life: bad attitude

by mari

Hipstamatic iPhone atmospheric image of a bad mood

Being a working mom who works from home is such a roller coaster. I’m up, then down, sideways, and backwards. Usually before noon. I’ve had a couple of moms ask me how I do it all. And frankly? I haven’t a clue, I actually don’t think I am. I’ve been struggling a lot lately with my attitude – it’s a bad one and it shouldn’t be considering I’m doing things I really enjoy. It appears the attitude comes from feeling too busy. I’ve jumped in with two feet and both hands and can’t figure out why I suddenly don’t have 4 extra limbs for the other 5 projects I just agreed to.

I may inwardly be whining about all the things I have to get done – but I put myself into this situation, so I have no one to blame but myself. Yeah, yeah, it’s that whole philosophy of learning to say no. But how do you do that when everything you’re doing is what you want to be doing? It’d be much easier if some things were things that I didn’t want to do (cleaning the house doesn’t get to be on that list, does it?) I’ve written before about being an Over Achiever. Though I don’t think I’d want to be anything else, it seems right now that being an OA is slowly driving me insane. Between that and the constant internal monologue that compares me to every other person doing one portion of what I’m doing, I’m amazed that I get anything done.

I spent several months of blogging at Small for Big with the mindset that I have to appear to be an expert. I’ve realized that’s all wrong – because I know the best way that I relate to people is to share some of my foibles. Number one on the list: always finding new and exciting things to do. It sounds like one of those job interview tactics: when asked for a flaw, describe something that’s actually a positive. Well, I think I’ll get the job.

So help me feel better: what’s your worst Over Achiever tendency?

The image above was taken by me, all thanks to my Hipstamatic iPhone App which I’ll review with you later when I’m in a better mood! (But every post deserves a link, don’t you think?)

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lori (aka: marzi) May 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm

oh mari. i think you know me well enough to know i’m exactly the same way in every way, shape, and form. wish i had some advice, but i could use some myself!


2 Miz Big May 27, 2010 at 10:10 am

Yep, we need to start a support group or something!


3 L.P. May 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm

To help my attitude, the psychologist told me to do daily affirmations. Do you know how hard this is! Moms shouldn’t be so hard on themselves. Wouldn’t you rather grow from and let other people grow from your mistakes rather than try to be perfect. I’ve decided. I would. Look past that messy kitchen and the unruly inbox for a moment and give your daughter a big smile. She’s got a fantastic Mom.


4 Miz Big May 27, 2010 at 10:11 am

Laura, it’s a point I’ve heard before and wholeheartedly agree with! But, like you said, sometimes it’s just so damn hard to implement reliably. I guess old habits die hard?


5 Kristine May 26, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Oh dear, I think I’m one of those 5 projects you mentioned. ;-)


6 Miz Big May 27, 2010 at 10:11 am

I’m giggling. No worries Kris, we’ll find a way to get your project done!


7 Brita June 2, 2010 at 12:57 am

Oh, yes. I am very familiar with Over Achiever meets Mamahood: one moment (approximately 5 hours before going into labor), I was in a nocturnal full-court press (couldn’t sleep) to cross things off my list. I was winning! Then things came to a grinding halt and arrived at an uncomfortable, unfamiliar place of not being able to Get Things Done. I used to have To-Do lists. That were Reasonable. And got Done. Not so anymore. In the early months, I had to revise my to-do list down to one or two items a day. Now, I make decent headway on any given day, but my list spills over (and over and over) from day into day. E-mails clog my inbox. Deadlines lag. Correspondence languishes. Dishes sit. Dust settles. Last time the bathroom floor was cleaned? Ancient history. I’ve found a few things that help me to make it through: feeling like part of a great team (whether that’s at work, in partnership with Papa, or as a member of a community of friends); remembering that time is all we really have, and the time I spend raising my daughter is Important Work and also precious and more important than almost anything on my other to-do lists; taking a minute every day to reflect on all I got done, rather than all that remains on my list; and, finally, daycare! What a difference that has made – our awesome nanny share allows me a few hours, a few days a week, to concentrate on work and personal projects, and makes me a happier, better parent.


8 Miz Big June 2, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Yes Yes Yes MyTo Do lists just FESTER for weeks. Things I thought I’d get done a month ago just linger indefinitely with no foreseeable completion date. I tried a new iphone app to control my lists, and it just reminds me in RED of all the things that are past due! LOL. I still can’t get it into my head that i can’t get as many things done in a day as I would have before Birdie.
But like you said, we have to remind ourselves that the Important Work is being Moms (and that we can be post-modern Feminist Housewives without losing our soul)
I need a nanny share. That’s a brilliant idea. Tell me more!


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