Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More than survival

I was reading at a board I love (http://www.yaaps.com/) and there was a thread about being a good homemaker. You know, the traditional view of that - beautiful decorated house, clean and tidy, wonderful meals every night, as well as being a fun attentive mommy and a fabulous partner in kitten heels and lipstick. Well, a lot of us feel guilt about not doing it "right" and what is "right" and just what would we have to sacrifice to do it "right"

It got me thinking about how I operate these days. Sprout is in a growth spurt - all 17 lbs of him is breastmilk and cuddles - and how absolutely exhausted I am, and how down I am on my lack of any great homemaking these days. I don't feel like the house is falling apart, but I do feel like I'm in survival mode and I'd like some more room for the niceties in life. We've been here two months and I'd like the front curtains up! I hate my brown bedroom! I'd like to really set the table for a meal, you know with placemats and nice serving dishes. Why do I feel bad that I haven't painted the kids room yet, haven't sewn curtains for their windows and closet doors? I am not in a nice little "simple groove" where I can get up an hour ahead of everyone, meditate and do yoga, wake the kids with songs and a hot breakfast, have people over for a playgroup during the day, and have a hobby in my spare time. Oh and while we're at it, I'd like time to get in my studio and paint! And you know, I do have a pretty simple life - very little stuff, a small house, I'm a stay at home mom. Where does the time go???

It is 9:40 in the morning,

I've gotten Nature Girl off to school with clean clothes on, a packed lunch, hair in ponytails, teeth brushed, breakfast eaten, homework done and in her bag, skates going back for skating day. She left in freshly laundered snowgear too, and dry boots (yesterday everything was a sodden mess from playing out in the snow) I remembered to pack $2.25 in case she wants hot lunch at school.

After she left I did a whirlwind tidy in her room. If I don't keep on top of her stuff it very quickly deteriorates into chaos in there and she can't function. So I get her doing something every day - she makes her bed, she puts away laundry in small quantities and she puts away her toys if I manage the number she has in her room. But I take care of most of the clothes and all of the flotsam that ends up in her room.

The Sprout has nursed, been changed, is in clean dry clothes. He's happy hanging out with Wild Thing for now.

Wild Thing has nursed, given a chance to pee in the potty, eaten breakfast, and fingerpainted. He's playing in the playroom.

The cat and dog have been fed, the dog's been out for a pee and a poop.

I've drunk two cups of coffee while catching up online and listening for the dryer to buzz.

Okay, it is 5:02 now and this is what else I did today

I feel like I spent most of today attending to requests for snacks or nursing from children and the dog, doing laundry, tidying up Wild Thing's room, making a hot lunch (left over waffles), cleaning the kitchen over and over again, nursing, changing diapers, giving Wild Thing a bath, talked to my mom for a little while while I cleaned, doing laundry, and dreading making dinner (beets - and I will remember to keep the juice so the kids can paint with it in the snow!). I talked with Dark Mirror for awhile. I played with the Sprout (copying his sounds, doing some finger rhymes, and let him feel a cloth book full of textures. A letter came home about head lice and Nature Girl has OLD NITS - from an infestation back in the fall - do not get me started - but she can't return to school until I pinch out every last mother frigging one of them!!!! No nitcomb in the world can take out old deflated empty nits. There was no evidence of lice THANK ALL THAT IS HOLY) So that, in a nutshell, is my evening too.

I think I'll call Papa Pan and ask he pick up a Pizza on his way home.

I'll change my tshirt when the spit up on the shoulder of this one gets to me - hopefully before Papa Pan gets home. Oh and if you go down to my post about our play and look at the pictures of the playroom you'll see where poor Papa Pan is sleeping right now. He has 3 hours of commuting to do each day and the Sprout is awake so often during the night that he can't sleep well with us, so he's camping out in the playroom.

Just where is the room for niceties right now???


twinsetellen said...

Ah, you are delivering the most important niceties of all, right now! I stayed home when my children were young - it was the hardest job I ever did. Of course you have plenty of free time - and it comes in 5 minute intervals at entirely random moments during the day.

Keep up the good work.

amyamanda said...

I loved reading your account of your day. I had a similar sort of day. Breakfast, dishes, snacks, laundry, snacks, more dishes, more snacks....

Kelly said...

I feel like a lazy slob compared to you ;) I often reach the end of the day going, "Just what the heck did I do today?"

Kudos on your EXCELLENT homemaking :)