Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Regaining Control

I learned when we lived in Foxboro that I had a condition known as "being tightly wound" and now that I look back I can see that I really liked to control the stuff in my life. I also like schedules and I like routines and I like familiarity. So when I went from the routine and schedule and familiarity of work to being a stay at home mom, I just transferred those things.

Every Wednesday we went to the library, on Monday we had playgroup, Tuesday was for swimming, Thursday was the zoo or another big adventure, and Friday was for being a bum.

Most mornings we'd go for a walk around 10 (I say "around" to make sure you know I was flexible) and the event was after lunch. Then there was time to come home and play a little, clean up and do dinner before bedtime.

I had a cleaning schedule, a children's outing schedule, a reading schedule, charts and graphs about how we spent our time and I ROCKED motherhood. I made stuff happen!

And then life got hard and I clung to my schedule and resented all of the people who were throwing it off.

And then life got harder and I held on tighter and tighter.

And then life got harder and my hands were too tired of holding on tight and I had no choice but to fall flat on my face and let go of everything and just cry. I felt so broken letting it all go. I felt like I had failed. I stopped doing stuff.

The last few years have been about that. Letting it all go and being broken and not doing stuff. Not any of it. Months between cleaning bathrooms. Days without doing the dishes. Weeks without cook a meal or taking the kids anywhere outside of our neighborhood.

Lately, I can feel myself regaining control. Stepping back into a few of these schedules I find helpful. Trying to clean on any kind of regular basis. Doing more than acknowledging that it's OK to be a big useless pile of broken. It happened around the same time that we bought our house, I want to take really good care of it, I want to be a really good person because I think we'll live here for a really long time and I want to contribute to the neighborhood. I'm invested.

It's kindof scary to return to some of these routines because the last time I did stuff I got a little out of control. But it's also scary to stay in the non-doing-stuff place. So I'm trying again. To do stuff in moderation. Knowing that I'll likely mess it up, but hoping that any damage isn't permanent.

Last week I did all of the chores every day. This week I think I'll do the dishes every night.


  1. You never even looked broken to me. :) You're a great mama to those two boys. I could learn from you on the structure part, poor Tommy will be bored out of his mind over here. The van needs a little work (battery) and Randy hasn't looked at it yet but it's no big deal because we don't go anywhere in it. Seriously, we haven't used it for the past 4 days and it's not even different from my regular life. Going places and doing stuff is hard for me. Balancing is tricky!

  2. I am like you schedules and routines and check marks, and we have been in a slightly broken place at our house for more than a year too. It is scary to try and get back to a more balanced way of doing thngs, and I completely applaud you for making the venture! You have inspired me.


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