Saturday, May 21, 2011

I don't have time for a business.

I'm guilt ridden.
And the thing is, I have SO many blessings in my life, I can't handle them all.
I need more hours in a day.

Here's a breakdown.
There are 168 hours in a week.
If I sleep 8 hours a night, I am down to 112 hours.
If I bathe, get dressed, take medicine, brush my hair, and brush my teeth every day, I'm down to 105. 
If I eat three meals a day, I'm down to 94.5
If I go to church on Sunday, I'm down to 92.5
Those are my necessities... just for myself!  If I take care of myself, do what I absolutely need to do for myself (and yes, I think this includes church) I am down to 92.5 hours left a week!
That sounds like plenty, doesn't it?
If I bathe my youngest three, every other day, I am down to 87 hours.
If I prepare meals for the little ones for breakfast and lunch, and one meal a day for dinner, I am down to 76.5 hours a week.
If I do laundry each week, I'm down to 74.5 hours a week.
If I clean everyday, I'm down to 69 hours a week..
If I go grocery shopping, or house shopping every week, I'm down to 67 hours a week.
If I help the kids with homework each week, I'm down to 64 hours a week.
Okay.. so that takes care of the bare necessities of taking care of my family.
This does not include, doctor or dentist appointments, missed busses, or sick kids, which I'm sure would make that an even smaller number.
Now, let's say I give each one of my children just 30 minutes a day of individual attention.  Just half an hour.  (That's fantastic parenting, isn't it?)
I am down to 43 hours a week.
At this point, without anything else, I have enough time to work a full time job.

But wait...
I have a husband.
My partner.  My best friend.  Shouldn't I consider him?  What about the appointments he has to make?  What about his work schedule?  I have to work around everything that he needs.
So, let's factor in just the necessities of taking care of kids when he can't, running errands he needs, discussing bills, meals, driving places...  at a bare minimum.
I'm now down to 29 hours a week.
Now I would actually like to spend some TIME with my husband.
I think this ranks pretty high up there in importance, so I'm going to give him an hour each day. (ha!  an hour?  really?  for the most important person in my life?)
I'm now down to 22 hours a week.

Okay!  I now have time for a part time job!!!!

Oh, wait...
The kids have skating on Tuesday night.  Oh, and we've been trying for WEEKS now to make it Wednesday night supper.  Oh, and what about FAMILY time.  Not individual kid time, but that time that we're supposed to spend as a family doing things together?
Tuesday night 4 hours
Wednesday night 3 hours
Family time per week, let's say 4 hours.

I'm now down to 11 hours a week!

Well, SURELY that's enough time to at least send all the emails I need to send?

Oh, but I didn't consider the variables.
The weeks that one of them has a concert, a hair cut, a doctors appointment, a dentist appointment, extra homework, sickness, driving time, waiting in line time, waiting room time, holding on the phone time, etc.

I'm going to give myself some wiggle room here, and give myself 2 hours a week for the variables.
I'm now down to 9 hours a week.

So, I'm now giving myself and my family what I consider to be the least I can give them without being a horrible wife, and mother.  I have a large family.  I need to take care of them.  This is the life I chose!

And I have 9 hours a week left.

My husband may lose his job.  And soon.  We're looking at a scary time right now, because it's up in the air whether a medical condition is going to end my husbands career.
I am trying my VERY best to raise my income potential as far as I can incase that happens.

When I sat down a few nights ago, I decided I wanted to work 25 hours a week.  That maybe, just maybe, if I put in 25 hours per week, I might be able to work enough that I could support our family in the near future.

I'm now down to negative 16 hours
I need 16 extra hours from somewhere.

I have not included friends, I have not included personal time (WOW would I ever LOVE to read a freakin book!, or take a bath that lasts longer than 20 minutes, or just sit quietly in a room... ALONE.  I haven't included a call to my mother.  I haven't included a phone call to my sisters, or a visit with my brother.  I haven't included vacation time.  I haven't included phone calls to any of my long distance friends. 
Did  you know it's been a MONTH since I talked to my best friend in TN?
It's been 2 weeks since I've said hello to my best friend in GA.
Except for a few text messages, I haven't talked to my best friend in Nebraska in months.
I haven't talked to my mom for more than 5 minutes in weeks.
I've only gotten to talk to my god mother for a few minutes in the last few months.
I haven't included the occasional nap.  I haven't included the occaisonal hair cut, or shopping trip. 
I haven't included ANYTHING but what I NEED to be doing.

So let's say I want 2 hours a week, for personal time, for friend time, for phone calls, and vacation time, facebook, blogging, etc.
I'm now down to negative 18 hours.
I need an extra 18 hours a week.

And that's with me being absolutely mediocre, lacking, in every single area of my life.

If I actually went back, and added up the time it would take to do all of these things WELL?
I'd need an extra week, each week.

I'm overwhelmed.  I'm up to my eyeballs in stress.  I'm doing badly in just about every area of my life.  I've got people inviting me places, parties, events, dates, and I turn them ALL down.
I haven't been to a Girls Night Out in MONTHS.
I've got friends and family asking me to do little things.  Take pictures, artwork, teach them something, write them something, babysit, design something for them.
And I want to do it ALL.

I realized today, after staying up all night last night, working, and then today going to the dentist, running errands, taking a nap to make up for the sleep I lost last night, diving into more work... that I hadn't held Sarah ONCE today.
So I stopped.
I went in the living room, I picked up my sweet baby, who's had attention from big sisters and daddy all day, and I sat down and I CRIED.

I don't know how to be everything.  I don't know how to be everything to everybody.
I can't.
I try, SO hard.  To stay positive.  If I see myself getting down, I make an attitude adjustment pretty quickly. I generally keep a smile on my face, and try my best to encourage other people.
But I need, somehow, to have some ME time.

It seems like so many people need something from me.  Everyone in my life needs something from me.  They need my time.
But in all of this... there's no time left... for me?

So what do I give up?
Time with my husband?
Time with my kids?
Money from my business?

HOW do I fit in... a book?


  1. Praying everything works out job wise...peace and love,

  2. You sound like me! Hang in there! You are not alone! Keep doing your best to be your best! And let your family be in the know about all of this! (I know I certainly have a hard time admitting that I'm not able to "do it all!")

    And I know that prayer helps. A lot!

    ~ Sarah

  3. Gosh, Elizabeth. I really KNOW how you feel in many ways. I have the overactive "guilt gland" too, as I like to refer to it. I feel like their (the kiddos) lives are just flying by and I'm missing it.

    I really do WANT to do it all. But what does God call me to be. What does HE want me to do. My hubby is a pastor, so I sometimes feel that I have expectations at church to BE a certain way too. It is just a lot of strain.

    Everywhere I look something screams at me that it needs to be done. And what I have done doesn't messure up to my own standards. I don't have any answers, but I'm praying for you. Praying for us both. <3


  4. Wow. I just found your blog through a link on Facebook about your pattern giveaway (so sad I saw it today instead of yesterday!) and have enjoyed looking through your posts. I love how you write and your fun illustrations. But this post called out to me. Because we've all been there, completely overwhelmed and wondering where we make the cuts so we can have the life we want and truly deserve. The short answer is that we quit trying to have it all, plan it all, be it all. You take it day by day and make your choices minute by minute according to what needs your attention most at the time. Some days the dishes go undone. Some days you get only 6 hours sleep. And sometimes those wonderful husbands of ours spend more time with those beautiful kiddos than we do. But it's ok. We're all trying hard and we love them (the kids and the husband) with all our hearts and they know it. Give yourself a break. Grab a book and read for 10 minutes, preferably while in a tub full of bubbles while eating chocolate :) Then go back out there and live your life as happily as you can.