Confession: I feel like I spend about 90% of my time and energy on a treadmill entitled Trying to Keep Up with This Household.
I’m not trying to whine (horrors) or brag (horrors), but seek some input.
Here is what was on my plate today:
- Clean-up from an excursion to Lake Erie last night—think soggy, sandy
- A mountain range of laundry, mounds of folding and ironing
(Side note: I had four loads on my clothesline when the thunderstorm hit.)
- Organization of strewn toys, books, and games in every part of the house—my boys helped beautifully
- Baking cookies for this hungry family
- Preparation and clean-up of two good meals, besides breakfast which hardly counts b/c it was cold cereal
- Vacuuming and mopping a filthy kitchen/dining room floor
- Phone calls to schedule an outing, plan a dental visit, and get Kelly into the health clinic for shots
- An errand to return 20 urgently-due library books; and helping my sons check out almost 30 more
- A stop at a pharmacy for medicine, only they didn’t have it ready so I’ll have to stop by tomorrow…
This does not even sound like much, but I am pooped. And I’m not done.
I have a theory that when a mom is overwhelmed with housework, it’s time to harness the juvenile energy in the place. I try. But my boys are still only 6 and 4. My oldest helps beautifully, loves his chore cards, stays on task, just requires some checking to make sure he finished well. My second loves his chore cards too, but is four years old: easily distracted, especially when he faces a particularly unpleasant job; still at the stage where his ‘help’ creates work for me… but I’m investing, you see, and hope to reap rewards in a few years. He says washing dishes is more fun than it sounds.
An honest and heartfelt question: why does housework (particularly cleanup) occupy so much of my time? As I type, I am remembering the half-basket of laundry to finish folding, the books and miscellanea still strewn on my living room floor, the mop water cooling in its bucket, and the bags of garage sale finds still resting on my countertops.
What am I doing wrong?
Sometimes I come up with a really detailed plan of attack, and then stress myself out trying to keep up with it. Sometimes I give up and resign myself to living in a house of pigs.
If you are a mom or an organizer—or not!—I welcome your advice. (If you have something to say but don’t want to say it publicly, you know my email address.) Do I need to work harder? Or laugh and let it go? Get more people involved? Or give up on my dream of having a little rest in my day? You don’t have to be nice to me. I want your ideas.
On to the tasks…!