After reading all of your responses to my balance question, I decided to try various suggestions and see what works for me.
I can tell you one thing: mornings do not work. At least not yet. My sweet little boy does not cooperate with my well intended plans. He prefers to wake up every hour or so from midnight until 7 am. Apparently he is trying to tell me that I must either a) go to bed earlier or b) sleep in later. Going to bed early is a great idea; however, dear husband does not come home until late. If I want a few moments of alone time with Ben, I must give up something else. I choose to give up and early bed time. A small sacrifice, really.
At this point in my little guy’s life, it is silly to expect so much from myself. He and I are still figuring each other out. So, I am no longer sticking to the blogging while napping thing. At least not exclusively. Let’s face it–naps are not as scheduled as they once were. Giving myself little “bloggy breaks” every now and then are okay. As many of you mentioned, it’s okay for kids to learn to entertain themselves.
As for being present? I am going to quote from an e-mail my dear friend sent me.
“Somehow, we’ve come to believe that we should enjoy every moment of parenting. A lot of parenting – even cute cuddly babies or adorable toddlers SUCKS. It’s grunt work. It’s exhausting. It’s physical. It’s unending. IT’S WORK.
It doesn’t mean you don’t love your babies with every breath in your body. It’s just that it’s difficult to DO it – especially when you don’t get a lot of relief – day in and day out.”
Like most people, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I expect to be the perfect parent, housekeeper, wife, friend, and woman. Deep down I know this is unrealistic and even maniacal, yet those desires remain. As I fail and fail pieces of my self-worth break off and shatter. It seems hopeless, because it is.
I have a husband who is in school. He is gone frequently. And, this will not change. It will most likely get harder before it gets easier. The high expectations I have set for myself are impossible.
To break free from this prison of hopeless expectations, I am learning to listen to those promptings that can help guide my actions. Naturally, this is a tough thing. It requires that I let go of my pride and humbly accept the help that is being offered from those around me. “Those” meaning my husband, my friends, the Lord, and all of you.
Today was a rough day. Little sleep, early morning appointments, and refused naps lowered my spirit. But, in between the hard parts, there were tender mercies. A random giggle from Andrew, a sweet kiss from Emily, a thoughtful call from Ben, and some appreciated e-mails added together to remind me that the tense moments are generally small and easily forgotten when I focus on how blessed I really am.