Accepting the State of Chaos
Before I had kids, I was fairly well organized. I mean, I’ve always been a master of collecting clutter, but the house wasn’t a total disaster, and I managed to keep up with laundry before it piled to the sky. I made to-do lists and actually crossed things off of them. But now? Well, I’ll just say I gave up on the to-do lists because I was only getting frustrated when I couldn’t cross anything off.
I knew life would be chaotic with two little ones running around. I welcome the chaos; it can be really fun and crazy and hilarious and challenging. But the organized part of me who enjoys relative order and crossing things off that to-do list is freaking out just a little bit. It’s hard to keep the house picked up when the 2-year-old’s toys all have multiple parts that are strewn everywhere and each time I put them away she gets twice as many back out. It’s hard to do anything during those precious nap times like I used to because the two kiddos have totally different nap schedules, and I sometimes spend half of my day just getting little people to go to sleep. Breastfeeding is time consuming even with a super-efficient eater, not to mention the time dedicated right now to potty training, which, dear goodness, when you start to get serious about that task, you need serious time, patience and Elmo videos.
My mother-in-law recently came to visit to give me some time to dedicate to working and my husband and me some time to work on a kitchen cabinet project (see the cabinets without doors here) that has been going on for two months because we never get more than an hour or so to work on them. We made some serious progress, so hopefully in another month we’ll have the cabinet doors on and our kitchen will return to looking like normal. (I’m at least thankful that the kitchen is no longer in the office. Because that doesn’t help with feeling organized.)
Even with the extra help and blessed extra hour of sleep that I was able to get each morning, I told my husband that we just needed to accept the state of things at the moment. Because even with an extra hand for a week, there is still laundry undone, still chaos and clutter in my office, still an in-box full of new emails. It’s really easy to feel overwhelmed and that mom guilt that creeps in that says you’re not doing enough or could be doing things better. But at the moment, the kids are the only to-do that really matters. The list-checker in me has to be satisfied that that to-do will never be done. And that those other things will get done…eventually.
Did the organizer in you struggle when you had kids? —Erin