Do you ever have days when you feel like there’s waaaaay to much to do and you stress yourself out just thinking about how you’re going to get it all done, let alone actually doing it? Yup, today is one of those days. I try to believe in the “this too shall pass” philosophy but sometimes just throwing your hands up and quitting seems like the better option – It never really is, but for a fleeting moment I think everyone feels like that every once in a while. Am I right? The term “working” parent is kind of redundant if you think about it. I mean don’t all parents “work”, whether they have a job outside the home or not? I believe yes, they do. Raising kiddos, be it one or multiple, is not a leisurely task. It’s a labor of love, but it is labor. Agreed? For those of us that work outside the home, managing career and family time can become a very delicate juggling act.
In my case both my husband and I work outside the home 40+ hours per week so that just makes it even more complex. We get burned out, tired, and stressed from out day jobs (hopefully we’re not both having “one of those days” on the same day – that is never good!). Regardless of how our work day has gone though we have to come home and spend as much quality time with the kids and each other as we can before it’s time to go to bed and do it all again tomorrow. I’ll admit, some night’s I’d rather just tune out and go to sleep, but I can’t…if I did I would feel guilty that I didn’t get at much quality time in as I could have or that I left my husband to take care of all the chores that await us every day alone. (And honestly I’m afraid of leaving him solely in charge of some of those things without supervision!) I don’t know that there’s a “right” answer as far as how to properly allocate time and attention to work outside the home vs. home life. I suppose that really varies for each family and their specific family dynamics and needs. What I have learned, is that getting everyone to pitch in with the “chores” helps to reduce individual stressors and it also makes it harder to be grumpy with one or two people that didn’t help with the not so fun stuff.
Time management is essential for parents to keep schedules and keep some sense of sanity…at least in my household it is. (For some more tips on organization and time Management take a look at my post 5 Ways to Stay Organized in the Midst of Chaos). I have to rely on lists and schedules, not 100% of the time, I mean I can be spontaneous and fun…I’m not a total stick in the mud, but with 4 people to coordinate, 4 dogs, a cat, a lizard, and dozens of horses on the property, all with their individual and demanding obligations from work to extra-curricular activities for the kiddos, feeding schedules, for the animals, and anything “regular” chores that may need to be done, I have to have at least try to keep it all organized (and I can only imagine how important being organized is for even larger families than my own). Sometimes though, I feel like all I’m doing is trying to keep everyone organized and meeting deadlines….anyone else feel like that? It can’t be just me. Honestly I wouldn’t change anything (well if I won the lotto and could quit my day job, hire a cook, and do nothing but sit on the couch and eat Bon Bon’s or travel or whatever, that would be okay too), but short of that I’m totally happy but find myself a bit frustrated, overwhelmed, and needing a couple more hours in the day every now and then. Vent over…. ~Alison
What do you do? How do you keep it together, keep the family organized and get everyone at the right place on time? What tricks work for you and make your busy lives a little easier each day? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
Bethany saysSeptember 13, 2013 at 10:02 pm
I’m not sure I do keep it together! Housework is generally what gets left undone. Don’t look too closely for dust bunnies and laundry and dishes are things you do when there’s nothing in the closet or the kitchen cupboards!! Finally, multi-tasking takes on a whole new meaning 🙂 I’ve scaled back on outside commitments and take careful thought before adding anything new to our schedule.
Alison saysSeptember 13, 2013 at 10:44 pm
That’s kind of funny Bethany because I always tell my husband that “dust is a protective covering”…seriously it’s like the one thing I NEVER get to until I realize someone is coming over in 10 minutes and then it’s like — crap where did all that come from! The drawers at our house are perpteually empty because laundry gets folded and worn from the clean pile — it rarely actually makes it back to the drawers lol — I guess it just helps knowing I’m not the only one! 🙂