I have not posted on my blog in way too long. I never mean to go this long, but lately I have had one trip after another, and more than ever, just way too much to do. So, unfortunately, what falls by the wayside? My blog. My workouts. My sleep. My wingspan is simply not wide enough.
Last night, as I sat in my boys’ room at bedtime, I thought about this idea of my “wingspan.” If you saw me sitting in their room you would know why. In order to transition the 2 of them to go to sleep together at the same time (they share a room) I started sitting in-between their 2 beds and stretching out my arms so that they could each hold my hand as they fell asleep. I know, I know. It’s a bad habit. I shouldn’t have started it. It’s my fault, not theirs. But for now it works, and I haven’t been able to build up the courage to go through the transition needed to wean them off of this bad habit. They are, after all, only 2 and 4 years old, and I am a working mommy with enough mommy guilt to just let it go. So there I sit every night in the dark room, stretching my arms just barely long enough to reach each of their beds and hold their little hands. Some nights both my arms fall asleep, and my circulation seems to be cut off because of where the beds hit my wrists. Last night I sat there, hoping that my 2 boys would fall asleep quickly, and thinking that if my wingspan were just a little bit wider — I would be better off.
As that thought popped into my head (while I tried to scratch my nose with my knee), I thought about how that was a metaphor for my life today. If only my wingspan were just a little wider, how much more could I accomplish every day? If I could only work a little bit faster, or the days were a little bit longer. What would that do for me? I feel right now that every day I make critical time management decisions all day long until I go to sleep:
- After showering, do I dry my hair or just run out with wet hair?
- Can I grab one load of laundry and stick it in the machine, or maybe transfer the load I managed to get in before I went to bed last night?
- Do I stop for coffee on the way into work?
- If I stop, do I get coffee and a bagel and wait the time it takes to toast the bagel?
- Can I get one more call in, or one more email out before I have to pee?
- Can I get through all the new emails before the next meeting?
- If I talk to this one last person will I get out of the office in time to get home for our nanny to leave? (I am NEVER late and always home by 4:45 — but I get in as much as possible before I leave.)
- When I am home, I wonder whether I can try to get dinner started, while emptying the dishwasher and playing hide and seek with my boys.
- Do I finish eating my dinner, or just start cleaning up, since the boys are done and ready to play?
- Can I play trains with them, while efficiently darting over to the toy box putting away all those toys that they are not playing with?
- When I get them in the bath, can I fold that load of laundry, in the bathroom so that I can still interact and supervise the kids in the tub?
- While my husband reads the boys books, can I get all the laundry put away? Maybe put another load in the washer? Or maybe dart downstairs and finish cleaning up the chaos of toys that a 2 year old and 4 year old leave in their wake?
- As I sit quietly in the dark while they fall asleep, and stretch my poor arms out between them, I think should I close my eyes? Or should I think through our next email campaign — and really take a few quiet moments to review the strategic direction in my head?
- Now the boys are asleep and I think, should I do a workout? Or should I catch up on email? Or should I sit and relax for 30 minutes?
- Before I go to bed I always try to deal with one load of laundry.
I am exhausted just writing this all down. But this is my life. I need to manage every moment I have. I usually make phone calls in the car to maximize my time. There seems to be very little of my life that isn’t a constant battle to determine which task is most important to accomplish. But of course as I write everything down I realize that my wingspan will never be wide enough. The wider it might get, the more things I will try to accomplish every day. That is just who I am and how I operate. And I think all those working mommies out there would probably nod in agreement. I can always work more, do more with my kids, organize and clean more, work out more, sleep more, etc. I just have to relax and give in. I will never, ever, get it all done. I will never, ever, be able to really do it all. That is just the life I lead. And I love it. I love my work, I love my boys, I love my husband, I love our house, I love the town we live in. I feel like I am a very lucky, overworked, tired, stretched-too-thin mommy, wife and CEO.