Tuesday, September 06, 2005

In which I moan and groan

Three day weekend! Woohoo! Except that I was sick with a terrible head cold all three days!

I was looking forward to getting my house back in order after a long summer of three kids at home all day every day. I made a few dents, but it seemed that with every area I cleaned, everything else just looked worse and worse. I feel a little better today, but at bedtime last night I was feeling pretty much like the Failure of the Century. I love order and my house is the epitome of chaos. I have read and tried every organizational plan there is and still I live in an incredible mess. I know that the answer is daily maintenance combined with well-trained "troops", but that's like saying that the way to lose weight is to exercise more and eat less.

I feel completely overwhelmed.

We want to sell the house and buy a condominium in a beautiful area just down the street from us. Now that Earl is working full-time and going to school at night, the yard work and maintenance is really overwhelming to him. But part of me is saying, "Well, great for Earl. That solves his crunch, but what about mine?" The condos are gorgeous, but they are actually larger inside than our house! So now I can have more messy square footage.

And another thing, (and this is a big one) what in the heck am I doing making dolls and crafts? Where do I get off throwing so much time into this other "stuff" when I can't even keep my house in order? I get so involved in my sewing projects that I resent every other demand until I lift my eyes from my current project and see that I am sewing under layers of cobwebs. And sitting in drifts of used drawing paper, discarded dishes, dirty socks and popsicle wrappers. And then I dig myself out only to start all over again.

Sigh. Sorry to be so gloomy here. If there's a way to combine a full-time job, parenting three children, keeping a house AND having any kind of creative life, I'd like to know what it is. Something has got to give. Since the job, the kids, and the dwelling place are all mandatory, I guess that means that the creative stuff is what has to go. Even then I don't know if I'll have any success managing the remaining responsibilities.

I just realized my list of responsibilities is completely lacking any mention of community giving. I haven't done a Memory Box in months. I don't volunteer my time anywhere and I would love to do so.

Oh man. I don't know. I feel like Eeyore right now. Sorry. I think I'm going to finish up my swaps and go into "crafting hibernation". For a while anyway.

4 friends said....:

  1. Bettsi, You sound overworked! If the condos have dishwashers and more storage space, that might help. A lot of messes happen if there is no proper place to put something. You're juggling a lot. I hope life settles into an easier routine (for you and me both and I only have one kid!). You deserve time to feed your creative soul! Josephine

  2. Hi Bettsi! I don't have any magic recipe for juggling everything, as you would immediately notice if you entered my house! What I try to do is balance. Some doing whatever Max wants to do, some cleaning, some crafting. Not the same amount of time every week, but things average out over a month or two. I'm sure you do this too, so perhaps you just need a cleaning-centered week to get to where you feel even again.

    For me, crafting is such a recuperative thing that even if I don't do it, I just mope around and don't get any of the cleaning done that I'm forsaking crafting for. And cleaning is such an all-consuming thing, it will expand to fill all available time so you have to give it limits! (Of course, I suppose that crafting fits that description too, but that's different!)

    BTW, tell your daughter that I love the button she made for you!

  3. Josephine and Amanda, Thank you so much for the encouragement. Yes, it is all about balance. I think I really need to learn how to get it balanced without feeling like I'm neglecting something or someone. Including myself!

  4. As a fellow mother of three children, I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR.
    Tidy houses can wait until the kids have grown up. My little girl tells people she meets, 'My mummy doesn't like housework, she likes art', which makes me sound very bohemian and gives me a great excuse not to do it.
    Hang on in there, sister.


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