Thursday, December 28, 2017

In which my life exploded and I'm having to learn how to climb out from under it.

I'm getting better at being intentional with how I use my time and resources.  I'm a goal-setting fool and I keep track of my progress tightly, but I still struggle to come up with two minutes to rub together in a row.

Life with six kids is essentially kicking my butt. (And yes, Bunny cut her own bangs a while back and no, I did not handle it well.  Also, yes, meet baby#6 who is also boy#5).

I have learned really thoroughly to not expect relief from pregnancy until after the 4th trimester, because life immediately postpartum is always relentlessly intense.  Newborns, at least my newborns, do not tolerate mama trying to use both of her hands.  Nope, baby must be able to sense mom's heartbeat in order to refrain from that certain newborn wail that makes every iota of a mama's body and brain freeze up and her milk let down.  So, there are a very few things that I can manage to do while baby wearing - some food prep and laundry folding, but all the jobs that involve bending over and getting up and down from the floor, or being near heat or chemicals?  Nope  Not happening.

And this dysfunction is piling up on top of nearly 9 months of pregnancy neglect of my house and family management.  We'll call it discouraging, and leave it at that. No need to burden you with all the thought processes behind my daily pity parties.

But I'm trying to catch occasional footholds and allow myself the grace to start small, and start over small, and do what I can do and let it be enough, for now.

I organized the medicine cabinet the morning after Christmas when I wasn't the only adult in the house.  I purged one of the kids' bedrooms while Mr Renn took all the non-infant kids to see Luminaria.

I'm discovering that one of the keys to being an organized person is having enough garbage receptacles in all the right spots in your house.  (Because I don't have one in my bedroom, which also functions as my office, and trash seems to accumulate in here like breeding rabbits or field mice)

Also, I think I'm going to start scheduling regular purging sessions for once this baby more predictably allows me hands-free time.  On the calendar - the kids go somewhere else and I purge and organize for an evening an area where they would normally impede my progress.   Isn't that what most moms mean when they pine for a break?  Just a chance to speed through the tasks that weigh heavy on their minds without a litany of interruptions?  An opportunity to try out that productivity  phenomenon called deep work?  (Seriously though, I listened to that audio book and thought over and over again, "but what about small children and their constant, constant barrage of interrupting?"  The authors plainly showed their male privilege by being oblivious to this as a source of interruption and failing to address it.)

But I'm settling into the idea: this is my "one thing" for the year.  Possibly my "one thing" for a season of my life here.  I need to get my home and family life in order.  I need to do all kinds of damage control, we've jumped from one state of survival mode to another since moving to this house, and I've never gotten good systems in place and it's making life hard for everybody.  So, just as soon as the newborn survival mode begins to let up, I plan to use whatever time or energy I gain to purge and simplify and organize and plan.  And while I know time is set and finite, if my energy doesn't improve then I'll shift my resources to addressing that problem first.  The status quo is not sustainable.

Yet my outlook is actually much more buoyant than that probably makes me sound.  I am so relieved at the prospect of spending a year not being pregnant, and at the idea of managing to prioritize things that matter to me, and at the idea of being able to muster emotional energy to care about things that matter to me.... it's all very encouraging.  So, even if I can't tackle much of it right.this.very.minute, I know that things are looking up.

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