I’ve got into a bad habit recently. Every time I get more than about two minutes when I’m at home and not doing something baby related I spring into action; check email, wash up, drag washing out of washing machine/stuff things into washing machine, move the 100 pairs of shoes back upstairs that have snuck down during the night (does this happen in your house too?), check our online banking, deal with the pile of post and so on and so on. I can’t seem to fight the compulsion to do things – now! I know why. I’m still surfing the shock waves from having a baby. In the early days it was difficult to get much done during the day; having a shower, making a sandwich and getting dressed (quite possibly in that order) was a full days worth of activity. I felt really frustrated about not being able to keep on top of things like the laundry, the shopping, cooking, filing and so on. And, yes, Husband did step up but his version of clean and tidy and mine are two different things.
However, now Baby is no longer a newbie I do get little pockets of time throughout the day while she’s busy playing or having a (sadly very short!) nap. The urge to fill these pockets of time with the constant round of nagging chores is overwhelming. It’s the sheer novelty of actually being to get them done that I think is driving me on.
I also keep mentally starting on different projects that could fill these pockets of time. In a few years time I might change careers and I keep looking at related courses I could do. I want to get new cushions and make my own covers. The urge to do some creative writing keeps getting stronger. I ought to be excercising more, particularly while I am still on maternity leave. If I could just spend a bit longer on meal planning I could eat more healthily, lose weight and still stay in budget. And what about the house? I’m not getting any of the work done that needs to happen before we can go on the market. And there is still more clutter in my house that could go and things that could be reorganised to be more efficient. I spent six years getting a degree in Literature and I might lose everything I learned if I only read drivel. There are loads of things that I’d like to do but I can’t do all of them. Actually, I can’t do many of them, not right now. I recently responded to a post over at Shopaholly by mentioning a great quote I heard (but can’t remember the source of, sorry) which goes something along the lines of ‘I could do anything, but I can’t do everything.’.
This is something that really resounded with me and I keep trying to make myself remember it. Although I think this quote is really aimed at major life decisions (what career to choose, what country to live in, what type of life to lead) I think it works well for the smaller stuff too. There will be a time for thinking more about my career (probably when Baby starts school), there will be a time when I can do some writing (maybe when my brain doesn’t feel like it is flatlining), there will be a time when we can afford to go on adventures abroad again. The world won’t come to an end if my house isn’t in show room condition. However, getting through the day will be difficult if I don’t keep on top of things like washing up and ‘stuff’ all over the floor.
The only real time I get to myself are the few hours after Baby has gone to bed and before I go up myself. I spend all day thinking ‘I’ll get that done tonight’ but by the time the evening rocks around I’m just too tired and switched off.
I’m trying to come up with a few simple strategies to get around this; things that will take in account what I actually need to get done (particularly as I’m going back to work soon) and ways to drop what I don’t. I’ll post again over the next few days and let you know if I’ve figured it out! I’ve got to stop trying to fill every second, not just with chores but with my little projects too.
Am I alone in this or does anyone else share this bad habit?!