Lessons in Time Management

By two o’clock this afternoon I had accomplished enough to make me feel like the proverbial domestic goddess. I’m so proud of myself, in fact, that I’m going to write down what I learned about time management skills this morning so that when I complain about not having time to read/blog/think/do anything, you can all point me back to this post and make me feel really guilty.

I like guilt. It keeps me going.

Here’s what a typical day looks like in our small corner of Las Vegas.

6 AM
Get dragged out of bed by Charlotte, who lays in her crib screaming and crying until I come in. Try to get her out of the crib quietly so as to not wake Sienna. Succeed. Walk across room with Charlotte on tiptoes. Step on toy, slip, drop Charlotte who commences to cry again, make terrible racket, narrowly avoid swearing loudly. Sienna sits up in bed and says, “Mom, Charlotte woke me up.”
6:20 AM
Groggily pour the girls bowls of cereal. Succumb (almost every single morning: go ahead and judge me) to their pleas to put on a movie. Put on movie. Put on tea kettle. Wander back to bedroom to quiet fussing Liam. Lay down to nurse him so he’ll go back to sleep for an hour or so. Doze off. Wake up ten minutes later in a panic, certain that the children have killed each other while I slept. Spring out of bed to find that they are both alive, but the cereal has become modern art on the carpet. Clean up cereal while being profoundly grateful that at least I got Liam back to sleep.
6:50 AM
Take tea back to study. Sit down and open my blog. Click on the first updated blog on my handy little widget on the left. Notice that it’s usually Simcha’s. Wonder if she neglects her children as much as I neglect mine. Seriously doubt it. Read her blog, laugh. Wake Liam up.
7:10 AM
Get Liam out of bed. Alternate holding/nursing/bouncing him while I read the rest of the updated blogs, troll facebook, and consider blogging myself. 
7:55 AM
Yell at the girls to stop playing “who can sit on each other’s head the hardest” (an actual game that I cannot get them to stop playing). Click on my statcounter. Wonder if my visitors are low because I didn’t blog yesterday, or because my blog sucks. Or because I suck. 
8:15 AM
Read comments from my latest blog entry to make myself feel better. Feel so much better that I want to spread the love, so get back on facebook to comment gratuitously on the daily lives of others. Congratulate myself for caring so much about others. 
8:55 AM
Wake up the Ogre. Put the baby down in the living room, turn the TV off, and make breakfast for the Ogre and myself. The girls claim to be hungry, so add three eggs and two pieces of toast. Wash and slice several pounds of fruit for Sienna. Turn on coffee. Wake up the Ogre.
9:30 AM
Eat breakfast with the girls, occasionally foray into the bedroom to wake up the Ogre again. Clean up breakfast dishes. Wonder how the Ogre eats cold food as often as he does. Wonder if tomorrow I should wait until he’s actually out of bed before making his eggs. Know I won’t do this. 
10 AM
Wake the Ogre up, this time for good.
10:15 AM
Get down dolls/games for the girls to play, stick Liam in bouncer, and go back to study to blog. Sit down at computer. Wonder what to blog about. Wonder if people even read my blog.
10:22 AM
Click on statcounter to reassure myself that people read my blog. Click on recent visitor activity. Wonder why people from Argentina never stay longer than zero seconds. Wonder if Argentinians don’t like babies. Wonder if Argentinians don’t like me. Wonder if anyone likes me. 
10:24 AM
Click on “Weekly Summary” to reassure myself that people like me. 
10:25 AM
Start typing about something that happened the other day. Hopefully manage to draw some meaning from the experience. Edit, polish, preview, fret, chew my nails, have the Ogre read it, hit publish and view blog. 
11:50 AM
Immediately go back to edit a comma. 
12:10
Post entry to facebook. Finally leave the study, much to the Ogre’s hovering relief. Get lunch for the girls. 
12:50 
Put Charlotte and Liam down for a nap. Do reading lessons with Sienna. Play a game with Sienna.
1:30 PM
Meander around the house gathering laundry. Put a load in the wash. Wipe down kitchen table. Fold laundry. Do various small cleaning tasks. 
3:00 PM
Get Charlotte out of her crib. Get kids dressed. Feed Liam. Take kids outside for a walk. 
4:00 PM
Let kids play while I start dinner.
6:00 PM
Eat dinner, clean up, put kids in bed.
But this morning, everything was different. I got up this morning and allowed myself forty-five minutes to read the blogs I follow, after which time I allowed myself one loop around the facebook block, after which I sat down to blog myself. I had no idea what I was going to blog about, but determined to do it in one hour, then make breakfast and get the Ogre up. Which I did! 
After breakfast we picked up, made the beds, then went outside. The girls and I ran around for a good forty-five minutes, alternating scooter rides with Mother May I. When we got back I fed them both lunch, Sienna and I did her reading/writing lesson, then I put Charlotte and Liam down for a nap. While they slept I folded and put away two loads of laundry, did the dishes, started the dishwasher,  re-seasoned my cast-iron pan, put another load of laundry in, wiped down the kitchen counters, and decided not to clean the bathroom because I didn’t want to wake Liam up (who is currently sleeping in the bedroom to which the bathroom is attached). All by two o’clock! 
So now I only have to clean the bathroom before starting dinner. Which is awesome, because I got to read some blogs I usually don’t read and write a second post today. 
And click on my statcounter forty-three more times. 
So maybe the next time I complain about not having enough time to do anything, what you should really tell me to do is uninstall my statcounter.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09357573787143230160 Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble

    This.is.so.good. Oh, I can relate to just about everything here. Except that you do more vocational duties than I do!! Thanks for the great post! Ha ha ha!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12557248434888642114 Melanie B

    Love it. So many of my days look so very similar. I know the days I actually feel like a domestic goddess are the ones where I forbid myself to sit down at my computer till I've put away the clean dishes, started a load of laundry, and done some other task.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00489950329698009256 Deltaflute

    What there's a stat page? Oh, I see it. Uh oh. I shouldn't have looked. It's fueling an interesting addiction.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06164970035946546827 Mary Poppins NOT

    I love your blog. Stalk it, actually. I usually check it with my iPhone, so can't comment for some reason, but today, I am at the real computer. You are a terrific writer, I recognize your struggles and admire your passion and efforts. Blessings! ~ Renee

  • http://blueberriesforme.wordpress.com Jackie

    I totally check my stats even though I just started blogging and am not expecting too much!Once in college I did this thing where you write down what you do in 15 min increments for a whole week. It's pretty informative about where your time goes!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07632005486245515873 Calah

    Leila and Melanie-I'm so glad that I'm not the only one! You guys are awesome. Deltaflute-yeah, statcounters are dangerous. Watch out. Mary Poppins NOT-Thank you so much! I'm very flattered, and grateful that you read my blog! Jackie-Yeah, I'm never doing that. I'd rather not know where my time goes.

  • http://politicalhousewyf.wordpress.com/ Kathy

    Ugh! The stats!You're not the only one who wonders if anyone is really reading. I have a friend who started blogging and said she usually got "only" nearly twice what I get, after blogging for years.Some of us (I) just don't get around to commenting, as much as I have often meant to. :)


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