One year

August 2, 2010 at 11:29 pm (Daily Criteria, Family, Parenthood) ()

All of the sudden, I’m coming up on a year of working exclusively as a SAHM.  At least, apart from a 3 day a week stint taking care of Mr. C.  And growing a new baby.  [Sidenote- I think growing a baby could be counted as a full time job.  Even though I’ve done it while working full time, and I’ve done it while taking care of three and four kids, I still don’t know how women do it.  Compared to the hell of bedrest or constant nausea or threatened miscarriage, I have an “easy” time growing new people.  But I would not say I ever feel like I’m “glowing”, as they say.  Mostly growing a new human seems like a continuous extra load to carry.  People say “Keep the baby in as long as you can- it’s easier to take care of inside”.  I disagree.  Give me a sweet newborn who eats twenty minutes every hour and won’t be set down without crying any day.]

A year ago, I naively came up with a list of daily goals.

If I had a boss tracking those metrics, pretty much every day would generate a “needs improvement” rating.  Today would come up as ~√, -, –, ~√, -. 

Criteria 1:  moving towards an organized home, not away from it.  The boys and I did pick up the main areas of toys, but I was grumpy, and I was annoyed it took so long, and I was annoyed at how I spoke to them to get the job done.  Doesn’t it seem like 6 year olds should be able to separate a floor pile of books, cars, and LEGOs into their respective homes without direction?  It does not seem so here.  Every time we pick up (I’d like it to be every day, but in reality it’s every few days or weekly) we dedicate somebody to books, somebody to LEGOs, etc., until it’s done, and the method still seems mysterious. And, I was asked if they could be paid for it.  We have been giving quarters for help with certain tasks around the house.  Tasks above “regular duties” like clearing your plate, cleaning your own room, setting the table.  I find I’m getting frustrated by the question “can I get paid for that?” for the tiniest little niceties.  I explained that one does not get paid to pick up your own messes that could be alleviated by cleaning up as one went along.  But grudgingly, I admitted if they helped clean up a bunch of messes created by their sister, that might deserve a quarter.  Then from another room I heard them explaining to Greta that she should pick up their stuff and they’d pick up hers, so all the kids would get paid.  Um, points for cleverness, maybe?  But, really?

Criteria 2: Physical activity for all.  Not unless you count walking a couple blocks between our minivan and a Starbucks.  The boys were outside briefly, and I watched them lounge conversationally on the deck.  Cute but not physical activity.

Criteria 3: Homemade food.  Uh, no.  We ate pizza at the mall for lunch, and take-out Chinese for dinner.  I just DO NOT have the gumption to cook these days.  Even the effort to make sandwiches for lunch seems like a big burden.

Criteria 4: Quality time with the kids.  I think I would count the half hour I read “Stink and the Incredible Super Galactic Jawbreaker” to them.

Criteria 5: No major injuries.  I guess it wasn’t major, but the boo boo ice did come out twice, when Parker get a bloody lip during a light saber fight, and when Auden tripped down the stairs.

Here is where I intended to review my year of taking care of my children full time, and discuss a modification of my earlier lofty goals.  But that will have to wait for tomorrow, as my baby is calling me. Happy World Breastfeeding Week, btw.


1 Comment

  1. mrs. g. said,

    Woman, I think you met your goals completely realistically. I love that your kids were hanging out “conversationally” on your deck…great line. And, hey, growing a baby IS a full-time job.

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