My interest in things has always been somewhat cyclical. I will have an idea, work on a plan, obsess for a while… maybe even get something done, but after a while I get bored…. or overwhelmed, and suddenly I’m not “into it” anymore. Usually this is because I think of a new project or goal (or two or three) and just get totally overwhelmed. I am the Queen of unfinished projects.
I’ve come to realize that one of the biggest things that brings me down is my perfectionism. “If I can’t do it ALL, and do it PERFECTLY, then why bother?” For some reason my sense of self-worth gets tangled up in my projects, and when I realize I have fallen off track, the depression sets in.
I just don’t know HOW some people do it. Especially mothers. You know, those “perfect moms” who manage to do all the great mommy stuff like; homework/studying with the kids, taking the kids to the park/library, going to school functions or meetings, AND taking their kids to cheerleading or baseball or youth group or whatever it is their kids are involved in. On top of this they also do the grocery shopping, menu planning, cooking, and cleaning, and while their houses might not be spotless, they aren’t any worse off than my house… probably much better on most days.
For me, just keeping the house “livable” and the kids fed is pretty much the extent that I can handle. I’m constantly fighting with the pile of laundry that I spitefully call “Mount Washmore”. Getting the groceries planned, bought, and put away sucks more life out of me than anyone knows. Most days, just keeping the kitchen clean enough to eat out of and the livingroom clean enough to “live” in stretches me impossibly thin. The thought of adding in homework, reading to the kids, or taking them ANYWHERE; well that’s just crazy talk. Then there’s keeping the kids clean, fed, uninjured, and occupied. I just don’t have it in me to do it all.
Not that I never do any of the other things. It’s just, I don’t feel like I do enough. I often come up with these great “plans” and schedules… for the kids, but mostly for myself. These schedules have ways in which I can fit in the housework AND the studying, AND the fun. All goes well for 1 week, maybe two. Then the schedule starts to falter; no – I start to falter. I cut something out. Then another. Either the housework gets neglected, or I don’t help the kids study or do crafts with them. Then, the whole thing is scrapped and I do nothing for a few days straight. It was just too much. Either the kids, or the house. How can I choose? Sure, the kids are more important than a clean house. But if they don’t have a clear place to study or read, and can’t find their school supplies, or can’t eat dinner until some dishes are washed, that’s not good for them either.
Today, I realize there are only 2 weeks till school starts. In the beginning of summer, I had great plans for making sure the kids studied all summer. Kenzi was going to do math every day, Alyssa was going to practice her sight words. I even had preschool activities for Xander. That lasted about three weeks into summer. After we stopped, I kept telling myself, ”We’ll start again next week.” But somehow that never happened. “All or nothing” has gotten me nowhere.
This is all part of a cyclical pattern with me. I will suddenly realize I’m slacking in one area, pick up the slack, then lose momentum and fall apart. Then I find a huge store of motivation within me, and it starts again. Right now I’m on the “falling apart” end of the spectrum, feeling mostly overwhelmed to the point where just washing the dishes seems like too much work. Next week, I’ll probably be buzzing around like Super-Mom, doing insane amounts of housework every day as well as making plans and schedules for homework after school and all the fun, wonderful, important things I want to do for and with my family.
I’ve decided on a theme song for my life;