plenty of hats, not enough heads

I think that before I became a mom, I had no idea that I would be trying to juggle so many things at one time. Having a child, especially one that is still so small and immature, is a huge time suck. I love her to pieces and I like to think I would do anything for her. Yet it is a daily challenge trying to manage her and still do other things that I would like to do (and I only have ONE kid!!).

I know that in some ways I am really blessed right now, being a stay-at-home mom, because managing our household would be much different and more difficult, were I also working a full-time job (as I will do when we return to the US). However, I am sometimes really frustrated at how little I accomplish at home, even when I try.

For instance, I have a list of chores to do every week. Every day I do just a little bit, so it’s really only about 30 minutes or less that I am doing chores (Besides the daily ones like washing dishes and keeping the house picked up). But there are some days that it takes me all morning or all afternoon to get it done, because of the demand on my time and attention by Eleanor. I’m really trying not to complain because I really do want to be there for her when she needs me, and let’s face it, I’m her only playmate at home during the day. So I stop what I’m doing sometimes so that we can read together or have a tickle fight or dance to music. So it goes. And then after a while, I try to get back to my chores.

Of course, I am not only Eleanor’s mom. I also am a teacher, and I play piano and sing for church, and I make time for exercise, and I try to do a language exchange with a friend once a week (because my Korean is shamefully bad). And I am a wife, who needs to be spending time with her husband. And I like to have some downtime where I don’t have to DO anything (which has been happening during naptime lately). Now that I’m writing this down I can see how my time is getting eaten up! It’s a challenge to keep up all the time with EVERYTHING. It sometimes feels that if I want to stay on top of one thing, something else may need to fall to the wayside and not require as much of my attention. That’s hard, really really hard. Sometimes I get angry or overwhelmed and let that take my attention away from everything else I need to be doing.

I have discovered one thing in all of this, though (which I already knew, actually): I have to learn to be less selfish. My family needs me all the time, and I need to learn to be okay with it. It’s a huge adjustment – even more than a year after having a kid I still bristle at the notion and sometimes feel that it isn’t fair. And really, it isn’t. I am in a constant battle to be humble enough to serve and love without complaint. Can someone give me a guidebook or something so that I can learn to get over myself and just do what needs done?