Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Five ways in which I do NOT "do it all"

Once in a while, people ask me, "How do you do it all?" My off the cuff response is usually to laugh it off and say I don't really do it all, and it isn't that big of a deal. Or I make some joke about drinking a lot of wine.

Wine is not the answer. Wine is the question. The answer is yes.

The truth is, I do have a lot going on. But that doesn't necessarily mean I do it "all." There are a lot of things I definitely don't do, at least not very well. And lest somebody get the impression that I am one of those crazy supermoms who manages to achieve a perfect zen-like balance in all things in life (who are like R.O.U.S's - I don't think they exist), and in the spirit of keeping my internet personality real, here are five ways in which I suck big time:

1. About 90% of the time, all our clean clothes are in a big heap on the floor. Sometimes there's a basket at the bottom of it, which starts out as just a load or two of clean laundry needing to be folded and put away. But I don't get it done, and then I have to do more loads of laundry, and they get piled up on top. And so it goes until I have this enormous laundry monster that I swear is breeding (although it certainly doesn't breed anything cute in my size), and I'm so overwhelmed by the amount of work it is going to take to get it all put away that I ignore it for about two more days, and several subsequent loads of laundry. More often than not, we spend our mornings sifting through the pile for something clean. The kids actually forget they even have clothes in their closet, because most of the time, they are rooting around on my floor for their underwear. (Points for it being clean though?)

This is a real picture. From my house. Please excuse me while I hang my head in shame.

2. We live with a lot of clutter. I walk by things, think about the fact that they really need to be put away, can't be bothered to do it right that second, and move on. I see the same item (ok, stack of random crap) later, have the same thought and continue to walk by, leaving it there. I remember this one time I got all inspired after reading some article about organizational crap on pinterest and made a focused effort to not do that - to pick up the thing, and put it away, right then. I didn't leave junk on the stairs; I stopped, bent over, and picked it up, and deposited it neatly where it belonged on my way to do something else. It kept my house neater for about two days, then I got lazy again. I like to say my house is "lived in," but I have friends that do the same amount of livin' and their houses don't look like there is a daily tornado.

3. I basically suck at housework. I know I already covered laundry and clutter, but if I'm being honest, the whole "keeping house" thing tends to fall by the wayside first. Dishes sit in the sink, the only reason things get dusted occasionally is because that is the boys' favorite chore (they love those Swiffer dusters), floors get cleaned only when they are visibly dirty, and don't even get me started on the state of our weed-infested yard. By the afternoon, when I'm feeling burnt out from working with the kids all day, I have a few options - clean something, put something away, do some work stuff or something else reasonably productive -or- sit and veg out in front of my computer wasting time on Facebook and other internet randomness. Is it hard to guess what wins more often than not? I mean hey, we all need a little downtime, I'm not ashamed of that. But sometimes I do feel a little bad when I claim I had "no time" to get something done, when technically speaking, the time is probably there. I just don't use every waking moment being productive. These blog posts aren't going to write themselves, you know.

This is not me.

4. I'm great at big picture planning, and suck at short term preparation. I love making plans. I love excel spreadsheets and lists and bullet points and check boxes. I love researching almost anything, especially if it is something I am thinking about buying or using. It is like crack to me. Homeschooling offers me a myriad of ways to feed my researching/overthinking addiction. Seriously, it is a disease. And I make these marvelous, wonderful plans. They look fantastic. So comprehensive, so carefully thought out and well-researched. I'm excited about them, and can't wait to begin implementing. And then I realize it is Monday morning and I have no idea what we are supposed to be doing that day. We needed copies of that appendix page from the math book, printed on card stock and cut out? Oops, nope, didn't do that. We need a wood ramp and a variety of objects to test the effects of friction? Yeah, I had no idea that was today. What book is it we are reading for history? Shoot, I should have requested that from the library... and actually, you know, picked it up. I'm not always a total mess, but I do tend to forget to do the work of preparing for what we're doing in the short term.

5. I was not blessed with excessive amounts of patience. My husband might disagree; he's often told me I am a very patient person. In some ways I suppose that is true, but I am here to tell you, it is a myth that you have to be some sort of patron saint of patience to homeschool your kids. I'm often very impatient, and frustrated. They push back at me in ways I know they would never do to a teacher at school. I can't even imagine David sitting in a classroom with his arms crossed, brow furrowed, looking at Ms. Secondgradeteacher as if she had sprouted a second head for suggesting he practice his spelling words. She would get easy compliance; I get a kid who occasionally makes me want to tear my hair out in frustration. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I overreact. Sometimes I send them to sit on their bed until they decide they would like to cooperate and I threaten to tie them up with duct tape and lock them in a closet. (I wouldn't actually do that, in case that isn't clear). There are moments in homeschooling, heck in parenting, that are hard, plain and simple, and I don't always do the right thing. Sometimes Mommy has to give herself a time out and apologize.

I doubt anyone suspects me of being a perfect parent or a perfect homeschooler. Like everyone else, I'm just doing the best I can. But I know sometimes it helps to hear these little confessions from others - to help us realize that perfection isn't what we're after. So this is a snapshot of my reality, and how I most certainly don't "do it all."

1 comment:

  1. Hehehehe..... ditto. However I still see you as a calm mom. :-) Now where did I put the wine.....