Back when I was working, I never missed a deadline. I worked thoughtfully, efficiently and proudly. A week filled with presentations, proposal deadlines, media pitch calls, brainstorming sessions, media analysis reports, and follow-up calls inking themselves black across my desktop calendar energized me. The more I had to do, the more efficient I was. Not meeting, but exceeding expectations was a constant goal. I’d like to think I was good at it.
So, why, lately, have I been so woefully behind the proverbial eight ball? I waited too long to order the favors I wanted for my sister’s baby shower and now they are back ordered. I blanked on registering Pumpkin for the spring session of The Music Class and now we’re activity-less on Tuesday mornings. I must appear completely scatter-brained to the co-host of my sister’s shower who emails me the kind of type-A list I used to rattle off in my sleep. This space has been neglected for no really good reason I can conjure. I constantly feel like I’m playing catch-up.
Do my responsibilities not seem as important? Cleaning the bathroom certainly isn’t as time sensitive as rush-producing a news story on a new FDA approval. Or do I not feel as important? A difficult question for sure. The Mom-me most definitely feels important. I’m the one who kisses the owies better, who knows to sing Twinkle, Twinkle before nap time, who can change a 4 year old’s attitude with a well placed tickle.
But perhaps it is the household trappings of the stay-at-home-mom life where I don’t always feel important. If the bathrooms don’t get cleaned, I’m the only one who cares. If the dishes don’t get done before dinner prep starts, I’m the only one annoyed. If the laundry piles up, it’s only my problem to figure out what every one’s going to wear. If I don’t make time for my own writing or personal interests, I’m the only one affected. There are no demanding clients. There are no yearly reviews. There are no column inches in a national paper to track a success.
The stay-at-home life is often a hurry-up-and-wait kind of life. Quick, get a few chores done while the kids are distracted, check email during snack time, make a phone call during nap time. The rest of the day is following and marrying the whims of two different attitudes, desires and capabilities, which results in a lot of waiting through car playing, waiting for a particular someone to find his shoes so we can FINALLY go outside, waiting for someone to finish eating. And part of me is thrilled that I have managed to amend my Type A self into a more go with the flow mom self that allows my kids to be kids. The other part of me is screaming inside to stop getting distracted by every book in your room and find your shoe already so we can leave!
Could it be, though, that the relaxed, attention-challenged attitude of my children has finally rubbed off on me to the point where I’m failing to finish projects and easily distracted to the point of forgetting items on my to-do list?
There has to be a way to marry the deadline-centric work life I once knew with the more relaxed day-to-day operations of life at home.
Is there an app for that? I’d try to make one, but I’d surely forget to finish it.