I find working part time to actually be harder than working full time or not working at all. When I work full time, my mothering sucks but I am GREAT at what I do. When I don't work at all I am a much better mother, although definitely feel more stress related to our financial situation. But part time? Then I don't feel like I'm good enough at either. I don't have the time, energy or hours to be really good at my job ( I have very high expectations for myself with this) and I also don't have the time do everything I want to do at home.
My only resolution this year is to be okay with doing good enough. And really, I think that good enough might be much more sane than the normal expectations I put upon myself. Why do we set such ridiculous standards for ourselves? Who is keeping score? Most of the time, we are the only ones. Even if we do have someone else in our lives serving as our judge, they lose all power over us the second we decide that their opinions aren't true or don't matter. So no more judging myself if in the course of a day I haven't made every single morsel of food from scratch, stuck to our entire daily/weekly/monthly rhythm perfectly, not raised my voice and kept the house totally clean and organized while homeschooling two littles. Just looking at that list makes me realize why I feel like a nut job most of the time.
These are the first areas to which I'm going to apply my 2009 philosophy:
- House - I first need to go through the house and just throw all the extra crap into bins and put it into my mom's storage space. I hate to throw stuff away and have been incapacitated because it seems so overwhelming to sort the donating, keeping, throwing away piles. If I just toss it all into storage for now, I don't have to worry about making the "wrong" decision. Then I need to experiment with finding middle ground between cleaning constantly and living in a dump. I'm also going to implement a good idea I saw on one of those blogs where the mom has about a dozen kids (those moms have got some SKILLS). She assigned each family member one cup, one dish, one bowl and one set of silverware. Each person was responsible for washing their own dishes after every meal and couldn't eat the next meal until their stuff was washed. I have a dishwasher, but still, dishes end up everywhere.
- Homeschooling - I will plan out the next three months. This usually consists of one fairy tale and one nature story per month, plus a seasonal circle time and a few special activities beyond our daily/weekly activities. If there is a festival in the month it also includes that. And then I will stop stressing out about it and do it! I don't need to memorize zillions of new songs and verses, just because they are waldorfy ones. I will use ones I know as much as possible. Then the rest of the time I will remember that we are just living our little lives and there is MUCH to be learned and enjoyed.
- Work - I'm going to sit down and really identify the key aspects of my job. It is easy when working a part time job that you have previously done full time to try and fit it all in 20 hours a week. This is not possible, obviously. After I have those key aspects identified, I will determine the feasibility of all new requests and ask my boss to prioritize them in regards to my exisiting tasks.
Want to join me in The Year of Good Enough? What can you do in your life over the next year to realize that your best is good enough? Post in your blog, let me know and I'll link to it here. I might even make up a nifty little button for you to put on your site.