Turning Down the Volume on the Commentary – Theirs and Mine

housewife-study-stay-at-home-momBeing a single mom who is running a business to support two boys has its fair share of daily challenges if you know what I mean.  They’d keep me hopping under the best of circumstances. And, my circumstances are a little less than ideal. I’m not complaining, but the reality is that I’m doing the job of two people (maybe more) each and every day.

Because I am spread so thin right now in my life, not everything gets done up to my standards. And, my brain starts the running commentary about it that isn’t always so productive. Why didn’t that floor get swept? There are three loads of laundry sitting there. Why don’t I have more time like the other mothers to volunteer in the boys’ classrooms. Uggh!

This inner-dialogue is sometimes compounded by the “suggestions” and “ideas” of others on how I can be better and more efficient. Unfortunately, these gentle recommendations are akin to telling a blind person that if they just open their eyes and see, they could get around much better. Sometimes, it’s a real challenge to take a deep breath and say a gracious, “thank you” instead of involuntarily lifting my middle finger. Gosh, that’s not very lady-like, is it?

Anyway, I’m working on creating some strategies to turn down the volume of the “shoulds” that I’m hearing both in my brain and from others. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  1. When I start beating myself up about what I’m not able to get done, I’m trying to stop for a second, look at the boys, and remember, even for a fleeting second, what I have already done – which is create two very wonderful boys and grow a business. These accomplishments are nothing to sneeze at and, at the end of the day, bigger accomplishments than having a crumb-free floor.
  2. Turn on an episode of Sex and the City, Seinfield, or my new favorite House Hunters International (I’m really enjoying the stories of young couples starting their lives on beaches in Nicaragua and their quest for perfect two-bedroom condos with ocean views).
  3. Chew some bubble gum and get back to writing which takes my mind off of most everything.
  4.  Listen to the advice of others, and then ask them what they did that day. Inevitably, their day is not loaded with giving baths, packing lunch boxes, and cleaning house while also trying to manage 15 different companies’ social media efforts. The desire to flip someone the bird for trying to offer advice is defused when you just understand that they don’t truly get it.
  5. Finally, a good night sleep cures most things. Those crumbs will still be there in the morning as will the people in my life who feel I could be doing better. I’ll deal with both another day.

I feel a bit like a warrior at this point in my life. And, it’s somewhat of a lonely existence navigating through this daily battle, but I’m confident that I’m serving the greater good by helping two boys full of promise become two great men one day.

Song of the Day: Voices Carry, Til Tuesday

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Turning Down the Volume on the Commentary – Theirs and Mine

  1. Miriam Carey

    Julie –

    From what I see, you’re doing fantastically well. Leave the crumbs for the mouses. I love that “Voices Carry” song…all my friends used to sing, “Mrs. Carey” instead, which was always pretty amusing.

    Miriam!!!!!

  2. val sutherland

    Keep doing what you are doing. The crumbs will not end your world. I don’t do housework but I love doing laundry. Call me sometime and I will come by and do it for your or take it here and do it. Love to fold too, as you well know. Hang in Julie, the boys are all the proof you need that you are doing ” the right thing” whatever the heck that is.

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