Monday, January 16, 2012

Dealing when you're off-kilter

Whew.  I believe I have lost track of how many evenings I have sat down to blog, maybe tapped out a few lines, stared blankly for a while, and then called it quits.  My mind just felt like mush, every time.

Not sure of all the factors, here.  Probably in large part it's the teething baby, who has been doing better the last couple of days, but before that was keeping me hopping almost 24/7.  (Ok, I exaggerate.  A little.)  I had a slight cold, which added to being overtired.  Then there is vacation recovery, which always takes longer than it ought to.  I just keep having those "brain sludge" kind of days, when the schedule doesn't feel right, the littles are being crazy (probably because I'm distracted), and no matter how much I do, nothing seems to get done. The to-do list seems to grow exponentially.

Anyone else have that?  Even when you're not pregnant? ;-) (Clarification - no, I am not pregnant. :-D)

I am betting you do.  How do you deal with it?  I'll tell you how I do.

Pray.  Those off-kilter seasons leave us feeling inadequate.  That's fine; we are inadequate.  Homekeeping, mothering, wife-ing - they are big jobs.  Feeling overwhelmed is a good time to remember that we are utterly inadequate on our own to fulfill our calling.  Pray!

Do something.  As goes the famous quote, "Do the next thing."  If I have five hundred important items on my to do list and five minutes in which to do them - I can be frozen by panic, indecision, or hopelessness, and do nothing.  Or I can just pick something, and do it. "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

Prioritize.  Some things don't wait till you can think straight again.  Most power companies, for example, don't really care if you are off schedule.  Bellies get hungry if you are ready for them are not.  Prioritize your day to cover the necessities first.  Also - everyone has tasks that, when done, make you happy.  (Flylady shines her sink.  I like the floor swept.)  Take a minute for that, too!

Step back.  If the craziness won't let up on its own, it might be time for a ketchup day.  I wish I could remember where I got that idea; it wasn't mine, I read it somewhere.  Call off school and catch up on whatever needs done!  Serve something easy (involving ketchup, of course) for dinner, and just take the day to get yourself back in order.

Make changes.  If catching up doesn't fix things - look at your schedule.  Is there a problem that can be fixed?  Would getting up earlier make things run more smoothly?  Do you need to plan better for school, meals, or errands?  Maybe your children have moved to a new stage and need some schedule tweaking to cope with it.  Are there discipline issues not being addressed?  Sometimes small changes in the routine can have BIG payoff - as we have experienced recently.  (More on that soon!)  One of my favorite resources for this sort of thing is Large Family Logistics.

Relax!  Really.  I know I say this all the time, but that's because I think it's so important.  ENJOY your family.  You are BLESSED to have them, to be home with them, to homeschool them.  You won't do it perfectly.  You are still the best person for the job!

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