i have a deep and abiding dislike of structures and routines. seriously, it’s almost pathological. i find things like daily chores mundane, and i eschew the mundane.
which, is, obviously not practical or helpful in any real sense.
i’m also an adult with adhd. so there’s that.
i have this (totally indicative of adhd) tendency to procrastinate about this, forget about that, and generally flit through my day scattered and all over the place–until something catches my fancy and then i’m all in and you can hardly pull me away. (which, of course, is the hyperfocus piece of add/adhd that a lot of people don’t quite understand.) stuff gets done, but in the most nonsensical, haphazard of ways.
at some point, usually the beginning of a school year, i make the most impressive, color-coded, down to the minute schedule you’ve ever seen. and for maybe 5 days i’m able to sort of stick to it. then inevitably, i don’t. and then i lament my inability to stick to even my self-imposed structure. then i get angry and remind myself that structure and order and routine aren’t for everyone and i have to do things like that. then, secretly, i feel like a scatterbrained failure and i berate myself because i know plenty of single moms who also work outside of the home and they appear to function beautifully and get everything done and ohmygoshwhatiswrongwithme? and then, at another point, i make another all-encompassing schedule that i know i’ll never fully stick to and the cycle continues.
the fact that we homeschool (combined with the fact that i work from home/car/library/whatever) means we already enjoy a rather flexible schedule. and though things are definitely busier than it’s been in past years with the boys activities as well as my own things going on during the week, but it’s just so easy to move most things around, or put off until later what was supposed to be done now. because why not?
all of this is quite obviously so not a good example for my kids, i know.
the problem, aside from the fact that it’s helping me none, is that i’m realizing that i’m teaching my kids some really important lessons about time management, structure, order, and perhaps most importantly, discipline and stick-to-itiveness. and basically what i’m teaching them is that as soon as things get too hard, meh, we don’t have to do it anymore. or at least, we don’t have to do it now. we can come back when we feel like it.
while this may be true for our current life situation, as an adult person i know that most of life, unfortunately, doesn’t work quite that way. and success in life is so often about showing up and doing the thing whether you feel like it or not. and i very much want for my boys to grow into functioning, successful, productive members of society. i’m not talking about success based on some measuring stick that takes into account how much money they make, or where they live, or what special letters they have behind their names. i’m talking about the success in hard work, and diligence, and knowing that so often, the most beautiful rewards come as a result of sticking with the toughest things.
and since kids learn by example, it means a major shift for me in order to be a good example for them. so that brings me back around to this whole hating schedules and structure thing. but it also comes back around to me being a bit less…all or nothing, in general. (also fairly typical of us adhd’ers. we’re usually all the way super consumed with something, or we don’t care at all. there’s often no in-between.) in creating my (latest) new schedule, i realize that structuring it down to the very minute–wherein i wake up in time for a sunrise jog around the neighborhood, have a 30 minute yoga practice, make coffee and post to 2 blogs as well as completing 3 loads of laundry all before the kids even open their eyes–is biting off way more than my disorganized-hard-to-prioritize-tasks-mind can chew.
so i made a single goal to start with. and for me, just keeping up with this one thing for longer than 7 days will be hugely challenging. and i have to acknowledge that that’s ok. but hopefully, in keeping up with this one thing, i’ll be successful and motivated to change another small thing. because all of those small things together add up into major life changes. and being an overall better example to my wildboys.
and maybe one day i’ll be that sunrise running, a.m. yoga doing, coffee-and-laundry-before-breakfast mama.
one thing at a time.