Sunday, April 1, 2012

Deja Vu

Confession: I suck at prioritizing.

Or maybe it's time management that I suck at. Or something else entirely. Whatever the thing is that prevents you from having to do the same 3 or 4 tasks over and over and over again each day- yeah, I suck at that. It's like deja vu all the time.

I mean, you have no idea how many times I do the same things over again in one day.

I mean, you have no idea how many times I do the same things over again in one day.

I pick up the same toys. I clean the same rooms. I put away the same stuff... over and over and over again.

There was a time that I used to wait until the end of the day to pick up all the toys that would collect around the house. I'd wait until the kids were asleep to fold laundry and wash dishes. That didn't last long. The constant voice of my Grandmom in the back of my head telling me that you never know when company might drop by, kept me from leaving the pile of toys on the playroom floor, or the unfolded laundry sitting on the dining room able. I mean, everyone knows if a neighbor drops by to borrow a cup of sugar- which happens all the time (in 1970's sitcoms)- they will certainly think less of you and spread horrible, gossipy rumors around town if there is an unwashed cup in your sink.
Still, for a while I was able to justify the mess. Having a preschooler, a toddler and an infant made it okay. When the neighbors dropped by (which never, ever happened) I could always use the desperate, frazzled, mom excuse. And that totally would have worked too.

But all good things must come to an end. Just like using baby weight as an excuse for that last 10 or 15 lbs is no longer acceptable when the "baby" is going to first grade, so too must you at some point reclaim your home from the throws of babydom.

So now I walk aimlessly through the house picking up a sock here, wiping down a mirror there, putting an abandoned cup in the dishwasher. And once I've washed off whatever that sticky stuff is all over the counter... I can go back and do it over again as new fingerprints cover the mirror, someone else has tossed their socks aside, and 3 more cups have grown in the place of the one I removed.

I really, really want to be one of those moms that has no qualms about having company drop by despite the piles of papers on the dining room table, or the stack of unopened mail piled on the kitchen counter. But, I can't. Something in my biological make-up won't allow it. No matter how many times I tell myself it's more important to have fun with the kids and play games and be silly now- because the cleaning will always be there- I still can't stop thinking about those 3 dishes sitting on the counter from lunch while playing checkers with the kids.

And the process never ends. Because once I go pick up those dishes, they will remind me that I have a load of wash to do. And when I come back from putting in the wash, I'll pick up a toy- a toy I just put away 4 times this morning. And while putting away that toy, I'll walk by the bathroom, where I'll notice toothpaste all over the sink. And while cleaning up the toothpaste, I'll notice a towel on the floor. While walking to put the towel in the wash, I'll notice a jacket on the stairs that needs to be hung- one that I hung up earlier that day. And while I'm hanging the jacket again, I'll see a piece of trash on the floor. And when I get back to the kitchen to throw away that piece of trash, 3 new dishes will be sitting on the table where the old one used to be....

...and this is my lot in life. Don't get me wrong- my house is far from perfect. There's toys in every room, it's totally disorganized, and I have every paper sent home by the school for the past month sitting on the counter- or stuck to the fridge- in triplicate. But, it's a managed chaos. And one I'll have to deal with until my kids all (hopefully) go away to college. Because, once they hit the dorms, they're on their own. And then I'll just have that one last "kid" at home to clean up after....


ChaCHA online said...

So good to know that I'm not the only one in the world who's home would move Martha Stewart to tears... bless my mess 'cuz it's here to stay!

Thanks for sharing your woes. :)

Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} said...

Well I feel like I am living the same way and yet my house DOES have piles everywhere and people DO stop by and catch me when it's a mess. So at least you manage to keep up with it! I feel like I'm doing the same thing over and over all day long and it hardly even matters. I guess that's why I love my job so much. I love that I can write a post and it is DONE! I can look at the fruits of my labors and admire it and it doesn't get messed up. WOO!

Barb @ A Life in Balance said...

Sounds like If You Give a Mom a Washrag...

You sound exactly like me! I have a hard time focusing at times, especially when all 5 are home. Maybe that's why I love blogging so much. As Jo-Lynne said, you write it, post it, and you're done. You don't have to worry about whether anyone else doesn't like the meat you cooked.

What's working for me is keeping lists on my counter and doing the homekeeping around pegs in my day. My house is dusty. There's some toys around. I don't always do the homekeeping. I do cook because I like to eat and the children fuss when they're hungry.

Michelle~ Mommy Confessions said...

What;s funny is that I actually do eave lists on the counter, but then I get mad that the lists are cluttering up the counter and I get rid of them! LOL

Darla DeMorrow, HeartWork Organizing said...

Michelle, that's why I love Evernote. At least my lists are in my cool iDevice. And I hear ya on all the others. My personal weakness is crumbs. How many times must I sweep in a day, week or month, anyway? There's a great southern saying: If you come to see me, come anytime. If you come to see my house, call ahead! Friends, come anytime.

Michelle~ Mommy Confessions said...

I have not tried Evernote and I am always tempted. There is just something about a pen and paper though. I feel like we need to keep the pen and paper alive. Sometimes, I feel like it's my job. lol

Cassidy Sterry said...

I can really relate to this post! :)
I am now Following your blog!
Follow mine as well? Thanks :)