Sunday, September 30, 2012

What you're about to see may shock you

I am not good at multitasking. I don't mean the little stuff. I can simultaneously make dinner, help with homework, do the dishes and fold the laundry with the best of them. No, the multitasking I'm bad at is juggling special projects with everyday life, especially now that everyday life more or less revolves around a certain tiny diva.

It wasn't so bad when she was a little baby and it didn't matter that she didn't have a schedule because she was sleeping all the time anyway. Now she kind of has a schedule, but some days she will not (or cannot) sleep unless she's being held and some days she wants nothing more than to be in her crib and you have nothing to offer her, thank you very much. (Today was one of the former, which is why I'm writing this at 2 AM.) So planning ahead is difficult, and I'm exhausted a lot of the time although I can't quite figure out why because I feel like I should be used to four hours of sleep a night by now.

I'm going to be brave and put up pictures of the house in its current state. Take a deep breath and brace yourself. I do clean--today the living room and kitchen floors were each swept twice, dishes were done three times, counters wiped, laundry folded and put away, papers gone through (but not all of them, and quite a few that I went through didn't really have a place to go even though I use several methods of organization for papers and the like) and general decluttering in most rooms. And yet...here we are. Yaya has been sick for a few days so there's medicine and stuff around, but that really hasn't made a huge difference in the state of things.

Housekeeping with my kids has always been a struggle, but the last few months or so have really ramped up the difficulties. There's always dishes in the sink and stuff all over the counters.

There are always dishes everywhere, really. No matter how many times I pick up, straighten, rearrange, put away, there is always stuff everywhere in the living room.

Thank goodness the dining room table is nice and big because there's a big pile of junk in the middle of it that never quite seems to disappear, no matter how many items I remove.

One entire kitchen counter has been given over to the storage of small appliances and other things that we just don't have the cupboard space for, but still actually need. We do a pretty good job of not accumulating kitchen junk, but when you have two pantry shelves, three lower cabinets (half of which are not useable unless you crawl inside) and eight upper cabinets as the sum total of your kitchen storage, organization is difficult. Believe me, I've tried. I know some people make do with less but we definitely need more.

Laundry is a separate beast. Everyone's clothes are sorted and folded into their own baskets, but getting the clothes put away happens much much less often than it should. And then there are those little things that pile up--random items that don't have a spot other than shoved in your underwear drawer, unmatched socks, lingerie bag to wash Baby Girl's socks, etc. I actually think I might keep the "get-your-clothes-out-of-a-basket" system for a while because somehow it seems to work for us. Don't ask how because I don't know.

Anyway, what all this is coming down to is that I seem to have forgotten how to balance things. I swear I used to know how. But balancing the everyday living stuff--cooking and cleaning, mainly--with the stuff that needs to be done, for my sanity, for special occasions and to keep the house from falling in around us. The best plan I've come up with so far is to get as much done on the weekends as I can, when B is home to distract the kids, then just do damage control during the week. I suppose it's not ideal, but some plan has to be better than none.

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