Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Embracing my Type A personality

A couple of colleagues and I recently talked about how difficult it is to remember all of the things on our list of tasks. Even though school is out, it's almost as difficult to keep track of summer child care hours, field trips and vacations because it's not our regular routine. At work, summer has simply meant that it's hotter outside while inside, we try to remember where exactly we are on each project, which email still needs a reply, and whether or not that meeting is still on.

And all of us have projects outside of being working moms. I write here (with a bi-monthly schedule to keep), I write as an LA Single Parenting Examiner, and I write my personal blog. Oh, and I belong to three - no, make that four - email lists, and three (possibly four) online groups.

I've also found myself with a social life lately. From reuniting with friends via Facebook and setting up lunches, dinners, and drinks to meeting up with fellow LA Moms bloggers at a variety of events to family plans, a weekend has yet to go by this summer without something on the calendar.

Another friend (single, no kids) said to me something I've heard for years now: "I don't know how you do it." I think that phrase became ubiquitous in my life when I started going back to school part-time (while working full-time) a few years ago. It used to freak me out. It used to make me wonder, just how am I doing this exactly? I started questioning whether or not I was giving everything in my life the attention it deserved.

The only way was to give everything my complete focus in the moment. It's easy for moms to stress about their kids when they're at work, or think about the file on their desk while making dinner for the kids. But I found that for me, multi-tasking was simply not the way to go.

When I was in a class, my class was priority number one. When I was at home, the kids came first. We all did homework at the same time.

After I completed my degree, I found myself feeling really restless, and in the beginning stages of depression. I was more impatient with the girls. I missed those hours of having something to concentrate on that wasn't work or kids!

So I started finding online communities to join, and eventually, started my own blog. I named that blog It's All About Balance as a reminder to myself. This blog was for me. Even though I proudly wear the label Mommy Blogger, I don't blog for my kids, I blog to connect with others. It's my place to write about everything I care about. It's my place to find perspective. It's my place to use my voice. And when I'm online, my first priority is me.

Because of that, I have more fun with the girls. Because of that, I have more confidence to delve into harder assignments at work. Because of that, I have more "me-time" with friends, and I am more relaxed at family gatherings. And I relish the opportunities when I have to do nothing.

Being busy doesn't stress me out, it keeps me sane. I don't wonder what I'm doing with my life because I'm too busy living it.

When people tell me now "I don't know how you do it," I don't get overwhelmed anymore. I love my kids, I love my job, and I love to blog. I don't know how I'd not do it.

Originally posted on LA Moms Blog, July 22, 2009.

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