A few days ago I read a blog about another blogger's daily schedule. Her day was busy but charming and productive. It made me think of my own dailies. Some days are more productive than others, of course. And some days are much, much less. Yesterday I had a migraine so I stayed in bed literally all day and by "literally" I mean all day except when I was taking birthday treats to Maggie's class and Sam to the orthodontist. It wasn't charming at all. Neither was it an example of me putting my children first in spite of my pain. I may seem long-suffering--a real trooper, but my excursions on my children's behalf were fraught with gagging, yelling at Ellen, apologizing to Ellen, holding back tears, nagging, and pointing out how messy the house gets when I am down for "just ONE day. . . this is what it is like if I don't pick anything up for just ONE DAY."
You might be picturing me weary but loving at the orthodontist's office, murmuring softly to entertain Ellen while we waited--perhaps with a story or a song. Instead, I slumped in the chair and stared straight ahead doing nothing, looking at nothing, and saying nothing--but I did have the presence of mind to look away when I saw someone I knew from high school.
Not all days are like that though. Here's a typical day.
6:00am: My husband's alarm starts going off. He pushes snooze again and again for up to an hour. I am enraged.
7:15am: Ellen comes in begging and crying for "sushee" (cereal) in a purple bowl. I drag out of bed and put on a sweater because while I do all of the unkempt schlepping most mothers of toddlers do, I also live with kids who are old enough to notice if I'm braless. It's like having people around all the time.
7:45am: Sam is driven to school by me or my husband, so I usually put on some kind of pajama shoes at this time.
8:00am: Maggie and Ben leave for the bus. They miss it about half the time. So I usually keep my pajama shoes on for this. On a good day, Ellen hasn't gotten any potty on her yet.
8:30am: At this time I might do dishes and straighten up, but a lot of mornings I've been trying to fall back to sleep since 6am so I lay in bed and let Ellen watch Charlie and Lola.
Before 11 usually: I take a shower if Ellen lets me. She's gotten into this cute habit of throwing a fit and screaming, "Don't take a shower! You can't take a shower." It's easier to wait until she's in a better mood because then she lets me.
12-1pmish: Naptime. It might be more predictable if Ellen actually ate lunch, instead of bags of a variety of cereals and crackers, but I take what I can get. And then I lay in bed and blog.
2:45pm: Sam always calls to see if I will pick him up from school. It's 5 minutes away. Sometimes I say yes, unless Ellen is asleep.
3:45pm: Maggie and Ben arrive home with notes, homework, stories, fighting, hunger, and a pile of junk. Before you know it, their friends are at the door. I have to decide whether to get my kids out of my hair, or deal with requiring chores before they play. It could go either way.
6pm:I have to make dinner. Again? Geeze. I am enraged.
8pm: Bedtime. I get into my pajamas and read/blog/watch TV. I often leave dishes in the sink for the next day, which contributes to the mood in the morning. Christian is usually home by bedtime, or safely at his church meetings, or at other meetings he has volunteered for, or helping someone who needs him.
It's a crazy life. But it's our life! (And I haven't even mentioned the dog and what a pain it is.)
RubyEllen (see her "dailies" above) wakes up her children at 8am. They take a nap from 2-5 when she wakes them up again. I don't think I've ever awakened one of my kids on purpose. Ever.
Maybe you have some tips for me about planning my schedule. Maybe you think I should be more proactive about showering. Maybe you think I should do a lot of things differently than I do. Maybe you should shut up.
Until I had Ellen, I used to teach English at BYU. I really loved it and always planned that one day I would return to it full time. These days, I hope to never do it again-even in those twilight years when "all my kids are in school." We'll see.
Here is my dream schedule.
Wake up when I want, how I want.
Take a shower whenever I get up with no one in the bathroom with me or screaming at me or waiting for me.
Straighten up--and have it stay straightened for a long time.
Go shopping and buy whatever I want. In this dream, I am rich and I get to try things on leisurely.
Eat lunch. I would even eat a healthy lunch.
Come home and take the dog for a walk and read a whole book.
Then I go out to dinner with Christian.
Then I go to bed. In my dream, there is always a new Lost on and Project Runway goes year round.
In the morning I wake up and do it all over again.