Friday, May 13

A Lesson in Time Management (or Perhaps in Not Attempting to Manage It)

     I was going to be so super duper, very, very productive this morning. The babysitter was scheduled to arrive at 8:45, I was going to be dressed and ready to head out the door, go to a Zumba class and then have all of my writing stuff packed and in the car so that I could find a nice, quiet place to sit and read and write for 2 hours before heading back home.

     …the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry...

     I remember that little bit of wisdom from my days of teaching high school English. I also remember other things—like the importance of having a lesson plan, of planning your time wisely, of structuring your classroom and your days to make the most of your class periods and to be able to offer your students the best that you have.

     Those very useful skills don't always translate into my role as a mother very well. Being a mother is a high level lesson in flexibility and you may find mothering quite counterintuitive to all you had learned from any previous position or job held. The award, on many days, does not go to the mom who has the best plans, but to the mom who did the best job of letting go of those very plans when things were evidently heading in another direction... this seems to happen a LOT! 
    Motherhood is a constant lesson in reconvening, recalibrating, and recalculating your route. You must continually try to make the most of your journey in the midst of all of that restructuring. It’s like being on a road trip and starting out each day with directions and a plan that you will follow to get to your next destination, but then, somehow, you find yourself lost...Every.Stinkin.Day.  And, every gosh darned day you need to figure out where you are, find your way back to the original route, or find a new route and make the most of it.

    As a mom you find that  very often you have the best darned intentions and then.... and then you get a text message from your babysitter saying that she actually doesn’t have a car because hers broke down...Of course you get this very important piece of information at 8:53 a.m. when you go to call her because she should have arrived by now and find a text message from her (sent at 10:45 the night before) telling you that she is, in fact, not on her way.


     Zumba now starts in 22 minutes and you are quickly realizing that the directions you have for your little road trip today are not going to be very useful...your child is bare bummed (because you’re trying to entice her to pee on the potty by offering her freezie pops at 8:30 in the morning and her unfinished breakfast is on the counter), and running around like a wild monkey, crawling on furniture, which you hope she won’t pee on, so making it to the gym on time with her is out of the question. 

     Alright. Recalibrate.

     You call the babysitter and she is happy to still come over you just need to pick her up.  (Please don’t misunderstand, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my babysitter, but this is just typical stuff that happens in the life of planned motherhood!!!).  So, you resolve to take your gym clothes off, throw your jeans and flip flops on, dress the bare bummed child, put her in the car and go pick up the babysitter. 

     This all before 9:15 and all so you can have a little “free” time that was supposed to be productive but which is feeling like such a monumental task at this point that you begin to wonder if it is even worth it. 

     You eventually concede to picking up the babysitter and then to calling your sister to see if she wants to hit up a garge sale with you. A good bargain always makes up for foiled plans, right? 

     She drives twenty minutes to meet you at this "mega" neighborhood garage sale and the two of you spend 1 ½ hours driving and walking through the mob scene where other SAHM’s and old people have descended like vultures to pick through what turns out to be a whole lotta crap. 

     An hour and a half later, your sister walks away with a $7 kids guitar and you have two plastic bags filled with 4 kids videos, a pair of suede kids boots, an Ariel bathing suit, 3 puzzles, and 8 books…all for the very low price of $15…

     Despite the fullness of your bags your wallet is now empty of the money you were supposed to use to pay the babysitter and you are feelling frustrated…you call your sister while you are on your way home and have a conversation that goes like this:



     “We’re not doing that anymore!”

     “I KNOW. I’m so mad at myself. I have so many things to do at home.”

     “Me too. What's wrong with us? We just spent an hour and a half walking around looking at other people’s shit, while I’m paying a babysitter to watch my child and have a billion, zillion things to do.”

     “I know. We’re done. No more garage sales.”

     Too bad we’ll both probably be at another one next weekend. I think we need to attend a garage salers anonymous meeting.

     This is SO not how I thought my day was going to go. 

      Alright, lesson learned; spend one’s time doing things that are more meaningful than shopping for crap, especially when one is paying a babysitter.

     Sorry if I sound disgruntled. It’s actually a GORGEOUS day. It’s just that us mommas have so little free time that when you find you've squandered even a little bit of it you start to feel like you have just given away your valuables for free, or burned money on your stove.

     So then…I finally get to a Tim Hortons (kind of like Dunkin’ Donuts for those of you who don’t live near Buffalo) and order an iced tea and a chicken salad wrap.

    “Sorry, we’re out of chicken salad.” I look at her kind of confused...


    “Nope. None of that either.”

     I am told that I can have a turkey sandwich. Fine. I don't have the energy to argue. 

      "You have Wi-Fi, right?” If I haven’t gotten anything done this morning I’m at LEAST going  to blog about it…



     I contemplate taking my iced tea and sandwich into the car and driving to the next local place that has wi-fi so that I can blog, with my already purchased food, from their parking lot (by  picking up their wi-fi signal), but the air conditioning in our car is broke and it is quite warm today. I'm feelin' kind of crabby at this point. 

     I concede to make the most of the situation, find a quiet table at Tim Hortons and type this blog post into a word document. I know I will have to struggle with formatting it into blogger later…but hey, that's the plan and I'm sticking to it. 

For now, anyway...

1 comment:

  1. You are spot on about letting go of your plans. I consider my day a "win" if the little ones feel loves, and the house is mostly functional! :)


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