What can reasonably be accomplished in 2.5 hours?

Every other morning when I am walking out of preschool after dropping my daughter in her classroom, I have a little lift in my step.  It’s practically a skip.  After the morning routine and the rush of getting out the door (difficult no matter how much I pre-plan), I’m already exhausted.  I am very protective of my free time.  2.5 hours is a big chuck of time, right?

Here’s what’s on my to-do list today (way too much for one little morning): answer e-mails, pay bills, edit pictures, vacuum out crumbs/food from car, post items to sell on mom forum, return clothes via mail order, sort through coupons for after-school Target run, finish Friday’s blog post, put away morning/evening clutter, make bed, move laundry to drier, feed kitties, scoop the litter boxes, fix sprinkler schedule, renew library books online, buy a baby gift for hubby’s coworker, check Mint and categorize expenses from last two weeks, order pictures for a scrapbook page for a friend.  Oh… and RELAX.  Ha! I’d like to get a mani/pedi but that takes at least an hour and I can’t sacrifice that time today.  I know I won’t accomplish all these things and yet my list will be just as long in two days when I have another break.

This doesn’t include the things I can accomplish with my daughter, like scheduling a haircut (haven’t had one since August!), watering plants and buying flowers for the front beds and unloading the dishwasher-type stuff (anything non-computer).  Pathetic, isn’t it??? Someday it’ll be better.  I’ll actually be able to visit with friends and while away a morning just reading.

I was telling a friend, who is moving, that I still don’t have my house organized and she asked why I didn’t unpack it the way I wanted it 6 months ago.  I can only laugh.  I literally don’t have a spare moment.  My hubby says I don’t use this free time correctly to get the most benefit from it, but if I did spend the time relaxing, the house would literally fall apart.  We have been known to literally run out of clean undies and be charged fees for late bill payments when I’m on one of my “I’m going to change this” kicks.  I’ve also been asked recently from a friend (sans kiddos) what it is I do all day.  It’s amazing how you can fill an entire three years with errands and cleaning up toys and getting snacks/meals/drinks, music class, play dates, birthday presents, school fundraisers, and trying to figure out our HSA plan!

Dude, I was an event planner! I coordinated many executives’ schedules! Surely I can find a way to clean the kitty throw up off the floor before it sits there for days on end.  (OK, so I covered it with a paper towel! Who has time?!) Or get to the grocery store… or return library books on time.

It feels like my heartbeat is constantly at a high pace.  And I am always behind, trying to do too much.  Some famous person said “stress is trying to do two things at once” and it is so true.  But the bathrooms need toilet paper and the cats need food and still my daughter needs ME.  It seems that I’m always saying to her, “one second… just need to… and then I’m coming.”

This is why about once a month I completely collapse in a heap of tears and exhaustion and my husband thinks I need to be committed. (ha!) I just lose patience when it all catches up to me and my daughter is whiney and demanding and we have nothing for dinner because I didn’t plan ahead and there’s no hope in sight for her sleeping in her own room and I haven’t had a few hours alone with my husband in months now, let alone time for myself, and I am just done.  Luckily just about every mother I know has days like this too so I know I’m not alone.  And I am happy, yes I am.  I’m smiling and laughing most days.

Now back to that to-do list…

Does it seem to you that your days are rush rush RUSH too?

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7 thoughts on “What can reasonably be accomplished in 2.5 hours?

  1. Naomi,

    So well written. I can remember those 2.5 hour days as if they were yesterday. Always trying to catch up. My daughter is going into the 7th grade, so that means I’ve have 6 years of 7 hour days all to myself, and I still ask myself the same questions you ask about your 2.5 hour day. Seriously, how can that be. I have a major issue with time. Always feeling like it escapes so freely, leaving me with not enough of it.

    I few years ago, my daughter told me that I always say, “in a minute”. As in, “I’ll be there, in a minute.” Since she pointed that out to me, I’ve changed that phrase to, “I’ll be right there.” I wander it that really makes a difference with her perception of my time.

    Remember, you are amazing! Your house is beautiful, you are mindful with you daughter, you share your talents with others … and the list goes on and on.

    hugs to you.

    • Thank you for such kind words, Eydie. It’s so easy to focus on the things NOT done than to remember all the things I’m doing right! And yes, I guess I have issues with time too. My birthday is fast approaching and I’m trying to think through what’s happened over the past year and it’s all such a blur! It’s like I have things out of sequence. I wonder how to hold on to time better?

  2. I went into work this working. I worked two hours. Then a small group of us packed food as volunteers at Feed My Starving Children for two hours. (Our company encourages that sort of thing.) I went back to work and finished up the work day. I took my car for an oil change after work. I am pooped! I don’t know how you do it. Honestly.

  3. My days feel similarly rushed — and I don’t have a little one at home to watch. Be gentle with yourself. At the end of the day, what’s done is done; no more, no less. We all do the best we can.

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