Daily Life

Calming the Chaos

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For many years I’ve been a stay-at-home mom. I’ve worked a few jobs over the last 18 years, but for the most part, I stayed at home with my kids while my husband worked. I had all the time in the world to get everything done that needed doing. I have six kids, so there’s always chaos in my house, but this last week brought to light a new kind of chaos that’s going to take some getting used to.

I started cosmetology school, and it’s a full-time day program. I leave my house by 8 or 9 in the morning. Mondays and Wednesdays I start school at 10 am, the rest of the week I start at 9 am. Depending on traffic, it takes 30-45 minutes to get to school from my house. I get out of school at 5 pm and I hit rush hour traffic on my way home, so it’s usually about 6 pm or so before I get home. I have studying to do every single night, and then there are the day-to-day things that need doing around the house. My kids try and get some stuff done during the day, but they’re kids (ages 16, 15, 13, 9, 4, and 20 months old), so things don’t always get done, and if they do, they don’t get done the way *I* would do them.

Every day that I’ve come home from school this past week, I’ve walked in the door and my anxiety level skyrockets. The house is usually messy, the kids bombard me as soon as I walk in the door (sometimes before I even get out of my car in the driveway), and it almost feels like all hell is breaking loose. The times of having all the time in the world to get everything done are gone. I have to squeeze studying, housework, spending time with my kids and husband into about 4 to 5 hours every night and depending on how exhausted I am, sometimes it’s less than that. I realize that there are many women who have done this type of schedule for years and have pulled it off, probably with some struggles, but if you work a full-time job or you attend college full-time and you have kids, you *know* what I’m talking about because you’re already living this kind of chaos. But for me, this is all new because I’ve always been a stay-at-home mom. I now have to learn how to manage all of this, how to squeeze an entire day’s worth of stuff that needs to be done into just a few hours at night.

Now, this weekend, I had a whole list of stuff that I wanted to get done before school rolls around again on Monday. I wanted to get the house cleaned up. I wanted to get laundry caught up. I wanted to get studying done for a big test I have on Monday. I wanted to spend some time with the kids. I wanted to work on a project I’ve been trying to get done for the last month. I wanted to get some more posts written for this blog etc. etc. Well, what I had planned and what actually happened were two entirely different things!

I did get the house cleaned up a bit, and I am currently working on laundry, but everything else went out the window. I DO HAVE to get my studying done no matter what, but my Saturday turned into running errands and taking my two oldest girls to and from work, and I ended up spending more time in my car than I did at home. Now, all the other stuff I have to do and also the things that I wanted to do I have to try to get squeezed into Sunday. I can tell you right now; it’s not all gonna happen. That fact would have driven the old me CRAZY! But now, yes, it bugs me, but I’m okay with it. I’m only one person, and I will run myself ragged if I try to accomplish all of this stuff by myself when I don’t need to do it by myself. I have to delegate, and I have to be okay with the fact that if I ask one of my teens to do a chore around the house and it doesn’t get done the way *I* would do it, it’s okay. They’re trying, and the chores are getting done, even if they aren’t getting done in the way they would if I was doing them.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s the way it has to be if I don’t want to get myself worked up and overwhelmed to the point where I’m falling back into negative thinking and negative patterns. I’m working on achieving one of my dreams, and my kids and husband are supporting me in that. They’re used to having me around all day every day and now that I’m only really around for a few hours in the evening that’s an adjustment for them. It’s going to take some time to get this all under control and to figure out how and when things are going to get done so that none of us are feeling overwhelmed and then the chaos will calm down a bit.

No matter what *your* situation is like at home, there will be moments in everyone’s lives that are chaotic and overwhelming and you’ll feel like you’re going to lose your mind, but that’s when you need to take a step back, take a minute and just breathe. Tell yourself that it’s okay and delegate some of your to-do lists to other members of your family if at all possible. It’s going to be a bumpy road at first, and there are going to be kinks that need to be worked out, but all of that will smooth out over time. That’s what I keep reminding myself. We will all fall into a new routine that will become normal after a bit of time has passed. We just have to keep going until we get to that point.

Just remember, giving up is NOT an option. Not for you and definitely not for me. We will never catch our dreams if we give up at the first hiccup that comes along, and even just the thought of giving up isn’t going to fly because Catching Our Dreams is what this is all about!

Think positive and believe in yourself ALWAYS!

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