There are things about adulthood and parenthood that you just can’t know–absolutely cannot conceive of–before you experience them. Someone could try to tell you, beforehand, and it wouldn’t matter. You wouldn’t hear it, or you’d just laugh yourself silly, or you’d ask the person telling you what they’ve been smoking and could you please maybe have some.
I thought I understood this stuff and there weren’t many surprises left in store for me. I have experienced cupping my hands to catch vomit (save the carpet!). I have watched my toddler tumble down the stairs in slow motion because there was a baby in my arms and lunging to a daring rescue was impossible. I have learned that you really can make dinner with a temperature of 103 if you have to. I have come to cherish the sweet peace of uninterrupted sleep (when I get it). Stuff like that.
What I seem to keep learning and relearning about is how there are just never enough hours in the day.
I mean… okay, yes; everyone wishes they had more time. Right? Sure. But come ON. “I wish I had more time to spend with my kids.” How many parents do you know who say that? Most of them. Sure. Par for the course.
Picking between washing dishes and sleeping? Actually calculating how many pairs of clean underwear everyone has left and whether that will be enough to make it to the weekend? Trying to decide if I should eat dinner or do any one of the dozen other chores I’ve been putting off for days? (Okay, that last one is a lie. The choice is between eating and sleeping. Food will always trump chores, and can only be ousted occasionally by sleep.)
These are not decisions I thought I’d find myself making.
Some of these items hinge solely on my own sloth tendencies, to be sure. But now that I’ve returned to work a realization has smacked me upside the head: not only are there not enough hours in the day, too many things in the world cannot be adequately accomplished from inside one’s house, late at night, while the children sleep. Or on every-other-weekend. Oh, the humanity.
The other night, I was happily making my soup, and discovered I was out of celery. No celery + kids in bed = no (finished) soup. And to work a special trip to the store into the schedule, the next day, for that stupid celery? Agony. Threw off the entire night.
Birthday party invitations: ready to go! Except, not! Because I have no stamps. I must get stamps. I am swamped at work. I am at work every single hour the post office is open. I must. leave. work. for. stamps. I’m sorry; what’s the year, again? Pffft. “I’m sorry, honey, we can’t actually have your party, because even though it’s 2005 there’s no reasonable way for a single working mother of two to purchase postage. I hope you understand.”
It’s been months since I had my hair done. Understand, I’ve already suffered considerable Hair Trauma in the last few years. My original, trusted stylist had the nerve to decide to stay home with her baby, a couple of years ago. After having a brief breakdown, I took a deep breath and switched to another stylist at the same salon, on the original stylist’s recommendation. It was a little rocky, at first, but we’ve forged that special bond that can exist only between a woman and the person who takes all her money and makes her look pretty. So I called up to make a Saturday appointment on a weekend when I don’t have the kids.
Only… my stylist doesn’t work on weekends. That bitch.
I should’ve known this, I suppose. Only, I’ve never been to her on a weekend (obviously) because I’ve either A) had someone who could stay home with the kids while I went in the evening or B) been unemployed and could go while the kids were in school. And even I am not self-absorbed enough to miss work to get my hair straightened.
So, I was on the phone with the receptionist for about an hour and eventually, after sacrificing several small animals and a young virgin, got myself a doable appointment. Then I had to go call my ex and ask him to keep the kids a bit later on dinner night, that week.
And then I decided the whole thing was just too stupid and I shaved my head. Well, no. I didn’t. I’m still considering it, though.
Anyway, after that, I was pretty tired. So I finished working and left the office and spent the time while my kids were at dinner with their dad meeting with my confirmand and zipping through the mentoring guide to cram as much really important confirmation STUFF as possible into the allotted time and then I spent an hour an a half with my own kids (whom I hadn’t seen all day) and got them to bed and did dishes and considered folding laundry and sorted through mail and and and and there was some more stuff but then I had an aneurysm and died.
So, um, if anyone wants to have their hair done at my salon in a few weeks, they have an opening.
The postoffice sells stamps online.
And no, you don’t have to pay for delivery. They were already coming to your house anyways.
Damn. I don’t know whether to thank you or call you a wiseass.
Thank you, Wiseass. ;)
You’re welcome, Sweetass.
AMEN!!! I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD TELL CHILDREN (LET ALONE MY OWN) TO EAT THEIR FOOD OFF THE FLOOR (WHERE CHEERIOS ALWAYS END UP).
Seriously, in my most non-wiseass manners, I have to ask. Doesn’t your grocery store sell stamps to make your life just a tiny bit easier? I looove me some HEB (TX grocery chain) because they are open 24 hours and carry everything but furniture. Oh, and about the salon thing, I totally feel ya there. I have cut my own hair twice in a row (well the hubs helped) because I never had time to go, and was tired of paying some random stylist to butcher my hair. Sad thing is I did a better job than they usually do. I need a life! :P
“The post office sells stamps online.”
Wow, what a wonderful idea. I wish the German PO would do that.
I recommend letting more of the non-necessary housework slide. Sure, I have drifts of cat hair behind the furniture, but I’d rather read B a bedtime story.
One of the best things is that they’re eventually civilized and coordinated enough to be downright helpful, too. This phase doesn’t last forever.
I feel your pain. And my children are older and don’t require as much attention. I can’t imagine having two little ones and fitting everything I needed to do into a day.
Now see, I always just buy stamps from our office manager, or have her run my mail through the meter thingy and hand over the cash. Never even occurred to me that they’d deliver stamps to my house. I feel like a fool.
And the “…but then I had an aneurysm and died” line just about killed me! Thanks for the much-needed chuckle this morn.
Okay, we’ve covered postage stamps.
About housework – take it from me (a male and all), it doesn’t really matter. After a while the kids buildup an immunity to just about anything and in the meantime they can work on their self defense skills against various organisms that may spontaneously form in the fridge, behind the toilet, on the shower curtain, etc.
When your kids finally graduate graduate school and leave, then you can clean up. In the meantime they’ll just keep getting it dirty again. Might as well enjoy it.
great blog you got here…
Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
I ‘m feelin ya, really I am.
I’ve given up on the clean thing.
You mentioned having extra cash now that you are employed – what about hiring a cleaning company/person? Like 1-2 times a week?
Although, that may be a self-defeating exercise if you are like me. I would so totally clean the house for the cleaning person. (I wash the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, tell me that isn’t crazy)
Oh – and you can get groceries delivered to your door – check out http://www.peapod.com . I’m not in one of their delivery areas, but I sure wish I was!
oh yes, i remember NOW! when D1 was almost two (almost 22 years ago now,) (and i had S1 slung over my shoulder) that once she could open the screen door by herself, it was ALLL over. (i was such a moronic mom that i thought D1 could share my office as her bedroom-this proved impractical the very first time i dropped a T-square!) three more kids later and i still haven’t caught up. blessings!
from erma bombeck: (posted prominently above the upstairs john) “what are they going to remember, that it was clean behind the toilet, or that you stood out in the rain to watch their soccer game?”
I tend to freak out and flap my arms a lot. That seems to help me get stuff done.
Crystal, our HEB has outdoors furniture. Now, if I could only drop my dry cleaning there…
never. ever. enough hours. in a day. ^j^
Ya know some helpful hints on exactly HOW you get all this done would be great. My DH is leaving for the desert this summer I can just see me asking myself, “What would Mir do?” I did finally buy enough socks and underwear to cover 14 days… ya know.. just in case.
Why do I always seem to focus on things that aren’t precisely the POINT of your posts? For example, here, it was the “And then I decided the whole thing was just too stupid and I shaved my head. Well, no. I didn’t. I’m still considering it, though.” No, no, no, noooooooooooooo….
Oh, and P.S. ……. DODGEBALL!!
Laura is right, HEB does have furniture. I want to go live at HEB. Mir, you can come too… I’ll even run to the laundromat for ya so all our kiddos have clean socks. They pay people to clean up spills, and you’d never have to run out ofr milk or cold meds. Hmmm… Starbucks might even have wireless across the street, so we can blog! ;)
There are never enough hours in the day. Ever. It doesn’t matter if you work, stay home, or commute to the moon and back…there is never enough time in the day. It’s all a trade off and a compromise.
And the going research shows that kids who live in houses that are less than immacculate are LESS likely to become asthmatic. That’s what I tell my mother-in-law…