This is something that's been rattling around in my head for a few days now. And I'm going to try to explain myself before everyone gets all cranky with me and misunderstands what I'm trying to say - because I know that I can't be the only one out there who feels like this.
It dawned on me today when I went to do a load of laundry. I walked into the cluttered disaster area of the laundry room, made my way to the washer, opened it up and grabbed a handful of wet stuff to toss into the dryer. I opened up the dryer door only to find it crammed full of dry stuff. I let loose with a too-loud expletive and went to find a basket to throw the dry stuff into so that I could get the wet stuff into the dryer so that I could wash what I actually wanted to wash.
Honestly, it was all kid clothes in the washer and dryer. And all I wanted to do was wash my stuff. Mine. My laundry, that's been piling up for days on end, because it seems like the kids' stuff always needs to be done first - either because the girls "need" something to wear (sometimes the need is legit, sometimes it's not) or one of the boys had an accident and it stinks or someone's out of underwear. Whatever the reason, the kids' stuff always gets done first.
But then again, the kid stuff always gets put first, doesn't it? Because that's what parents do.
Before I get farther into this, let me just preface all of this by saying that I love my kids. I love them with all of my heart and I wouldn't give them up for the world. Seriously. I might complain
Now sit back and relax because I'm going to
I'm a soccer mom, but without the soccer. Instead I'm a volleyball mom, a basketball mom, and a Scout mom.
I'm the grocery shopping mom.
I'm the run-it-to-school-because-it-was-forgotten-and-it's-needed mom.
I'm the mom who attends every single one of the kids' functions, big or small.
I'm the mom who mops the floor multiple times every day just to keep from sticking to it.
I'm the mom who stays up entirely too late to get things done, and then gets up entirely too early to get it all finished because there just simply aren't enough hours in the day for me to get it all done.
I'm the sicker-than-a-dog mom who still has to get out of bed and do what needs to be done around this house, whether I've had any sleep or not.
There are times when it is just completely and totally overwhelming. And there are times when I know that if I don't do something - anything - for myself, I'm going to lose it. I've been so busy being Mom that I've forgotten what it's like to be Me.
So...I've been thinking....(I know, scary thought)...
I need to start doing things for myself. No, I'm not going to blow off the stuff that needs to be done for the kids, because realistically, if I did that, who would pick up the slack? It would just create more work for me in the long run - and that's what's gotten me to this point.
I was going to come up with a bucket list, but I need to do things NOW. Not just before I die, but NOW. I got to thinking that my birthday is in a few months, so maybe I could come up with 42 things to do before I turn 42 - but as I started making the list, I honestly couldn't come up with 42 things that didn't somehow involve doing things for the kids. And I'm being selfish here - these are things that I want to do for ME. Me and me only.
And with Daniel starting school full-time in 2 weeks, I'll actually have more time to myself to do some of these things. Some are silly, some are serious, but they are all things that I want to do.
1. Run a 5K. Not walk 3/4 of it. Run it. Or at least jog it.
2. Get to the point that I can go out and at least walk 13.1 miles (a half-marathon) a couple of times a month.
3. Go on a date with The Dude. Alone. With no kids. Just me and him - out somewhere, in public, together. We don't get to do that nearly enough.
4. Get a manicure. Not a do-it-myselfer. A real one.
5. Read a book. From start to finish.
6. Cook a meal - for me. Whatever I want with no complaints from anyone else.
7. Go bowling. I haven't gone in years, and I miss it. (Maybe combine with #3?)
8. Actually finish one of the many quilts that I have started.
9. Volunteer at the homeless shelter.
10. Actually take one of the quilt designs in my head, put it on paper, and then make it. And finish it.
11. Save enough money to get a new digital camera so that I don't have to use my crappy phone for all of my pictures.
12. Lose 25 more pounds.
13. Get new sneakers. That's going to have to happen within the next couple of weeks. No choice there.
14. Make a charity quilt. That's actually started - but I need to finish it.
15. Go hang out at the coffee shop once in a while, just to get out of the house.
16. Get the bikes fixed, and go for a bike ride. That one will necessitate getting past some fear, but I want to do it.
17. Get my kitchen chairs fixed. I keep putting it off, but it needs to be done. I want it to be done.
18. Go through all of my clothes and donate what I don't wear or need.
19. Get out and walk/jog at least 3 times per week - regardless of the weather or how crappy I feel.
20. Find and try at least one new recipe every week - whether the kids like it or not.
21. Start cooking ahead and freezing meals - if for no other reason than to reduce my stress.
22. Make the apron that I've designed and redesigned in my head at least a dozen times now.
23. Actually buy, fill out, and send Christmas cards this year.
24. Use the weights and exercise CDs that I have sitting around collecting dust.
25. Learn how to knit. Or crochet. Or maybe both.
26. Start making my own laundry detergent again. I've gotten lazy.
27. Organize the garage - because it really needs to be done.
That's a good start at least. And there are 118 days until my birthday. I wonder how many of these I can get done by then.....