Welcome to the quarterly Babwise-Friendly Blog Network Week! The schedule for this week is as follows:
We as moms often feel in high demand. We feel needed all around…sometimes too much. We feel needed by our spouses, needed by our children, needed by our occupations, needed by our friends, our homes, and at the end of the day we often feel like we have nothing left to give. Moms that work outside of the home often feel like they have two (or three) jobs. Moms that primarily stay home with children often feel “touched out” and overloaded by the end of the day as well. We give a little to everything or everyone and feel like we can’t give our all to anything at times. If we focus on our children, our house suffers. If we focus on our house and children, our spouse suffers. It ends up becoming a vacuum and a vicious cycle.
So how do we lower the demands? AND how can Babywise help?
One of the first lessons I had to learn as wife and mother is that I had to figure out what my own expectations were. Do I expect a perfectly clean house and well-planned healthy meals and clean laundry at all times? If so I was going to be sorely disappointed. I do have to pick and choose. Do I expect my husband to read my mind and know what I “think” he should be doing to help out? Again…disappointment and unfair expectations. If I wanted the small load of laundry in the basket done before it became a big load, I needed to do it…not get upset that my husband wasn’t help staying on top of things. Basically, if I have high expectations, I need to make sure that they are fair and able to be met. If not, I need to either change my expectations or at least meet my own expectations. If I need the floors to be swept before they become icky, nasty…then I should do it…with a happy heart and not internalize the wishful thinking that my husband should have known that would help me out. You do not necessarily have to lower your demands but they might need to be modified.
Second, Babywise-type principles can help with organization and time management. I love organization but often I need someone to get the ball rolling…to show me what it can look like and how to get started. I have finished 7 years of college education and 2 years of post-doctural education. The lessons I learned regarding time management truly mesh with the Babywise principles. After all of those years of education and training I think the most valuable thing that I learned is how to balance my time and as a working mom leave work at work. I very rarely ever bring work home and I make it a priority at the beginning of the day to leave work on time at the end of the day for the most part. How does this fit with Babywise? Well one of the biggest tenents of Babywise is to prioritize your marriage and bring baby into the family…not center the family all the time around the new baby. Babywise has helped me bring priorities into focus when I feel like I am giving a little bit of attention to every single, little details. What is most important when I feel stretched? Who needs my focus first? Is our schedule helping or hurting?
I also think that it is okay for “demands” and priorities to change. Think about sleep training. Sometimes my focus was on teaching my little girl to sleep even if it kept us all awake in the middle of the night. Sometimes my focus was on spending one on one time with my son and so she had to fuss until I was done meeting his needs. My days often look very different day to day. We still have the same basic structure but I don’t hesitate to change some of the activities if needed. On days where I am feeling needed all around, I build in some time to sit down and reflect. I realize how difficult that can seem, but creating time to consider your expectations and re-prioritize or re-organize will most likely give you a whole new perspective. It will also help you decide what is really important and where to start.