Keeping up With the New Normal


busyThis past month has been crazy. I love being busy; it energizes me and makes me happy. I also need periods of rest and me-time, which, for me, means at least an hour of crochet every other day. Crochet is my absolute favorite hobby, and it helps me unwind. 

School started in a hybrid method in many districts in New York state, and this would be enough chaos for many moms, including me. To add to the mix, in late August, I was accepted into a master’s program, and even though it is online, I am taking a full load, which is three classes.

We decided my youngest daughter wouldn’t continue in her daycare program until next year for many personal reasons, so I took on homeschooling her through this year of preschool (because she is 3) and because I have been increasing my own projects, which I started through Instagram.

To finish up this crazy mix, my son’s birthday and my wedding anniversary are coming soon. My parents will arrive one day after my first master’s semester is finished to stay for a visit.

Would I have time for something more? Probably not, but I was also chosen as a class mother for my son’s group, and that adds PTA meetings and events, even if this year they are online.

You might already be stressed out from reading this, and you might be thinking, this poor woman….(or you are in the same boat!). How could she have time to crochet and unwind? Let me tell you something. I am ABSOLUTELY happy with how things are going. As I mentioned, I am a very active woman (a friend tells me I am a firecracker). I love being busy and having an active agenda. It makes me happy.

I know how much I can take, and I have learned to say no to things. I actually turned down an incredible project I had been looking forward to for a long time, but I wouldn’t have time, and I don’t like doing things half-way.

Last year, my schedule was pretty boring for me. All I did was take this kid here, this one there, come back, pick this one up here, take this one there… I was so bored and depressed. I cried in January, thinking I made a mistake moving to the US after following my husband’s job. But slowly, things started to turn around, and now I am enjoying myself. 

First, let me tell you that we are all different, so if this would stress you out, then do you and forget about what I have to say. If you are like me, but you need some help organizing yourself and knowing how to manage it all, let me give you these five tips I have learned and followed this past month. 

1. Write everything down. I am old-school, and I like having a physical agenda (I use my google calendar to mark my appointments), but I break everything down using different colors in my agenda book. For example, my classes, the kids, personal stuff, etc. all have their own color. It helps me visualize everything.

2. Schedule time for yourself. I dedicate days to certain things and certain hours of the day. For example, I try to wake up at least 30 minutes before the kids (not always possible; these kids have an internal clock that often beats me), but I drink tea in silence and pray. I have three days to work out, I have 2 days to dedicate myself to the master’s assignments fully, I have one day to get organized, and the rest of my week’s hours have different activities to do. Some of those hours are only to sit, crochet, and unwind.

3. Take on only what you can and delegate the rest. Team up with your partner, a friend, or a family member. My husband takes on the night shift so I can read and do my school work. Sometimes he takes full charge on weekends and sometimes only on Sundays because we also put aside time for family fun. My kids have chores, and they understand it is important to pitch in now more than ever. When I cannot do something, I say no, and ask for help from a neighbor or friend. I put my mental health first, so I don’t get stressed out. 

4. Sleep, drink and eat healthy. I am a late-night sleeper, but I try not to pass my limits. Some days this is not possible, and I need a nap during the afternoons. The kids already know this, and this is usually when I allow screen time. They can watch TV or play video games next to me while I close my eyes and recharge. It is not selfish, mama; it is self-care. 

5. Enjoy the season. Stressful, busy moments of life come and go. I know I will have two weeks to rest in December with my parents when they visit us. I am looking forward to this time. I know in January it will be a repeat of this time again. I am ok with it. I know it will be like this for many months to come until I graduate. It is a season of life. I had a quiet season in 2019. I enjoy both!

I am thankful for every opportunity, and it is with a grateful heart and a smile (most of the time) that I start my day looking forward to the adventures it has for me.