Seriously, I don't know how other mothers do it...much less single mothers or mothers who work even part-time outside the home or mothers who h/school more kids than I do. I'm in awe of so many mothers out there. How do you do it all? I'm at home all day long and I'm barely keeping up. Well, let's be honest, I'm not keeping up. I'm falling falling farther and farther behind each week. There is hardly a room in the entire house that doesn't need a major tidy up right now, and there are so terribly many little de-cluttering jobs that need doing, but I'm so exhausted by 9:30pm when the last kid is tucked in that the only thing I have the energy to do is to sit here in bed and write this. What I should be doing, what I feel guilty about not doing right now, is attempting to make the house a little more liveable.
I truly don't mean to complain, but there are a lot of days when I just don't get how to hold it all together. The atmosphere in our home has improvement almost dramatically over the past couple of months as life as a family of five has settled in and as things have slowly smoothed out. But it's the maintenance of everything that's so hard. It's trying to hold a semblance of sanity while juggling h/schooling, household management (cooking and cleaning; laundry - oh the laundry; endless tidying that never seems to make a dent; errands; etc etc); extra curricular activities; field trips and other 'special events' that seem to happen every week; and trying to do it all while
the kids are always, always (did I mention always) with me.
Seriously, people, the state of my house is horrifying. I've even (mostly) stopped apologizing for its state when people come through the door because it's become a broken record already. I just keep inviting people over and hope that they'll chalk up the state of my house to the fact that we adopted two children eleven months ago and turned our lives upside down (I'm hoping that excuse lasts for at least another year, friends!).
How's this for a confession...
My kitchen still has dishes on the counters and in the sink from yesterday and I just noticed before trudging upstairs that the pot where I cooked last night's shrimp still holds congealed juices that need to be cleaned out. Sigh. My kitchen counter surfaces are full of: dishes; papers; artwork; a bunch of paper cutout 'games' that Matthew invented and then left on my counters to deal with; pieces of 2x4 board that have screws screwed into it in a pattern resembling Matthew's initials (one of several wood-working projects lying around); a grocery bag filled with empty plastic easter eggs (used for our chocolate hunt) that have yet to be taken downstairs and placed into the 'Spring/Easter Bin.' When I set the table for breakfast today, I strategically placed plates overtop of the crumbs from yesterday's dinner...because there was simply too much to do other than wipe the table or sweep up under it. Isn't that pathetic? I'm so embarrassed.
It seems like the past several weeks have simply flown by in the scurrying about that we do around here. Mornings and half of the afternoons are usually consumed with reading to the little kids for an hour first thing in the morning, getting breakfast on the table and cleaned up by 9:30, getting dressed and tidying rooms, doing school and/or other learning-related stuff and/or field trips that usually happen in the mornings, eating and cleaning up lunch, and reading out loud again (this time books more of Matthew's liking). By this time it's usually about 2:00 or after and we're well over halfway through the day and I haven't used the bathroom for hours or even started my to do list for the day. And it's almost time to get ready for whatever else happens next.
The fact that I took the kids to gymnastics late afternoon today and then raced off with all three to the boys' cycling club meant that I had to have clean laundry ready for gymnastics as well as for their cycling club ('cause they always manage to come home dirty from that!), had to have a healthy supper ready in little containers for all four of us to eat in the car as we flew from gymnastics to the park outside of the city where the cycling club met. The 90 minutes there were relaxing because the boys were gone and I spent the time with Lizzie and a couple of friends, but then we had to race home because we were out waaay past Lizzie's bedtime; and it was a 40 minute drive home. Then, of course, all three kids were starving, so we pulled out muffins and the fresh fruit salad that I woke up early to cut up this morning knowing that they were going to need something for snacks throughout the day (and sure enough, they finished up over two litres of fresh fruit salad between their morning and evening snacks!).
It is crazy. How do you folks do this?? What are your tips, your short cuts, the things that save the day? How on earth do you manage?
So it's now Friday morning and things are still pretty chaotic around here, with no end in sight. But Geoff at least loaded up the dishwasher when he got home late last night, so I was able to empty and reload it this morning. The kitchen's looking a little more liveable now. The kids tidied up a couple of rooms between story time and breakfast. And I ran two loads of laundry through this morning, so the tip of that iceberg has been breached. Finally, I decided that since it's been a month since our last movie night, tonight the kids will eat pizza in front of a movie and I'll fold laundry while they/we are thus contained. I woke up this morning thinking about a verse in the Bible that talks about not worrying about tomorrow because because each day has enough trouble of its own and tomorrow will worry about itself. That's what I decided this morning - not to worry about the weekend because all I need to get through is today. The other thing that I have been noticing over the past couple of weeks is that, although I'm quite overwhelmed at times by the sheer volume of stuff that I need to get done (or not!), I'm not emotionally depressed about it all as I was just a short couple of months ago. I'm so thankful for that...I have so much to be grateful for.
But still...if you have any tips/short cuts/things that save the day, I'd love to hear about them!