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Sunday, June 01, 2008I always thought the biggest challenge of being a mom was going to be time management.
How in the world would I get everything done? How would I put in my hours at work, do the grocery shopping, pitch in with the laundry and cleaning, cook the meals, pack the lunches, maintain some relationships AND care for children full time?
And there's some truth to that. While having a baby was exhausting and having a baby AND a toddler was even more exhausting...it was nothing compared to having a toddler and a preschooler. I find myself constantly behind on everything. There's always a stack of laundry, always dishes to be washed, always floors to be swept and rooms to clean. Always books to be read, boo-boos to kiss, kids to put to bed, kids to hug, kids to blow bubbles with.
I mean I didn't exactly have a lot of free time BEFORE I had kids. How in the world would I expect to have any with two of them running around?
That's not to say I don't love them dearly or thank God 'round the clock for blessing us with them.
But lately, I've noticed it's not the time management "thing" that gets to me. It's my brain.
I work a creative job. I'm a writer, an educator. It's my job to come up with something new and interesting to say each and every day. To develop new ways to introduce old concepts in the hopes that someone who never "got it" before will "get it" now.
This means my brain is supposed to be going constantly. And it does. My, how it does.
What I'm finding though is that instead of traveling down a path...it seems to go more in circles these days.
For example: I have a stack of 9 marketing books sitting on top of my television. They've been stacked there for...five, maybe six weeks. Each and everyone of them contains things that interest me, that will make me think, that will work my brain. Yet I can't bring myself to pick any of them up.
I hop online sometimes after hours and I find I spend more time refreshing Twitter and looking at who is on GTalk so I can chat for a bit. Often, I'll head off to read through some blogs or look up some topic, but I find myself getting bored and my mind wandering off before I get very far.
So all this leads me to wonder...is my brain "full" or is it now "empty."
Have I shoved it with so much information and spent so much time thinking and contemplating that it's begging for me for a rest? Or, have I spent so much time doing the same things over and over and getting used to 140 character sound bites that I can no longer absorb complex thoughts? In other words, is my brain is sadly empty.
I remember back before I had kids...reading about the women who didn't want to have kids and stay home because "I need mental stimulation..." or some load like that. I sometimes find myself wondering how I can get LESS mental stimulation.
Nonetheless, it all leaves me wondering... what's going on with my head? Am I giving my brain too much stimulation and need to chill out a bit? Cut out what little TV I watch? Turn the radio off in the car? STOP trying to read books? Just chill?
Or, is my brain running in circles because it's desperate for a DIFFERENT kind of stimulation? Meaning I should be pulling out some of those old "make you think" books I used to love? I read Stephen Ambrose's "Undaunted Courage" about a month ago and that seemed to give my brain a brief respite. I don't know if it's because it was a different topic, or because it really was steeped with a lot of "make you think" type content.
I know I'm not the only one of us who has run into this. So please, dear readers...share with me your insight. When your brain gets into this "running in circles" mode and you find yourself being decidedly unproductive...what works best to get the gears turning again?
Labels: Life as a Mom