Anyone Else Out There Tired?

I am tired.  Sometimes really tired.  In fact, I am the fall asleep while I put my kids down for nap and for bed tired (and yes, I do lay with my Maddie to help her fall asleep and have no shame about that).  When I really reflect on this exhaustion I know it of course has do with the pace of life that we currently live, with my dual roles of mom, wife, professor, grant writer and parent consultant and with the constant demand of two toddler/preschool age children.  But if I am honest, some of it has to do with me. . . and the way I am consumed by the big LITTLE things.

Here are the big LITTLE things that wear me down:

1.  The constant need to pick up, wash dishes, do laundry, clean up goldfish cracker crumbs, milk spills, and boogers on fingers.

2.  The nagging feeling that I should be on to the ‘next thing’ by now.

3.  My desire to accomplish more in one day than is really possible.

4.  The fear that my children aren’t as (fill in the blank) as other children their ages.

5.  Am I a bad parent or at least a worse parent than I want to be?

In all of these big LITTLE things lies one truth, spending my time lamenting, busily working, or list making doesn’t actually solve any of these problems.  Instead, including my children in the daily grind can often relieve the nagging in my mind while also providing some great learning time with my girls.

Today I awoke to the daunting task of dirty laundry to sort while all of the laundry baskets were still full of last week’s clean laundry….dread filled my soul.  Somewhere, in the not such a horrible parent, part of my mind I realized that this didn’t have to be all bad, my girls could easily join me in the sorting and storing.  And so, I invited them in…and am glad to say…It was awesome.

The girls gleefully put clothes in their very own drawers and Maddie commented on each outfit and why she did or didn’t like it.  When we moved on to Mommy and Daddy’s room the girls played on the bed and handed me hangers.  We named the colors of mommy’s shirts and underwear, talked about the difference between bras and bathing suits and played dress up in Daddy’s shoes and ties.

After an hour had gone by I realized something profound.  So much of my exhaustion with the big LITTLE things has to do with my innate need to separate out “kid” time with “task” time when, in fact, they can, and should be the same.  Inviting my children into the everyday monotony of dishes and laundry offer unique learning experiences, life skill lessons, and a sense of accomplishment and responsibility. Just because I am not an alphabet themed craft of the day type of mom it doesn’t mean I’m not doing a good job.

Being tired isn’t my problem, being tired at the exclusion or blame of my children is.

Join me on my journey…..Do at least two chores a day with your children.  As always let me know how it goes for you.

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7 Responses to Anyone Else Out There Tired?

  1. What an awesome post, Angie! This completely spoke to my heart! I separate kid time from chore time as well. And now you have inspired me to bring them back together where they belong!

  2. Ruby Bagga says:

    Great post! I am guilty of the same…although, my excuse is that my 19 month old may be too young for some of the household chores. On the other hand, never too young to start picking up your toys!

  3. Haley says:

    Isn’t it awesome when epiphanys happen and you just feel like “wow, why didn’t I realize this years ago?!” thanks for the post, made me feel better about the fact that I’m not the only one who let’s thoughts and feelings like this overwhelm me!

  4. Kathy Walston says:

    I think we love to separate the kid-time and the chore time is because we are so much more “efficient” than the children at the chores. But if anything, parenting is not about efficiency, probably just the opposite. And the earlier we remember to involve our children in our mundane everyday lives, the more we build in them a sense of belonging and accomplishment. This is what they see us doing with our lives and they long to be able to do what we do (not necessarily later on, but as little ones!!). Praising for knowing their letter, colors, etc. has its place but both of us working in the same direction creates an innate satisfaction within them that is irreplaceable.

  5. Peyton says:

    The perfectionist in me has a hard time doing chores with Olivia, but you are so right. I used to be so much more patient about this type of thing (our first “counting lessons” were with scoops of flour to go into muffins, etc.). Thanks for the encouragement to include her again, since I often feel horrible about all the things that need to get done around the house and end my day having not spent a significant amount of quality time with my daughter (the reason I chose to stay at home with her!!).

  6. Shelly McMullen says:

    I love this! I actually read it two times in a row to let it sink in. Alana (at 15 months) loves loves loves loves to help us put away the silverware from the dishwasher. It does take a lot longer but hey I get to do something with her and she I am still doing my “chores”. She is now starting to help unload groceries. We are still working on trying to get her to pick up her own toys:)

  7. Rochelle says:

    Great post, and I agree with the ‘little BIG things’ being so draining. I think kids are fans of the communication that comes with the tasks: every task has a narrative delivered by either mum or his dad. The world explained to them in minute, one household chore at a time.

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