For someone who works from home, I sure do a lot of commuting!
Between taking my son to school (he goes to a magnet school so he doesn’t have neighborhood bus service) and picking him up each day, plus running to math tutoring and other misc. appointments a few times a week, I can easily spend 14 hours each week in the car, plus another five or six hours waiting for him to do the things he needs to do.
That’s like an additional part-time job!
I couldn’t figure out why I have not been able to get everything that I used to do done. It seems like I am always behind on dishes and laundry. I’m having a hard time fitting in a good workout, and I’m always doing my writing projects at odd hours because their deadlines are looming.
And I’m wondering why I am so exhausted all the time!
I guess I just didn’t stop to consider that my mom hat was getting bigger. And until I realized how much time I was spending wearing it, I was feeling bad about how much everything else was slipping. Like I was losing my ability to cope.
Once I realized how many hours I was spending being an Uber driver for my son, it all made sense. If I had taken on a part-time job with that many hours, everyone in the household would have started to pitch in because they knew I was at my job. But none of us realized that I was working, just in a different way.
I think we all have seasons like this. Seasons where our almost-grown kids need us as much as they did when they were younger. And we take it on because it’s important. But we don’t realize that other things in our lives need to give so we can be there for our kids and not burn ourselves out in the process.
You may have realized this already. But I didn’t. Since I have the tendency to beat myself up for not being good enough anyway (I know…I shouldn’t but it’s a hard habit to break), I automatically went there when instead I needed to give myself a break because I had to do something different for a while. I also need to enjoy the time I have with him in the car. The two of us have some great talks and rock out to some great tunes.
I always tell spouses of deployed military families to go easy on themselves and lower their standards while their spouse is gone because it’s hard and they need to give themselves a break.
Sounds like I need to heed my own advice.
Do you ever look at how you are spending your time? Time management specialists recommend you keep a log of how you spend your day so you can identify places where you are wasting time. But I think at this stage in our lives, that we need to look more at how the way we spend our time is changing to meet the needs of our older families.
And then we need to give ourselves a break and readjust however we must.
And then we can make our family take us out to dinner tonight!
What do you think? How has the way you spend your time changed as your kids have gotten older? Are you busier? Please share your thoughts in the comments below! I really want to know!