Some days you just have to laugh
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
"Mom, what's for dinner?" "Mom, where's my wrestling stuff?" "Momma, where's my field trip shirt?" "Momma, I don't have time to feed the dogs (rabbits or birds). Can you?" "Mom, can you wash my favorite jeans and favorite shirt for school tomorrow?" "Shell, don't forget to call about getting new tires on the van. Oh, by the way, you need to get the oil changed, too."
"Momma, can we have homemade chocolate chip cookies for snack?" "Mom, did you see the bunny anywhere? I let him out and he got away!" "Shell, I ripped the back of a work shirt. Can you get it stitched up?" "Oh Mom, while you're stitching Dad's shirt, can you stitch my pants? I ripped the side." "Momma, can you come have lunch with me at school today?"
Let's add dishes, laundry, vacuuming, dusting, errands, sweeping, mopping, cooking, showers, make-up, and, hopefully, sleep.
At least I'm never bored! No, I'm not looking for the "Mother of the Year" award. (Single parents outdo me any day.) My point is I have to use my time wisely or I'd never have time to sleep. I've also learned to prioritize.
So my question to myself becomes, "What's more important — today?"
I don't think I've ever gotten everything done that I wanted to in a day. I've found if I list what I want to be done, it helps me pick the most important things. Today it may be more important I find the missing shirt. Tomorrow, that doctor appointment is first on the list.
I've discovered some of the everyday stuff, like meals, school lunches, and snacks, can be planned ahead of time and organization can help prevent things like searching for missing items. I love to be able to say, "Your shirt is in your closet on the left."
Other things I try to plan are errands. I hate interrupting my day, every day. If possible, I attempt to schedule more than one doctor appointment on the same day. Usually, I can't combine doctor appointments with other errands because I need to get the kids back to school as soon as possible. However, on errand days I plan as many errands as possible so, hopefully, I don't have to again for several days or a week.
I also try to plan a stay at home day during the week.
On this day, I take the kids to school, come home and don't leave again until it's time to go pick them up. Those days I use to do heavy housecleaning or extended projects, like painting.
As for the organization, the kids are getting better about putting things away, but they don't always succeed. (Imagine that.)
What I tell them is it takes me about 30 minutes to make a batch of cookies. When I have to spend time looking for something or doing a chore they forgot, that's less time I have to do things like bake cookies, eat lunch with them or whatever.
Have you ever timed yourself when doing a chore? I find when I time myself I rush more and don't get as distracted. Secondly, since I began to time myself, I have a better idea how long a chore will take me.
This allows me to use the few minutes before leaving for an appointment more effectively. Some people just have this ability naturally, and know when they can squeeze in a chore. I unfortunately don't, so I use the timer.
OK, so I've planned, prepared, scheduled and organized. Does it work? Usually. However, children sometimes just don't follow the plan. My wonderful plans can be blown apart with the five simple words, "Mommy, I don't feel good."
So what do I do? I change my plans. I have found those days can be very special. It's one on one time with your child. Everything else can wait.
My final piece of advice is when all else fails just laugh about it! Picture this: Everyone getting ready for school. We're dressed. We're grabbing the snacks, feeding the pets. All is well. We're even running a little early.
Then I hear a scream and a cry. I turn around. The baby, in trying to be big boy and take his cereal bowl to the sink, trips and soaks himself and his sister in milk.
I look at them and say, "Get changed quick. We'll be late." I grab the baby and begin to clean him up. Then I hear, "Uh-oh!" When your child says, "Uh-oh," it's already too late.
"What's wrong?" I yell as I'm trying to get the cereal out of the baby's hair.
"Mom, the bunny got away."
"Oh, great! Why was he out in the first place?"
"He looked sad."
"Good grief! "Well, find it! Is your sister changed yet?"
"No, she says she doesn't like any of the other pants."
I go to the top of the stairs and yell, "You've got one minute to get a pair of pants on and get up here!"
"But I want to wear the ones with flowers."
"OK." (Imagine the heart broken voice.) You'd think her bunny died. Ahh, the bunny!
"Did you find that rabbit, yet?" I call. "Yes, but I can't catch it."
"Mom, I'm going to be late," from my teenager.
"I know. Go help them catch that rabbit." (Insert teenage grumbling.)
"I've got it!"
"Put it up and let's go!"
Finally, we're out the door! So much for the plan–it's time to laugh.
If you have a question or tip to share, please send it to: Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496; Hartselle, AL 35640 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.