Re-defining “Achievement”

I can’t get anything finished any more!! I know the answer is blatantly obvious: I have three children aged 6 and under … of course I can’t get anything done. You’d be amazed at how long it has taken me to arrive at this conclusion for myself! Linden is 10 months old now … that’s how long!

When I first became a mother I was kind to myself – I knew that I would have to re-define the word ‘achievement’ and I was prepared for days where getting every one fed would be the only thing to have ticked off the list. I only had one child at that point! Now it is a good day if I have remembered to feed myself. As a mother of one baby I patted myself on the back because I could still get to places on time, leave the house without forgetting anything, get to where I am going without forgetting where I am going before I get there …

Yeah, it is a bit different now. Now I am happy if I have managed to get all the kids and all the stuff we need in the car in 5 or fewer trips to the house. I still (yes STILL! 6 years and 10 months later!)  panic half way down the road after mentally going through my list of things I had to put in the car, and then wonder if I remembered the baby!! It is ok – I have never forgotten the baby, but she’s so quiet back there that I can be forgiven for thinking that I’ve overlooked her.

I am a busy woman, interested in lots of things. I know how to relax, and make sure I do because I have learned not to underestimate the value of a good bit of quiet time. Having said that, I do also get carried away with new projects. I won’t list the projects I am working on, and I won’t take a photo of my desk for you to try to count the unfinished projects … there is just way too many! But I am content to pick things up and put them down as the mood takes me. Little bit by little bit, they get done.

But it is ok to plod along.  I chose this life, I chose my children and I love my choices. The part of me that wants to rush out and go to work and be an adult thinking grown-up, uninterrupted thoughts is still there and still pining for the golden years of being a DINK (dual income – no kids). My dream right now is really just to have a bit of head-space. I have to get up before 4 am to be truly alone with my own thoughts – but this is only possible if I haven’t been woken up four times already by the baby!

And yet, while my children are still so little my no-kids-adult-self quietly waits in the background, knowing that when I look back on my life THESE years are going to be the golden ones. So for now, I am content to review my definition of achievement every day and do what I can do when I can do it.

3 thoughts on “Re-defining “Achievement”

  1. Jen, I only have one at home (although the other one is still taking up lots of my head space!) and I still can’t get anything done! So, you are doing well. It is all about redefining your sense of purpose and modifying, isn’t it. To be happy with one paragraph, or one page, or one row of stitches, or one cake baked. But yes, I too long for the days of pre-children and am really looking forward to walking the road to santiago in my coming future all alone!!!!

    • Thank you Amber – I think I”m doing all right even if I can’t help wanting more – i feel like I am already on the road to santiago – the whole thing is a metaphor for the challenge of living a fulfilling and spiritual life isn’t it? Not sure I’ll have to go to Spain to find that!!

  2. ah my all time favourite topic! one we can all help each other with. i wonder if we can ever as women, accept this ever beautiful juxtaposition of purpose. Jen, your experience, so eloquently shared is inspiring, as always!

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