Monday, June 6, 2011

Getting A Grip 3: How Hard is Too Hard?

At the end of last week I wrote two posts about how I need to make some big changes in my life and gain back some control. The first was about the need to lose weight and the second, about better time management. In another few days I will write a follow-up post on how each of these plans are progressing. Meanwhile an interesting question has arisen from some of the comments after these posts.

Crystal Jigsaw and Jazzygal both wrote words to the effect: You are doing great as a single mother and don't be too hard on yourself. I am very grateful for these comments - I'm very grateful for any and all comments - and they do help me ease up a bit on my expectations. And herein lies the problem: I am only too quick to react to comments such as these with a sigh of relief and a wander towards the sofa, usually via the fridge.

So how hard should one be on oneself? If I excuse every lazy day in the name of single motherhood I will slide further and further towards sluttish obesity, not to mention poverty. On the other hand, though I don't expect to keep to my pre-baby standards in many areas of my life, I do acknowledge that I cannot do everything in the time available. Furthermore, the time available isn't always available - DD does not always sleep on demand and I do not always manage to stay awake on demand.

And then there is blogging. Take now for example - I should be working for money. I know it is almost midnight but I work from home and this is a good and quiet time to get on with it. But I want to get in one more post before the holiday (the Jewish festival of Shavuot falls in the middle of this week and it's a two-day national holiday). It is important to me as this is my hobby and my me-thing - not just the writing but also developing the blog and building up readership. It is a link to the outside world and provides connections to other adults at a time when I spend every evening at home with a sleeping toddler. It is part of being kind to myself and it guzzles time (again, not just the writing but the networking and reading other blogs, etc... which is an important aspect of blogging). Rightly or wrongly, blogging has high priority.

And yet, all the factors I wrote about last week still apply and they need to be addressed. So, without being too hard on myself (as instructed), how hard is too hard?


  1. Oh, I identify with this so much. I agree that blogging is carving out a little me-time...I'm working on a diet and exercise regime that feels the same - something that I enjoy and feel good about, not a punishment.

  2. That's a clever approach Keren. For me the excitement will be something to do with recording the numbers going down and the hours of work going up.

  3. Blogging is hugely therapeutic and has opened more doors for me than I thought possible. You have to do something to help you relax. Life would be terribly boring if we spent all our waking moments earning money and living by the book. I think it's quite rewarding to be spontaneous occasionally, too.

    Thanks for mentioning me in your post.
    CJ xx

  4. Hello :-) I am also a single parent and yes, it's very hard to know when you are being too hard on yourself. I am just at the end of completing a degree as a full time student as well as being a full time mum. It's been fantastic but utterly exhausting and a logistical nightmare, even though we live with my Dad so I have had a good deal of support. I blog, tweet, try and get out and be sociable once in a while and dig in my veg patch too, when time and energy levels allow. I am guilty of trying to do too much and do not rest enough- finding the balance is the thing- that old work, rest and play' ratio. Good luck! x

  5. I have to say that I am a terrible self bully and it sounds as though you can be too. Why not try setting the same expectations on yourself as you would others and see what that changes.

    Blogging keeps me sane, there is always something else that needs doing, but sometimes I need to satify me and only me

  6. As an overweight non blogger married man who follows your blog - I hope you don't mind if I offer some advice - I will understand if the mummies reading this blog shout me down because I "don't understand" but I do. I have 2 children (much older now) and we all have to juggle busy lifestyles. So.... Stop being too hard on yourself, nobody is perfect and try to combine a couple of things into one to solve your problems. Maybe get a bicycle with an attachment to take DD out with you? this will help on the a) dieting b)fitness c)some quality time with DD d)Assuage your guilty feelings.

    So just chill out enjoy yourself and try not to eat too much cheesecake :)
    Chag sameach

    Richard :)

  7. Yes, I hear what you're saying. It's knowing when to give yourself the big push and when to give yourself a break! A life balance. Believe me... I fall into that trap too. Except I'm the opposite... once I get on the laptop very little else gets done!

    I personally am slowly coming back to the realisation that I need to schedule my day and my tasks (including blogging, 'cos that's important!)and get myself more into a routine. I get tons done when I do that.

    I think you and I need to merge our to-do-lists then we'll both get some balance!

    xx Jazzy

  8. Richard - firstly I'm thrilled that you are following my blog. Secondly all advice is taken in the spirit in which it is given, and I thank you for it. Combining tasks is good however, biking is not my thing. But I am planning a update and I will consider other combining options.

    Jazzy - your comment was very timely as I had also come to the conclusion that more of a routine and time scheduled for housework, blogging, money work, etc... is definitely needed. I will be working on it this weekend and will update very soon. Thank you

  9. Crystal Jigsaw - I am very rewarded by my spontaneous behaviour, too much, that's my point. But I agree with you and I'm not unhappy.

    Lucy Fur leaps - My goodness, I'm exhausted just reading about all you do.

    Madhouse Mum - I think blogging is keeping me sane too.

    Thanks for your comments.