Thursday, April 17, 2008

Season Of Life

I am feeling bogged down by this season of life. Life as a stay-at-home mom with 3 little ones. Having 3 children under 4 years old is so different and difficult. I don't think a lot of people understand what it's like. I was just remarking the other night to Brian that I cannot imagine how much time I'm going to have when my children can ready themselves for the day. I know I spend at least an hour every morning just getting them ready by dressing them, washing faces, brushing teeth, fixing hair and preparing breakfast. And that doesn't include feeding Reagan. That's an additional 20 -25 minutes.

I am frustrated because I can start at 5am and never get everything done that "needs" to be done.

I try diligently to get up when Brian leaves for work which is usually between 5-5:30am. Do other stay-at-home moms do this? My dad thought I had a screw loose when I told him what time I get up. If I don't get up before everyone else, I don't get a chance to take a shower. I don't get a chance to read my Bible and I don't get a chance to exercise. Doing those things are very important to set the tone for my day. But I don't want to get up that early.

I am definitely having a difficult time keeping up with everything that should be done. I can tell you the last time the kitchen floor was mopped (last month), but it really needs it at least once a week. (Toddlers are messy eaters.) I can't tell you the last time the wood was mopped and as a result, there are dust dinosaurs lurking everywhere. Keeping the house clean and supervising the girls are activities that are just at odds with each other. The activities that I have for them to do are losing their appeal and they spend a lot of time getting in trouble because they are bored. I just don't know what to do with them that is new and exciting and will keep them stimulated. Especially table-type activities.

I am a fan of FlyLady, and her method of doing things is helpful. But with 3 young children, I am just having a hard time making it work. Which makes me feel like a failure. Every day I look at the wood and realize it needs to be mopped desperately, but I just can't seem to get to it.

How do other people do it? I know I can't be the only one who has these struggles. Lily is getting bigger and bigger and is able to help more. She is able to almost completely dress herself and can make her bed. She can use the potty and wash her hands with a minimal amount of supervision.

Some people might say that I am being too hard on myself or that I am expecting too much of myself. But is it too much to ask that the floors have some attention more often than every six months? When Brian is home on the weekends, the last thing I want to do is spend all weekend at home. Of course, after he's been working all week, he'd like to spend some time at home. I don't know if my problem is a lack of contentment or boredom or what.

I live with a huge measure of guilt all the time. If the laundry gets piled up, I feel guilty. If Brian helps me by doing the laundry, I feel guilty that he has to help. Isn't that my job? I shouldn't need any help. I'm a failure.

Today, Lily didn't have any clean panties because I am behind on laundry. You can bet I felt like a huge failure. I can't even manage to keep the laundry done. As for me, no shower today so far because Brian went into work late this morning so I woke up when I heard Reagan. It's time for her to eat again and Lily is still waiting for her panties (that are in the dryer) so she is still in her nightgown. The kitchen is a mess from yesterday and I really don't want to have to go mess with.

I don't want to feel like I'm on autopilot all the time, but I feel like I am a hamster on a wheel with all of these activities. Laundry is never completely done. The kitchen is never completely clean and there always seems to be a meal to prepare. Oh, and to add to it, Brian and I haven't had a real date in about 6 months, maybe more. No babysitter.

I really could go on and on, but I think I'll stop. However, lest it seem like I am just complaining, I am open to suggestions. Real suggestions for activities or schedule changes or something. This is a cry for help.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Quilting Update

I kind of dropped the ball when it came to the step-by-step documentation of my quilting project. At any rate, I am very pleased to report that I have just completed the the quilt top. All I need to do is sew the backing together which will only take a few minutes and then it will be ready to go to the quilter's. I found a long arm quilter here in town that is not experiencing a 2 month backlog.

I am just so proud of myself. I can't believe I made this all by myself. Lily is begging me to make a quilt for her and I actually think I could do it. Since Lily has a "big girl bed", I will have to make hers twin sized which is twice again the size of the one I just completed. I think I can do it. The girls have watched the process and Darcy keeps asking, "Is that for me?" Brian keeps seeing this as some kind of potential cottage industry, but I am finding it incredulous that anyone would pay money for something that I made. I keep thinking that I could make them and give them away.

I heard there is going to be an intermediate class in May and I am looking forward to taking that class as well. Brian's outage will be over and maybe by then I'll have had time to complete Lily's quilt. I don't think she is going to give me much rest until I at least start on it.

But seriously, who would have ever thought such a thing could happen?

Though it's limited, here is the progression of my first quilt:

First, I brought home a stack of fabric. Brian has already confessed that he didn't think this was going to look well together. It wasn't what he had in mind when I came and asked his advice and then hurried back into the store....
Then, at the end of the first class, we had to have one set of strips sewn together to make blocks. For our second class, all of those strips had to be sewn with seams pressed open. Here was my first effort:
It took four sets of these strips and a center square to make an actual block. I should have taken a picture of my first block, but that was the part where I was remiss. All 20 blocks had to be created and then sewn together in 4 rows of 5 for our third class.
This is a close up of the corner.
And finally, the whole quilt top, as seen thumbtacked to my den wall...
I am very pleased with myself and think it has been a fine first effort. Now, if I could only finish my apron. I am committed to finishing that stupid thing. And also, I want to learn how to make a Veggie Tale dress like the one I bought Darcy for her birthday. It can't be hard...