I’ve been thinking about the times I feel at peace, it’s not always because I’m doing more or making less mistakes, it’s when I am living in a balanced way.
I am still making plenty of mistakes, but I face them with love and honesty and I am at peace with the mistakes now.
I am getting some things done, but I’m very much in the middle between the super clean super moms who work (I don’t) and the moms who can’t create stability due to being burnt out and overwhelmed or lacking tools.
What I have done successfully lately is balance how much I can do and how much I have to take care of myself, I won’t call it self care because I take care of all of us (my son, daughter and I) together, we eat three meals together, we exercise together, we have some time apart, but actually most of the “care” activities we do together and that has made it easier for me to manage my time. There is a 1 hour breakfast block for everyone’s breakfast to get cooked, eaten, cleaned, this includes me, but not in isolation.
What I’ve been finding is many parts of life have a very fine balance, like joy vs meaning, either extreme is less wonderful than a middle ground. Love vs impact, can be spending time with your own family/dog/spouse or helping the community/world. Even significance and truth are in conflict, the truth is we are such a small part of the world, yet in the hearts of those around us we still hold significance, we are nearly insignificant at the same time as we are emotionally someone’s sun, moon or universe.
Today a day of mental flexibility, life balance and putting out fires.
Today was an off day, I like to take walks, but taking walks means that the normal schedule changes.
I leave around 11AM and come home right before 4PM, so it’s 5 hours in the sun. Walking to the park 2.5 miles away, playing at the park, browsing a store of having a picnic, then walking home 2.5 miles with my four year old and 11 month old.
It’s kind of nice, my son enjoyed the grass, bark, sticks and rocks of the park today and my daughter made a friend and played nicely with someone new (which is what she loves doing).
It’s a really enjoyable part of our week, we spend a little at Dollar Tree or on snacks, but not too much.
In the morning I woke up before my daughter which was lovely, she usually wakes up first and wakes everyone else up Anna from Frozen style (which is not cute in real life). It was great to wake up simply after having enough rest and have part of a coffee before my high energy child woke up for the first time in as long as I can remember.
Then I started checking on our bills, which is horrible with kids, that’s why I want to do it when my husband is home on the weekend rather than Wednesday the day he gets paid. Sigh. I try to have a good attitude, but failed today. Between proving I am me over and over because my last computer got broken and this is a new one (it feels like it’s always a new one) and finding out something went wrong with auto pay and we had a late fee, which I hate. Well at least I fixed things before our credit score got worse, it’s wonderful, but managing our many open accounts is something I’m not sure is worth it. Two accounts got closed for non-usage, got them reopened, activated the cards, have to log into 11 different accounts, plus the bank, plus the student loan account and having done half took an hour. The kids were good today for the first time ever, but doing the bills when I usually do school time made me feel so guilty. However I don’t have energy to do it at night lately. So, finished paying $2 candy bills on a few accounts, paid the late fee on the failed auto pay account. Checked the two cards that have a little bit of debt from last year and the midwife bill.
I keep telling myself and my husband I want him to handle this stuff because he calls the shots of how much to pay and he has a better memory for dates things need to go out, but somehow it always ends up being me.
We paid $7,000 for my son’s midwife I think, so I understand why we have $5,000 left at 0% that we keep moving for a 3-5% fee. Kind of understand. We have savings that could pay our debt, yet my husband is not comfortable without a certain amount of savings so we don’t, therefore it’s a chore to keep track of what is going on with it… because I never did my finances his way, I always paid my debt ASAP. Different people like different things, but I married one and it can really be torturous at times to be married to someone who wants to do B to my A, X to my Y, seemingly every time.
Today we studied Hawaiian and we watched a legend of Maui capturing the sun, at the end he says to do your everyday work with honor and aloha and again I thought to myself about transforming my mind to enjoy the daily tasks I do.
Right now I so enjoy my morning hour, my writing hour and my hour watching my son play. I love my daughter, but her special hour she wants us to act like the girls from Frozen or dinosaurs ext and I actually hate that hour more than any other hour of the day. It’s that way between my husband and I as well, the party, restaurant, relative or place the one is craving is almost never the one the other person is craving and we just support one another. I read “Never Split the Difference” and wanted to stop compromising and find things we both enjoy, but it has not become a reality yet. But I’m thinking about “stealing” enjoyment from work by enjoying my work.
Finances, I am so lucky we are okay since we never saved responsibly until after we had kids and I was lucky my husband wanted to pay for midwifes both kids since I prefer that to the hospital setting personally, it was costly for us, but if someday we have money and nothing to spend it on I wouldn’t have been able to go back and have a different birth experience for my kids. Perhaps it was an irresponsible luxury finance wise, but honestly most of our existence had also been that way and at least this was spent on something that mattered to us. I liked the way the babies didn’t have to be taken away from me, I liked not having to leave my home when I was already uncomfortable having a baby, I liked not worrying if the staff was going to mishandle my allergies and accidentally kill me or make me sick on top of the birth process.
We are not the worst, but also typical in being a little too lazy to track our finances as well as we should with others depending on us.
We are not unified in opinion, so I guess that makes things more stressful. My husband would rather take investment “opportunities” that I would avoid, I would rather budget a detailed amount and know my limits for the kids, for total spending, yet my husband has always refused. And who am I to insist at this point that I don’t work? He makes the money, if he handles it his way why worry? Because then he expects me to keep an eye on things.
I don’t know why I hate finances so much, but also I don’t like being a supporting player of a team who is run by someone with different values than me, but I married that guy…
So finances, not my favorite thing. I ignore them, stress about them, waste $40 on late fees, do them again, vow to make my husband handle them himself, then repeat the cycle.
I could really use some mental redecorating about my bad attitude and some consistency about keeping an eye on the finances.
I guess that is a great place to start doing my chores with honor and aloha. Going to attempt to track my finances better, and hopefully get more comfortable being the supporting actor in financial decisions.
Still don’t have a good system, I have Mint, but it had a major melt down when it changed it’s system and our bank also updated. Amazon just shows up as Amazon and that’s a problem, so though I would love to use mint it doesn’t quite function since I can’t split Amazon up the day it is spent since it takes many days to appear. I have a paper planner going, a second paper planner, a digital note and the Mint app, but with everything everywhere nothing is anywhere… so I guess for me:
Step 1: Have a better attitude, very grateful we have everything we need and good credit, I should be honored to manage the finances that take care of what my kids and I need.
Step 2: Have a better system, everything from Amazon or cash spending needs to go on my Google Keep note other things show up okay on Mint and I can add my spending at night when I have my tea.
Step 3: Accountability, I need to make sure I do this, because relying on other people isn’t just nor has it worked in the past. Perhaps when I have my morning coffee I can ask myself if I noted my spending.
Not saving when we can’t is fine, but when we can it’s like us stealing from our own future, it’s difficult to retrain myself to focus on money, when I never have (though I should have) but I feel that now as a parent I can no longer go on telling my daughter to think about what she buys because there is an opportunity cost while at the same time paying late fees again and again. In a sense I am buying the luxury of constant forgetfulness rather than a cool Art History text book for my daughter or a sponsorship for an orphan ext. 💸