Monday, February 28, 2011

Priorities: Easier Set than Lived

Without Hubby here, I'm alone with my thoughts at the end of the day. Sometimes it's a happy place to be - other times not so much. A little analysis (overthink much?) has revealed that the nights I'm not so pleased with my day and my self are those fraught with parenting angst: lack of peace and connection with my kids. (Interestingly, I am NOT tormented by dirty floors and piles of laundry when I've had a good day playing and learning with the children.)

Conclusion: Being a great mom is really the thing that matters most to me.
Question: Why do I still struggle with putting that role first?

Yesterday, I had to juggle nursing sick kids with preparing for two couples to visit for dinner and a reunion from their childbirth class - introducing each other and me to their new little tykes. I had a babysitter coming to help out with the kids while I cleaned and cooked. After dinner, the couples and I were heading out to the local chiropractor's office to my Sunday night class and I needed to prep that class, too.

I challenged myself to spend only 2 hours on the cleaning, class prep and dinner prep for the evening, which was to begin at 4:30 pm. (In the past, I have given myself all day to get ready for these things.) That meant I couldn't start working on related tasks until 1 pm (finishing @ 3 pm, then picking up my sitter, and coming home for the event).

I remember my boss, the then-President of New England Conservatory of Music, telling me that, although he had intended to spend a certain amount of time on his inauguration speech, he had fallen quite short of that goal. He said, however, that "I spend whatever time I have, really, to get the same result." Sometimes we just need to do what we can do in the time we actually have. More time spent does not always equal better result.

So, yesterday morning, I ate french toast with my children, played a game, danced with them, finally found a "secret hiding place" for Simone to call her own, prepped this week's home school lessons, did some laundry and made a choice to let the childbirthing reunion/class extravaganza take place with only two hours of prep with the idea that it would be "just fine". Guess what? It was.

And, better than that:  I'm not exhausted today and can continue to connect with my kids. Which is my priority. Amen.

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