Mom in the Works

Mom in the Works: August 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

One Focus

I'm a restless at heart. I have the best intentions to relax and enjoy life, but also really have a hard time with relaxing. I always have. According to my mom, I kicked naps from an early age (because I "didn't want to miss anything") and to this day I feel guilty when I do manage a nap. I am a "Type A" do-er. Most days I do my best to accomplish something. I'm never far away from trying something new or achieving a goal. That's why my husband are always striving after something. It's a constant in our lives, sometimes to his detriment.

But that is not necessarily a problem...

The real issue is that I am so scattered, tired, and stressed because I feel that I always want to accomplish not just something, but everything. I rarely have the time nor the energy to do so.

 I want to:

- Spend quality time with my family and friends. Duh.
- Exercise - this is a BIG one for me. Running and also yoga and lifting classes are my current go-to's. I'm also considering training for my third half marathon. I haven't done one since before babies, so I'm hoping to carve some time out for that.
- Have a meaningful "something" that I do that's just mine. Whether it's a career outside the home, working from home, writing, or creating something. Something that I enjoy and that I can do in light of my family life. Is that too much to ask, people?
- Be home with my kiddos part-time and provide them with meaningful activities (and lots of love!)
- Have a clean(ish) house. It's for my mental health. I'm much less anxious without the clutter.  I still do have a messy house sometimes, but at least I have a robot vacuum...
- Provide healthy, clean meals for my family. My toddler, though, would be happy and content eating anything but the cage-free, hormone-free chicken nuggets that I make. He'd rather do Tyson dinosaur chicken nuggets. Ugh..
- Time to read. I used to be a bookworm, but then kids.
- SLEEP. Lately, I'm obsessed with my nightly zzz's. I used to function on anywhere from 5.5 to 6.5 hours a night, but now I need at least 7 to not be a crab the next day. Lovely.
- Adventures - I want to see the world or go to new places with the family. The kiddos' nap times are currently cramping my style so planning day trips can be tough.  Now ever single outing is a "field trip," not an adventure.

I know that there's more. What's the problem? Well, I'm impatient on top of it all. When I said that I want to accomplish things, let me be clear. I want to accomplish ALL. THE. THINGS.  And I can't do them well then I have a pity party for myself and suddenly the thing that I wanted to accomplish isn't so appealing anymore.

Right now I'm trying to pare down my list of important to-do's while going through a period of refocusing. I read a book recently called the "The One Thing," during my real estate agent training. Though it is written by a self-made, well-respected and successful Realtor, (Gary Keller, co-founder of Keller Williams), the principles in the book can apply to any situation. Numerous companies are adopting his principles and hold conferences to educate their employees on the importance of this singularity of focus. The gist of the book? It's basic. Focus on your "One Thing" every single day, get rid of distractions by learning to say "no" to everything else, and you will find success.

Photo credit:
Cool. I can do that. At least I think that I can... There are so many amazing strategies in his book about time-blocking, remembering your focus, and repeating affirmations to yourself. He talks about how in real estate, lead generation is the bread and butter of your business and if you focus on it every single day above the rest of your to-do's, you will have a thriving business! Seriously, it's amazing stuff. If you are in business or are just trying to accomplish some goals, I highly recommend this book.  There are numerous strategies for attaining your goal from forming healthy habits to accountability and support.

Why do I bring this up? I have many things that I want to do and that I enjoy doing (don't we all?). I have many ideas of where I want to be in life and in a career,  but I'm just completely at a loss of where to start. I've been praying that my restless and hard-working spirit would be put to good use, instead of making me feel like I should always be doing more...more more more. God has given me some days of peace, but I am hoping for constant serenity during this time of waiting.

In the waiting though...I can plan. I plan to keep my plans with an open hand and hope that the Lord directs my path clearly. I plan to do small things while refine my purpose as a woman, wife, and mother. I am more than just a mother, I'm more than just a wife. I'm a child of God, I'm a person who still has hopes, dreams and an identity all her own. I may have to repeat this to myself several times over, but that's ok. I'm a work in progress.

On my desk, currently, and things I've been dreaming about...

My view today...
No matter where you are in life, remember that it's OK to dream and to find your purpose. These are important and will fuel your day-to-day activities. Whether you're in a job that you don't like, working too much, or staying at home with your kiddos, do something this month, this week, and today that moves toward that dream. We all have them and dreaming is not a bad thing. You will be a more balanced person and your family and friends will be positively affected by this. We all have something unique to contribute to the world.

You're worth it, I'm worth it. We all are.

How have you stepped towards your dreams recently? Do you ever struggle with feeling like you shouldn't do that One Thing for yourself? Share in the comments or send me a message.


~ Bethany

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A reset button, please?

Not to be a "Debbie downer," but there are some days that I feel like I'm constantly failing. Do you ever have those? Where every few minutes it seems like there is some new stressor, a new puddle of sticky baby food goo on the floor, or another fire to put out with your child?

Those are the days where I feel you need a "re-set" button. You know the bit. Take this morning, for example. Sweet Toddler wakes up after a decent night's sleep (nothing obvious is wrong), he wants a little snuggle while you prep breakfast. The baby is contently munching on rice puffs in her high chair and they are laughing with each other. You set out a delicious lukewarm bowl of oatmeal (just the way he likes it) with a dash of brown sugar and cinnamon with blueberries on the side. You feel like a hero because you've managed to make his favorite breakfast while carrying and snuggling him.

Then, crud hits the fan. Out of nowhere, the Sweet Toddler decides that his barely warm oatmeal is burning his tongue (no worries, folks, I tested the oatmeal first), and it was not hot at all. Sweet Toddler then turns into Out-of-His-Mind Whiney Toddler (OOHMWT) and you know the rest. You try to convince him that the oatmeal is actually not hot and that he can blow on it if he wants, just to be sure. You patiently reassure. More whining, whining, whining...and regardless of what you say, this battle is lost. He finally decides that he will pick at the oatmeal, and when he realizes that you were right all along, then the OOHMWT got frustrated with his oatmeal slipping off of his spoon. While you leave to grab a spoon to feed the baby, there is sticky oatmeal everywhere because he flung it off his spoon in a swoosh of frustration. You say, "Can you please use your words and tell me what is wrong." Whining commences. Then, please use your words to tell me what is wrong." Then, "use your words," (thanks Daniel Tiger for this song that is always in my head). You even go the extra mile and muster up some patience to say, "I understand that you're frustrated, please use your words and ask for help." More oatmeal flinging.

Yup, this was our morning...

After that, your patience is already at an end and it's only 8:07 am. How is that possible?! You reset, and tell him that he needs to pick up his mess and continue eating. You reiterate that he's not in trouble, but that cleaning the mess is the right thing to do. You offer to help. You do all the right things (I'm sure that some of you could probably tell me where I went wrong), but you were patient. None of that matters when he gives you a "stink" face and won't do it. I lost my patience and yelled, "stop!" and then I felt like all of the times that I said "yes" to being patient in this whole situation alone were cancelled. He and I were at our wits' end. Of course, then the baby picks up on the stress and tension in the house and realizes that at that moment, she needs to eat or just to be held (understandable for sure). More crying.

What did I need right then and there? A "re-set" button. A way to have more patience to just get through the situation, let alone the day. I needed to stick to my guns. I knew that in this moment that I needed to teach him something, but I was so angry and stressed inside. "Why can't he just pick up the oatmeal? What's the big deal?" While I tried my best to empathize (at least to see where he was coming from), that didn't seem to make a difference. After 20 minutes of just sitting there in silence and running late for our appointment, he finally gave in. I'm so glad that he did, because he gobbled up his oatmeal and started picking up the flecks that he had flung all over the table. Seeing this turn of events, I told him that I loved him and that I'm proud of him. He said "Love you too, mommmyy!" This makes my heart melt and I can't help but hug him. We hug A LOT in our family.

That's all hunky-dory, but what about the times when the stress, fighting (especially between siblings), and strain drag on? We have those moments too. I have tried counting (thanks again, Daniel Tiger), deep breathing exercises (thank you, yoga), closing my eyes for a bit to just focus on self-talk, and praying. Goodness, I wish there were reset button. Most of the time I just struggle and want the easy way out of the situation because the stress and tension is too overwhelming. I'm sure I'm not alone here?

I guess I've realized that the more worked up I get (even if I seem calm on the outside), my kiddos still pick up on it. I try to hide it, but they have an amazing radar for these things. They know their mama. They know when I'm elated and when I'm about to tear up. I often take a break to hug and hold my son when I don't know what else to do, even though it isn't initially well received. I am grateful that he's a "mamas boy" for now because he hardly ever resists affection from me...and he caves. :)

While I'm still working on my way to start over and reset with my son (I'll continue the counting, breathing, and hugging), I know that there is no perfect solution.

That's ok, because I'm not perfect and neither is he.

What do you fellow parents do to "reset" during a conflict with your children? How do you survive a long day of tension? Please feel free to comment. :)

If you have ever had those days, know that I just had one. You're not alone. 



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