Sunday, November 16, 2014

Time Management

I took these pictures today. Blanche was in the bath during Rosemary's morning nap. Blanche and I had started out at the kitchen table working on addressing her thank you cards for her birthday. This mostly meant me addressing them and Blanche making "tiger stripes" up and down both arms with marker while I tried to persuade her to stop. I say persuade because I guess I "pick my battles." Actually it is just that I am tired. And then I pray a silent prayer that those markers are in fact nontoxic and then we both decided she should just take a bath.

When Blanche was taking a bath I sat down on her little wooden stool and leaned against the wall. I started reading a book while she was playing. I kept looking up to the sweetest little face in that tub. I went and grabbed my camera. Then Rosemary woke up and made her way to our bathroom. I sat there feeling happy and relaxed. Sometimes when I feel a shift in the normal chaos I stop and try to figure out if a variable has changed. Why are there many moments when I feel like I can't catch my breath and other times I feel so relaxed? There probably isn't really an answer. But I think what I am learning is that I have to let go of a lot of the things that stress me out. Babies and toddlers are going to be babies and toddlers. Which is pretty chaotic a lot of the time.

I like things to feel clean and homey. I do not like to open the shower curtain and see a ring around the tub or feel crumbs on my kitchen floor. But most of the time, there is a ring around the tub, crumbs on the kitchen floor, and several loads of laundry to either be washed or folded. It is just life. And I am learning that if I worry over these things too much, it will steal the joy from all the happiness that is around me. I love to clean and organize. I love time alone. I love time with Andrew alone. But there is only so much time in a day. And most of my hours awake are with the girls. So I guess all that I am trying to process is how to divide my time.

I told Andrew yesterday I just do not understand how people are bored. Not that I am never exhausted. Because there are plenty of nights after the girls are asleep that all I can do is make sure the kitchen is clean and then brush my teeth and crawl back into bed. But there are always two lists in my mind. A list of things that really need to be done, and a list of things that I really want to get done. Mostly cleaning and deeper cleaning is on the need to list. And then I think most of my artistic side is what makes up the other list. I want to crochet, organize and edit photos, work on Rosemary's baby book, read and write... I have written before about Andrew's and my love for hobbies. I also think it's the feeling of needing more time so I start to think of more and more that I could do with an extra hour.

But behind all those lists are two little girls who will not be that little for long. I know there will be a day when this season of raising small children is over. But I think on the other end that we are not that close to the end of having small children. So, I should learn to manage what I can and enjoy the rest. I have given up having the laundry always done or put away. I have decided that sometimes spending time alone or with Andrew is more important. I often feel like a teenager trying to play house. Trying to raise babies and keep my cool and make a house a home. I don't feel very good at it. But I know that the most important thing is to keep moving forward. And to let go of so much of the pressure I put on myself.

Today something as simple as sitting down on a small little stool and being down on the same level as my bathing toddler was what I needed. I know I need to stop and soak in life so much more of the time. I am a dreamer and there are times like today that I am lying in bed dreaming of literally living in Nantucket... but then I put my phone down and dreams aside and I see so much of my dreams are right in front of me. I had two rowdy girls not napping but giggling and rolling around in bed while the rain came down outside. I love the idea of having my camera always near and having that photographer's heart because there truly is beauty all around, waiting to be captured.

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