Mid-Life Motherhood: Admissions of Lack of Focus and Follow-Through

By:  Martianne Stanger

Focus.  It is the one thing I seem to lack.

Or make that one of a number of things I seem to lack.

Truth be told, follow-through is pretty high on my “what I lack” list, too.

Since Motherhood, and moreover, since Motherhood + Homeschooling + Paid Employment + Whatever Else Life Entails, I seem to have become Master of Initiative, Completer of Little.

I have stacks of paperwork to tackle, multiple personal projects in various states of completion and neglect, homeschool initiatives that are fizzling, physical evidence of things-left-undone screaming at me from every room of my home…  Indeed, my home, my mind, and my heart are all abuzz with, well, too much to attend to.

I am not sure why this has happened.  Prior to Marriage-Family-Plus, I was an excellent multi-tasker, an effective goal setter, and, though I hardly remember it now, a well-known achiever.  Yes, I accomplished things.  Small things like daily to-do lists and big things like projects involving multi-national staff.  I finished what I started, and, usually, I finished it well.  I even received accolades.

So, what has happened?

Why is it that in my present phase of life I begin so much yet complete so little?  Is it age?  The responsibilities of parenting?  Fractured focus?  Mid-life-onset ADHD?  I could blame my current condition on many things, but casting culpability wouldn’t help me to actually get anything done, would it?  So, why bother?

Truth be told, finishing just one thing would provide me with a whole lot more satisfaction right now than blaming a number of things for my lack of focus and follow-through.

So, instead of looking for excuses, I will simply own up to truth I never thought I would need to:  I cannot do it all.  I am struggling to complete even the little I actually get done.  And, that little is going to have to be enough for right now.

Indeed, over the past seven years, Single-Handed Multi-Tasker Extraordinaire has become Hands (and Mind!) – Full Mother Ordinary.  Stating that fact might make it seem as if I begrudge this mid-life incarnation of me.  Let me clarify, I do not.

Heaven knows, I prayed for marriage and motherhood for too many decades to be sorry that I finally embody the roles of Wife and Mom now.  I may not excel at much in life now, but I am glad the life I lead is the one I do.

It is what it is.  I am who I am.  Focus and follow-through are what they are – elusive for now.  But, they are not the be-all and end-all and I’ve got years of marriage, parenting, work and living ahead of me on order to figure thing out…  Plus, until I regain a semi-balance of focus and follow-through, I can at least say that I completed something today:  This post!

I’ll take my successes where I can.

How about you?  Are you feeling a lack of focus and follow-through?  Have you found parenthood significantly changed what you seem to accomplish?  Do you have any strategies to share with those of us who are struggling with life balance?

One thought on “Mid-Life Motherhood: Admissions of Lack of Focus and Follow-Through

  1. I’m way behind on reading my posts, but I absolutely feel you! Prior to kids (and actually even when I had my first), I managed a relatively well-respected career path, my house was pretty organized and clean and things ran according to plan. As things got more complicated…more kids that got older and had their own schedules, more juggling, bigger goals….I’ve struggled to complete task. I have a small bathroom repainting project that probably needs a total of 4 hours of my time to complete and has been pending for months. It seems impossible to get the chunk of uninterrupted time I need to finish. Managing paperwork and files is a particular challenge and I have three books in process. Something that would never have occurred just a few years ago when I would read one through in a matter of days. I’m not sure what the reasons are, but I continue to hope that at some point I will get “me” back.

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