Have you ever said "yes" to too many things? Have you ever felt sightly out of control?
*This post was originally written in the fall of 2014. I love this experience because it caused me to step back and see that sometimes I am like that little mouse in the book, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," one things leads to the next and before you know it you are back to the mess that you started with! I think it is necessary to slow down and focus to achieve the best results!
My house ended up being a mess, my kids were crying, and I was stressed out, but my pantry was clean. Is that really the most important priority?
Yesterday was one of those days. One of those days when I said "YES" to too many things. It started out ok, but I just kept adding events, projects and problems! After doing the school drop offs I came home to a kitchen cluttered with breakfast dishes and lunch preparation mess (I should have made the lunches the night before, not right before we ran out the door). It was while I was cleaning up the mess that I decided that I couldn't wait one more day to reorganize the pantry that had been neglected over the summer. I also needed to go to Sam's Club and restock our fridge, snack supply, toilet paper, and paper towel supply. Before leaving for the store I had several things that I needed to do around the house like:
Start the laundry. . . again. . . it had been in the washer since yesterday and I
I picked up the house, looked over my shopping list, and planned my menu.
Then the phone rang. . .and rang. I said some more "Yes" answers even though I knew I was starting to be stretched thin.
I went to the store after stopping by a friends house to help her with a project.
I will mention that I am always a little embarrassed to see people I know while shopping at Sam's Club. We eat a lot, therefore I buy a lot! With two kids in the cart, toilet paper, and paper towels, and diapers the cart is full, so I decided to check out and come back in and start another shopping trip with an empty cart. I will also mention my good fortune in the fact that the containers that I wanted for the pantry reorganization project happened to be on sale! Once the second cart was paid for we went to the doors of the store with the intent to leave, but it was pouring rain! I waited for a minute but could clearly see that the rain was not going to let up so I did what any mother without an umbrella (or patients to "wait it out") would do. I pulled the nursing cover out of my purse and put it over my two little girls heads and I ran pushing a loaded cart to my big van. I ran until my flip flops were so slippery I knew I had better slow down before I fell. By the time the girls and I were in the car we were completely soak as were all of the things we had bought.
Once we go home I carried in a few basics like grapes and chips to feed the girls a late lunch before getting them into bed.
At this point I should have had the wisdom to see that pantry reorganization was not a top priority for the day. I should have put the groceries away and straightened the house before the kids came home from school, but I didn't. I used the fabulous new containers and reorganized the pantry while putting the groceries away. The clock kept ticking closer and closer to school pick up time and I was far from finished. It was at this point I knocked a gallon of milk down the garage steps and it promptly broke open on a rug at the bottom of the steps and ran across the entire garage floor- which is apparently slightly sloped! Despite the whirlwind inside and the apparent garage fiasco it was time for pick up. I pick up a few neighborhood families and it was raining so making the kids wait didn't seem like a good option. I promptly woke the baby from her nap and went to pick up the kids.
After school I told the kids to wait outside while I grabbed a snack for them to eat while they watched me hose down the garage. I also told them it seemed like a great day to quickly get their homework done so that they could all go to the basement and watch a movie because - I really needed more clean up time!
The 3 year old didn't like the idea and she began crying and begging to play with friends. I tried to console her and explain that I wasn't in the position of playing with friends at this point.
I did mange to get everything mostly clean and rearranged before my husband came home and we did have a lovely meal for dinner: salmon and rice. The kids even said it was the best Salmon I had ever made! Then I ran out the door to pick up for Young Women's. Did I mention that I was in charge of the activity? I was, and I wouldn't have been ready if my oldest daughter hadn't gotten everything I told her I needed while I was sitting at the dinner table nursing the baby and making sure the other kids were getting fed.
Needless to say, when I got home that night I wasn't a loving and comforting wife, I was exhausted and overwork, tired, and out of balance.
I woke up today resolved to slow down, say "NO" when needed, and focus on my priorities.
I took time just after lunch to make dinner and set the table because my family deserves to come home from their busy days to a home that is peaceful and a refuge from their daily stresses.
As I have looked back at how I could have handle the day differently I know that I should try to do less. Say "No" to unnecessary things and complete projects after I have completed the basic things that need to be done.
I chose to include pictures from the next day when I set my priorities in order and we found balance :) My family came home to peace not chaos!