I was cleaning up the kitchen the other night, and as I cursed my husband under my breath because he’d messed up the stove again, I stopped short, realizing what a jerk I was since he’d actually taken the time to cook. Whereas cooking for me looks a lot like melting cheese on tortillas and tossing salad.
This got me thinking about everybody who runs a house — let’s face it, women mostly — who cook from scratch every single night. And sometimes three times a day. Just making this one meal took a good chunk of Tenzin’s time. So then I started thinking about what I often think about — how the hell does everybody get everything done?
I’ve said before that I’m lucky. I’m a stay-at-home-mom. We have a house cleaner every two weeks. And if you break life into equal divisions of labor, Tenzin gets the raw deal in this scenario. That said, we’re also in a bit of a weird situation with my health issues, so if you want to look at it that way, “lucky” maybe isn’t a perfectly accurate adjective. But moving on…
A few months ago, I did a post called What Bloggers Really Do in an Hour, so I was thinking, maybe I should track one of my whole days.
I know. Try to contain yourselves.
Keep in mind this was a good day. I’d slept 8 hours (which is rare and beautiful and makes a HUGE difference to my health). And I seem to be in an upswing after days and days of icky, ouchy crap.
What I Really Do All Day
7:25: Get up after snooze alarm has gone off. Throw on clothes from previous day. Wash face, brush teeth, take pills. Go down and start coffee pot.
7:35: Read email on phone until coffee pot has pumped out enough for a cup. Drink breakfast.
7:45: Go get kids. Read to them for 5-10 minutes while they wake up (yes, I am the nicest person on the planet).
8:20: Plan to leave for school.
8:28: Actually leave for school.
9:00: Drop off papers at lawyer’s office that must be hand-delivered or else sky will fall and world will implode. Feel good for saving the planet.
9:20: Get home. Read email. Delete email. Answer email. Get stuck reading links due to being suck in by email.
9:40: Remember doctor’s appointment. Freak out and run upstairs to take shower so as not to completely embarrass self during pap smear.
10:00: Almost make self late by talking to husband who’s just woken up to go to midday shift.
11:00: Get home from doctor. Spend next 2 hours posting to FB and twitter (to make people think I’m “engaged”), folding clothes, moving laundry from washer to dryer, eating lunch, unloading dishwasher, washing dishes to put back in dishwasher, throwing out junk mail, and trying to locate source of whatever is making house smell like someone who’s just taken a sponge bath.
1:00: Sit down to write post. Get to right here.
1:30: Write that I’m going to take dog for walk before he chews my leg off.
1:50: Actually leave to take dog for walk.
1:50-2:20: Walk. Remember all the things I should’ve gotten done while at home.
2:20: Get back from walk. Forget all the things I was suppose to do while at home.
2:25: Sit down at computer to write post. Start searching for music for new podcasting venture (yes, that’s right folks, I’m going to start podcasting* — again, try to contain yourselves).
3:00: Remember it’s time to pick up kids. Freak out and run around house finding snacks and various post-school paraphernalia.
3:20: Pick up children. Get sassed by daughter who asks if I’ve been drinking when I mention that I almost forgot them.
3:25-4:15: Somehow manage to easily kill 45 minutes filling the car with gas and eating pretzels.
4:15-5:15: Sit at martial arts class and use half of brain and horribly slow internet connection to try and hook up Facebook page for aunt who’s running for clerk-recorder in Carson City. Feel self-conscious the entire time as believe everyone behind me is reading over my shoulder.
5:45-6:00: Get home. Attempt to transport entire contents of car into house so as to avoid second trip to car. Return to car after all doors locked and garage door closed to retrieve water bottle that everyone is POSITIVE they brought inside.
6:00-8:45: Help aunt with website while attempting to feed kids frozen pizza and yelling at various people to either eat, do homework, or shower.
9:00: Stick said various people in bed with wet hair and no complaints about hunger. Feel victorious.
9:00-9:45: Get conned into reading Fablehaven for almost an hour.
9:45-10:30: Attempt to fix aunt’s website. Fail. Give up and email friend who actually knows what she’s doing when husband comes home and says in so many words that I’m being an idiot for not calling her in the first place.
10:30-11:00: Talk to husband about plans to change world, save world, take over world.
11:00-11:10: Start to go upstairs. Remember lunches. Make the damn lunches.
11:10-11:30: Enlist House Fairies to close down house. Turn off lights, pick up coats and shoes that magically appear on floor, wipe off counters, carry laundry basket upstairs. Plan to get into bed and go to sleep.
11:30: Get in bed. Work on post. Don’t finish.
12:30: Try to fall asleep.
2:00: Fall asleep.
2:00-7:15: Dream of being awake and therefore have impossibly hard time convincing self that sleep actually occurred.
7:15: Groundhog Day…
I Don’t Know How You Do It
So as you can see, I don’t really get much done. I mean, for all the hours that I’m awake, you’d think I’d be running Russia or something. But most of the time, I’m just spinning in circles. During this time, I didn’t finish a post, make one bed, or clean anything other than dishes. Imagine the potential buildup that could occur over just a few days if this went on…
Which is why when someone says, “I don’t know how you do it,” with regards to my life or anyone else’s, I have to say, neither do I! I really don’t! How do we all get by? Are you guys doing something magical that I don’t know about? Do you really have House Fairies?
So if you feel like “sharing with the class” and letting us know what your day looks like, shoot me an email me with a list of what you do. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m continually perplexed. I don’t understand how the rest of you get anything done.
*I wasn’t kidding about the podcasting. Vanita Cyril of The Strategic Mama, Poppy Marler of Facing 40, and I are banding together to form The Blogging Betties. Between us we have almost 12 years of blogging experience, so we’re going to yap like crazy about how to make your blog kick ass. AND we’re going to have great interviews with your favorite bloggers who are already “doing it right.” And hey, if you think I’m fun here, wait until you hear me talking…
Anyway, I’d love, love, LOVE you all to head over to our countdown page and sign-up for email alerts. We’ll tell you when we launch! And if you have topics you’d like covered, questions you’d like answered, or bloggers you’d like to hear interviewed, shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.