Time time time, see what’s become of me

September 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm (Time)

Motherhood is feeling pretty hard today.

But instead of actually talking about the true issues before I have any idea how to handle them, I’ll talk about something else that I can’t fix.

Back to the subject of time, and the lack thereof.  I recently read a blog that, I’m paraphrasing here, suggested working moms really can have it all- as long as you properly prioritize and say no to the things that don’t matter.  Oh, and set time limits for yourself when using the internet.  Now, I’m pretty sure this was meant to be encouraging.  And if it were true it would be.

But what did I take from the writing?  If you can’t get it together enough to be organized and divide your time into precise fifteen minute segments, then you’re just a whiner.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t like constantly prioritizing my life into “the most important things to get done today”.  Sometimes I just want to do what I feel like doing.  Which is why, at 3am this morning, I started organizing the box of cards I keep just in case somebody has a birthday, or dies, or has a baby.

What happens to me over and over and over again is that I try to prioritize and start with paying the bills and clearing the dirty dishes off the kitchen counter so that more food can actually be cooked, and I end up dusting a top shelf after I decided to put away a dish on it and realized it was filthy.  For instance.  It’s a You Give A Mouse A Cookie problem.  Or a symptom of ADD, I’m not sure which.  If I don’t interrupt my own tasks, a child does.  I’m paying the bills and somebody needs clean underwear.  Twice.  Trying to prioritize my life ends up taking way too much headroom and creating guilt when I’m not doing the-most-important-thing-right-now.

The whole dilemma takes a lot of enjoyment out of doing anything.  I alternate between trying to prioritize my days exactly right, and giving up and doing whatever I feel like it because I can damn it.  Hence the 3am card organizing.  I don’t have any answers for myself.  It does strike me that there’s probably a happy medium.

What I do know is that time management continues to be one of the most profound issues I struggle with as a mother.

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2 Comments

  1. mrs. g. said,

    Part of the joy of motherhood for me was not having to schedule my life into fifteen minute increments (I remember reading an article that suggested you wipe down the shower while you are in it–I don’t want to multi-task when I’m taking a shower!). There is a great book called “Surrendering to Motherhood” that deals with some of what you are talking about.

    Some of us are highly organized and some of us fly by the seat of our pants…I think a nice place in the middle is ideal, but I didn’t always get there. My kids survived.

  2. Jenn @ Juggling Life said,

    I am pretty organized because it gives me free time I wouldn’t have otherwise. Having every minute scheduled would drive me nuts.

    I don’t think anybody can have it all–that’s a total myth.

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