Getting Real With Veronica Ibarra

My kind of busy doesn’t always look like your kind of busy. Sometimes busy is reading a book or watching a movie with my kids. Sometimes busy is writing content for blogs or plotting a story arch. Busy is whatever I am doing.

I am a mother, writer, and woman. I am these things all the time and all at once. I do not understand the fragmented way we are encouraged to separate each of the things we are. Those commas should really be hyphens. I should say I am a mother-writer-woman.

There are days where I can proudly say that each item on the to-do list was checked off. Then there are those days I feel that I have accomplished nothing in my efforts to do everything and the best I can say is I helped keep everyone alive. Working at home with kids is like this.

To help me better deal with the demands on my life, whether from others or myself, I’ve started to really look at how I do things. Instead of having a to-do list to check off every day, about once a week or so I keep a list of what I did for the day. By tracking what I actually do in a day I can better see what I’m capable of. This allows me to make to-do lists that make sense, and which I actually have a chance at accomplishing.

I’ve also learned a few things about myself and how to deal with my kids that have become my personal tips-and-tricks to avoiding meltdowns (theirs and mine).

  • Avoid back-to-back appointments like your sanity depends on it unless they are at the same place.
  • Don’t tell kids any maybe plans, only settled plans.
  • Never leave home without a bottle of water and a few granola bars no matter how quick the trip.
  • When washing clothes wash all the underwear and socks first.
  • When putting clothes away put a few complete outfits on hangers, including a pair of underwear and socks.
  • Schedule a block of time for nothing.

That last one is a non-negotiable for me. During my scheduled block of nothing I walk away from the computer, turn off the phone, and do whatever I feel like. I do not plan or think ahead. For me it is organic free time.

These tips-and-tricks are not foolproof. I still get overwhelmed and over-stressed at times. I am a mother-writer-woman after all.