It is the end of the school year AND I am struggling, just like the rest of my parent friends. I literally think about throwing chips, soy sauce packets and left over sweet tea from McDonald’s into my son’s lunch kit. The uniform situation is killing me! The long pants have holes but still fit and we only have two pair of shorts. Each day I am hoping and praying he has not been playing in dirt, wiped his hands on his pants or spilled something on them so I can reuse the next day. Two days last week he went to school with a damp uniform because I did not realize he had played in the dirt. Baseball is winding down but this team mom is ready to check out! The heat, the patience, driving to and from games, the snack schedule, the die-hard but loveable coaches, the long practices, games and weekends that fly by with NO time off are gonna stroke me OUT! 5th grade graduation is this weekend and so is the last game. We made it through the sports banquet but got rained on. I am working on coaches gifts, making sure I turn in money for teachers gifts, appetizer trays, studying for the last few tests, working out camp schedules for the summer and THEN, THEN……..one of my dearest sweetest friends just had a beautiful baby boy and I want so much to be there for her. Right now, I am just grateful there is NOT a coffee or sweet tea shortage. Thankfully school will be over on Friday which means…..NO more sports until the fall, those damn uniforms can sit in the dirty clothes hamper till next August and I can escape packing a lunch for a bit. In the mean time how do I do it all? Check out what this single mom does to make it work…..
- I pray A LOT! I pray with Mitchell, alone, in my car, throughout the day, with friends on the phone and via email and text. There is not much of my time spend where I am not praying for my own sanity, for my son to do well on a test, for my mother to be in good health, for me not to kill anyone and for Houston traffic to give me a break. YES, prayer is my best friend and I have a direct line to Jesus. (so glad He does not have caller ID or He would have blocked me long ago).
- I know my limits! I am 47, yeah I SAID IT! I am 47 and I know and understand that I do not have the energy I had at 25 or even 35. But I am so much smarter. I have learned to pace myself and when I have physically or emotionally had enough, guess what? I check out! Yup, I check the hell out! No more sucking it up because I have to or I should. If you are not paying me, paying my bills or my son’s tuition I am outta here. See ya, good-bye, call me tomorrow I AM GONE!
- I cheat. It is seems to be the worst word in the English language and yet I do it. I cook as much as I can on the weekends. I buy large fruit and cut it up when I have the energy, which means I may cut up two watermelons, a cantaloupe and a pineapple all at once, but at least its cut. I buy prepared meats and fix sides at home, I send more than I should to the dry cleaners, I do leg lifts, squats and walk stairs all day to get my muscles moving, when I do cook for others I make the exact meal for my family, I pack my kiddos lunch at night and throw a fresh sandwich in it in the morning, I set up coffee at night, bleach in the toilet right before I go to bed, phone calls while I am sitting in traffic, I dictate notes to myself all day and I write two to three blogs at a time. So yes, I do cheat a little but it saves my life…you should try it.
- Outsource. This is the best piece of advice I have EVER gotten. If you are burnt out or unable to do something…pay someone else to do it! I outsource editing and graphics, I do not mow the lawn, I love mobile mechanics, I have a friend with many pets and they have found themselves a mobile pet cleaning service, my son washes the car, I buy from Amazon because I love packages on my front step instead of standing in line at a store and I am investing in a self-cleaning fish tank next week. My ultimate outsourcing goal in two years is a full-time housekeeper that irons. I think I can get the washing done, but she may be gracious and take that off my hands as well. Letting go is my theme this year! Try it and see how your life changes.
- Work in chunks of time. As a high school and college student I used to spend hours trying to cram information into my brain for tests. Many times this approach worked. However as I have aged, become a mother and business owner and grown wiser, I realize that my best work is done in short chunks of time. I give myself a time limit and a task. Lets take writing this blog. I gave myself two thirty minute windows to write it and one more to edit. So at the end of the day it took me 1 1/2 hours to write instead of sitting for hours with nothing and scrapping every idea, not to mention the wasted time. Same principle applies to cleaning and cooking for me. I LOVE IT!
Look! We are all busy, whether you parent five kiddos or you are holding a newborn reading this blog. We all have stuff that HAS to be done and then there is everything else. How busy will you allow yourself to be? How much energy will you devote to tasks you can outsource? I personally did not want to miss my son’s young life because I was too busy cooking, cleaning and working. Let me know what you decide to give up.