“Sleep when the baby sleeps,” is one of those standard pieces of advice we give all new parents. I’ve offered it. Others offered it to me.
The truth is, when I offered that advice to others, I knew I was a hypocrite.
Why did I even bother saying it, I wondered? Almost no one rests each time the baby rests and honestly, just knowing you’re supposed too can add to your list of things you feel unsure or guilty about.
But see, this mantra really never goes away.
It morphs into this: “Enjoy it now, it all goes by so fast.”
Both are telling you that you need to slow down. That you need to rejuvenate. You need to rest. You need to enjoy. You need to relish.
And so, we often find ourselves in this vicious cycle of cramming in errands, work or grocery runs when kids are napping or at school. And then if something goes awry or something unexpected happens, we fret about how we “didn’t get anything done.”
How often have you ended your day lamenting that you “got nothing done?”
Just last week, we had an AC repair man to our house and he ended up being here three hours. It was three hours of constant interruption and questions – sure, with questions about things that needed to be done – but he sucked up the entire morning when I have both kids at school and can “get things done.” In this instance, it was paid work that wasn’t getting done.
I was totally stressed out. My day was thrown off. I found myself venting to my husband. Then I decided – fuck it.
I didn’t get done what I intended too but come the next hot day, we’ll be pretty glad the AC works properly, so something actually did get done.
Just not what I planned.
My conclusion, you ask? I didn’t come by this easily being the extremely type A person that I am but here it is people: Putting the kids to bed at night with clean bodies, full tummies and happy hearts, should be enough to qualify as “getting something done.” No, scratch that. It’s not that it SHOULD BE ENOUGH. It actually IS enough.
C’est vrai. I might even start a Wikipedia entry on the definition of “Getting It All Done.”
Therefore, how about easing up on the pressure for more? I’m going to start cutting myself a little more slack.
Can we call for a ban on the phrase “getting something done,” please? If nothing else, if you catch yourself the next time you are saying it, and give it pause for a minute, then my work here is done.
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