After four years as a single mom, I still have not realized the impossibility of also being a superhero. Instead of accepting this reality, my inner voice regularly makes declarations like this:
“One day in the future, this is all going to come together, and be easy.”
It would be better to stop telling myself these lies, and instead view life more realistically; I will continue to be behind in all areas of my life probably until Monkey leaves for college. Or retirement. Maybe then I will have the time to get my life in order.
The juggling act of a working mom was challenging, but trying to keep the balls in the air as a single, working mom seems impossible. And yet, with four years’ experience as a single mom, I still think I can be a superhero, too.
Is getting my life in order and not feeling behind a time management issue, a lack of focus, or desire? I have asked myself these questions, and continue to believe it is not. I want to be ahead on work projects, house cleaning, meal planning, and my online projects. Each time I analyze how I can make a positive change, I come back to one thing:
It gets in the way of making progress. For some reason, no matter how much caffeine I drink, I eventually need to sleep. What happened recently is a great example:
I had a difficult, intense, time-sensitive project that took almost every waking moment for a week. With the project completed Sunday night, I was happy for Monday, knowing I could take a well-deserved break. I awoke yesterday excited to clean the house, catch up on laundry, grocery shop for the week, and do a bit of yard work. I also wanted to catch up on emails, call a few friends, and read.
After a flurry of activity getting lunches packed and kids off to school, I was ready for my day to begin. But then fatigue hit. I tried to push through it yesterday morning, but could barely focus; I was tired. I gave into it, sleeping until 2 PM. I know it was necessary, but it was so upsetting to lose the day I had planned. It was my chance to try to get ahead.
What I did plan to accomplish yesterday was probably too ambitious. But even when I have a pared-down list, the results are typically the same. If I focus on work, the house becomes messier. If I take on a consulting client, I lose writing time for this blog. When it’s baseball season for my son, laundry and cooking seem to suffer the most. There’s always something impeding progress towards feeling less behind in my life.
It might be time to neatly fold my cape, storing it for a time later in life.
Right now a heroic feat is taking on the mountain of laundry to fold.
Note: Thank you to Ann Quasman for the Facebook post of this image recently. It inspired this piece today.