD WATER!!! It was quality time. Watching my beautiful little girl keep her head above water made me proud; it also reminds me of myself doing what it takes to keep my head above water. I heard an analogy of women to swans...they look so graceful above water but we aren't seeing all the work going on in the water to keep them gliding along so beautifully.
BJ and I are training for a half marathon and we did our first long run together today as his brother and girlfriend played with the girls. It was such a wonderful date and I'm so proud of him, and to be honest, I'm proud of me, too. It won't be the race I'm the most trained for, but I'm running.
I'm taking it one day at a time, yes, but I'm also keeping my eye on the big picture, trusting myself that I will be healthy and balanced. Just not in the same day, every day. And to be honest, I have to add that I have the most competent, helpful, "can do it" husband ever, whom I could not do this without. Last week he came home with flowers since it was the first full week of work I've had in a very long time (since January).
I'm not very nice to him in the morning because I'm bitter about not getting that 8 hours of sleep, but as the day goes on I get perspective and I hope he is as forgiving of me as I'm learning to be of myself. I wonder if he is keeping his daily text messages or emails that usually say something like "I'm sorry...you are wonderful." Because he is; he gets both girls dressed, all of our breakfasts made, and me out the door by 7:25.
This whole realization reminds me of what my girlfriend Allahna says about life....You can have it all, just maybe not at the same time.
Patti asked Anna Cate during their Thursday night rendezvous, "what is the hardest part of having a baby sister?" She said, "Molly gets Mommy all the time!" Then Patti asked, how are you balancing that out? Anna Cate said, "I come to Patti's house." I could protest that I make sure to give Anna Cate some alone time often.
Last Friday night we had that swimming date,just the two of us, and then on Saturday night we had a date to watch fireworks, just the two of us:
I do feel badly that she feels that way, but what I'm noticing is that my girl is learning to cope and figure it out for herself. Could I be teaching her that?! My friend Whitney, a rock star mom who fits it all in the same day, (who has inspired me to make Molly's baby food among many things) says one of the beauties in working is that we are showing our girls all they they can do. I like that.
Also, I've realized that writing this blog is helping me keep it in perspective, giving space for my thoughts, nudging me to be aware of the beauty around me even in the midst of my juggling act, when some days I drop something. I could focus on the fact that sometimes I feel like a stranger in this life of a working mom, but instead I'm living this life I've been given with as much devotion to family, spirit and health I can muster.
Last night my good friend Laurie came over with her boys and brought dinner. It was a blast. The kids played and we chatted, dreamed about paint color as she is seriously offering to paint some rooms in my house, and we relaxed. She is one of those gals who gets it all done in the same day. And often, I think about the fact that I have lots of those superwomen in my life, and I'll eventually devote a blog to every one of them. I have several caretakers in my life, and I'm not so sure what the heck I do for them other than make them appreciate their own gifts! But in any case, I'm so grateful for them, truly. And I love watching our kiddos play.
Anna Cate told me this week as we were playing in the floor with Molly, "I'm so glad I have a baby sister, Molly; it was so boring around here without her."
SHEESH...so maybe that is what it was called when I felt a little more in control, handling one child, able to go on long runs any time I wanted, getting the 8 hours of sleep...BORING!
I appreciate so much those of you that are reading this blog. Just today I got a package from my cousin Catherine (Aunt's daughter), who is a beautiful mom of teenagers and another one of those people who get it all done in the same day, with a sweet note about the blog. I had no idea she was reading it. If you are reading, and have the time, please leave me message about how you are fitting it all in, what you are juggling, how you are balancing and what gives for you...both what you give up and what you make sure you are giving your time to.
Lastly......Anna Cate figured out how to take a picture from the computer and HAD to show me, and this is the product:
"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals." ~Zig Ziglar