I learned a long time ago – in junior high, actually – that the best way to get things done is to get up before anyone else and do them flat-out while you are completely undisturbed. This skill stood me in good stead when Motherhood hit, and it's still my go-to solution today when my To Do List is longer than my arm.
A stay-at-home Mom's life can best be described as interrupt-driven. Everyone starts their morning with a plan in mind of what they'd like to accomplish that day, but if you're an at-home parent you can count on only getting to half of it – and that half taking at least twice as long as it would if you were just a Person. Even the most angelic children (and husbands) require a lot of attention.
Please understand that I'm not complaining. I chose this path and I love it. I love being there to read the stories, take the walks and oversee the homework. It's one of the things I'm proudest of, being the one my sons want to talk to, the one my daughters ask for hairstyle advice and the one my husband seeks out to share a spectacular sunset with him. These moments are my paydays.
Dropping everything to experience those luxury moments means that things build up, though, and from time to time (like today) I need to get up at 5 a.m., lower my head and work like a draft horse until I've crossed off things from my list. Boring mundane things, like “feed the plants, make chocolate rice pudding for breakfast, oil the clippers for haircuts later, clean the bathroom, deadhead the roses, and oh yeah - take a shower!”
I've often felt that my main job description is that of Stage Manager. I set the scene for family life, and even though I get credit for it, the quality of my work is most admirable if it doesn't intrude into the play itself. If the place is clean, well-stocked and welcoming without anyone feeling that mopping the floors or polishing windows is the be-all and end-all of existence, then Home is a place where they will feel relaxed and welcomed. I manage this with varying degrees of success, but so far only one of my children has actually left the country; so far, so good.
I think today's Bachelor Camp activity will be Ironing a Dress Shirt; maybe Slacks, too, if all goes well. It's supposed to be hot today so the laundry room in the basement will probably be a good place to hang out for a while. Sassy and I are going out for “coffee,” and it's Date Night too, so I am gonna be a fairly social Millie this Wednesday. Thank goodness I got that shower in!