What Did I Do Today?
I get to the end of most days and wonder what in the world actually got done. How it is that I can be busy all day and yet it feels like I accomplished nothing. How is it that there are people out there who have multiple children at home, a neat and tidy house, dust bunnies under control, dinners planned and executed and birthday cards to family and friends sent out on time, and here I am wondering if I need to re-wash that load of laundry in the dryer because there’s no way a fluff cycle is going to get those wrinkles out. And there is no way I’m standing at an ironing board (that I would have to find) to iron yoga pants, jeans and tank tops.
I began to wonder if it may be both the nature of the work, and the unique help I have, that make me feel like I work and work and end up with so very little (of what I actually set out to do) completed.
The tasks I have taken responsibility for in our home lend themselves to making a person feel they are starring in Groundhog Day. By their very nature, tasks such as grocery shopping, meal planning, prep and clean up, laundry, tidying up, cleaning, diaper changing, mail sorting, bill paying, etc. are one endless cycle of complete and repeat. Most tasks that revolve around the upkeep of a house are that way. But as I adjust to life at home, and lack the additional accomplishment of working outside the home and completing a project, closing a file, helping a client or running and ending a successful meeting, it begins to feel like so very little has actually been completed in a day.
The Little Helpers
The pre-schooler helps buckle himself into his car seat. This is sure to give me ample time to reflect on life (mine and everyone else’s I know). The toddler helps to get his own water (“I DO IT”) which means I get to add even more accomplishments to my “to do” list because I can check off hydrating my children and spot cleaning my kitchen floor with filtered fridge water.
They help me keep my bathrooms ridiculously clean as each bathroom needs a partial cleaning several times a day (God bless boys and their impeccable aim). I frequently have help doing the dishes and as a result my kitchen cabinets and counters get a well deserved bath. When I have help cooking or baking I am able to deeply reflect on every…single…ingredient that goes into our food. I even have help regulating what I eat because it’s rare I get to sit for a meal without jumping out of my chair at least 3 times. It’s like doing squats throughout a meal, it’s great for limiting your food intake without the heartache of counting calories, and I have to think my metabolism benefits from mixing cardio and dinner.
The Extra Effort
Once in a while I get above and beyond help from one of my children. Owen really took it that extra step the other night when he insisted on helping me carry my freshly washed bathroom rugs into my master bath. (Don’t get the idea that I have washing bathroom rugs as part of my daily house cleaning activity. My 15 year old dachshund pooped on a bathroom rug because the temperature dropped below 35 degrees and she didn’t feel like going outside).
But, here I was with lovely clean bathroom rugs, and my son wanted to help with one of his favorite household chores, laundry. He insisted on carrying one in (“I DO IT”) and helping to arrange them in their place. I gave him one and asked him to put it in front of the toilet. He was listening carefully, heard “in” and helped me by putting the rug in the toilet. He was very proud.
On the positive side, because I am an avid list maker and I enjoy putting a line through the things I have managed to complete, I got to put “wash bathroom rugs” back onto my to-do list, and check it off again once complete. Now that feels like accomplishment.