Too Much

Sorry I haven't been back. I have good intentions, really, but things have been rather harried for the past few weeks - well, um - actually months... probably years. This is my problem:

I don't know how well you can see this, but this is a pie chart of my life right now. And my plate is too full! I am overflowing, things are falling off my plate and some things barely make it on. Since the writing is hard to see here are my responsibilities, listed from biggest to smallest:
  • Family - husband, three kids 4 and under: all the playing, reading, dancing, breaking up fights, FHEs, teaching, awesome moments of being a wife and mother
  • YW - includes all meetings, calls, emails, visits, activities, etc
  • Housework - includes cooking, cleaning, laundry, lawn-mowing, weeding, shopping
  • Work - my actual employment with Alphabet Garten
  • Coaching Soccer - The Bubbs is rockin' it on her first soccer team (hopefully I will post on that soon) and I agreed to be the assistant coach, so I'm heavily involved in all the practices/games
  • Running Errands/Appointments - 50 billion doctor's visits with PJ, dentists, car maintenance, etc
  • Other Church - Primary, Enrichment and other ward activities, supporting DH in his responsibilities
  • Hosting Online Book Group - We're reading Gaskell's Wives and Mothers
  • Chauffeuring - 'nuff said. :)
  • Teaching Preschool - Both the Bubbs and Simster are in co-op preschools. Which means I take my turn to teach (I'll be teaching five weeks worth between now and mid-May).
  • VTing - I'm not really good at it, but I try. And I need to go. And it's already March 26.
  • Personal - things like scriptures, exercise, etc
  • Other - Encompasses holidays, birthdays, baby showers, babysitting friends' kids, TV watching, you know...
I did this exercise mostly for myself, but I thought I would share. I am just, well, swamped, all day every day. And it's not that I dread or detest any of these things (although they all have their moments - let's be honest, I don't always love cleaning toilets). I WANT to do all of these things and more! I feel sad and a little guilty when someone asks me to do something or join something or participate in something and I say no. Ever since I can remember, I have filled up my schedule to the very brim. With good things.

In a wonderful talk entitled "Good, Better, Best" Elder Dallin H. Oaks said:
"Some uses of individual and family time are better, and others are best. We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families."
I agree with this and have tried to apply it to my life. I try to make my family and church the top priorities.

But this goes a little deeper. There are many times when I have wanted someone else to do some of these things. I ask for volunteers and everyone has an excuse. Even though I am full to the brim, I know that things need to be done and since no one has volunteered, I know that if I don't do it, it won't get done. And it NEEDS to get done! This seems to happen a lot in YW with me. I guess I have set a precedant of just doing it if no one else does, so they know they can tell me no and I'll just do it. But it is wearing. me. out. And I don't think I can pull this off much longer. Anyone have suggestions on how to break the cycle? How come so many people (generalizing here) don't seem to feel any guilt about saying no when things need to be done?

And how come I feel guilty for watching a 30-minute television show or a basketball game with my hubby? Or sitting down at the sewing machine and making a nightgown for the Bubbs? Or hanging out with friends? Or blogging? I enjoy taking a break to read a book or play a quick game of Tetris but then spend the rest of the day feeling like I am a waste of life because my to-do list is out of control and I shouldn't take that time.

Anyway, basically this post is more self-exploration than anything else. But I know many of you who read this (when I actually blog) face or have faced similar challenges. How do you do it? What's your solution?

(Here's what Simster thinks of this long-winded post. Hee hee)


Kristy said…
I just take things one day at a time. Decide what is the most important and get that done. And if nothing else gets accomplished -it is ok-. I also have issues with feeling guilty about reading my book for 20 minutes when I could be doing more productive things. I guess the only advise I have it...don't give up, it gets better, keep praying, read your scriptures, go to church. All of the standard answers to all of lifes hard questions.

And have some chocolate at least once a day.
Jen said…
Yeah, it's hard to juggle all the things we want to do. I can't believe all those commitments you have!

I don't do well with all my time filled. I would drop out of a few things if you could. Just for a little wiggle room. Easier said than done; I know!!
Rob & Shauna said…
I've always found my responsibilities get fulfilled in cycles - not always 100% balanced and giving everything I should in each area, but really, we're only human, right? Anyway, definately doing the most important things first. I've just come to accept the fact that occasionally I'll be a bad housekeeper while I have something big going on with church, or that I choose to read a book to the kids instead of getting the dishes done. Lets face it, the dishes will wait for us, but our kids are only here for a short time and they grow so fast! Plus, the dishes won't remember if you didn't care for them...That's (more than) my 2 cents! Good luck!
Tracy said…
I wish I had the answers, for you and for me. I understand how you feel. My life never slows down. (I joke with hubby that I could quit breathing and it would take me two weeks to realize I was dead! I am that behind!) I would give you some great advice but D1 just called and needs a ride home so I have to go!

Hang in there and if you figure it out please let me know!
Litnak Family said…
Ok so as you know life is crazy and you know what it won't get less crazy till you die and even then you will never stop working, the Lords work is a hard working work.
I have found that with the YW stuff that instead of asking for vollenteers just MAKE an assignment it is their calling to support you and if they don't do it it is on their head and they can take it up with the LORD. I have noticed that too often people don't have the commitment to their callings as they should, and many times the people that are the busiest only get more of the brunt of the work how sad for them to miss out on the growth and the blessings that come with serving but how nice it is for those that do work hard and get stuff done because those people you KNOW are blessed and grow more because of it.
Just don't slack the most important things like family prayer, FHE, Your personal prayer, scripture study, couple prayer, and couple scripture study. Cause if you slack those it makes life harder and obveously you don't need your crazy life to be harder than it already is.
My sis in law and I were just laughing about how much time we'd have to get our houses done, and how much more we'd see our husbands, if we weren't members. Not that it is an option, but it is time consuming. The calling was/is time consuming. I have days were it's too much. Then I feel better. As long as the good outweighs the bad.....
Life is just so dang matter which way you look at it. The great thing is that you.are.doing.a.GREAT.job! I am in awe with all you accomplish.

I really think that the big thing to learn in life is how to successfully juggle all of it. If you find the answer, let me know.

BTW: Go P tonight! :)
sully said…
Maybe you should pray about it. My life has been really full the last year and I found that "when the world brings me to my knees, I'm in the perfect position to pray."
AND you can say no once in a while.
Hiya. Yes, your plate is full! But, your kids will have a better life because you do things for yourself, and for them. Trust me, I see kids who have parents that ignore them, or don't have lives of their own, and the kids are the worse for the wear. You are a good mom, and a good wife. I am sure of this. And its okay to not blog, or do something everyone once in awhile. As I have come to find, when I ask my class a question, when given enough time someone will put their hand up to help.