My Journey through Breast Cancer

On October 11, 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage II Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) ... or as we like to call it, extreme measures for a nap (EMFN). For a while, this blog will be my cancer journal. Enter at your own risk.

15 August 2011


If you read this blog much, you've read about how I tend to struggle with the tension between getting things done around the house and spending time with my kids. But I've since discovered that I'm not really that concerned about a clean house. I actually leave messes around a lot. I mostly just don't like dishes and laundry to pile up. Those are the never-ending jobs around here. And they don't actually take that much time up each day.

I've discovered that what's hardest for me is feeling unproductive. For me to feel like I have spent my day well, I need to have something to show for it: a clean house, a finished craft project, the grocery shopping done, a home improvement project worked on, etc. If you know me at all, you know I'm almost never just sitting. When I watch a movie or TV, I'm usually also knitting or crocheting or crafting. When the kids nap I'm cleaning or sewing or working one of my various committee projects. I have a really hard time just sitting.

When my husband comes home after a busy day at work, I want him to know I also worked hard all day: I cleaned the house, I have dinner planned, I worked on Josie's bed, etc. There's usually nothing tangible to show for sitting on the floor and playing with my kids. And feeling unproductive like that makes me feel like I've wasted the day. And yet, I know it can be the most important thing I do!

(Do you know about the languages of love? They are gifts, quality time, acts of service, touch, and words of appreciation / encouragement. My lowest need is quality time. And yet, it tends to be a high need for most people I know, including my children!)

I'm working on getting past this crazy thinking in my head. The other day I sat outside with Josie and helped her collect rocks from the garden. We had a great time ... and all we did was make a mess. It left us all in a much better mood, too. I have to be really intentional about stopping those tangible projects and just sit on the floor with my daughter. But, I know for my kids, its the most productive thing I can do!


Gretchen said...

Oh how I understand this one! I don't like a messy house and I want to spend quality time with Anders BUT they don't coincide always do they? I don't like feeling unproductive and I feel guilty if the house is messy when Chris is home because "what do I do all day??"... Being a successful homemaker with small children is the hardest job I will EVER do!

So, here's raising a glass of something bubbly to you!

Sami Lee said...

I can relate to this like you can't believe! Great post!