Taking a moment

This morning I was stressed! Actually that is beyond an understatement on how I was feeling...it was bad. Matt took Jack to school, so I used that time to start mapping out my week. Now I'm a to do list-maker by nature, but this week is serious business. It's more of a grid...days across the top, time of day going down...I mean there are some things that can only be done during nap or after the kids are in bed.

Anyway, I'm working on my list...EJ is in the playroom and Olivia is playing on the floor next to me and I am completely focused on my list. When all of the sudden I realize that Olivia is sitting next to me crying...what do I do? Well first I tell her to hang on, but then as her crying gets worse, I think I actually yelled at her. Yes, I yelled at a baby to stop crying! Seriously???

And it was then that I had that "seriously" moment, stopped my insanity and scooped her up into my arms. After a minute or two, I realized that she was sick (EJ and I both have semi-nasty scratchy throats right now, etc), so I gave her some Motrin & a nukie and held her until she fell asleep. It took about 30 minutes to get her to give in completely (and yes that means she was so sick that she woke up at 7:30 and was back in her crib at 9), so I was forced to "take a moment" and relax.

Sure I was one-handed emailing and twittering a bit, but I wasn't being a freak about everything that HAD to be done today. Instead I relaxed and thought about how lucky I am that my kids just have colds, how lucky I am to have these kids (and a great husband & family to), and how everything doesn't have to be perfect all the time. But mostly I thought about how in striving to make everything perfect all the time, I really just succeed in making everyone around me crazy...myself too!

My friend Leslie forwarded me this post today about escaping the trap of perfectionism and I realized how I set myself up to fail so often by wanting it all to be perfect. So I thought about my typical holiday prep...

Will it matter to guests if my bathrooms are clean? Yep
Will it matter if my baseboards are dusted? No (and if it does isn't that really their problem?)

Does it matter if we serve food? Yep
Does it matter if the food I serve is some amazing new recipe I've never tried before? Nope, in fact no one will even notice (well unless its a complete flop)

Do the kids want to spend time with us doing fun activities? Yep
Do they want to do every fun activity available until we are all completely stressed and tired? Not so much

I think you get the point and I know it sounds so totally simple (even to me), but the trouble is following through. I said in my comment on the perfectionism post that I'm a recovering perfectionist. I can't say I'm not prone to relapses like this morning, but I sure am trying my best!

And if you are stressed and need a good laugh, take a minute to read this post. A super funny story from a Dad who just wanted to take his kids to buy a Christmas present for his wife. It's a good one!

PS All those tasks on the to do list for today...completed. Stressed or relaxed, everything will still get done, so why choose the stress right?

PPS I do have to admit though...I have misplaced 3 presents. I know they are together, but I have no idea where I put them. They are all represented on the blog, do you think EJ and Olivia will accept photos of their gifts?
Leslie said...

Yay!! Our little convo changed my perspective for the day, too! Now, to see if we can keep up the Zen Calm for the next few days . . .

Keeping my fingers crossed!!

Anonymous said...

Don't think about those presents and you will suddenly find them. Ask Grandma for help. Clean you house so it looks OK and if anyone comments about the dust, hand them a dust cloth (but no one will). And new kinds of food, well, don't you kids always want the same food holiday after holiday. It's a tradition. Take deep breathes and go on. Everything WILL work out with or without a schedule. Love ya, Mom

lisa said...

the most important thing is your kids, so don't worry about the rest Heather!

you are a great mom! have a great day!

lisa said...

Aren't you excited I am leaving comments?

Katie said...

Yikes! there is so much pressure on a mom to ensure a perfect Christmas!

I know you'll rock it.

tracie @ {tsj} photography said...

hey you! isn't it funny how we have to step back every once & a while and realize what we're being told?

love you!!

heather said...

I FOUND THE PRESENTS!!! Everyone is sleeping, so I thought I'd share my dance of joy here!

why did i hide them so well in the basement when the 2 year old & baby don't really go down there and the 6 year old knows about them? not sure... :-)

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