Monday, May 21, 2012

Under Pressure?

No - this is not about the Queen song "Under Pressure" although when I read it aloud, it immediately comes out sounding like the song.

The members of Queen. If you need to just go listen to the song... UNDER PRESSURE!

I just get this feeling of being under pressure. Pressure to buy my own house, pressure to keep my house spotless, pressure to get a good job (i.e. not staying at home and babysitting), pressure to raise my kids the 'right' way, pressure to have all the newest, latest and greatest gadgets and pressure to remain calm, and in control at all times.

If you remember the beginning of 2012, I said I hated new years resolutions BECAUSE they make you feel guilty all year long.  I stopped feeling guilty about not accomplishing everything and instead I feel pressure.

If I am being real (which I usually like to be) I would say I don't accomplish a heck of a lot on any given day.  I spend most of the day finding ways to entertain and feed children. Once my children are in bed, I give the house a 'tidy' and that's where it stops.  I'm tired, I need a break and I just want to do something mindless for an hour or so.

So here is how I have reduced my workload, and the great weight that used to sit on my shoulders

I'm lucky to have a husband who does the dishes.  Take dishes off my TO-DO list!  (If I actually had a list, it would be oh-so satisfying to scratch dishes off it)

I have given Seth a list of chores, everyday he does one chore. I can honestly say that Seth helping out has made a huge difference.  He cleans the upstairs (most used) bathroom on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. In reality, this means that he wipes down the counter and uses an excessive amount of cleaning products to clean the toilet, but I don't care, because I am not cleaning the bathroom.) He washes windows on Tuesdays. He has his own job (newspapers) to do on Thursdays.  Fridays he empties the dishwasher and clears the dinner table and on Saturdays, he vacuums.  I haven't cleaned windows in months!  I only clean the washrooms once a week (which used to be something I did everyday).  And although I have an unhealthy obsession with vacuuming and I really have to fight the urge to vacuum immediately after he has finished, I do not have to use the vacuum on Saturday's.

I have also started meal planning.  This is new to me.  My mother did not make meal plans (as far as I know) and I have never actually seen anyone use this method in action but it has radically changed my life! (I may be a little over the top when I say "Radically" but if you knew how often I stood in front of an open fridge, cupboard or freezer wondering what to make for dinner, you would understand my exaggeration) I am actually excited to get the flyer from Seth on Thursdays to start figuring out what I am going to make with the things that are on sale that week.  I go to the grocery store ONCE, yes, I am trying to go just once a week, but occasionally we have run out of milk and I have needed to make the trip, but I am no longer buying things I did not need or did not intend to use in the near future.  This saves me so much anxiety about meals as well as so much time and money when I run to the store, last minute to get something for dinner and come home with 5 bags of groceries.

I started taking a couple walks a week by myself.   I am not a runner.  I could run to the end of my street, but walking back to my house would involve a whole lot of huffing and puffing, heart pounding and a sudden urge to collapse when I hit my own driveway.  Walking, on the other hand, I could do for hours.  I grab some music, headphones and bop my head as I walk all over the neighbourhood.  Several times I have come back from walking and say to Eric, "That felt so good, I don't know if I'm done yet or not!"

Lastly I have found that enjoying a cup of herbal tea or a glass of wine before bed has helped me to unwind enough to settle into a deep, satisfying slumber.  Now that my children have been sleeping through the night, I am feeling well rested and ready to do it all over again when I wake up.

Just taking a few minutes of cuddle time reminds me what a special gift I have in my children, and feeling less guilt, pressure and anxiety is allowing me to truly enjoy it!

A little cuddle to end the long weekend.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Awe, I loved this post! You are doing such practical things to reduce your stress and make home a happier place.
    Thanks so much for sharing, I think I will use some of these ideas! (I also have a hubby that does dishes!)

  2. I think you've implemented some great strategies for dealing with pressure! And by the way - spending your day taking care of children IS accomplishing a lot!!

  3. I definitely started singing the song in my head (or perhaps out loud) the second that I saw the title. Bella looked at me a little strangely. Oh well!