I’ve always liked how Karen uses the term Life Tetris whenever she posts about trying to balance everything that is going on, so I’ve freely borrowed that from her while also mixing my metaphors, because I still think in terms of juggling.
Balls I’m Still Keeping In The Air:
- Being a Good Daughter (in that I’m still researching potential new apartments for my mother and
have arranged to go and see some of them with her when she is here next week[scratch that, Mum hasn’t been able to come yet because she is being a Good Daughter and looking after her mother who possibly has pneumonia] and I’ve been making contacts with Airbnb hosts to find out if their “wheelchair accessible” rental will actually allow my father to come and visit for an afternoon if we stay there)
- The garden (in that I’ve weeded the front to within an inch of its life, so I probably have four days before I start to feel like it’s getting out of control again; the beds in the side yard
still need attentionare all tidied up too)
- The car (in that I called to make the appointment to get its winter tires taken off after Q. didn’t manage to find the time to do it for six days in a row)
- The back/side yard landscaping project (we wanted to do this last summer but 2016 happened. I have spent hours over the last three weeks researching potential contractors, meeting with them, getting quotes, clarifying quotes, comparing quotes, negotiating, asking questions, etc., and I finally made the decision to go with the same company who did the original landscaping in the front (which makes me feel like I’ve wasted all of those hours but if we’d just gone with them again we wouldn’t have felt confident it was the right decision as they are mainly landscapers and a big chunk of the project is converting an asphalt parking pad to interlocking brick))
- Buying groceries
- Doing laundry (including all of P’s latest hand-me-downs which appeared on our porch over the weekend)
- Remembering we have a cat
- Organizing car seats for our upcoming trip down under
- Organizing E’s birthday and birthday party for friends
- Keeping our main floor safe for P to explore (this is a constantly moving target at the moment as she keeps learning how to do new things (I can climb stairs! I can reach tables! I can haz keys!))
- School forms, permission slips, and classroom requests (E has a centipede, an unidentified grub, and a June beetle larva in a jar to take in to school tomorrow after his teacher asked for “little critters your kids find” and he helped me weed the garden)
- Managing the household finances (I even did our taxes really early this year)
- Being a Good Mum and a Good Spouse (I debated whether or not to write this down. Was it self-evident? Was it presumptuous? I am not perfect but on balance I think I am doing ok.)
Balls I’ve Dropped:
- Getting ready for warmer weather (we had a fluke hot day last week which made me realize that I have no idea whether P has any spring/summer clothes at all as I gave most of her current size away to an Australian cousin in 2012 and I need to completely reorganize the bins downstairs to figure out what she has for 12-18 and 18-24 months; also I think this year we probably have to admit that E should not still be wearing his size 3T shorts even if he can get them on; I did order sunglasses for both kids (E broke his last year; his baby pair we gave away a couple of years ago) and sunhats for E (he lost his only hat at school last week, which is incredibly unusual for him, but he needed new ones anyway as he’d been wearing it for two years and it was getting small))
- Cottage vacation in August (I have not booked a cottage; our usual rental company has no suitable cottages for our current phase of life (read: probably newly walking toddler) available when we’re available because I should have done this in January
- Mulch (we swore last year we would never again go a year without ordering and spreading mulch…)
- The front railing (it is rusting and needs to be stripped and repainted)
- The front door (our storm door gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago and Q. has done the work to determine he won’t be able to easily fix it, which raises the issue of whether we even want a storm door or whether we should buy a new properly insulated front door; this is a decision I don’t have the bandwidth for at the moment)
- Getting the ducts and the windows cleaned (looooonnng overdue; I want to finally get them organized and done while Q. is away as a surprise)
- Cleaning the house (we vacuum and clean the bathrooms every week but any aspect of “deep cleaning” (washing baseboards and kitchen cupboards, cleaning the stove (and behind the stove), washing walls and floors, dusting) is, let’s face it, never going to happen
- Looking after me (see previous post re: exercise, hair cut, dentist)
- A joint birthday party for P and E for family (There is one weekend between early May and late June where we’re not out of town, hosting relatives, or organizing some other event like E’s friend party. I put this in the too-hard basket. We will make P. a cupcake on her birthday and sing to her, but it will just be the four of us #secondchildproblems)
Balls That Are About To Be Added:
- E needs 15-20 minutes a day spent working on various activities that will make printing easier for him by the time he starts Grade 1 in the fall (which means I need to organize what I need for all the activities and plan out how we will approach each day, etc.)
- It’s May tomorrow, which means I really need to start writing my chapter for the edited volume
- I’m sure there are more but Q. left yesterday for an overseas conference and today I took both kids on a major excursion to help make up for the fact that my Mum hasn’t been able to come and E. is bitterly disappointed and my brain is just fried.
I have always been busy, but the single biggest difference I’ve noticed from going from one kid to two is how unrelentingly out of control I always feel. It’s not even that P’s arrival has increased the life admin by that much (yes, there’s more laundry, and yes, I have more bins to sort through when the weather changes, and more doctor’s appointments, etc., but it doesn’t seem especially onerous), more that the amount of time I now have in which I can tackle life admin has shrunk.
When I feel that my life is getting messy, I get anxious. But you can never cross off everything that *should* get done on your list.
Muddle through. One day at a time.