How can I do it all? I can’t.

Playing on the mulch pile!
I feel like there isn't enough time to do everything. And I'm right. There isn't. Before I had AJ, I prided myself on being able to get a huge amount of work done in whatever timeframe I chose. Perfect house, wonderful garden, neat office, laundry done and put away. Now, it seems that my "to do" list gets longer and longer and the house doesn't generally get as tidy as I would like. I got some great perspective this morning with a wonderful impromptu "play date" with my neighbor Kelly and her little girl.

AJ, Issac (our huge black lab) and I were out for our morning walk when we ran into Kelly and Carys. We chatted for awhile and walked for awhile and then sort of merged into a mini play date in our yard. It started with the girls getting out of their strollers to chase our cat, Missy; then morphed into a climb on the mulch pile, chasing our other cat, Simba: a tour of the garden and then some time inside playing with the drums and the dollies. I don't think Kelly or I "had the time" for this today; but it turned out to be really nice for the little girls and for us too. I know that I needed to get to the grocery store and do laundry and clean the house and a host of other things; and I know that Kelly had a long list of to dos as well. We pushed it aside and I am so glad we did.

The girls are still little and just learning to play together; but they managed to entertain each other without any type of prompting or intervention from us. In fact, most of the time we were together, they were just enjoying the yard and the cats and the fun things around them. One of the lessons I learned is that "activities" happen in the course of everyday life. I knew this already, but this morning really brought that home. I also learned that tossing the schedule and just letting things happen can result in some of the best times and the most fun for our little ones. And us.

My house wasn't in tip top shape. The breakfast dishes weren't done, beds weren't made, and there was dog fur on the floor. I got past that and apologized to Kelly. Neither she nor Carys cared about the house. What we all enjoyed was an hour or so of fun together. If I had taken the time to wash the breakfast dishes this morning, I would have missed the wonderful time we all had. If I had worried about what Kelly thought, we would have missed it too beccause I never would have invited them in for more play. Kelly made several wise comments during out time together but one that I especially loved was something to the effect of, "when we have time to keep our houses perfect, our litte ones will be grown and these times will be gone." She was so on the mark. My second big lesson was another confirmation of something I already knew: embrace the chaos - it will be gone soon enough, and so will my little baby.

Supermom doesn't exist. We all only have so much time in the day. I have learned and continue to learn that giving my baby wonderful fun (brain building) experiences early in her life is one of the most important jobs I have. I will get to the dishes and laundry when I can.

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