Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pep Talk

As a woman, I find it very hard to switch off and just relax. I wish I possessed this capacity in a greater supply. Most men seem to be able to separate work and relaxation with relative ease (and when I say "most men", I mean my male control group, AKA my husband) and I envy them that ability. I want to be clear here: my husband is not lazy. He works hard at his career and I shudder to think of what we would eat or where we would live if I was expected to support our family of 4 on my 12 hour per week income. Jason works hard and I am not only grateful for all he provides, but I'm also immensely proud of his many career successes. But when he comes home and his laptop is off, he relaxes. He plays the Wii with the kids, reads, channel surfs, lays on the couch and even naps occasionally.

I have such a long to-do list each day that I'm generally still working into the evening hours. When I do sit down to watch TV or a movie I'm folding laundry, cutting cardstock for my next stamping group, or some other menial chore that I can hopefully cross off my list. My husband often jokes that if anything ever happens to me, within 24 hours there will be goats in the house grazing among the wreckage. Jason can relax in the midst of mess but I'm not wired that way. Damn my Type A personality that pushes me to have everything accomplished before I can rest. The trick there is that it never actually gets finished.

I have a friend who says life as a stay-at-home mom is like a rat on a wheel. We run hard, all day and for some of us, into the night, and the wheel spins, and there's just more to do. So much of our home lives is repetitive - we have to feed the kids (and ourselves, if we remember) 3 times a day, plus snacks, then clean the kitchen after each feeding, make the beds every day (Type A's anyway), sort, wash, dry, fold, put away clothes (yes, non-perfectionists, I could leave it all in the laundry basket, but the stress of that outweighs the work factor for me), check the backpacks, make the lunches, scrub the toilets....I could go on ad nauseum, but just that small list is depressing enough, so I'll stop.

It's satisfying on a grand scale to be home with my kids, taking care of my family's needs and making our house as welcoming and comfortable as I can. It's just the day-to-day that gets a bit murky. I need to give myself a pep talk that I don't have to do everything, every day. Sometimes I can stop, put my feet up, and say, "It's enough. I can do more tomorrow." I think my husband has this down, and I need to watch, learn, and especially work on my tendency to resent him for relaxing when I'm still bustling around cleaning up and organizing life. I can feel that pep talk coming on, reminding me, "It's enough. I can do more tomorrow."

1 comment:

  1. My man is good at shutting off too. Wish I could. I try to remind myself though that on my deathbed I won't say that I wish I had spent less time with my family and more doing chores (or work or whatever it is taking up my time). That usually reminds me to slow down and think about what really matters.