Apr 1, 2012

When Life Gets Bumpy


Hello everyone! I can't remember a year that I enjoyed spring as much as this year. Perhaps its because other places that I have lived had less of a "spring" season and it was barely noticeable that it wasn't winter before summer was knocking on the door! I've had windows open and we've been outside to enjoy the 70s temperatures. The birds tweeting and plants coming to life has been exactly what I needed during this season of life for our family. You see, right now our family is in a rather hectic stage of life where my husband (Casey) is working two jobs and clocking around 50 (+/-) hours a week as well as the about 15 hours I get on average in two or, often times, three shifts a week at my job. Its very rare we enjoy a true day off as a family. Most weeks one of us is working every single day of the week. Its not something we plan to keep up forever. Its just for right now and we're trying (not always successfully) to remain positive through it.

I still consider myself a full time "SAHM" as was my job title for the first three years of my journey as a mother. However, my homemaking duties haven't always come easy and often I feel just plain lazy on days after I worked until 10:15pm at night (that means I'm not in bed and asleep until after 11pm). Other days I may work a 7am to 3-5pm shift and have zero desire to come home and make dinner or do laundry. Here I share my motivation for the homemaking side of my job description. Certainly I can admit to having an attitude issue. However, I thrive on knowing what's coming next and sticking to a certain routine. Not a written routine that we follow to a "T" but where we do about the same thing (wake, eat, clean/activities, eat, naps, clean/activities, eat, bed) every day until it sort of feels like life is flowing peacefully like a river. Instead, my life right now feels sort of jerky and bumpy. I can't get my rhythm to flow in a way that brings me peace.

It has been an on-going effort to attempt to make this jerky rhythm work for me until a more "normal" season of life becomes mine. Life that lacks "rhythm" happens for all of us at some point or other. I've shared my currently unbalanced life but for you it might look different. Perhaps you have a new baby. Perhaps your toddler is in a stage of not sleeping through the night again. Maybe your husband is working shift work. Maybe cash is short and you struggle to pay the bills. Maybe you are struggling with something, anything that is making your day-to-day life harder. I don't know your situation but I do know that I'm not the only one that struggles. Here are some of the efforts I am making to get me (and my family) through this time. Maybe I can encourage you.

♦ Praying for a good attitude. I am placing this at the top of my list because its the most important. Seriously. I don't always want to leave my kids and go to work. Especially when someone cries and asks to go with me. That hurts me! Also, I don't always want to keep up with my homemaker duties. I start feeling like "its not fair" or "I can't possibly do *it all*" and that can be an ugly place to be. I just can't do it on my own. Once you become a born again believer, Jesus really is always there for you. But, it takes making an effort toward my relationship with Him to really benefit from His presence. Its like having someone offer you a helping hand but you are too busy listening to your Ipod to hear or see them. So I tune in to the One who can truly bring peace.

♦ I am making efforts around my home to prepare for days I may be more tired or less likely to be able to accomplish my normal tasks. I do a load of laundry almost every day of the week just to keep up. I have found that about 5 loads a week keeps me away from getting super behind, so I have some wiggle room in there. Sometimes I load the dishwasher just before I leave for work so I don't have to do it when I come home tired. I attempt to do extra on my days off around the home (most some days with three children under four years old more messes are made than cleaned and I just laugh it off as being part of dealing with toddlers!). Sweeping and vacuuming sometimes don't get done daily. Its really the effort of doing things when I can so that when I can't get something done, everything doesn't fall apart.

♦ I've been getting dressed in the morning most days lately and its because I've been consciously making an effort. One reason is definitely because of the gorgeous weather and I want all the windows open and to be able to go outside. Another is because I downloaded a copy of "Frumps to Pumps" and I started reading some of the encouragement in that e-book by Sarah Mae. And, of course, I already knew first hand that I am more productive on days I am feeling good about how I look. Flylady was my first encouragement on this topic. As she calls it "get dressed to shoes." But, I admit she never convinced me to wear "lace up shoes" everyday. I wear sandals, flip flops, boots, and flats way more than I wear tennis shoes. Call me a rebel at heart.

♦ The last thing I want to mention is the topic of meals. This is a great topic for another post and you'll probably be reading about it soon. I'll just say that I am serving meals that are gluten free and, more recently, dairy free and its not always easy. Our grocery budget reflects my need (desire?) for some semblance of ease or convenience in my kitchen. I often have hotdogs, frozen french fries, corn tortilla chips, and gluten free frozen waffles for standbys when Mama doesn't feel like cooking or just plain isn't even at home and Casey needs something to serve the family. The bottom line is that during some seasons of life you can't be "superwoman." On days off I can focus more on better food choices. My point here is that getting past the feeling of guilt is important for everyone. If you feel guilty then you will likely snap at some point and no one will be happy.

Basically, I attempt to "just get by" in the most positive manner. Its not like we have to have a pot roast and mashed potatoes every dinner or have completely empty sinks and hampers. Having a relaxed attitude toward what *must* be done and still a positive attitude toward my job (both at work and at home) helps to keep the peace both for my family and in my heart. Of course, when a storm in the home or the heart comes, these steps and "tools" help ensure it passes without too much damage.

The picture or "button" at the top of this post is for a "Frumps to Pumps" challenge over at Christian Mommy Blogger. I thought it would be fun and encouraging to join. The challenge begins Monday April 2nd (happens to be Casey's birthday!). You can join in too or just watch for me to share updates on how its going.
Have a marvelous Sunday!



  1. Shari,
    What an amazing attitude you have!! I can relate in a lot of ways, and I know how tough it is to be barely making it and having a husband work long hours. This was very encouraging to read, and I will be praying for you. Blessings to you!

    1. Thanks Jessica. I appreciate your prayers and I find your blog encouraging too. :D

  2. I have a feeling that you will be teaching me a lot about balance in the months to come. With Phil home again this summer, I will struggle to keep my routine. This fall for the first time ever I won't be doing childcare! I will be subbing at the schools instead, which means I won't have a set schedule, something that terrifies me frankly. Ahh well, gotta have something to keep life interesting right?!

    1. Life is always changing that's for sure. Routines have to "evolve" with us. Casey was working real part time a several years ago before we lived in NE and the few hours a week were in the early morning so he was at home A LOT. I totally know how that simple change can disrupt your routine! But, the upside is the more family time. I hope that you enjoy the subbing at the school!

  3. Hi! I nominated your blog for the Versatile Blog Award!! Here's my post about it!


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