I’m not sure how I developed these crazy high expectations of myself. For some reason, I believed when I committed to the idea of staying home full time, I would magically morph into Martha Stewart’s spiritual twin. A flick of my wrist would produce a perfectly clean and appointed home. Delicious, nutritious, and homemade meals ready on the table. Beautiful projects that are actually completed. All according to the timeline I had meticulously crafted. It will come as a shock to no one that this has not come to fruition. I still struggle to get up and get productive. I spend too much time sitting and watching TV or Facebook, or YouTube, or Twitter, or… I think you get the picture. I stay up too late listening to podcasts and talking to my paramour. I spend half the night promising that TOMORROW I will do better and be more productive, and the other half chastising myself for setting myself up to fail.
One of the hardest parts about transitioning from the working world to being a stay @ home wife has been the loss of something resembling a schedule. I am a person that THRIVES on routine, I always have been. I have been trying really hard to find a new rhythm; however, if I want it to stick it can’t be forced. It has to be organic.
I was on the verge of giving up on the idea that a routine was achievable, but I decided to look at what things were truly important in my day. I wrote them down on a sticky note. It looks like this!
I have them next to my bedroom door where I can see them before I get going for the day. I only selected the most important things, and they are mostly in the order that I do them. I know that not all these things will get done every single day, and I have to learn to let that be okay. Perfection cannot be the goal anymore or I will just continue to fail.
Another thing I decided, for the sake of my sanity, was that I would only focus on ONE portion of the day at a time. The yellow sticky notes represent my morning. I have an alarm set to get me up at 10 am, which is plenty of sleep if I don’t stay up all dang night. I am going to spend the next while focusing on this. I am not going to rush it. I am going to put the effort in to make it a legitimate routine. Then when I feel comfortable I can move along to the afternoon. It’s not magic. It’s that annoying thing our teachers used to tell us in school: practice makes perfect.
There are some people who are going to read this and be perplexed. It’s hard for them to wrap their head around how difficult it can be to get up and do something as simple as eat your breakfast and take your meds. There are loads of people, the born organizers, for whom those actions are just second nature. I truly respect those people; they have a gift, and rather than resent it, I choose to learn from them. I know at the moment my mental health is my biggest obstacle, and because the universe is a funny ol’ place, one of the best things for my mental health is a routine and schedule. I will get there. I just have to stop being so dang hard on myself.