Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chaos is King

So far my day has gone like this:

Sleep in until 7:30ish, playing the pregnancy card for as long as possible.
Cut up banana for the baby.
Pour cereal and milk for the big kids.
Pour cereal and milk for myself.
Watch 5 minutes of news headlines on Today Show.
Make the baby some Malt-O-Meal.
Give Lucy a second bowl of cereal.
Wash all three hands, faces and mouths.
Do dishes.
Drink coffee.
Think about what to make for dinner.
Put a flank steak and veggies in the crock pot for fajitas.
Drink coffee.
Check email.
Answer phone.
Can William play with the neighbor?
Put the baby down for her morning nap.
Throw on yoga pants and a tank.
Put in a load of laundry.
Walk William over to neighbors.
Put on a TV show for Lucy.
Take a shower.
Get dressed.
Make bed and clean up room.
Put on makeup.
Get Lucy dressed.
Do her hair.
Change laundry.
Respond to emails.
Think about blogging.
Give Lucy a snack.
Go pick up William at neighbors.
Make lunch for big kids.
Make a second sandwich for very hungry kids.
Make my own lunch.
Eat a sandwich standing up.
Take Lucy to the potty.
Tuck Lucy in for a nap.
Put William in my bed with books for "rest time."
Baby's awake.
Change baby's diaper.  Put some clothes on her.
Cut up cheese and strawberries for baby's lunch.
Finish eating my lunch.
Do dishes.
Wash off baby.
Let her roll around on the floor.
Change laundry.
Figure out plane itinerary for Boston trip.
Baby's rubbing her eyes.  Time for nap #2.
William's up.
Cut arm holes out of cardboard box for a robot.
Call Orbitz.
Confirm itinerary with my mom and Brian.

Today was pretty normal.  We had no where to be and no errands to run.  I also had no deep cleaning to do.  Just the norm of meeting every one's needs and managing the household.

But there were a lot of mundane things (even more mundane than what was listed!) that I left out.  Like settling fights.  Shushing screams.  Finding time for myself to go to the bathroom.  Cleaning up spilled water. Etcetera, etcetera.

This is what I have to say about having three kids with a fourth on the way: There is no time to waste time.  I have found that with each addition of a new child I am much more efficient than I was with fewer children.  I was the queen of Time Wasting (especially on the computer!) when I only had William to care for.

Does this phenomenon ring true for you?  When I was in college, I was the type of student who, if I had two papers to write and a two finals to study for, I would get it all done days before the deadline.  But if I had only one paper or only one test to study for?  That would get done minutes before it was due.  I have also found that I perform much better under pressure than I do when time is at a leisurely pace.

Of course a life that is filled with to-dos every waking minute is no life for anyone.  But I've learned how to best use that time as well.  And to really enjoy it when it's there.  I don't feel guilty or wasteful about sitting in the sun in the backyard with my kids doing nothing for 15 minutes.  Or sipping a glass of wine with Brian for a half hour after the kids have gone to bed.

So the thought of having four small kids in this house doesn't really scare me too much.  Maybe I'm a person that thrives best on chaos.  I see a mess and my brain likes to figure out the puzzle to efficiently get it all organized.

There are some areas that I am better at organizing than others.  But I do know this: There are always enough minutes given to me each day to get it all done.  I just need to prioritize.

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