Summer is a terrible season for a busy mom. Sure, it's great to have the kids around so we can be spontaneous. Yeah, it's fun to see museums, play at parks, and visit the library. Huzzah, it's peachy to have them clean the house on a whim.
But man, it's wearing me out!
Granted, I am over 34 weeks pregnant. This causes some exhaustion. Also, the kids are here all day, which automatically equates a messier house. And yes, the sibling rivalry is hitting the breaking point because the kids are with each other ALL DAY (whatever happened to the kids playing with friends? It's like all their friends disappeared as soon as summer started).
So, it makes sense. Doesn't mean I have to necessarily love it, though.
I wrote before how I might be starting a job that would pay me to write. Technically, it's blog, but still! Anyway, I'm in the beginning stages of it (although it hasn't started quite yet), and on Friday and Saturday I had some mild panic attacks about my impending schedule. In other words, I freaked out at the prospect of having so much to do! Luckily, I sat down with our genius-in-residence (Brandon), and the business student (he's getting his Executive MBA, remember?) helped me figure out the new job. His advice rocked. Then in church yesterday, I pondered on all the changes and how I was going to make them work, and by golly, I got some great answers. Fantastic ones, even!
In Sacrament Meeting, a woman in our ward spoke about her father (it being Father's Day, this was good). One of the quotes she used to describe her father was from a talk by Elder Oaks. I'm betting most of you remember it -- Good, Better, Best. Basically, Elder Oaks talked about priorities and where we need to draw some lines. I cannot tell you how much re-reading his talk has helped me. [Go read it. You won't regret it!] It reminded me how each of us (especially me??) has to re-prioritize constantly in our lives. Distractions, amusements, good ideas, leisure, pursuits of academia, large incomes, or personal glory constantly deter us from doing those things that are the most important. Like eating dinner with our kids or saying prayers with our spouse. Seriously --it's that simple, you know.
And then! In Sunday School! We learned about "learning" --specifically Section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants. I was so excited by what we learned, I immediately came home and printed out this scripture:
…Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another;
cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary;
arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.
And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle,
which is the bond of perfectness and peace.
Pray always, that ye may not faint…
Doctrine and Covenants 88:124-126
I framed it and put it in a place where I would see it.
Relief Society was next --and we talked about the Temple. Our teacher shared how she once had a week alone without her four children (ages 2 through 8 --just like mine!). She planned on cleaning the house, organizing, shopping, etc. You know, the things that we can't do with children around! But she had some family names she had planned on taking to the Temple at some point. And she realized, she needed to go to the Temple and forget about the house.
So she did, and she was profoundly blessed for it.
By the time I got home, I had written out a plan for myself. It's a rough draft, but here are some of the things I wrote down to help me figure out how to fit everything into my life:
What to let go?
*TV in the evenings
*Blogging (specifically commenting/reading)
*Facebook (which won't be hard because I'm hardly on there anymore, anyway)
*My writing critique group (which automatically means the novel I don't even work on)
*Long phone calls with my girlfriends (this is the hardest one, dear reader. Still not sure if I can do it)
*Being the social go-to girl I've always loved to be. Perhaps planning less get-togethers, connecting less with friends (*sob!), etc.
*Take only 6 piano students in the Fall instead of 8; teach some of them before school?
What to prioritize?
*Prayer --personal and couple
*Reading the scriptures and/or conference talks every day
*Going to the Temple as often as possible (probably a month or two after the baby is born... every 3 weeks? Once a month with Brandon and than once again on my own? Find a YW who is willing to do some babysitting service...)
*Exercise and diet (if I'm eating right and staying physically healthy like that scripture above talks about, then I know I will have more energy to get the things done I need to get done)
*Showing Brandon and the kids how much I love them by taking care of them (i.e. staying on top of the housework, shopping, doing the finances so Brandon can focus on school, spending time with them, etc.)
*Mormon Women (the website I have come to absolutely adore, and absolutely must continue doing).
*Work (the new job I was talking about)
*Piano Lessons (won't have to worry about that until September)
*My blog (it's my journal, scrapbook, venting place --you know!)
Of course, most of my priorities will automatically line up when my children are in school during the day. I may not have to make all of these adjustments immediately (hallelujah!). Also, my exhaustion will subside slightly when the baby is born. Okay, okay, so it will subside when he starts sleeping through most of the night. But still! Having energy makes such a difference.
Re-prioritizing stinks. It's also the best thing to do, though. It creates peace and order --and gives us the ability to focus on the Best, even when the Good looks just dandy...
Tell me, have you had to re-prioritize lately? In the past? How have you done it? Have you regretted it? How often do you re-evaluate your schedule/priorities/life and make changes?