In my previous post, Juggling: Part 1, I made a visual representation of the many tasks, demands, and responsibilities I am juggling.  This little exercise helped me realize that, yes, I am legitimately busy and it is no wonder I feel overwhelmed.  The many balls I juggle stresses me out and I feel I am constantly one step away from dropping them all.  I very, very seldom take any balls out of rotation, yet I seem to easily add more.  Seeing my chaos diagrammed out will hopefully help me prioritize and possibly eliminate some of these balls and make my juggling job as a wife and mom more manageable.

As I take a deeper look at my lists, I realize that not all of these balls in the air are exclusively mine.  Laundry, cleaning, cooking…I can get some help with this stuff!  Enter child labor!  I already have a new laundry system in mind and we have made small steps toward implementing it.  Cleaning…obviously there are many ways to break this down.  That is a whole different set of juggling balls that I don’t need to juggle alone.  Once I sit down and break it down, I can then assign different balls to the kids.  Won’t they be excited?

Multi-tasking is another way I can manage my life easier.  I already multi-task to a certain degree, but I think I need to plan it a bit better.  For example, when I go to visit my parents, I like to make some freezer meals for them to make their lives easier.  Why do I wait until I go to do that cooking?  Although I sometimes freeze food for them when I am cooking for us at home, it is usually when I find that I have made extra.  Seldom do I actually plan to make enough to take to my parents.  If I include them when I do shopping and cooking for my own family, it will make my visits with them less hectic and more enjoyable.

I also really need to push myself to finish tasks.  I do have attention issues to a certain degree, but I can’t use that as an excuse.  What does Yoda say?  “Try not.  Do, or do not.  There is no try.”  I tend to get to easily distracted by the other balls I have up in the air which draws my attention away from the tasks at hand.  For example, as I was typing this I needed to stop and get something for my sick child.  Then, she wanted lunch.  I ended up making her lunch, then lunch for the other kids, then for myself.  While I was in the kitchen I unloaded the dishwasher then loaded it and ran it again.  In the meantime, a disagreement was starting between the kids.  In order to stave it off, I took time to go and fix the TV that wasn’t working properly.  By that time, I needed a little break.  Again, the sick child needed my help, so my break was over.  While I was in the kitchen getting medicine, I realized the dishwasher had finished.  I turned my attention to unloading it once again  Oops…forgot to take the medicine to the child in need. I sat down to finish my break (playing just one more one more level of my video game).  After getting up to let the dog out, I returned to the kitchen to find the dishwasher open and partially unloaded.  Oh, yeah…forgot about that.  I finished unloading then filled it up again.  Noticing that my sink was gross, I started to clean the sink, only to get side-tracked by a few storage containers that didn’t make it into the dishwasher and needed to be washed by hand.  After that was done, I remembered I was in the middle of writing a blog and headed back to the privacy of my bedroom….followed by the Princess.  After drawing some pictures together, I am finally back at the computer to finish the task I started five hours ago.  Waiting for me in the kitchen is the partially clean sink and counter, which I didn’t have any intention of working on yet.  But my attention darted from here to there, not letting me finish what I had started.  Even though I did accomplish some stuff, I left other stuff undone.  Will I ever get back to the kitchen sink?  That wasn’t even on my to-do list for today.  None of this was!

I always knew I was busy, but it is therapeutic to see what I am busy doing.  Writing down my tasks, obligations, and duties was very helpful.  Now that I can see on paper (most of) what I have been juggling, I can take steps to smooth things out.  No, some of these balls will never disappear, nor do I want them to.  But hopefully, identifying the balls in the air can help me manage the juggling and ask for help when and where I need it.


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Posted in: Family, Home.
Last Modified: January 3, 2015

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