Do you feel caught up? No?? Me neither! I don’t know if I ever feel “caught up.”
Is there such a thing??
Well, maybe. I think feeling finished, caught up, balanced is a constant challenge as there will always be something that needs to be done. It doesn’t matter if you were at home all day or working overtime. We will always have a to-do list a mile long.
So how do you feel like you have done enough? Do you lower your expectations so low that it would be impossible not to check something off your list? Do you live in constant denial that your house is messy? Do you work your tail off every minute you can to “keep up.”
I think that maybe it is a little bit of all of the above. I think it is very important to find balance in your life…to the point that you do feel like you have accomplished goals–at home and work. I think we probably struggle the most with “at home.” After all, our bosses don’t really do well with missed deadlines or “I have a lot going on” excuses. At home, I think the key is to have realistic expectations. It is not realistic for me to deep clean my house very often. Yes, you will find dog hair stuck to the base boards and very dirty grout in more places than not on my bathroom floor. It is not realistic for me to cook every meal from scratch. Wish it was. It is not! It is not realistic for me to vacuum/mop enough for my white socks to stay white on the bottom for longer than two minutes.
I have had to lower a lot of my expectations. My ideal clean house is probably not very clean to many other moms. It’s just not what I spend my extra time on. So for me, being caught up is sometimes simply having a single load of laundry done and put away before I can find enough clothes to do a second load. However, in lowering my expectations to feel caught up, I have also had to decide what is important. Is it more important for me to have clean laundry every night or to play in the backyard? Tonight I am technically caught up since I don’t use clean laundry as my measure ))
I do not believe that you have to have everything checked off your list to feel caught up!! I believe in spending extra special time with your children and setting apart time for your spouse. If that means I have visible dog hair in the corners…or in plain site…then by all means, I allow myself to feel balanced at the end of the night after spending time with my family. Yes, I still need to sweep…another day. Yes, I am caught up tonight.
It is often a challenge to figure out what to include in your list of important things to do, but one thing that I do when I start feeling unbalanced or behind is to decide just how important are those errands…does it really need to be done right now for me to feel caught up? Chances are the kids don’t HAVE to have those particular craft supplies that I am going out of my way to get. We will live if I don’t make it to the grocery store for our favorite ice cream.
Sure, there are plenty of things that need to be done…bread and milk, diapers, bank deposits, several loads of laundry, spilled cereal to pick up. There will always be MORE but you have my permission to sit down and breathe and allow yourself to be caught up today!!!