I have been thinking a lot lately about how I can minimize the amount of activities I have going on in my life. My kids have both said to me recently that I never spend time with them, and they are right. I am always with them though or doing things FOR them, so it's so easy to forget to actually spend one-on-one time with them. The truth is, I have too much going on and I don't know how to stop it all. I just feel like I don't have a choice...
1) I work full time (5 days a week). I leave my house at 7:30am and get home around 6pm every night. So..I am not home that often. PERIOD.
2) I am the PTSA Vice President at Gabe's Junior High, which means that I have to attend/volunteer at every board meeting, PTSA meeting, and school function. (approx. 3 days/month)
3) I am heavily involved with Marissa's elementary school. I am not on the PTA board per say, but I do go to/volunteer at every board, PTA meeting, and school function. I also TRY to help at least once a month in her classroom. (approx. 3 days/month)
4) I am Marissa's Girl Scout troop leader. We have meetings twice a month and field trips twice a month. I also spend a lot of time prepping for these activities. I usually do this from work, but not always because..well..I actually should be working this from work. (approx. 4 days/month)
5) I "go" to school. I don't actually GO because I am taking all online courses, but it's still a lot of work. I SHOULD be studying AND doing work everyday. But I don't. Typically I do homework/quizzes during two days of the week. If I have a paper to write then I spend an extra night writing a paper. BUT, I try to do most of my work during my breaks at work or after the kids go to sleep. (approx. 8 days/month)
6) I am a part of a mother's club in my neighborhood. We meet once a month (sans kids) just to relax and have fun (sometimes I skip it). Every other month they have a function for the children (we skip this too sometimes). (approx. 1 day/month).
7, 8, and 9?) Marissa has dance class every Saturday AND we usually have at least 3-4 parties (baby showers, birthdays, etc) to attend every month. Oh, and did I mention that last weekend I volunteered at a step-up for down syndrome event? I mean, I thought the kids would appreciate working side by side with me. Nope. They just sat to the side and entertained themselves. (approx. 5 days/month).
So, if you can do the math that means that I am pretty much left with about 5 days a month when I have nothing to do. During those five days I am usually SO exhausted and done with life that I want to be left alone. :-(
This week happened to be a week with FOUR of those days. Yay! I was so excited when I noticed that my calendar was empty this week and THEN I had two good friends deliver their babies. Monday, I stayed at one of their houses with their children while she had the baby. Tuesday, the other friend had her baby, so I picked her daughter up from school and then went to visit her. Last night, I went to see the other friend who's kids I stayed with. That all left me with ONE night during a month's time where I have NOTHING to do. That one night is tonight and I still have to prepare Marissa's costume for an event on Friday night (which will take an hour or so). So, when exactly do I get to spend time with my kids, with my partner, even alone? WTH ?! When do I get a break?!
It's not like I am overbooking myself on purpose. It's not like I am out partying. It's not like my kids are with a sitter. I mean, they are with me most of the time. I try to only go to things that they can attend. I also tend to only be friends with people that have children so that I am attending kid friendly functions. Also, if you notice, most of the things I am doing are FOR my children. In my head, I am being a good parent, in their heads, I am constantly neglecting them. I feel so torn. I don't know what to give up. I feel like I need more hours in the day and more days in the month. Ugh.
Are you overbooked as well? How do you handle it?