My Virtual Sanity

Have you ever felt the need to share your thoughts with virtual strangers just so you can pretend that you have adult conversations during the day? Well, that's what I'm about to do. Be prepaired for my life as a stay at home, obsessive knitter, and my attempts to stay connected with the rest of the world.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Finding Balance

This has always been a struggle for me. I tend to throw all my energy into my current obsession and the other things in my life tend to slide. My Dad says that it is genetic that I am this way, but I'm not really sure that it is since this tendency has only emerged since I have had children. Pre-children I didn't have 90 million things to do each day, and didn't really care if I sat and watched TV all day. Now I do still enjoy sitting and watching a movie, or listening to talk radio or something, but it is almost like I have developed ADHD or something. I can't sit still. I feel as if I MUST be doing something in addition to relaxing and watching TV. My hands get restless and I think of all the 89 million things I haven't gotten to today. "Ooo, I can get in just a few rows on Brendan's dinosaur while I watch this!" or "Sigh, that basket of laundry hasn't folded it's self yet, I guess I'll do that while watching this" or "Well, I've got 5 minutes before dinner comes out of the oven and no one is screaming, I think I'll check my email". 20 minutes later, I am still on the computer and the house has degenerated into chaos because I wasn't paying attention.

The computer thing is really another issue. I need a 12 step program for the internet or something. I get twitchy. There's nothing in particular I want, I just want to be on. It's bad...

But back to balance. Since I feel that I must be accomplishing something, just sitting and watching the children, or being available to talk with them and be genuinely interested doesn't seem to fall high on that list of accomplishing things. It is more of a passive accomplishment and I have been so focused on active things lately. You know, the things that I can cross off on a list "Dishes done, Check!" "Orders filled, Check!" "Children bathed, Check!". I think that it is comming to the point where I need to schedule the children into my mental checklist. "Sat and played dinosaurs with Brendan, Check!" I had a moment yesterday when I sat down to lunch with Shaya and Brendan and instead of talking with them and being "present" my mind was wandering to the laptop and I had to pull myself back from bringing it to the table.

I need some boundries.

I feel like a 2 yr old or something, that I need to set rules for myself. If it works, though, that's what is important. This week I am going to impliment a schedule for myself, and rules on when I can be on the computer and when I need to be mentally present with the family.

1. Since DH is home in the mornings, I will feed the babies, then take a shower and read my scriptures (this has really helped this past week with the morning grouchiness).
2. I will not look at the computer until I have a load of laundry in the washer, and the dishwasher is unloaded.
3. I will spend no more than 1 hour on the computer checking email, renewing stitch markers, blogging, twittering, etc.
4. I will not check the computer again until the twins take their nap.
5. Between 5pm-8pm I will not get on the computer. I will not do any business stuff until the kids are in bed.
6. I will let the children help with dinner.
7. I will do the dishes directly after dinner.
8. I will fill orders and print labels after the children go to bed.
9. I will be off the computer and in bed by 10pm. No exceptions.

That sounds like a lot. Wish me luck.

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Blogger Druciana said...

I totally understand your problem. I seem to have a simular problem. I have in the not too distant past made the computer my reward for getting stuff done. I would make a list and include "reading to kids" or "playing with kids". That is what helped me. With John home lately, that hasn't worked so well. I really like your rules. Great idea!

12:12 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I just found you through the Phat Fiber blog. Your yarn, stitch markers, and row counters are lovely.
My kids are 18 and 14 now and I find myself on auto pilot sometimes because I'm thinking of the 99 other things that I need to do. It's important to listen to kids at any age but especially when they can drive. :) Throw in an elderly mother with dementia and finding balance is a tough one for me right now too.
Love the schedule you've come up with, you may need to modify it as you go and remember don't be too hard on yourself. I'm off to bookmark your blog so I can check in on you everyday.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

No!!!! I dooon't waaant toooo...

okay now that I got that out (the 2 yr old in me) I feel better. May I follow these wonderful rules with you? I have longed for the one on one fun! time with the twins that I had with my first and these rules seem just the cure, well maybe. The adult in me thinks so but I can't get the 2 yr old to stop yelling...

NO!!!!! not more to do!

I'm with you all the way hope humor helps.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Mistaken said...

Wow, I am right with you on this. I've never been good at making myself stick to my own schedule. I know there is no one to answer to except me and sometimes, 'me' doesnt' care. hehe

9:16 AM  
Blogger mistyblue said...

As your mother I would say - no it is not genetic, it is the lot of women- we see the big picture, all those mirriad things needing to be done. Also, It's just a challenge for a time pressed woman with 5 kids (3 three & under), a house, and a business to run. I like some of your goals but there are a lot of them, be reasonable with yourself & kind to yourself...

2:41 PM  

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