I published a post yesterday talking about some struggles I've had lately in the vein of keeping the house/kids toys clean. But as I thought about it throughout the day, I realized it sounded really whiny and blame-filled. So I deleted it. After meditating for awhile, I realized that my problem is that I don't work hard enough. I've been coming back to that realization for a year or more now. For the most part, I think I'm a hard worker, but I have a few weak spots in particular with which I really struggle.
The first and biggest is during naptime. Eleanor and Theodore both nap from 1pm-3 or 4pm. I usually do school with Abigail right away, but then it is soooooo tempting to turn on the television downstairs for her, come back up to the living room, and veg. Usually I crochet while watching my own show, but sometimes (especially when I was pregnant), I nap. Once I've vegged for such a long period of time, it's really hard to get motivated to cook dinner, fold laundry, pick up toys, and bathe kids. Half-assing the evening chores, skipping as many as I can because I feel lazy, is a really depressing way to end the day. I need to find a way to recharge that doesn't lead to complete unproductivity. So far I've thought of two ideas: when I make my to-do list in the morning, I can note which tasks I'll complete during naptime. This way, they'll be in my head all day - Today during naptime, I'm going to make up the meal plan - then I'll be mentally prepared to work. The second is that my recharge time should not involve electronics. Nothing leads to laziness as well as the Internet Spiral of Doom, as Matt and I call it. I'd love to do some religious reading after school. It's uplifting, motivates me to do better, and not as addictive as a fiction novel. I put so much work into losing weight, I need to make sure I'm also putting in a lot of work in my spiritual life.
To a lesser extent, I also struggle to be productive on the weekends. I just want to relax and hang out with Matt! I don't want to work, and I encourage him not to work. I got a little better when we bought the house, because Matt and I started making a point each Saturday to ask each other, "What do you need to do today?" Then we block out time and make sure to handle the brunt of kid duty during those time slots. I think if I take it a step further and block out time on Saturday for a family activity, like an afternoon walk, a family movie, or a board game, I won't feel so bitter when I also have to sweep, wash the towels, and make bread. Plus Saturday will feel super long if I can both do chores and enjoy family time. And our neighbors will probably be happy that we're finally getting the lawn mowed on a regular basis.
There is always, always, always room for improvement, it's just about figuring out how to improve and then making the new actions a habit. I think too, it's important to talk about vulnerabilities on my blog so that I'm giving a honest picture of myself. If I just talk about the homeschooling curriculum I compiled, the equine therapy, the rearranging of bedrooms, the going to the gym, I sound really productive. I totally sound like I have my shit together and I'm rocking motherhood. You probably wouldn't have guessed that I have giant holes in the middle of my afternoons during which I completely fall apart. I don't need more hours in the day and I don't need more coffee, I just need to cut out negative distractions!