When did I get so busy?

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When did I get so busy?

Postby solinox » Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:14 am

I've finally picked up the book after listening to a friend praise Barbara Sher for a year or two, and now I'm singing her praises to another friend. Lightbulbs and fireworks everywhere! I really wanted to share what I thought when I got to Chapter 5, though. I know exactly when I got so busy. I remember the way life was when I first moved out and got married. We waited five years to have kids. I worked in the daytime as a secretary, a docket clerk, or a network administrator, and in the evenings as a pianist, a conservatory teacher, or a karaoke DJ. I worked on my knitting and crochet projects, learned how to do hardanger embroidery and won a ribbon at the county fair, learned how to bowl with a league, sang in a swing band, volunteered as a narrator for Talking Books at the state library, went bicycling and roller blading, learned how to program databases and write websites, learned how to play the flute.

And then we had kids. And it's not like I didn't want kids, I've always wanted kids, daydreamed about having babies and being a mother when I was a teenager, I was always making plans for parenthood, the ways I would things differently from how I was raised, plans to homeschool. But we didn't just have kids. We had triplets first. And then we had three more kids. And then we found out that my husband's blindness was genetic and four of our kids were blind or losing vision. And the youngest is not just blind, but autistic, too.

That's when I got so busy. That's when I lost my happy flow. When the triplets were still in the NICU I took on this overwhelming pressure of Being A Good Housewife, and it's been so hard to let go. Of all the things I studied and learned and worked at, I never did learn how to just plain keep house, how to keep things clean and relatively healthy, how to pick up after myself. That slid by with just the two of us, we could call in a maid service to clean the house and it wasn't a big deal. Now, though, I have eight people to keep up with, and it feels like a never-ending pit of quicksand. I'm trying to let go as my kids get older, to relinquish the picking up and clean to them at least in some part. But trying to juggle the responsibilities of keeping house, the necessity of educating my youngest (my older kids are covered, some in school and one happily in a self-directed program), and still handle all these interests and ideas...that's been bringing me down for a long time.

I've only just made it to part two last night. I can't wait to see what's waiting in the rest of the book, but I just wanted to share that I know exactly where I got so busy. I hope I can figure out how to balance it *before* my kids are all gone!
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Re: When did I get so busy?

Postby Elaine Glimme » Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:04 pm

Six kids!!! With health issues!!! No wonder you're so busy.

This is a Barbara Sher suggestion: Set up a mini-station for the things that you want to do - a bag with your knitting, crochet equipment. A place with your flute and sheet music - whatever would nourish that special part of your soul. Then, when you find yourself with ten minutes of free time - or when you feel blue and need a pick-me up - take out your flute or your knitting or whatever and just spend a few minutes doing something you love. If your days are as busy as I imagine them to be, it won't be more a that a few minutes, but maybe that's enough to remind you of all the wonderful things you are besides a Mommy. (It sounds as if you're a pretty great Mommy.)
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
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Re: When did I get so busy?

Postby NowIknow » Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:59 am

Dear Solinex,

I was stunned to read about how you are busy. Just want to say you are amazing for handling all that. I'm glad you found the book.
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Re: When did I get so busy?

Postby solinox » Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:56 am

I take my knitting with me everywhere. I used to take books everywhere, but it is hard to read a book when your attention is constantly being pulled away. Knitting I can do while paying attention to other things and people, and I almost (almost!) never knit the same thing twice, so it is always new. I keep purse-sized projects in my handbag for when I'm out, and bigger sweaters and blankets by my chair for when I get to watch TV.

It's getting better. I am not quite so busy as I was when all the kids were little and helpless. Now they help, and I work on my delegating skills and concentrating on the things that only I can and want to do (and that doesn't include *everything*!). It hasn't been boring, even if it has forced me to continue working on a "project" (my kids) far, far longer than my attention span has ever allowed me to focus on anything and spend less time on new ideas and interests.

I've had to study so many medical things to keep up with my kids that I get asked if I work in the industry whenever I have to take somebody to the urgent care or ER.

I learned so much about how things work in studying and researching before having two VBA2C's with my youngest two. I learned about how daycares run and the regulations they deal with when I studied that field for a while thinking it would help me deal with having triplets. I learned about primitive babywearing and how to make my own slings, all about breastfeeding and oversupply, and how to put contact lenses on a baby's eyes.

I learned a bit about how to run my house, so that it is at least marginally cleaner and healthier than it was. I've learned that I am autistic through having my children show their autistic colors and get diagnosed, which helped me see whole swaths of my life in a better light, as much as Barbara's book has.

I've learned how to cook, and I've gone through phases of working with ancient grains, making ancient cultured milk products, and other bits of culinary learning and experimentation. Since my youngest was born blind, I have learned Braille (something I was actually interested in as a child anyway) and how to transcribe books and preschool materials for him, and how to navigate with a mobility cane.

All of these skills I've been able to teach and help others with at some point. Only last week, a friend introduced me to another friend of hers who was losing vision, but not blind enough to get much help from the state agencies, hoping I could help teach her what our family knows and does. Since getting a service dog for my youngest last year, I learned how to do fundraising, and I've learned how to work with dogs, too.

So I guess my family doesn't really stop my scanning. It just means that my learning has been focused out of necessity as much as interest, dictated by circumstances instead of whim. That can be frustrating, but just writing this post has been an enlightening exercise!
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Re: When did I get so busy?

Postby solinox » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:36 pm

I think I might be a Plate Spinner. I can hardly ever do one thing at a time. Watch TV *and* knit or crochet or sew, or do the later and read an audio book, or even knit and read at the same time. I was reading while breastfeeding, studying daycares while DJ'ing, learning patent law while working as a secretary. I learn best by doing, and usually pick new things to learn in order to solve a problem.

Still having fun reading and looking for myself in the pages...while knitting...
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Re: When did I get so busy?

Postby BarbaraSher » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:52 pm

Elaine Glimme wrote:Six kids!!! With health issues!!! No wonder you're so busy.

This is a Barbara Sher suggestion: Set up a mini-station for the things that you want to do - a bag with your knitting, crochet equipment. A place with your flute and sheet music - whatever would nourish that special part of your soul. Then, when you find yourself with ten minutes of free time - or when you feel blue and need a pick-me up - take out your flute or your knitting or whatever and just spend a few minutes doing something you love. If your days are as busy as I imagine them to be, it won't be more a that a few minutes, but maybe that's enough to remind you of all the wonderful things you are besides a Mommy. (It sounds as if you're a pretty great Mommy.)


Hear, Hear! Good memory, Elaine. Glad you reminded us. It's good for everyone to remember: even 60 seconds of doing something you really love changes the way you feel, the way things look, how you feel about life. It's just amazing. Follow your genes, do what they tell you they enjoy. The echo never stops.
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