Something inside of me thrives on the chaos of being in over my head. Busy. Overwhelmed. Harried. In constant motion. When things are too calm, I feel inner unrest. I welcome quiet, yet complete silence feels unnerving. Perhaps that is why my therapist suggested I’ve been acting a bit manic.
One thing I have learned is not to take children on errands while they are between the ages of one and three. There is simply no point. From hiding in clothing racks to pulling food off of shelves to accidentally knocking over displays, simply put – it’s a nightmare. But today I decided to man up and take both kids on errands for the first time and I loved it!
Three hours of non-stop shopping and we all survived. Ryan got a haircut, we hit two clothing stores (so I could fill in the kids’ wardrobes for our upcoming trip to Florida), we shared a meal together (at a restaurant!), stopped by the drugstore and ended with a trip to the supermarket.
There was no bribery and no time-outs. I was constantly in motion between refilling straw cups, bottles, changing diapers, rotating stroller toys, making up games, counting to three, putting clothing up against them to approximate size, giving praise, alternating holding each child and sweating.
I almost lost Ryan a few times, but who’s counting. He almost knocked down a store display, made a mess of a basket of bouncy balls and nearly got himself wedged under a clothing rack, but I got everything I needed and nobody was crying, bleeding or being read their rights so I considered it a successful outing.
Although I know many people go on errands with a whole mess of monkeys, I am just not cut out for such things. You’re probably thinking, “I do that every day and it’s not a big deal.” But you know what? It is a big deal. I give you a lot of credit. You know those women who simultaneously manage quadruplets, two dogs, head the Girl Scout troop, volunteer their time to worthy causes and win county baking contests? I am not one of them. But there was something about the noise, the chaos, the constant motion and the feeling of being in over my head that made me work at my optimum level of energy.
I think this is why I desire to add ”businesswoman” to my resume even though I feel like hitting myself for taking on something that might put me beyond what I can handle at the moment. For thinking that starting a home-based business is acceptable even though my full-time job is taking care of the kids, knowing that I can’t give it 100 percent but doing it anyway. Although I always hated the idea, it somehow feels peaceful to have so many loose ends. To pile more “stuff” onto my to-do list. If everything was neatly tied and all projects were completed, I think I would drown in an abyss of boredom.
For someone who has a sign next to their bed with the quote, “Nothing to do, nothing to do, what a happy thought” – I can’t believe I’ve jumped over to the dark side.