How much is too much?

I had no idea how hard it would be when I became a mom. It probably doesn’t help that when you become a mom, the rest of the world does not suddenly go away. Before having my daughter I was already a wife, step-mom, daughter, sister, full time employee and student, among other things. Having a child meant one more huge commitment. Nothing else went away and more hours didn’t suddenly materialize for each day.

Stressed mom

It's not unusual for me to feel like this during the day

It has been a struggle to find the time to manage everything I have to do. Many days I feel that I do not do very well at any of my obligations. I have little time to cook an actual meal, clean my house, workout or take some good ol’ me time. I end a lot of days feeling like I’m a horrible mom and I’m not doing enough.

I’m blessed in that I have a husband that does more than many for our household. He does such a good time trying to take care of me and the kids. But he has his plate full as well – in addition to having a full time job he’s also a father, a student, and he spends one weekend a month making sure he’s ready to defend our country at moment’s notice, should the need arise. Obviously, he’s stretched pretty thin, too. Utilizing family to help is not much of an option, as both of our families are so far away.

Worst of all, I know I’m not the only mom, or person, in this boat. So many of us have too much on our plates and not enough hours to get it all done. How do you decide what’s most important so you can prioritize? Is there anything you can really let slip through the cracks?

I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I simply cannot do it all. If I keep on the way I’m going, something is going to break, most likely my marriage, my health or my sanity. Some time ago I posted about wanting to be a stay home mom. Unfortunately that wasn’t an option a year ago, and it’s still not. I also don’t think it’s the answer to what I’m going through right now. But I needed to start thinking outside of the box, and luckily I was able to figure out a possible solution. It may not work for everyone, but I sure hope it works for me. I’ll post more on this soon…

April Goals Update

I wanted to give a little update on my progress towards my goals that I posted back in February. Rather than write an individual update on each goal at this time, I’m just going to cover a few key points -

  • Working out – I haven’t made nearly as much progress as I would have liked in this area. I am so out of shape it’s not even funny. The other day I put in the instructional video for Zumba and nearly passed out just from learning the steps! Needless to say I have a lot of work to do in this area.
  • Be a better student and a better wife/mom/step-mom – Something big is in the works that will allow me to make a lot of progress in each of these areas. I will post more about that soon.
  • Learn Spanish (do all 100 Pimsleur lessons by the end of the year) – Spanish got put on hold for a while due to stress and illness, but I’ve completed the first 30 lessons (all of Phase 1), and have moved on to Phase 2. If I continue at this rate I will definitely be done by the end of the year. Yay!
  • Blog > 3x per week – okay, at this point I suck. Nuff said.
  • Create a budget with the hubby and stick to it – The family budget will be implemented as of April 1 (and no it’s not an April Fools Joke!)
  • See my family back home at least 3x per year – Visited last week. One out of three down and the next is already scheduled.
  • Blog more about my family/daughter, milestones, etc – see bullet four.
  • Learn more about blog design – Took several classes over at April Showers.

So not all where I wanted to be, but at least I’m moving!

[seriesposts title="Follow my progress!" order=ASC]

These are not resolutions!

I have never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions. Which I guess is pretty good because I also probably wouldn’t have been very good at sticking to them. But as a new mom who is also getting a little older, I have been looking at my life more and more and trying to figure out how I can make it better and more fulfilling. So instead of making resolutions, that I think about for one month and forget for the rest of the year, I am making goals – life goals. I know that ultimately in order to really focus on these goals, I will probably have to narrow it down to just a few at a time. And I will eventually need to create SMART goals for most of these. But for now, my main purpose was to start a list of things I want to work on and improve in my life. These are all meant to be tweaked and revisited as the years go by and things become more and less important in my life. By writing it all down here I am hoping to help myself be more accountable for each of these, rather than just pretending like I never made these goals, right? Overall, the theme of my goals is to create healthy habits in my life. So here goes…

Global goals
Create my life plan aka the purpose for my life
Enjoy life more
Make more time for family
Just do it and stop being afraid
Stop procrastinating

Lose weight – workout and eat better
Be more productive
Be a better student
Learn Spanish (do all 100 Pimsleur lessons by the end of the year)
Take better care of my teeth, skin and hair
Blog > 3x per week

Be a better wife/mom/step-mom
Read to my daughter more
Create a budget with the hubby and stick to it
See my family back home at least 3x per year
Go to more museums and fun places
Take more walks, go to the park and the beach
Continue towards WAHM goal
Blog more about my family/daughter, milestones, etc

Be a better employee in the job I currently have
Continue towards WAHM goal
Create online “empire”
Learn more about blog design
Learn more about graphic deisgn
Blog > 3x per week
Develop home based travel agency
Focus on affiliate marketing

The plan is to occasionally post updates on my status and plans toward reaching each of these goals, weekly, monthly or yearly depending on how I choose to measure each one. Wish me luck!

A work in progress…

These last few months have been hard. Rewarding in so many ways, but just plain hard. I’m still learning how to juggle the demands of being a wife, employee, step-mom, mom, student, etc. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel like something or the other has fallen through the cracks. In the meanwhile my weight is creeping up and I feel so out of focus that some days it’s hard to keep it all together.

My pumpkin is the sweetest girl in the world during the day, but this little monster just can’t get it together during the night. Maybe it’s a byproduct of breastfeeding, or maybe it’s the fact that I work during the day so she tries to get her fill at night, but I will be a much happier mommy when this period passes.

Things change every day and I struggle just to keep up. But one thing always stays the same. I am so blessed to have this precious little girl of mine. They say nothing worth doing in life is easy, and that’s so true for parenthood. I have so much to improve on, but I feel like I get better every day. Although my sappy post-partum days are over, I still shed a tear or two sometimes when I realize how lucky I am. I can’t believe how much love I feel every time I take a glance at her… and when she’s asleep in my arms, all is right with the world.

I haven’t blogged as much as I’d like recently. But I will get better. There have been so many moments that I wanted to capture in words, and I am going to start getting it together now. 2010 was my learning curve, but now I’m ready to do what I set out to do.

Dude, where’s my clothes?

Prior to getting pregnant I never put much thought into my morning ritual. I’d wake up, take a shower, dig something out of my closet and head off to work – give or take a couple steps.  Unfortunately the days of such nonchalance are over as adding a baby to the equation has required me to completely rethink how I operate.

I have never been a morning person, but I have now found myself getting up at about 5:30 am in order to get myself ready, feed and dress the baby and be at work by 8 am.   (I am still bewildered as to how I am managing to get up this early.  Somehow having a baby must seriously change your ability to function on little sleep.)

Nevertheless, to ease my new morning schedule as much as possible, I have decided that all clothes for the workweek will be picked out on Sunday night.  Great idea, right?  Not!!  Finding clothes for last week – all of three days – was a breeze. Unfortunately this week was a lot more difficult.  After picking out clothes for a grand total of eight days I am having a panic attack wondering what in the world I will wear the week after this one.  Where are all my clothes?  What on earth was I wearing prior to jumping feet first into maternity garb?

Luckily, one thing I can’t blame it on is preggie weight.  I am actually close to 20 pounds less than before I got pregnant – hallelujah breastfeeding!  So everything still fits, and as a matter of fact, some things fit that didn’t before.  So what’s the problem then?  Did the unused clothes monster dig in my closet while I wasn’t looking?  Did I have a fit of mommy amnesia and throw all the clothes in the giveaway pile?

At first glance it would appear that I have tons of clothes.  But look a little closer and you’ll see the truth.  On that side of the closet are all my preggie outfits.  Sure they’d be comfy, but not exactly appropriate to wear anymore.  Here’s a cute skirt but it just needs a little TLC.  This shirt fit must have fit back when I was 18. Over there is a dress that might have been cute when I was 25, but at 33 not so much.  Even more, breastfeeding certainly complicates things. There are some things I just can’t wear since I’m pumping at work.  Obviously my closet is in desperate need of an overhaul, but that ain’t happening anytime soon unless you’re planning to come over and help me out!

Whatever the reason the clock is now ticking for my closet to spontaneously generate a new wardrobe before next Sunday night or my work clothes might consist of a nursing tank and sweats.   And somehow I just don’t think the boss would appreciate that if you know what I mean.

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