6.16.2010

stuck in a rut

Seems like I'm having a hard time bouncing back after all of our traveling; coming home to company, my sister visiting, Jason going back to work, remembering how much we have a love/hate relationship with his schedule, and getting the kids back to some semblance of a routine.
The older I get, the harder it is to bounce back. In more ways than just with the schedule. I feel like my mind and body has just been thrown off and its going to take some serious discipline to get me back on track. Do you ever feel that way? If so, what are some ways that you combat the stuck-in-a-rut feeling?

Jason was hoping to switch to an early on/early off shift in mid-June or early July, but we came home to find out that one of his coworkers {the guy who trained Jason} left rather abruptly for a new position somewhere else. Which means, I assume, Jason's shift change probably won't happen anytime soon.
We love his hours for the most part, but we hate his hours when it comes to our social life. Having Daddy gone every.single.night takes its toll on me for sure, but more than that, I just get tired of going places with friends and feeling like I'm a single Mommy. Because I hate it so much, I tend to just not go places at night. The kids and I go to our Community Group {Bible study} on Tuesday nights, but other than that, I'd just prefer to stay home. But then staying home makes me sad sometimes; making nice dinners for the kids and me, but not being able to enjoy them with Daddy.
But then we love having him here with us every morning and we enjoy going on day trips with Daddy before he heads off to work. I will miss being able to do that when he changes shifts.
I guess its a good lesson of the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I'm sure there's going to be things I don't like about an early on/early off shift as well. Like, even though its hard on me to be alone every night with the kids, I do love that when Jason walks through the front door at night, the house is quiet, cleaned, kids are asleep and he and I get complete alone time until we drift off to sleep. That part is quite lovely. Anything beats Daddy walking in the front door to total chaos, dinner burning on the stove, the house looks like a tornado hit it and Mommy forgot to apply some quick blush and lip gloss to look undead for Daddy ;-)

Okay, so I'm exaggerating... a little.

Anyway, this morning I woke up feeling like a massive truck had hit my body, my head was killing me and I knew I needed to just stay in bed, sleep it off and then get back on track tomorrow. But I laid there realizing I need to get out of this rut. I need some good ideas. Do any of you use daily schedules or routines? Have you in the past and found them to be more of a nuisance than helpful? I keep thinking maybe having one as a general guideline would be nice.
I don't want to be going to bed at insane hours of the night/morning, eating what I can grab, when I can grab it, working out when I don't feel half dead after the kids go to bed {because lately that would mean I'd never work out}, reading my Bible and praying in such short little spurts. I miss being able to sit and focus on things for me. But I know the time is there - when we want to make time for things/people, we somehow make it work. 
I know I'm rambling, sorry. I am really curious to hear if any of you have tackled this and have some good ideas for me. I'm mostly curious, when you find yourself in a rut similar to this, how do you effectively get out of it and make good progress? I'm typical for making changes, but quickly slip back into the old habits and it drives me nuts. Today I decided this is something I definitely need to commit to prayer - nothing is too small for my Heavenly Father!

Also, I know I've been posting tons of pictures posts lately and some of you have graciously complained that you miss hearing from me {thanks, you ladies are super sweet}. I'm still uploading California posts - the posts from Peter's wedding are below this one, in case you're curious.

11 {comments}:

Jenn said...

Stef, I really wish I could offer some profound advice that will get you back on track but the truth is, I'm in a rut too. So I'm looking forward to your friends' comments and seeing what they do day in and day out to keep on top of the chaos that can so easily overtake.

Charlotte said...

Stef, I have totally had times like that. Last spring ('09) was particularly a hard one for me. I know that part of it seemed to be physical; I noticed that when the days got longer and the sun was shining more, that seriously helped. So this last winter I made a point to be outside more, especially on sunny days.

But it was definitely a mental thing as well. Having a schedule helped a lot....I have one normally, but on those days it gave me goals and the incentive to press on. And it even helped me to organize my free time as well; giving space for reading, working in the garden, organizing something around the house, meal plans... Not that I kept my schedule even remotely perfectly; it is there simply as a guide.

Having a hobby is also something that is helpful when I feel unmotivated; sometimes getting outside with my camera is just the thing I need. I have found that 'action' type things help and sometimes doing these things alone is even better. (alone is in without the kids.) And this is why I wish we lived closer so I could watch them for you sometime! When I was going through my rough time last year my oldest child was old enough to watch the rest of the kids for an hour or so, and so I could get away to a coffee shop with my bible for a break or take a nice walk. If someone has offered, take them up on an hour of free time for yourself. And it is never too late to start a new hobby...

Of course a lot of my problem was not seeing the joy in every day life, which is more of a spiritual issue. As moms our journey can seem so uphill somedays and with so little reward. And it is hard to trust that this is where God has us and is exactly where we should be. Reading scripture was what most helped me out of my hole. A book that I also read during this time that was greatly helpful was Elizabeth Prentiss' Stepping Heavenward.

With Jason gone every night, maybe you could think of it in terms of switching your day/night. I am sure you have already done stuff like this, but maybe have a big lunch (like you would have dinner) for the whole family, and then make sandwiches and keep it low key for you and the kids in the evening. Doing your preschool type stuff later in the afternoon or even the evening and maybe meeting up with friends in the afternoon when they are 'single moms' too.

Right now my Sweetie is working in the Bay Area three days a week and spends at least one to two nights a week down there. We have adjusted OK, and have been able to fill our time with different things. I know what you mean about wanting to have the house nice for when your husband comes home. On those nights when he is down there, my house looks very lived in and I am in my sweats!

Hang in there, Stef. I will keep you in my prayers this week. Hugs to you!

Charlotte said...

So I like posted a monstrous comment...maybe I should have turned it into a blog post.... :-)

Stef said...

Thank you, Charlotte! I loved your comment, very helpful. We've been doing very big breakfasts and pretty big lunches, but ever since we got back from CA we've had a hard time getting back into doing that. Its weird how adjusting gets harder the older you get ;)
I need to get back to doing that, good reminder!
This week I've been potty training Kara, so not much of any cooking has gone on - maybe that's what's discouraging me, I don't know.

Krista said...

Yeah Stef, don't be too hard on yourself or expect too much out of this week. Potty training can be so physically/mentally/emotionally draining! I know when I do it I put everything on hold for a while. Cooking, cleaning, running errands, socializing, etc. It can really be time consuming and a big job! Once Kara gets it down you will probably feel much more productive and back to normal. It is just a short season!

Stef said...

Thanks Krista! I'm starting to realize, this is why with E&R I didn't try and train them too early on. It really makes it 10 times harder! With them, the process was very simple and quick. I kept pushing Ethan before he was ready and when I just waited for him to show signs, he was done in a week. And Rachel took like 2 days :)
I'll get through it. And if she ends up not going for it in a week, I think we'll just wait it out.

the mcclenahans said...

Stef, I found Levi's blanket at TJ Maxx...the brand is MiGi. :o)

Stef said...

Thanks, Jess! I was hoping it was a local store, so I could find one for my friend who just had a baby boy :)

Stef said...

Thanks, Jess! I was hoping it was a local store, so I could find one for my friend who just had a baby boy :)

Krista said...

Yeah Stef, don't be too hard on yourself or expect too much out of this week. Potty training can be so physically/mentally/emotionally draining! I know when I do it I put everything on hold for a while. Cooking, cleaning, running errands, socializing, etc. It can really be time consuming and a big job! Once Kara gets it down you will probably feel much more productive and back to normal. It is just a short season!

Charlotte said...

Stef, I have totally had times like that. Last spring ('09) was particularly a hard one for me. I know that part of it seemed to be physical; I noticed that when the days got longer and the sun was shining more, that seriously helped. So this last winter I made a point to be outside more, especially on sunny days.

But it was definitely a mental thing as well. Having a schedule helped a lot....I have one normally, but on those days it gave me goals and the incentive to press on. And it even helped me to organize my free time as well; giving space for reading, working in the garden, organizing something around the house, meal plans... Not that I kept my schedule even remotely perfectly; it is there simply as a guide.

Having a hobby is also something that is helpful when I feel unmotivated; sometimes getting outside with my camera is just the thing I need. I have found that 'action' type things help and sometimes doing these things alone is even better. (alone is in without the kids.) And this is why I wish we lived closer so I could watch them for you sometime! When I was going through my rough time last year my oldest child was old enough to watch the rest of the kids for an hour or so, and so I could get away to a coffee shop with my bible for a break or take a nice walk. If someone has offered, take them up on an hour of free time for yourself. And it is never too late to start a new hobby...

Of course a lot of my problem was not seeing the joy in every day life, which is more of a spiritual issue. As moms our journey can seem so uphill somedays and with so little reward. And it is hard to trust that this is where God has us and is exactly where we should be. Reading scripture was what most helped me out of my hole. A book that I also read during this time that was greatly helpful was Elizabeth Prentiss' Stepping Heavenward.

With Jason gone every night, maybe you could think of it in terms of switching your day/night. I am sure you have already done stuff like this, but maybe have a big lunch (like you would have dinner) for the whole family, and then make sandwiches and keep it low key for you and the kids in the evening. Doing your preschool type stuff later in the afternoon or even the evening and maybe meeting up with friends in the afternoon when they are 'single moms' too.

Right now my Sweetie is working in the Bay Area three days a week and spends at least one to two nights a week down there. We have adjusted OK, and have been able to fill our time with different things. I know what you mean about wanting to have the house nice for when your husband comes home. On those nights when he is down there, my house looks very lived in and I am in my sweats!

Hang in there, Stef. I will keep you in my prayers this week. Hugs to you!

 

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