All work and no play...

You've heard the saying, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". Well, apparently all work and no play makes The BadAssMama a cranky bastard.

Let me explain.

More than a few of you (including my mother - hi mom!) have pointed out that my posts have been leaning toward the negative side over the past few weeks. And while I maintain that The BadAssMama Chronicles is a place to speak the truth about all facets of motherhood - the good and not-so-good - I must admit that my rose colored glasses have been shifting more toward shades of gray as of late.

So, I decided to take a step back and try to figure out why. Why was I so irritable? Why did the cute little things that my kids do every day start to get on my nerves? Why was my patience non-existant? And then it hit me - I'm working way too much. Not just at my job (we gotta pay the bills, right?), but at life in general. I found myself slipping back into the well-worn habit of viewing my life as a never-ending to do list. Rather than looking forward to the weekends as a time to reconnect with my family without the time pressure of a train schedule, all I saw was a laundry list of karate classes, gymnastics, birthday parties and play dates. Buy the groceries, wash the clothes, balance the check book. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Yes - there are a bajillion things that we as mothers have to get done on any given day (often in the hours between midnight and 3am). But when we focus on the to do rather than the actual stuff of life, we are simply existing - not living. When we look at our kids as a collection of schedules and tasks to complete, we miss the joy of their laughter, the way they can linger over a bug or trace a rain drop running down the car window in the early morning mist. While we're rushing to make the 7:32 train, our kids are growing up right in front of our eyes...and we're missing it.

So today The BadAssMama vows to bring the joy back. Like the brilliant Gretchen Rubin in her book The Happiness Project, I am commiting to find more happy in my life - one day at a time. Rather than listing out all of the things that make me happy and attempting to do them consistently (that seems like just another "to do" list to me), I'm going to commit to doing one thing a day that makes me smile.

Yesterday, I went to a yoga class straight from work (rather than running home, stuffing food down the kids' throats, screaming at them to "hurry up" through bath and speed reading a bedtime story before running out the door to make the 8pm class - only to return home exhausted to start laundry at 10pm). This morning, I left for work on a later train than usual to let my son sing me a song, and watch the kids play super heroes "just one more time" before dropping them at day care.

Work has to get done. Bills paid. Laundry folded. But that doesn't mean we have to miss all the magical moments in between the work of our lives...
Jess said...

I could have written this. I, too, will focus on the living. Hang in there Mama!

Rose said...

That is such a wonderful way to put it. I love to listen to my princess sing. I'm sitting with her watching Abby's flying fairy school. Then, in an hour off to my evening class but, I feel great! Day accomplished :)

angie brooks said...

We may be twins. Except that I'm white and you like yoga. Just stumbled on your blog and adore it... thanks for putting your thoughts out there, when we get stuck in a rut it's always nice to know someone else has been there and conquered it!

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