Lowered Standards & Diminished Expectations
I have had a rough few weeks. My tough times as a stay at home mother to two small children pale in comparison to my challenging pre-motherhood periods. I remind myself of that fact often but it doesn't mean that I have to pretend that life is always perfect. In fact I refuse to do so. Often I find myself prefacing any less than rosy observations with "I know I am very blessed but...". I am not doing it this time. The kids have been off their schedule since we left Vermont in May. We have endured three long months of skipped naps, outlandishly late bedtimes, and freakishly early wake ups. There has been a lot of fun mixed in. The kids loved having their Daddy home for the summer. We took advantage of the gorgeous weather and took the kids for bike rides, visits to the museum, and more. It was a good time but we paid the price.
I am exhausted and find myself frustrated on occasion with my inability to devote time to anything besides taking care of everyone else. Motherhood is not the issue. I love being a stay at home mother. The issue is that I feel overwhelmingly constricted when I accomplish nothing. My husband tells me that the well-being of the children and the domestic duties I perform are my accomplishment. I completely agree but no one told me that there would be nothing else. I guess I need to adjust to the fact that there are no longer any tangible goals, performance reviews, or coworkers to compete with.
My decision to become a stay at home mother would not have been different had I known about the difficulty of the transition but the anticipation of one hundred percent devotion to everyone but myself might have made the transition smoother. My husband told me that I should lower my standards and reminded me that I did not have to have a sparkling clean house and three home cooked meals on the table everyday. He told me I should slack off a little so I could have some free time to myself.
Would lowered standards and diminished expectations lead the way to a happier Veronica? Nope. I tried that. It did not work. The semi unpacked mess stressed me out and there was unsurprisingly no additional time freed up.
I refuse to lower my standards or have diminished expectations. I continue to try and accomplish as much as I can. My husband has finally begun attending classes and the kids are slowly returning to normal schedules. The routine has afforded me a few hours of alone time the past few evenings and I feel so much better.
I have not written a novel or renovated a vintage rocking chair but my house is clean, my children are happy, I showered, took some pictures of my babies, and baked Snickerdoodles. That is enough for me. For now.
Do you ever get into a mothering funk? What do you do to regain your sanity when alone time is sparse?