On Friday night, I found myself sitting in the dark filled with melancholy, which has been fueled by my exhaustion. I started my new job this week working “normal” hours (9-5:30) for the first time in my career as a nurse. I am eager to establish a new routine and a new normal for the boys and I, but I was just so very tired. I have been waking every morning before dawn to workout, walk the dogs, and have a short quiet time before waking Bolt for his summer school classes. By the time Bolt hops on the bus, I have approximately 30 minutes to shower and get ready before hopping in the car for my 40-minute commute. This week work has been brutal as I have been staring at a computer screen doing corporate training for five straight days. I often find that with any major transition, such as a move or new job, it zaps my energy and drains my battery like a phone on data roaming. By the time I get home from work it is nearly 6:30 and this week I have been blessed with a sitter who had the boys fed and off to their evening activities by the time I got home (with the help of Blue Apron).
As I sit here, I worry about the coming months, once soccer kicks into full gear, and school resumes for the boys and for myself. I worry about how I will learn to juggle kids, pets, exercise, cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, school work, laundry, as well as fitting in some fun and laughter. I am a worrier by nature and these are the things that will wake me from dead sleep, even when exhausted. I am trying to learn to let go of certain things and embrace others.
Things to Let Go
- Elaborate, home cooked vegetarian meals every night
- Clean house with all the boys’ clothes and dog toys picked up before bed
- Dinner at the same time every night with the same food for everyone
- Staying up until midnight trying to get ready for the next day
- Keeping too tightly to a schedule
- Making sure everything is “done” before allowing myself some time for fun or doing something fun with the boys
Things to Embrace
- Simpler, home cooked meals (some with meat for the boys, if I have vegetarian leftovers for myself) with meal prepping on Sundays
- Clean kitchen at night (if the kitchen is clean, my whole house feels cleaner)
- Planning our evenings ahead so that I know when we can try to eat together, even if it is at 8 pm.
- Giving myself a bedtime (a tired mom does not make for a nice mom or good employee)
- Continuing to get up early for exercise, dog walking, and quiet time for my mental and spiritual health
- Looking ahead at the week on Sunday so that things don’t catch me by surprise, but also allow for deviations in schedule
- Spontaneous and planned fun activities
At the end of the day, my sons may not remember the beautiful meal I made with all the food groups, but they will remember the 15-minute spontaneous pillow fight (thus the reason I have a stash of old pillows under my bed) or roasting s’mores in the back yard. In the meantime, I seriously need to find a few single mom hacks to make life just a little bit easier. The rest I must give over to God.