Thursday, August 22, 2013

Finding Balance

Over the past few weeks, I've been learning to be a stay-at-home mom.  For the most part, I love it!  However, it has been a new experience, and at times a very difficult one.  I've found that the most difficult part is not staying busy.  The most difficult part is finding the balance between caring for Kevin and getting chores done.

Some days, I'll be busy all day and I'll accomplish a ton!  I'll do the dishes, make meals, clean the whole house, organize boxes, made desert, serve others, do my scripture study, work on video editing, and feel really good about how I spent my time! However, I have a very grumpy baby because he didn't get the time and attention he needed.  He'll have spent the day crawling after me and seeking my attention, which I give him in short spurts, but evidently not sufficient.

Other days, I feel like I get nothing done.  Those days, I'll spend too long working on videos, reading, or Kevin and I will be watching Arturo Trejo on youtube together.  Those days I don't feel very good about how I spent my time, and I look at my house at the end of the day and wish I had done more around the house.

Then, other days, I'll spend nearly the entire day just spending time with Kevin.  We'll play with toys in his room, go outside and sit on the grass, and take two hour naps together.  On those days, I don't feel bad about how I spent my time, but I still look at my house and wish it was cleaner.

I am working on finding the balance between doing my stuff, doing homemaker/wife stuff, and taking care of Kevin.  After thinking about this difficulty for a while, I came to the conclusion that the most important thing that I can do with my time is to spend time with Kevin.  As he gets older, he can 'help' me with the household chores, and while he is taking naps now, I can get a lot done.  However, I only have a short amount of time to spend with Kevin before he grows up and leaves our home.  I want him to know that he is more important than anything else.

As I've been working on showing him that, I find that I still have time to get things done.  Kevin is unusual.  Most eight month baby are still learning to crawl.  I've even seen a few who are still working on rolling over.  However, Kevin is working on walking.  He'll now just stand in one place with nothing supporting him for a couple minutes or more.  He is very quick and can get into everything, but he also does quite well at entertaining himself.  When he is in his bedroom playing with toys, I can get a lot done, and when he wants me, he just comes crawling down the hall saying, "Aaa?  Aaa?"  That means he wants attention.  Then, we spend time together.

Grig right now is working at very early hours in the morning, and so I can get a lot of video editing, scripture reading, and blogging done before Kevin wakes up.  After that, our time together is precious.  I need to make the most of it and do my best to be a first class mom.


  1. It is true :)

    After I re-became a full time mom, I started with a four year old. It was hard, because she didn't have any siblings and needed stuff to do all day. I felt intensely like I was neglecting her even by taking a 2 hour nap after coming home from my night shifts (she'd be in front of the TV so I could sleep.) We did stuff like paint, learn letters, etc. But really, the natural remedy is more kids :) just what every mom wants to hear. Once you have two kids who can play together & entertain each other, they're not nearly as irritable when mom has to spend strategic chunks of time on other responsibilities.

    One of the lifesaving things for me has been those front/back carriers when I have a baby who just needs me, but I also have to get stuff done around the house. I put him in there and usually he's just content to be close. Often falls asleep.

    Having a backyard is a real boon as well. Toddlers can spend hours exploring & you can sit and edit (if you have a laptop) and still be the secure base the baby can wave at or crawl back to or come sit with for a few minutes, then venture back out to explore.

    This is the most intense time in parenting. One of the things my mother said that has saved me... at this stage of parenting, sometimes your most important job is to be a lap. I think as mothers, we can all sense when our children need us to be the lap. And in the end, a messy kitchen will get cleaned... at some point...

    1. Well, today we're going to experience the two kids thing. We're babysitting the neighbors' daughter (who Kevin loves). We'll see how it goes!

  2. A baby & a toddler might not be the best test....but it sounds like they had fun :)

    1. After she left, I thought, "Wow, it's nice just to have my son again." They had fun, but I was exhausted.