Thursday, August 11, 2011

Qualitty of my Productivity

Being a mom has made me totally reevaluate the idea of productivity. I have always loved the quote from the movie Sabrina, where Sabrina tells Harrison Ford that he would hate France because he is a work-aholic. She says to him, "(the French) work as hard as anyone else. But they know when to stop." I thought this was so true when I was in England as well. They work their butts off (the ones I saw) but then 5 or 6 comes around- and they are done. It's now time to play.

My mom taught me the value of balancing work and play. When I picture my mom, even now, I see her with her head phones on, a rag in one hand, and a bottle of windex or container of pledge in the other hand. All day my mom makes lunches, does laundry, drives kids to school, home from school, to work, to activities. She helps with homework, does her church callings, bills, cleaning, cooking- my mom is a work machine.

When I got older I remember being at home with her a few times- just us. And in the morning, after all the kids have been seen on the bus or dropped off at school, my mom sits down, and eats cereal. And reads. Or plays solitaire. Then she takes her sweet time showering, reading, getting ready, reading... sometimes even going back to bed for an hour.

AKA- my mom works her butt off, but enjoys her relaxation time as well.

I was thinking about this today when I was in the shower, and realized how I hadn't even gotten in the shower until 2 in the afternoon. I was realizing how much of the day was gone and thinking- wow, what have I done? Worked out, eaten, took Adam to school, and got the laundry in. (Not even folded yet- its still in the dryer.) And that's it. In the past? By two in the afternoon? I would have had twice that much done. I kind of felt guilty for not being more productive with my time.

That's when I thought- as a mom yes now I am twice as busy as before because I have a baby. But I am not working anymore so I have twice as much time as well. It should balance itself, and I think like any other woman, its kind of frustrating to realize that it doesn't.

And that's because I shouldn't be measuring my day by what I get done, but by what I do. What have I done today? Took care of myself (working out, enjoying leisurely time to eat, shaved in the shower...) I took care of Adam (drove him to school, made him lunch, texted him, FaceTimed with him while he had a break) and took care of Logan. (Fed him, and spent LOADS of time playing with him.)

It reminds me of after my freshman year of college when I brought my grades home. They weren't bad- a B average, but that's underpar for me. I asked my mom if she was disappointed. She told me to think of everything else I did that year that had nothing to do with school. The testimony I built, the memories I made, how I fell in love, how I met some of the best friends of my life... and she asked to me honestly ask myself, were all those other things WORTH the knock down in my grades.

Yes. Yes, it is TOTALLY worth it to leave my sink full of dishes to soak up my sons smiles, to dance for an hour and feel good about myself, to talk to my husband and make his afternoon happier.

I think that's maybe something people in Europe know that we as Americans have had a harder time figuring out. That it is not time and productivity itself that matter, but the quality of the time we do use. If your going to waste your day working, make sure you LIKE your job (or have an equally passionate purpose for working it if you don't like the office itself.) If your going to spend time relaxing by watching TV- make sure the show is worth it, and the person you watch it with someone you like.

I know your all laughing at me now thinking- um, Sarah? Your husband is going to be working 48 hour shifts and your telling US to take time to relax? The thing is, Adam is a star at making sure the quality of his time is top notch. By nature and nurture Adam is a bit of a work-aholic. But when Adam is in class or at work or studying- good LUCK getting his attention away. He is so focused!

But when Adam comes home, somehow he manages to completely fulfill all of mine and Logan's needs in... what? 2 hours? Maybe 3? I never NEVER worry about any of us feeling neglected when Adam is a doctor because he is so good at being home and being with us when he is at home.

So if you don't mind, I am not going to put of vacuuming my living room floor to actually DO my hair. And then maybe if my son isn't being too entertaining, I will make dinner instead of eating leftovers.


  1. I love the way your mind works. I remember going over the concept of my to do list and what I get done or don't get done does not determine my self worth with my therapist. I would say you are doing a great job balancing. I totally wish you were just a bit closer.