Managing Fires

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To all of the working moms… Do you feel like you get nothing accomplished on the days that you’re home with your adorable child? When I’m at work, I have the stress to keep the house clean, the dinner cooked, and the laundry managed. But when I’m home all day, I don’t know how to fit it all in. It’s like I’m running around all day putting out small fires, only to find that there’s a raging inferno behind my right shoulder that I should have noticed earlier in the day. Take today for example…

I purposely cleaned up the lower floor of the house Wednesday night so that I would not have to do it today and could instead concentrate on organizing our guest/craft room for the impending arrival of my father-in-law. However, by 9:00 this morning, there were little yogurt fingerprints all over my coffee table, dog hair blowing like a tumbleweed down the hall, toys everywhere (including in the dog’s bed — bad, Barkley!), and torn bits of junk mail (a la Robbie) all over the floor, furniture, and child. Add to this mix a sink piled with dishes, an iron in the dining room, miscellaneous items to go to the basement in the kitchen, laundry on top of the hamper, and clothes laid across the balcony. Oh, and a friend was set to arrive for our weekly walk in 30 seconds.

Never mind that fire… I had more pressing issues! There was a plane ticket to book home to Kentucky in the middle of August and rapidly rising airfare. It had already gone up $20 since the night before. Surely this was more pressing than a dirty house and company on the way. And then the doorbell rang. Time to put the house cleaning and the ticket buying on hold for a few hours!

By the time we got home from our walk, Robbie was ready for a nap and so was I. Unfortunately, Robbie is the only one who got one. I managed to get the downstairs picked up again (and, please note, that I just finished cleaning it for a second time today at 9:30 pm) and buy the plane ticket. Miraculously, prices hadn’t increased during my walk.

At 1:30 it was finally time to tackle the guest room, which is where I put everything I didn’t know where to put when organizing the downstairs closets last week. Including the junk mail, which needed to be shredded. And, of course, Robbie woke up at 1:35. Having never spent much time in the guest room, Robbie was intrigued by all the possible play things — rolling chair, boxes, toys that I had brought in for him — for about five minutes. Then he discovered the shredded paper bits and had a great time. I finally put him in his room to play (and when I went to check on him, he wouldn’t let me in!) and he entertained himself happily for nearly half an hour. That left me enough time to make the room more of a mess than it was when I started and feel as if my entire day had been wasted.

Which brings me to the raging inferno… All of these small fires had been maintained well enough (not perfectly, but don’t judge!). That’s when I got the call from the mortgage guy, who wanted just one more sheet of paper in order to process our closing tomorrow, which, incidentally, is the third closing date they’ve given me. This encompassed nearly three hours of my evening. I still have no solution and my guest room is not ready for my father-in-law, but, rest assured, the downstairs of my house is clean. Until about 9:15 tomorrow morning.

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