At what point in your day do you realize that your list of things you have yet to do keeps growing even as you check things off your list - you know, the one you started with when you woke up this morning?
I feel like I hit that at about 10:30 am. I look around and realize that even though I've already done the dishes twice, I'm not going to get much farther ahead of where I am right now. It's pretty much the reality of having two under two afoot while trying to get anything done. It's even kind of difficult to get hands free to type, so I'm actually recording this on Evernote to transcribe it later. And of course, I just sprayed my phone with breastmilk because I'm also nursing my daughter as I draft this paragraph.
I'm often at a loss on future plans - a lot of the time I focus on how to get through to the end of the day. Or, on days like today , how to get through until naptime. Now that I'm staying home with my kids, I feel more responsible for giving them proper structure and more educational activities. Probably most of that mom guilt is the Pinterest-millenial-has-to-be-perfect-for-Instagram pressure or something. I don't know, I can't live up to that life. My reality is far too messy - as in, my toddler just handed me an English muffin with the butteriest gross hands you can imagine.
So this is what I've done so far today, as a concrete example. Again, I have done this and yet I don't feel like it's nearly enough.
- Washed the dishes twice
- Two loads of laundry
- Organized art supplies
- Fed my son breakfast and lunch
- Same for my daughter, but with my boobs
- Played with my toddler
- Wiped butts
- Ordered baby safety gear
- And I made coffee
You might have guessed that I made the coffee first before I did any of those things. And if I'm being completely honest, I'll admit that my husband brought me my first cup in bed!
It's hard not to get discouraged when your to-do list just keeps growing. When you keep thinking of things you could be doing, or should be doing, but don't have time to do. It's too easy to get caught up in being "busy".
It's ironic that I'm having this realization in the middle of a move when I don't really have the option of sitting on my laurels or smelling the roses. I just need to move piles of things from one place to another until they slowly become part of the landscape. So it's been a little more difficult to keep a zen perspective when all around me I see chaos and things that still need to be addressed. I'm making headway, slowly but surely - this is just an acute example of the endless merry-go-round of life's busy-ness.
If I'm going to organize my son's room, it's because I want to teach him how to be responsible for his own things as a discipline. I want the work that I put in to make things easier for everyone so that we can enjoy more of our time together. Maybe, if I'm being completely honest, nobody else cares? I'm the one who cares - who can't put her feet up until she's about to collapse. I never allow myself a moment to take part in leisure, and that's really draining, guys.
Even when I perfect the art of using every spare moment wisely, I'm still going to have a growing to-do list, staring me in the face every morning before I wake up. I see only two solutions. One is to stop doing all of those things, and learn to ignore the part of my brain that urges me to be useful with my time. The other is to learn to embrace the drive to be productive with every second. Maybe learning to use that energy wisely, to channel it into productivity instead of anxiety, will be my saving grace. That's much easier said than done, I know - but even still, I just nursed my daughter in the time it took me to bring these words into existence. So I can do anything I set my mind to, right?
How do you channel your energy to make yourself productive? Are you a list person? Do you ask for help from other people? Are there things you stopped doing because the busy-of-ness of the mom life has gotten in the way? If you've figured out how to do it all, tell me your secret! @pi3sugarpi3 on Twitter.