I am showing all the signs of an overscheduled Mombie, are you? Here are 5 Signs you are an Overscheduled Mombie:
1. No time to get the maintenance done on your 2nd home a.k.a vehicle
I had a mini panic attack while trying desperately to find a two hour window when I could get our 2nd home, our SUV, in for some much needed mechanic work. How on Earth was I going to make this happen? I need the car for morning drop-offs, preschool pick-up, play dates, dr. appointments, school pickup, after school activities. If only there was a mechanic that came to your house around midnight, took your vehicle, worked on it, ran your credit card, and then left it in your driveway so it was ready to go in the morning, could you imagine? A girl can dream. So, I have a vehicle that has been neglected maintenance for far too long and if I don’t get it in I won’t be able to maintain our busy schedule but because of our busy schedule I can’t find a window of time to get the work done…can you relate to this dilemma?
2. You look and act like a Zombie
I told myself years ago that I would never be “that mom”, you now the type, they look like Zombies with their dark circles under their eyes, expressionless faces, they have lost the will & strength to carry on a conversation, sometimes even have trouble forming words! Shuffling one child to baseball practice, another to dance, while going through the drive-thru with the 3rd before their piano lesson, only to do it all over again in a half hour. No, that wasn’t going to be me or my family. We were going to sit down every evening for dinner together, discuss our days, and after the children had cleared the table they could play with their friends outside, you know, a real life Leave it to Beaver type of a family! I was going to have more control over my children’s scheduling, they would have limited activities, and faith would remain of utmost importance. I had it all figured out back when my children were still in preschool. And then they grew!! And life threw us some curve balls.
3. The Family Table is a distant memory
After working at his old place of employment for 15 years my husband got a new job, one that involves travel. So I can kiss those dreams of all us sitting down as a family every evening goodbye. But that’s okay, we all need to make sacrifices along the way and we made this decision together and felt it was the best for our family but that doesn’t mean it is easy. And that idea of the children clearing the table and then going off to play with their friends, yeah, not happening. Why? Well, it’s rather simple, most of them are either at a different parent’s house, at afterschool care, or at an after school activity. So what do you do? Can’t beat them, then join ’em! And that is precisely what we did, though I didn’t realize it in the beginning. It was more like that frog in hot water analogy; it was a slow progress to arrive where I am today, as an official Zombie mom= Mombie!!
4. Your Priorities are askew
I rationalized ALL of it! First and foremost, of utmost importance is my children’s faith life. God has entrusted me with these miraculous little souls and I want to do my best to make certain I guide them and provide them with a faith driven life (you will see the irony of this in a few sentences). And since they do not attend a Catholic school I made certain they were enrolled in religious education classes. Thus, religious education classes were not open to a discussion attendance was mandatory and only once a week for 1-1/2 hours. That in addition to the rosary and reading the bible in the evenings was going to provide a nice foundation for their Faith lives during weekdays.
But then our kiddos started learning about all the other fun activities that other children were participating in, like chess club, boy scouts, swimming, basketball/baseball (seasonal sports), etc. And I rationalized it all….sports are a great way to teach teamwork & get some exercise, chess club is a fun way to exercise your brain, etc. And then suddenly in the evenings we were way too tired for the rosary and reading the bible so I did the next logical thing, or so I thought at the time, I had my daughter join Little Flower Girl’s Club because there she could learn about the virtues and about the Saints while I rushed her sibling around. Mind you the idea behind the club is that mothers and daughter spend this time together but I couldn’t be in two places at once so my mom offered to attend. Did I just delegate my child’s faith life entirely onto others? YEP! And here’s the REAL KICKER, Boy Scouts, Little Flower girls club, and religious education all fall on the same day & times (ever been in 3 places at once!?) and since my children’s faith is of utmost importance to me I would clearly make certain they attended religious education class, right!? WRONG!
5. You have lost sight of the true Joys of Motherhood & are hearing your kids but NOT listening to them
I have to be 100% honest, before Spring Break I felt tired, overstressed, unappreciated, I was feeling like a motherhood failure. I figured it was just me; something was clearly wrong with me. I had never ever considered the thought that the problem might be with our schedule. But then we had Spring Break and no extracurricular activity and guess what I found over that week? I found the joys of motherhood again. The fog lifted, I had more patience, I wasn’t angry or stressed, I enjoyed hearing and ACTUALLY LISTENING to my little ones thoughts, dreams, questions, etc. I wasn’t simply waiting for silence and replying or nodding my head…I could actually process what they were saying, form a complete thought, share, and patiently await their reply, it was the most refreshing feeling!! I so enjoyed our leisure conversations over meals, no rushing off with dinner in hand or grabbing food on the go.
Solution: If it’s broke FIX IT!
Things need to change. In all this running children around and being the sole caregiver at home I have practically lost myself…gone are the days were I would attend book club and get out a couple times a month. This schedule is wearing me down and I think the family is suffering. But I think what really pisses me off is the fact that I know things need to change but I have almost found comfort as a Mombie because it is familiar. I am literally sitting at the intersect of change & comfortable, I could maintain the same course and sink further into my Mombiehood or go for change. But change is scary; I can’t even see the road ahead…which is really scary for a gal who lives in NW Ohio where it is so flat you can see miles ahead. Haha!
So, are you showing any of these signs? How do you keep your family from overscheduling? How do you say no without feeling guilty?