Today I’ve been at home on the sofa with a cold. Ale is at daycare so at least I have time to recover.
Even though I’m not feeling well I still feel the need to take on a project. In my quest for the perfect journaling/task management system I came upon the Bullet Journal system. I have been trying to move away from apps on my iPhone and go back to pen and paper. I’m using a Traveler’s Notebook and had four notebooks stuffed within the leather cover. I had a calendar notebook, a todo notebook, daily thoughts notebook, and a notebook for notes. Way too many. So far I have reduced it to two. One for my monthly calendar that is essential for my work schedule and a Bullet Journal that will incorporate the rest. It looks pretty bare bones right now. Later when I have time I’m going to add some washi tape to liven it up. (Yes, I am the biggest nerd ever. Even at my thirty something age!)
Check out the developer, Ryder Carroll, web page and be sure to watch the video.
Now to take of myself- I’m going to make cream of tomato soup. Yum!
Hands down, I place more pressure on myself than others. I am my worse critic and enemy. I put pressure on myself to be a good wife, mother and RN. Then on top of this I want to do a million things for myself like blog, cook dinner, and go to work all at the same time. To accomplish these tasks I have to do lists, reminders (paper, electronic, and human – my husband – who deserves a medal to put up with me).
This all stems from the fact that I am a future thinker. I eat breakfast and plan for dinner. I have weekly, monthly, yearly goals. All of this is great for retirement planning but it makes it hard for me to let go and enjoy the present moment. I am satisfied for only a moment. Then on to the next task/ project. Thankfully, my little two year old son, Ale, helps me break out of this mindset. He will only be a toddler once. I let myself laugh and be silly – even out in public. You can catch me singing The Wheels On The Bus as we walk down the street together– (“The wipers on the bus, go swish, swish, swish! ALL THROUGH THE TOWWWNNNN!!”). Then I once we get home I plan for his college fund.
It’s great that I’m a planner but it literally puts so much weight on my shoulders.
It truly effects me so. I recently went for a massage to try to ease the tension. The masseuse during the session stopped and told me that my shoulder muscles were so taught that it surprised him. He wanted to know what kind of work I did. Let’s see. I have stressful job, I am a planner, worrier, and mom of a toddler that does not sleep through the night. Yup, that would do it.
To the other future thinker mom’s like me who pressurize themselves, lets all take a quick cleansing breath together.
Picture from : Wikimedia Commons
In response to the Thursday, January 16, 2014 BlogHer NaBloPoMo prompt:
Who puts the most pressure on you — yourself or others?
What! I’m not perfect? I’m not the perfect mama, wife, mommy blogger, or RN? This is news to me!
Honestly, the idea of perfection is bogus. If I thought I was the perfect anything I would stop learning, perfecting, and evolving in my roles at home and at work. I can strive to be the best in all that I do but I will never truly be perfect. There is always something new to master. I would also imagine that perfection is boring, static. You are at the top so there is no where else to go.
However, as much as I do enjoy Pinterest and the internet in general it does make me think that I’m lacking in my parenting and baking skills. I have to take it in stride. I have to make do with what I can do with my skills and limited time. One can only look at the pretty pictures and dream.
In response to today’s BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo prompt
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Do you feel pressure to be perfect? How much of it is tied to what you see online?
Becoming a mama defiantly proved to me that I was a physically strong woman. Two years ago I pushed out a screaming 7lb baby boy. Now that takes strength- and a strong epidural! What is paradoxical about birth (no matter if its vaginal or c-section) is that its just a moment in your life as a mama. For first time mom’s the perception is that this is the pinacle moment. The be all and end all of motherhood. Its not. Its just a first step in the long road that twists and turns. The birth of my little boy was undoubtably the most amazing day of my life but it was just a day. I’m Ale’s mama for a lifetime. (Sorry, Ale! You are stuck with me!)
I somehow find my mama strength each morning when I wake up. I know I have to tackle the day and provide love, joy and security to my boy even when I’m sick, feeling down or have other things on my mind. I muster up the strength and get it done- with a smile (most of the time). Its Ale’s- all of him from the curly mop of hair on his head to the senseless tantrums that he throws- that is the source of strength. My husband and my mom are my pillars when I need someone to hold me up when I feel my strength fading. My blog is my outlet to get it all out- the joys and the upsets to share with my fellow mama bloggers. I enjoy hearing their encouragement and words of wisdom. I need the strength of this support system to keep me mama strong. A hot mug of coffee in the morning does a great deal of help too 😉
In response to today’s NaBloPoMo at BlogHer.
Monday, January 13, 2014
Eleanor Roosevelt said: “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Tell us about a time you felt your strength.
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NaBloPoMo prompt for Tuesday, January 7, 2014:
Tell us about a time when you didn’t bend to peer pressure, and you swam against the stream.
Today’s prompt feels like an interview question. I can see myself sitting across from someone’s desk and I’m wearing a sensible skirt and black pumps.
There are times in my life before I had Ale that I most certinly went against the stream. Isn’t that what your young adult life is all about? Breaking out against the grain, shattering molds. Finding yourself?
Yes, there are times when I do feel pressured by other parents to do what they are doing but I feel that they are looking for validation for their own actions- especially new mom’s. (I am guilty of this as well!) I found this true with getting advice on helping my son to sleep through the night. I heard many, many theories and variations on theories on sleep that worked for their particular family. Remember the cry it out versus the co-sleeping camps? I was pressured and recruited by both groups. However, I just took pieces from each wise mom and found my own style. I don’t think this is going against the stream. Its just compromising and finding what is best while learning from your peers.
Its January, so for moms of two year old children across my neighborhood in Brooklyn this means that the pre-school applications are due by the end of the month to snag a seat in September.
I am so frustrated by the entire process and the cost that is attached to it in high application fees (up to $100 to apply for limited spots) that I am only planning to apply to three schools. Some moms on my block may tell me that I have lost my mind. The general consensus is to apply to around ten schools. This is to secure a seat in at least one and get on a wait list for others.
This all sounds like Ale is applying for college. There are even pre-schools with early admissions processes!! Its insane. I fell into the peer pressure from other moms in my daycare to take our children out at three years old and send them off to a preschool by September. Its insane because at the end of the day all of the programs are play based with a bit more structure than Ale is getting now. I am continuously questioning if this is all worth it. I know for sure that I want Ale to attend a pre-K program to get ready for kindergarten but I wonder how important pre-school is for the “academic” growth of a three year old child.
When I attend preschool open houses there are parents that ask a myriad of questions- regarding the school, how they will decipline their little angel, if the food that is served is organic, and how potty training is handled. If you’ve seen one fancy daycare you have seen them all. They all offer, Spanish, yoga, and organic hot dogs. I just want to know how much I have to pay a month and when are the drop off and pick up times. If the cost and the times do not follow our working parent schedules then I walk out the door. Simple as that.
My fear is that since it looks like all of Ale’s friends will be leaving the current daycare in September he will be the big kid surrounded by 18 month olds. Perhaps I should succumb to the peer pressure simply because these are the “norms” here, and Ale has the potential to be left behind socially.
Maybe our new Mayor Bill de Blasio will indeed institute universal pre-k in time for Ale when he is four years old if I just hold out a bit longer. Can I take that chance?
Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt:
Monday, January 6, 2014
Tell us about a time you bent to peer pressure.
Pre-Schools Don’t Like Working Families
This past summer Ale showed signs of knowing when he did pee pee. Like the over excited mama that I am, I immediately went to Amazon.com and ordered a potty and a potty book. You know where this is going… It came and Ale was excited to see the potty and read the book. When it became time to actually sit on the potty without a diaper it was impossible. So I said no sweat, we can do this later on. The book then went on the shelf and the potty is stored in my bathtub (New York City living- no closet space for a potty!!).
Now Ale is two years and two months old. I’m starting to get interrogated by mom’s who have potty trained their 19 month old daughters in a day. I could perhaps technically do it if I reserve a week’s time. Ale now grabs my hand to change him after poop. But, you know what? On this one I have to admit that I’m just too lazy to do it right now. That’s right- I can’t be bothered. Diapers are easy. I need something easy right now. I’m struggling with Ale eating well and sleeping (though last night he did sleep straight until 6:30am! whoo hoo!). That is more than enough. I know that Ale won’t be a teen in diapers so I’m not worried. This one I can drag out.
So good for you smarty pants moms who know all and get everything done efficiently. I like having a potty in my bathtub. It makes a good conversation piece.
What are you currently feeling pressure to do that you don’t particularly enjoy?