I should be folding laundry, I should be unpacking the fruit and vege delivery, I should have played cards with the kids after the mad rush of the afternoon, I should be doing some study (I really really should be doing some study) I should be cleaning up after the day, I should be finishing off the work I didn’t get a chance to do today. There are so many things that I should be doing but I really don’t have the energy. I have been working too much, training too hard, juggling the ‘single parenting again for a few busy days routine’ and not taking time out to rest.
I am starting to feel the effects of it all. I have woken every day with a sore throat and achey sinus and had a lingering dehydration headache that just won’t go away. I need to rest but I just can’t. I have given myself a few minutes to read blogs, justified by the fact that I am waiting for the kids to fall asleep and using the excuse that I can’t do any <insert random ‘must-do’ talk here> if I am going to be constantly badgered by kids who are in bed but not sleeping yet so could potentially come down stairs of want something and disrupting my attempts at productivity. That is my reasoning behind reading blogs and blogging right now, but why do I need an excuse? Why do I have to justify sitting down and enjoying something that I love?
Why is it that I need to find an excuse to take care of me? I have just been over at Sleepless Nights where Veronica was lamenting the fact that she too feels guilty having time to herself. She feels guilty being alone in the house and not Getting Stuff Done. I too feel the same guilt. I wanted to post a comment reinforcing Veronica’s need to take care of herself, to enjoy the few moments of peace and quiet that she is lucky enough to get knowing that when she is with her family again she will have more energy to enjoy them. I wanted to tell her that she deserves a break too, that she is worth it, but it was all to hypocritical. She knows that, just like I know, yet the guilt remains.
My biggest guilt is about work. I work a lot and I love what I do but it is time (and head space) consuming. Trying to juggle getting the kids to school and other activities with work, training, uni and domesticity all seems to be too much. Sure I could cut down on my working (out of the house) hours but then I wouldn’t have the time to do the job properly and that would cause more stress for me than actually working the crazy hours. I know that I am a better person when I am working and passionate about my work. I know that I don’t like the person I become when I am staying at home (sure being a hermit is great for me but not so good for the rest of the family) but why do I feel so guilty?
Back in the days before kids, life was simple. Work all week, pick up after yourself during the week and clean the house from top to bottom Saturday morning so that I could enjoy the rest of the weekend without the thoughts of ‘I should’ creeping into my head. It was easy to share the cooking and domestic roles or better still do a big shop and cook-up of a Sunday and not have to worry about cooking for most of the week ahead. It was so simple, organised and easy. Now my weekends are a juggle. If I am not working or training there are kids activities to attend as well as domestic duties that need to happen. Often the question that I ask every, not-at-work-or-training Saturday is, ‘Do I join the kids at their activities and watch them skate or stay home and attempt to be domestic, to try to get ahead? Normally the domestic option wins, only because the thought of having to get home from skating and start then is all too much.
I know that my world will go on if the house isn’t clean but I still can’t make myself relax. I have improved, I can actually go to bed of a night time knowing that there are dishes still on the sink, but probably spend more time fretting about squeezing something else into the already busy morning schedule that I sometimes wonder if it was worth it. Things can just get swept into a pile to be dealt with another time. The floors don’t have to be clean all the time, clean-ish is good enough but even finding time for -ish is challenging. I now spend my ‘me time’ walking around the river of a morning. It is the only ‘me time’ I get and really, can hardly be considered ‘me time’ if it is a part of training and I use the time to work out what needs to be done and make lists on my phone to prioritise?
Anyway, instead of pottering away here, I need to Go Do Stuff. The house is now quiet and the kids are asleep, my excuse and justification for lingering here is gone. It is time to tackle every thing that is on my list of ‘I should’ before exhaustion takes over and I fall into a heap.
Any suggestions for an excuse that I can use to convince myself to not feel guilty about the things ‘I should’ be doing?