Sunday, June 12, 2011

How to efficiently run a household and your life on a 4-hour workday...

I'm sitting on the floor drinking my second cup of coffee- I love Sunday mornings when I get up early enough to enjoy them- and Abigail is alternating between playing with the clean laundry and trying to use her face to crawl ( not working out so well for her).

my child

Mornings like this I feel calm, not behind on my list of 'to-dos' and excited about caring for my daughter.
Days like Friday though I wonder how we could ever have more children.
It's not that Friday was a bad day; on the contrary: we had a slow morning, walked, ate lunch with a friend, lots of circumstantial joys....but by the time 6 o'clock rolled around I was ready for a break from any and all responsibility.
 As best as I can figure, there are, in general, two reasons for this:

1.) I have a child and a home to care for, both of those ( mostly the child ) are a lot of work (and fun). You just can't get as much done when you spend upwards of 3-4 hours every day just feeding and changing diapers. Logistically it can't happen. Having a baby makes me very, very glad to be married. Knowing that I can hand her to John when I need a break is huge. My empathy ( is it empathy or sympathy? I think empathy) for single parents has broadened considerably since having one of my own. Being that sole need-meeter is a lot and wears a body out. And I've got an awfully even-tempered little girl, it's hard to imagine how tiring a collicky baby could be.

my even-tempered child

2.) I like to try to rest in my accomplished to-do list instead of resting in the Lord or simply resting, period. I want to be able to tell John "Today was a good day because we accomplished 10 things". Which is hogwash. It means I get really busy around 2 and rush to get all the things done I didn't do in the morning. When I speak those thoughts out loud I realize how silly that mindset is, but if I'm not being purposeful about guarding against the "perfect housekeeper syndrome" I fall into it naturally.  Being a perfect mother is unattainable, so I try to be the perfect "doer of the to-do list" equally as unattainable but  it appears much closer and boosts my ego when I get close. Sigh.

So, back to Friday night; when John got home he was awfully sweet and played with her (she's getting a tooth so fussiness has ramped up a bit) while I got dinner ready. Then he helped with the dishes ( I love this man, and when he does dishes it warms my heart :o).
The man I love; who also happens to be the father of my child

By bedtime I was feeling a lot better. Then I took off for a couple of hours Saturday morning to garage sale and left my better halves at home. The break was fantastic (and I found some great stuff).

My goal this week so I can actually enjoy the joys of each day:
1.) Rest in the Lord during the day and not find my worth in my accomplishments....easy, right?
2.) Actually stop the busyness and put up my feet for a bit around 4 to recharge for the evening.

With a sweet girl like this the hard work is worth it.

Anyone else have the same issues? 



  1. I'll make sure that Julia reads this. It seems as if yesterday I was traveling the same road. As I write this 25 year old Will is turning round and round and round and round. . . so maybe after all I'm still in the same place. So--1. rest in the Lord and 2. put up my feet around 4 and recharge for the evening. Good advice. THANKS!

  2. Yes Katy! That sounds like my! Thanks so much for putting into words what I was feeling. It's hard to enjoy the moments of fun and fight off that feeling of nothing's getting done...oops need to run baby's waking from his nap :)

  3. Haha I know all about the "gotta be the perfect house keeper" and "gotta finish the to-do list" syndrome! I've actually started putting rest, reading, crafts, etc. on my to-do list! Thanks for the reminder to rest in the Lord, not in our own self-sufficiency. :o)

  4. Katy, i just read this and i wonder, CAN YOU READ MY MIND??!!!! i too wonder how single parents do it, and some with more than one child!! we are going to start working on baby #2 soon and i'm scared to death! wish i could find a free housekeeper. now i understand why people say being a stay at home mom is the hardest but most rewarding job in the world. that to-do list is never ending! thrift store and garage sale shopping are my outlets too! (as well as slipping away to allow for daddy-daughter time, SO GREAT when daddy comes home!)
    love abigail's chunky rolls and beautiful face. keep up the good work mommy! and thanks for saying what i'm feeling. makes me feel so normal.
    Tell daddy i miss him and that he has a beautiful family.

  5. you are so insightful. that is much of the same issues that i stuggle with regularly and love the conclusions that you have come to. it is a great idea to just sit and relax for a bit so you can carry on. it really does rejuvinate you. and while being a mom is very tiring and difficult at times i would not trade it for the anything and truely thank God that he allows me to stay home with my kiddos and do stuff with them and has given me a wonderful husband/father to share it all with. i could not make it without leaning on the Lord. your daughter is adorable and i cannot wait to meet her.


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