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Monday, April 18, 2011

PRIORITIES

Right now, I'm sitting in my living room on an exercise ball with Little M in the Didymos wrap on my chest. When I look to my left, I see a cookbook, a folder with my tax info, a used cloth napkin, and Baby T's dirty fork and knife on the kitchen table; a stack of mail and some crayons on the buffet behind the couch; a semi-balled up newspaper page that Baby T was playing with on the couch, next to my camera; some info from my credit card on the floor next to me because it fell but I don't want to disturb Little M by picking it up; a water glass that I'm currently drinking out of next to a glass, empty except for the melting ice mixing with the iced coffee from earlier. When I look to my right, I see a toy dump truck on the floor, a cloth diaper cover on the side table that needs to be put away, and Little M's pants on the floor that I took off when I changed him. There are cloth diapers in the washing machine that I have to move to the dryer, but Little M always wakes up when I bend over to switch the laundry, so it's staying for now. I'm not even going to tell you what I see if I turn around, and I consider my house relatively clean.

I've gotten a few things done today. I took this cute picture, which is why the camera is still on the couch:

I spent the morning writing for a couple of crowdsourcing companies that I work for. I had two tabs open and would work on one task while the task for the other company, in another tab, was uploading or downloading. I managed to work a path through the home office to get to the computer to email my CPA. Then I tripped on the cord from the computer as I left the room, knocking the laptop onto the shredder and making a bit of a mess.

I am in a constant state of overwhelming chaos. I can't control the clutter and I always have 20 things on my to-do list. If I even bother to write it down. And if I don't lose it in the black hole that is my purse.

I have tried to corral this chaos. I signed up for FlyLady dot com about a month ago. I shined my sink. I put away my dishes. Every day, all day. It's a constant cycle. That's about as far as I could get, and I had to put aside some of my money-making work just to do that.

This is what is on my to-do list:
  • try to make $30-$50 a day on crowdsourcing websites
  • work on a freelance writing job I already have
  • work on a couple of book chapters for the Natural Parents Network's cloth diapering book contest
  • go to couponing websites to see if there are any good grocery deals this week or next
  • do some meal planning for the week
  • prepare a course outline for childbirth education classes
  • work on a watercolor portrait painting I was commissioned to do
  • create and launch a website for my portraits
  • sew some slings
  • sew some soakers
  • meet with a friend about teaching babywearing classes
  • organize and price items for yard sale this weekend
  • put together the boys' Easter baskets
  • start a breast milk stash for Little M; I keep planning to pump after he goes to bed, but have so much to do I forget
  • exercise 10-15 minutes every day (not much, but it's a realistic start)
  • take down our tornado shelter from Saturday:

And that is only the big stuff. It doesn't include switching the laundry, washing my OWN underwear, taking a shower, or figuring out what to do about Little M's Easter basket, because I completely forgot about him.

Oh yeah. And writing this blog post wasn't on my list, either.

This is my problem. I have a lot to do and don't know when to prioritize. It's all important, and sometimes it's hard to predict what should take precedence. Especially because when I work on those crowdsourcing websites doing writing and editing work, I just never know when there will be good work and when there won't. If there's a lot of high-paying work, I tend to focus on that and push everything else aside for a day when there is less work. That makes it hard to plan.

On top of it all, I have going back to work looming over my head. I have a month and a half left. At least during my loaded days, I have time to play with the kids, clean the house (at least a little) and get some necessary computer stuff done. And I feel busy now; if I go back to work, I won't even be able to do the little stuff. And I'll still want to do the big stuff.

I know moms do it all the time, but my question is: HOW [the F do you do it]? Big T has been sick and hasn't been sleeping, so I let him sleep in this morning while I got Baby T's lunch ready and took him to daycare. I did manage to have him clean up his toys before we left (i.e., he watched as I cleaned up his toys, meanwhile taking out 5 books from his bookshelf and throwing them on the floor). I also did clean the kitchen before I left so I wouldn't come home to a sticky mess.

But the last time I looked at the clock, it was 8:30, and I was thinking, "Cool. We'll totally get to day care before 9." And I got in the car at 8:56. It takes 20 minutes to get to day care. I was still in a white tank top with no bra on because Little M had been in the wrap all morning, and I hadn't combed my hair, brushed my teeth, or put on deoderant. At least I had the good sense to put my contacts in as soon as I woke up, before my day started.

So back to my question: If/when I go back to work, how am I going to do it without showing up completely disheveled, with a see-through shirt and no bra on? Am I honestly expected to also shower, put on makeup, and put together a business-casual outfit that's free of spitup, drool, or poo? The thought makes me want to vomit.

I can somewhat manage my days when I have the flexibility to build my own schedule. But there is no way I can get to work by 9. There is just no freaking way.

How do moms do it? Where do I start? Can I really put quality time into my two kids, work, and my extracurricular activities?

I guess this is just a big old whinefest. I don't really expect answers. Pleeeeeuuz don't tell me to go to FlyLady dot com, because that just takes way too much time. But if you feel like sending a vote of confidence, a million dollars, or a maid my way, I won't complain.

3 comments:

yo said... Best Blogger Tips

love you gaby!! You are a strong, capable, woman (albeit, full of "spit up, drool, and poo." :)) We all know what it takes... either we burn the candle on the front end or the back end. Meaning, late to bed or early to rise, or both. Sigh. I send you love in the midst of all the lovely, loving, chaos... because I know how much you love those babies AND yourself.

Tracy said... Best Blogger Tips

you rock. no question. hands down. and ps - i love the flylady:)

Stephanie said... Best Blogger Tips

Girl you have to take it one minute/hour/day at a time. If you think making a TO DO LIST will work, your fooling yourself. I had two kids under the age of 2 as you are struggling with now, and yes it was hard, and I was only 20 years old at the time. How I survived, I have NO IDEA. It got easier when Baby #2 got a little older, and Baby #1 could identify with Baby #2 better. I will say, they grow up so fast, all that stuff you have listed, CAN WAIT..I know thats not what you want to hear, but its true. There is a silver lining though, I know right now its hard going from one child to two children, let alone the close gap between the two, but when they get older, you will be glad they are close in age. Take it from me, having a 13 & 11 year old right now, LOL. But I will say, I always questioned why my parents had myself and my brother almost 5 years apart...after having Baby #3, four ½ years after Baby #2, it made sense.

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