Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wipe

If I were to ever break down a year into the time spent doing the things that I do, there would most certainly have to be some unexpected categories. Among the predictable facets of my life, there are those you wouldn't expect to add up to any measurable amount of time. But add up they do.

There is the time spent sleeping, which adds up to a lot, I'm sure. But not as much as it probably should. With motherhood comes a lengthy journey with insomnia. Even when I can and should be sleeping, chances are that I'm not. Whether I am up late cleaning, doing laundry, watching recorded tv shows or surfing the internet, I'm generally up late. Add to that the fact that AJ still gets up at least once almost every night and Ally's general penchant for waking with the sun, and I don't get much sleep.

There is the time spent cleaning, which I fear would rival the time spent sleeping. It seems like a neverending process. As the cliche goes, a mother's work is never done. It's the truth. I am never ever just done. Even if I have just put the last soiled items into the washer and put the last clean dish in the cabinet, I'm not done. There is always something.

The time spent cooking is on the rise these days. We almost never go out to eat anymore, and I have really been refining my cooking skills. Trouble is that there are a lot of things about cooking that can't be rushed. For example, I make a killer beef stew. But one night, I started it a little later than I planned and cooked it on higher heat to cut down the time it took. The meat was chewy and the stew didn't end up the right consistency. It seems like I am spending more and more time in the kitchen. And the more I become aware of what scary things are in processed and pre-made foods, I am cooking even more from scratch. Doesn't help that I get my arm twisted by my kids. Mommy, can we make a pumpkin pie like in preschool? Sure, why not. I didn't have anything else to do for the next 3 hours.

Sleeping, cleaning and cooking probably take up almost all of my time on that chart. But there are other categories too. Like the amount of time spent nursing. Though it is much less this year than last, I have spent a good chunk of my time with a kid attached. Especially with a newborn, it seems like that is all you ever do.

There is the time spent in the car, shuttling kids from here to there. I generally make at least 3 trips to school on any given day. Add in church, scouts, daisies, soccer, playdates and the obligatory runs to the store, and I can put a lot of miles on my car without ever leaving a 10 mile radius. There are times that I feel like I live in the car. And my car shows the signs of being lived in. Like my house, it is littered with dirty socks and shoes, papers from school, coffee cups and snack wrappers.

Speaking of those papers, I spend a lot of time just sifting through the papers from school. Between homework, returned assignments, art projects, PTO papers, announcements from school and monthly calendars, we get a lot of paper. With three kids in school now, it gets overwhelming. I wish the school would figure out a way to streamline the process a little more. Save a tree.

I spend a lot of time pushing kids on swings, reading stories and kissing boo boos. I spend a lot of time brushing hair and brushing teeth. I spend a lot of time negotiating outfits. It can take forever to get the girls dressed in the morning. Though there are times I just give in and let them put together whatever they deem a fabulous outfit, there are times that I stick to my guns. There are just times that you can't wear purple crocs with red tights.

I think the funniest chunk of how I spend my time is wiping. I wipe noses, and sometimes I have to actually chase down kids to do it. I wipe tears of all kinds. Sad tears, hurt tears, tired tears, angry tears. And yes, I wipe butts. I am paged to the bathroom more often than I'd like. "Mom"..."Mom!"... "Mooooooooom, I went poop!" That's one of those milestones I really look forward to with the kids. If I ever added it up, the time spent in there would be shocking, I am sure.

If only they could figure out a way for me to add more hours to my day, maybe, just maybe, I'd get some time for myself. Until then, I'll be busy. Someone is paging me.

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