Thursday, 10 August 2017

a day in my life - some thoughts

The weather has been a bit of a mixed bag here

I think you enjoyed reading my last 'a day in my life' post, which you can find here. Thanks for all your comments. I thought a little reflective follow-up post would be good.

It was a full day, I knew it was going to be and I did mention this at the beginning of my post. It was however not a complete outlier. Some of you have wondered how I do it all. This precipitated a small existential crisis with the main question being is my life too busy? I can't remember a time when life was different. Surely everybody's life is full? Is it time to reset the business meter? To be honest, I don't normally think much about the business of my life, I just put my head down and run. It is a tactic that works well for me. I don't have superpowers, there is much that is left undone at the end of the day, sometimes for weeks at the time, particularly now that the kids are milling about the house.

(Digression alert) The endless summer holidays are torture if you are whether you are a working parent or a stay at home parent, or something in between. Things are bound to be hectic when holiday childcare is added to the mix. I don't have the luxury of going with the flow, as much as I would love to sometimes. I have a contract and I have a product to deliver. I am not complaining, I choose to go to work and I enjoy going to work. The income is useful, too. I have been criticised for my decision to work on more than one occasion and not always very subtly. Edit: never on this blog! I have on occasion felt guilt and regret but on the whole, work is good for me. Everyone must make their own choices. What works for me may not work for you. The few critical voices have always raised concerns about the wellbeing of our children. Well, on the grand scheme of things, our children are doing just fine. They are turning into perfectly acceptable young people. They are confident, independent and caring individuals, mostly (end of digression).

Over the years, I have developed strategies to cope with a busy life. At the off chance you are even mildly interested, I thought I'd share the strategies that have served me best.

:: I am disciplined (maybe obsessively so) during my working week. When I get up in the morning, I have a mental time table in my head, to which I stick if I can. This is particularly important for days working at home.

:: I believe a lot can be done in a very short period of time. There is an amazing amount of usefully available time hidden wherever you look for it. Waiting for the porridge to cook? Two minutes at least.

:: I am house proud but I understand that even an approximation of what I think my home should look like is unachievable at this stage of my life. If you drop-in unannounced, you won't find my sofa cushions straightened up and you might well find a pair of abandoned socks in a corner.

:: Smart phones and social media? The sirens of modern times if you ask me. People get run over because they cross the road checking their Facebook status. My main social media outlet is this blog. I am signed up to other social media but I restrict time spent there to certain times of the day, for example when I have a cup of coffee and nobody to talk to. It isn't hard and it means that I usually don't fritter way time on Instagram or Facebook. I am probably missing out, particularly with Instagram since so many of you have made the transition away from blogs (wipes away a secret tear). My phone only notifies me of calls and texts, both of which are easy to ignore.

:: I am totally low maintenance when it comes to personal appearance. Don't get me wrong, I do care but I don't obsess. My hair dries naturally. Applying make-up so artfully than nobody notices is not my thing (but I do like a bit of mascara). I dress casually unless a formal function requires otherwise.

:: We have a free-range approach to raising our children. This particularly applies to the younger ones now, the older ones don't need so much input (but plenty of listening time). I don't worry about the kids getting bored, in fact I believe boredom it is stimulating their own imagination. We also let them take risks, for example they are allowed outside to play on their own (having demonstrated that they can look out for common dangers). I don't obsess about screen time but keep an eye on it. We do play together, read books and muck about of course. But I am also happy to just let them be and get on with other things.

:: I am a strong believer in sharing chores. Everyone has to contribute to maintaining the facade of a well functioning household.

:: I make time for things I enjoy. This keeps me sane.

Of course it helps that I have tons of energy, even though you might hear me wishing that I had as much energy as a puppy. I do get overwhelmed and tired - more often than you might think. Just like everybody else, I have days when all I want to do is hide in the understairs cupboard and weep (once it is cleared of all the clutter that is flung in and forgotten about).

So here you go, Christina's guide to doing it all. The secret is that I don't. I don't garden (not counting the one week in spring when I do), I rarely meet friends for coffee, I don't to the grocery shopping, I definitely don't shop for fun, I don't iron bedlinen and tea towels, I don't tidy the children's bedrooms, I don't participate in club activities, I don't do any DIY, I don't go to the cinema (just a few of the things I don't do).

With this off my chest, I shall now indulge in a few minutes of sewing. Thanks for stopping by and saying hello! 

14 comments:

  1. You are amazingly organized, not even when I was working and had a child at home was I very organized. Now being retired I'm even less so. My husband is the organizer, thank God. I was an overprotective parent, product of her being an only child and having a bad health scare when young, so she was a big part of anything I did manage to organize.
    I don't use much social media except to stay in touch with far-flung family. Most of it is so inane. I have a smart phone, but it's only turned on when we're out and about and I remember to turn it on.
    I so enjoy reading your blog, home you never stop!

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  2. I'm sad to hear that you were criticized for working. I hope it wasn't here on your blog. I think you seem very together and organized. I haven't worked since I had children, but that's the choice I've made. I wasn't very happy in my work, and we're very fortunate (and grateful) not to need a second income, so I'm focusing on home and family instead. I have no idea if I'll ever work again, or what I would even do, but I'm happy enough doing this. But I've had criticism too, so I understand how you feel. I think we all need to leave each other alone about our choices and trust that each woman knows best. For what it's worth, I have a fairly free-range approach to parenting too, and I'm glad. I don't care for social media either; I have a Facebook account that I haven't logged into since 2013, and I deactivated my Instagram last winter. I feel healthier and happier without the connections. I didn't even realize how stressed it all made me. Now it's just my blog and very sporadic participation on Ravelry, and I like that. I think you're doing a great job, Christina.

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  3. It sounds to me like you've crafted your life very well for yourself and your family. We all have to create what works for us. How many kids do you have? I had three. My mom was one of 12 kids, can you imagine? I was one of 4. Enjoy your sewing! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  4. I so agree with your top tips. We are very similar in a lot of ways. Housework to me is only worth doing if you can see substantial dust or the home is becoming a health hazard . I agree about social media too, so easy to get sucked in if you're not careful. Judging by your blog you juggle and spin your plates well making time for the most important things in life :). B x

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  5. You sound amazing and like you're managing just fine. When my boys were under 5 I stayed home but it was a strain financially as my husband was setting up a new buisness at the same. Now I do some cleaning for friends and occasionally long for the non-working days but know I'd be bored at home alone. As a Mum of teens, though they don't need me as such, they like to know I'm there and yes, sometimes to listen to them.
    According to my youngest son (14) he said I'm a recovering facebook addict. I've taken facebook off my phone and tablet. It is on the laptop and main pc and I don't really think I've missed it. It was just taking up so much of my time, my fault I know, but I was almost constantly checking it. Crazy. All the best Christina, love your blog. Cathy x

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  6. Yay! to a woman who does pretty much the same as me. People often ask how I do it all but I always try my best for everyone and that includes myself so if I want to sew for an hour, I can, because I have probably done 4 hours of things for other people. I am not a slave. I like work. Sometimes there are pyjamas in the kitchen - that is the way it is. Great post Christina. Keep it real! Jo x

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  7. Ps New blog photos. Nice.

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  8. Thanks for your honesty Christine and the glimpse into your world. My eyes popped out on stalks at one point though - I did actually sit in the cupboard under the stairs and weep yesterday! A late spring clean... Beat throwing a tantrum like a two year old in full view of the family ;0). Might have been a one off but was very cathartic!

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  9. A brilliant post Christina and pretty much what I would have written myself. I'm always getting people say I must have more hours in the day than them or marvelling at how busy I am but mostly it is about using the time we have wisely, not spending hours on personal appearance... I'm very low maintainence... and ignoring the dust until I can't stand it any longer. And social media is for when I'm sitting down with breakfast. Speaking of which, I've just finished mine so time to get on! Have a lovely weekend xx

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  10. You're a star Christina, you have it all very well sorted I think. I'm glad that you find a little time for yourself amongst it all, it is very well deserved. CJ xx

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  11. Wonderful post, and nobody can do it all so you have the right attitude. I think some people just try to and get themselves stressed. The whole ironing of tea towels and undies I have never been able to understand, my mum does that! Keep on living your life your way. There is too much hot housing of children these days, they need to feel what space feels like so they can learn to fill it for themselves. x

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  12. Life's a balancing act, isn't it, but it sounds like you've determined what works best for your circumstances. Good to hear there's some 'you' time amongst it all, we all deserve a bit of that. Have a good weekend.

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  13. Great post, Christina. Your attitude to parenting is spot on. I also really enjoyed the list of things you don't do. No one should criticise you for the choices you have made. Too many women, me possibly included, spend so much time doing things they think will make other people happy and forget themselves. This isn't a good message for children.

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  14. Enjoyed this insight into your daily activities, Christina. As I am retired and when I was working was not raising children I can't comment on those aspects. However, I also do not "do" any other social media, other than blogging which is quite enough for me. It is really amazing to me how eager people are to post on FB and the like and yet not have time to simply email or call family or friends. I did dress when in the working world (many years ago) now it's casual all the time.We relocated to a city where there are multiple cinema choices, yet rarely go to see a film and also forgot TV watching.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx