Moving From Manic Mommyhood To Managing Mommyhood

I used to be moving at manic speed.  No, really.  I was  a whirlwind.  Now, I am “recovering.”  I’ve been in a self-imposed “recovery” for about three weeks now.

Just like every other mother that I know, I have a lot going on in my life.  So many things vying for our time.  So many responsibilities. Torn between them all. Not doing one of them well.

I am here to tell you that I am not longer manic.  I am coming out from under the mania.  I am conquering it.

As I write this it is 7:30am.  My husband has left for work. My kids (miracle of all miracles) are asleep and instead of “getting a jump on the day”  and running throughout the house at top speed, I am sitting on my favorite chair with a nice cup of coffee and listening to the bird’s sing.

Do you know how long it has been since I have taken a moment like this?  I can’t even begin to contemplate that.  Sure there is laundry to fold, a bathroom to clean and oh yeah, a bedroom half-painted and client work to begin but instead, at this moment, I am blogging.  I am blogging because I love it and it makes me happy.

And when I am centered and happy I react so much better.  I prioritize so much better.  I am a better ME.  Which, of course, makes me a better wife, mother, business owner, blogger, friend and neighbor.

You might be saying to yourself, “Duh, Jen.  Every magazine in the world runs stories on this topic’s importance.  Why WOULDN’T  you take time for yourself?”

I guess I just didn’t think it applied to me.  It is the ole’ superwoman cliche.  I guess I always believed that I was above all of those pressures. Like somehow I was different.  That those rules didn’t apply to me.  Stress?  Health concerns? “Emotional breakdowns?” That was something that happened to OTHER WOMEN.

<ahem> NOTSOMUCH.

I’ve been chronically tired. I’ve gained weight. I’ve been moody and I have been disorganized.  Combine them all and you get one hot mess of a woman.

So one day last month I literally said “FORGET IT!” (Actually, it was the spicier version of that phrase, but you get my drift.) And I turned down an future family obligation. Then I passed up an unbelievable opportunity. And then I didn’t post a blog.  And then I sat down and READ A BOOK.  AND I refused to feel guilty about it. So radical, right?

I’ve kept it up.

You know what?  I am breathing again.  I am feeling healthier.  And I am managing life instead of letting life manage me.  Now, I evaluate every opportunity that comes my way.  As exciting as it may sound, I weigh it against my goals.  And if I can’t do it well or it will add too much stress, then I turn it down.

Revolutionary, I tell you!  I’m happier.  My kids are happier and my husband is much happier. And my clients get my undivided attention.

So, I ask you, are you managing or are you manic?  What steps are you taking to simplify your life and gain control of your sanity?  Is it a constant struggle between obligations and opportunities?

A resource: 72 Ideas to Simplify Your life

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13 Responses to "Moving From Manic Mommyhood To Managing Mommyhood"

  1. Queen B
    Queen B 1561 days ago .

    I totally agree! I’m still working on the “time for me” part sans the guilt and anxiety. I’m a “always thinking a head-type” person but rarely living in the moment. great post and good luck to ya on your journey!
    .-= Queen B´s last blog ..Monday Potluck =-.

  2. MusingsfromMe/Jill
    MusingsfromMe/Jill 1561 days ago .

    I find it sad that I have to schedule “reading a book” time or I choose to read a book I need to review instead of a book I love. Blogging is all-encompassing isn’t it?

    The summer officially scares me.
    .-= MusingsfromMe/Jill´s last blog ..Brrrr: Beach Time In Manchester =-.

  3. JennieG
    JennieG 1561 days ago .

    Oh girl! I totally relate! Yes. Summer is totally flipping me out as well. But today is the first day and it is 9:10 and the boys are still sleeping. What is up with that?

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jon-Mikel Bailey, MammaMania. MammaMania said: Moving From Manic Mommyhood To Managing Mommyhood http://goo.gl/fb/bAQIP [...]

  5. JennieG
    JennieG 1561 days ago .

    I think it is the guilt that gets us every time because there is always ONE MORE THING that needs to be done. Being a mom is not easy.

  6. Shannon
    Shannon 1561 days ago .

    I spent this whole weekend doing nothing really. Had no motivation to do the things I’m supposed. I haven’t even been blogging (hand slap) unless you count the many blog posts I’ve been writing in my head for the last week. When life gets too crazy, I just shut down. And that’s not good. So I agree with you: better to manage than to be maniac. Great post Jenn!
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Coffee 12 Step =-.

  7. Christine Walker
    Christine Walker 1561 days ago .

    Thanks for such a great reminder. I have been running around in reactive mode and it is taking a toll on all of my relationships. I am going to take a step back, and enjoy my little ones this week!
    Christine

  8. Stefanie
    Stefanie 1560 days ago .

    I am in the same place. While I have a lot on my plate, I am content to get to what I get to and not feel guilt or stress. I am embracing it. I find these moments come and go.
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..who would you rather? =-.

  9. marymac
    marymac 1560 days ago .

    Dude, you just need to smoke more pot.
    WHAT?!
    NO SHE DI’INT!
    Just kidding. Actually I think this is a fanflippingtastically (flipping would be another word if we ere over at my place- ha!) gorgeous post, YOU GO, JEN! Books! Birds! Maybe even WITH BEES! (wink!)
    I love ya, mama. Glad to hear you’re chillin like a villain.
    xo
    .-= marymac´s last blog ..Let’s Get Freschetta =-.

  10. cara mamma
    cara mamma 1560 days ago .

    I have been thinking alot about this lately–and the fact that I feel like I am running in circles, doing a ton of things, but none of them truly well. I am looking forward to the summer (mine does not start for another 2 weeks) to help regain perspective! Thanks for the reminder and inspiration!

  11. Sunny
    Sunny 1559 days ago .

    Oh, the working mom woes! I so need time to myself, and find that I rarely get it. I often dream about a mom-cation. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my family, but doing it all stinks! I think I will buy a lottery ticket today and hope to win enough to hire a cleaning service & to buy enough prepared Whole Foods meals for a month’s worth of dinners! Keep up the good work – we all deserve downtime.
    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..Make Meat a Condiment =-.

  12. pam-tastic
    pam-tastic 1559 days ago .

    You = my idol
    yes…I confess, I am more manic than ever lately and flit around my house like a hummingbird on crack and it has got to stop! Thanks for the great post…I’m really going to take it to heart – I’ll keep you posted :-)

  13. Vickie
    Vickie 1558 days ago .

    This post of yours couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Lately, I have felt like I am drowning in a sea of deadlines, obligations, and to-do lists. I know it’s not good for my health or relationships. But I’m a victim of that “one more thing I need to do” mentality.

    Let’s all try to take some time this week to sit still for a moment and just breathe. We mommies work our @sses off, and we deserve a break now and then.
    .-= Vickie´s last blog ..June 2010 Garden Pics =-.