A mind map doesn’t tell you where you left your mind, although that would be a pretty popular app. Mind mapping allows you to see what all needs to be done and to help prioritize projects and tasks. Free mind map software can help us moms discover where best to use our time. Today’s mind mapping software is better than the old flow chart software.
When I was a software developer a new project was started standing at the white board and not sitting at the key board. We would talk through what needed to happen with a project from start to finish and would draw lines between boxes to show relationships between each box.
Why is that important? Well, there are going to be those times when your husband might wonder where in the world you spend all your time. I tease and say that I sit and eat bon-bons all day while watching soaps when people ask me how I spend my day. Of course, I have to roll my eyes while saying that. Because, hello! I am home with my kids all day long, 24/7/365. A whole lot of stuff is going on here and I am the drill sergeant/traffic cop/chief bottle washer.
But it is really, really important when your husband is suddenly unemployed.
There is something that happens to your sanity when your husband becomes unemployed. All of a sudden things that you used to take in stride become huge obstacles. It probably doesn’t help that now he is underfoot, all the time. We had a huge blowout the other day about this. The argument had really been coming for a while. It wasn’t just him losing the contract that brought us all the way from California to Pennsylvania.
(Which, I can’t really go into detail about what happened. The restaurant world is quite small, everybody knows everybody, and word gets around. But if I could, oh, I so very much would have quite a few not so nice things to say. I can say this, the restaurant industry is unlike any other and if you don’t agree I’ll show you the extremely high rate of restaurants that go out of business every single day. Let me just say that things have happened since then that let me know it wasn’t my husband’s fault, not by a long shot.)
Where is my life? Can somebody find it, please?
The argument was that my husband kept directing me around the house as if I was one of his employees. I really can’t fault the man; after all he is used to being able to do that with quite a large staff and managers underneath him. Except, this is my “kitchen” and I am the head chef. He wondered why I couldn’t do all the things he needed me to do to help him with his consulting business and other projects he is pursuing.
I may have said something about not being a Stepford wife or a Barbie Doll. It may not have come out that nicely. I become quite wordy when I am upset and have a tendency to reference a lot of the Oxford dictionary and every great book every written. Marrying a writer should come with a warning label. Just putting that out there.
There’s that “under a lot of stress” thing again. When you go from “doing quite nicely, thank you” to filling out forms for unemployment and food stamps your mind and ego take a real beating. We did pay into the system in case anything happened to where we need to be taken care of in an emergency. Yet you never think you will have to avail yourself of it.
And he got sick for a month with kidney stones.
And the car broke down.
And it needs major repairs.
And the repairs will cost more than what the car is worth.
And we may have had to declare bankruptcy.
And we will probably lose the furniture we are renting.
You know, little stuff keeps happening like that which I never think I would have to experience. Those are things I read about other people experiencing, not me. I have it all together and know where I put it at any given moment.
Yeah, right. Pfffttt.
Back to the argument, he wanted to know what all I have to worry about. He has done a great many things to make my life easy during this period of our lives. He has! He really has taken on a lot of things. He found us an inexpensive lawn mower and vacuum cleaner on Craig’s List. Since we don’t have a car he has figured out how to get from Point A to Point B using the public transportation system. He has learned how to use the public library system and all that they offer. For instance, you can borrow a laptop for three hours and sit anywhere in the library that you want and not be bothered. He has studied the bus routes and knows the easiest way to get to the grocery stores and the best times to go. He even found us a farmers’ market close by where we can use our EBT card. Most importantly, he has been leading us in prayer and worship of the Creator God and has taking to sharing his faith online.
Why mind mapping and what is it?
This argument got me to thinking. What all do I have to do? I’ve been trying to take care of everyone’s needs, all the time, at breakneck speed and failing miserably. I want to make everything as perfect as possible since so much seems to be out of my control right now. I will control that which I can! It seems lately like I am a chicken running around with my head cut off.
It’s not like I am trying to compensate or anything, much. It isn’t as though I am really very concerned abut making sure my kids have a much better childhood than I did. I didn’t get the honor of being a foster-kid for nothing. Scott and I want the branch of our family tree to be different, better-er.
Then I remembered that Tabitha Philen has talked about using a mind map to keep track of her thoughts in our blogging group. I had downloaded a mindmapper software type program on the iPad when we first got it.
How to use Mind Mapping software
I started with me in the middle and worked my way out. It took me about 25 minutes to make sure I had put down everything I was in responsible for, or was asked for help about.
Well no wonder I am always so stressed! Duh.
I showed this to my husband. I may have flown it at his head but there are no corroborating witnesses so I will deny that in a court of law. He stopped looking at his computer long enough to read it. His eyes glazed over immediately. I think his ADHD kicked in double time or something.
He then asked me if I had made appointments with the new pediatrician, gynecologist, doctor, and dentist.
It really is amazing all the hats a mom wears, who homeschools her kids, and works from home. I penciled those in right next to “housekeeper.” A mother’s job is never done. Right?
Later on Scott and I talked about the list. He says it is very detailed and bit overwhelming. On the one hand he knew I had a lot on my mind. Yet the house runs so smoothly that he never stopped and thought of why that was. He does appreciate all of my hard work and thinks he is the luckiest man alive.
My husband is pretty amazing!
He is also a very smart man. Before heading off to the public library to work on finding a new job he gave me a huge hug and kiss and said he was sorry. He said something about giving me “quality time” by leaving me alone for the day and letting me do my thing while he does his thing at his “office downtown.”
He reminded me to remember that is how we will get through this trying time – humor and our our faith. Indeed, we have prayed alone, together as a married couple, and with our children often during the day not just at night. It helps to study the Bible together, too. God keeps showing us He is with us.
Right before we went to the Pittsburgh game all we had was enough money to get there and back. Scott told the boys we wouldn’t be able to buy any food or souvenirs. As we headed out the mailman came with a check from a dear friend. She had sent it several days earlier but it just got to us at that moment. We spent half of it on two small snacks and a playbook. The rest went into savings. That made the night that much more fun. You have to find the sunshine, even if it’s sometimes hiding behind the clouds.
Scott and I are learning so much more about how each other operates in this forced break. We count that as a good thing. Remember, we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
So, know anyone who needs help with operating their restaurant? I know a really awesome Director of Operations!
If you make a mind map yourself why don’t you share it with us on our Facebook page?
We can applaud and support each other by clicking like on each picture.