Mourning the Ultra-Productive Me

As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been blogging very much over the past couple weeks.  That’s because I feel like I’m drowning, almost literally, in everything that I need to do.  Much of it is computer-related and so the few minutes of time I get on the computer are consumed by those things and blogging gets pushed further and further back.  I still have plenty I want to write about but most of that writing just gets done in my head these days.  Any serious blogging (outside of quick picture posts) has been done when I’ve stayed up way too late and that’s costing me too, in terms of sleep.  Not the best decision, I know.

I’ve been really frustrated recently with how little it feels like I’m accomplishing relative to my to-do list, not knowing what to cut out, knowing that it’s all important, but having to admit that I can’t do all of it.   Today I’ve been forced to admit to myself that I’ve had WAY too high expectations about what I was going to be able to accomplish as a mom of two.  I struggle with this daily, thinking “Mark is almost 9 months old, what’s my problem? Why can’t I get more done?”  Today, I came across this article and it spoke a lot to me in terms of giving myself the permission to mourn the productive me that I was before kids and even with only one kid relative to two.  I think I need to accept that it’s OK to be sad and/or to think longingly about the person that I once was, even while realizing that I’m doing exactly what I need to be doing right now.

I just have to figure out what to give up, what to cross off the to-do list permanently, and what to keep.  I honestly don’t want to give anything up but I think I need to.

How to you decide what to say yes to and what to turn down, when they’re all good things?

(Part of this is that Mark is teething like a mad man and has me up MULTIPLE times a night, not to mention the [insert-really-bad-cuss-word-here-if-I-was-the-cussing-kind] recycling truck that came at 4:24 this morning and woke him up.  I was so mad at that I could have thrown a brick through our window at it. So I am operating on very little sleep.  This all might look a lot better next week when we’re [hopefully] sleeping better with tooth #3 safely popped through. We can just barely see it now so I’m hoping the worst of it will be over soon.)

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12 Responses to Mourning the Ultra-Productive Me

  1. Mom says:

    Great article, Laura. I can see why it was encouraging and helpful to you. Funny thing…it was helpful to me too! So often over the last three or four years I have been frustrated by the lack of time and energy I have to do the things I would love to do. Foremost, to be with my grandkids more. 🙂 I had to cut out my Parents Night Out involvement this year, as much as I loved it. So, I guess, being content with this stage of my life isn’t too much different from being content 35 years ago with that stage of my life! Love you!

    • Laura says:

      I don’t know if that is encouraging or depressing, Mom! 🙂 I know I need to learn to be content with this stage of my life and I guess that won’t change as I enter other stages! 🙂

  2. jcm says:

    Hi Laura,
    I followed the fB link to this post – I’m so glad to have re-found your blog and to hear that you are the parents of 2. And I also really appreciate the post and blog post that you linked to.
    – warmly, Joan (for the currently J4, soon to be J5 Mains)

  3. Sepideh Miller says:

    The other day, I saw that you had completed yet another sewing project, and I was sad that I had not completed any craft projects since I left Baltimore.

    This week has been completely off due to various activities related to the recent floods in Boulder.

    To compensate for the lack of two days of morning preschool, I scheduled three play dates. One of the play dates was with a child who is about 20 months old.

    I had been wondering why I am so rundown and tired all the time lately while I am accomplishing so little, and comparing a 20 month old to a 35 month old child, I realized that my son is so much more active than he was a year ago so I do not have as much down time for crafts.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Sepideh! Definitely yes, the particular child you have makes a huge difference. Both Ellie and Mark seem to be fairly content to play around me while I sew, which is how I get my sewing done. That and staying up too late, which I don’t recommend! I hope you guys are doing OK in the aftermath of the floods!

  4. Laura,

    It was good to see you today at the market. I’m really sorry Mark’s been having such a hard time with that tooth. It sounds super rough.

    I’ve been thinking of this subject a bit since it came up on the baltap list the other day. And your writing here has brought it back to my mind again.

    This has been one of my biggest struggles as a parent, especially a parent who stays at home. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have two children who require my attention and still trying to get anything else done. All I know is, I battle this with my one child. But this idea of mourning and releasing the thought of your previously productive self makes sense to me. I can’t be that same person I was, too much has changed.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Dani! It was good to see you that day too! Sorry for my delay in responding to you. In some ways, two kids is harder but in others it’s easier because they occupy each other. So I would say that I”m definitely not twice as busy with the kids – partly because they play with each other and partly because as they’ve both gotten older, things just get easier. Not if only Mark would break through that top tooth and get it over with for a little while!

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