A Contrast in Productivity

Yesterday, while caring for both children, I…

Got the car emissions test done
Renewed my driver’s license
Mailed a package at the post office
Took Caroline to the lab at the hospital for her lead test
Went to BJ’s
Got copies of Caroline’s birth certificate from town hall
Filled up the car at the gas station
Did ALL the dishes and cleaned the kitchen
Did ALL the laundry, including the sheets
Put away ALL the laundry
Made dinner
Made dessert
Remembered to wash my face
Did not completely lose my mind

Today, I am…

Taking a nap

The End

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I am torn on whether or not doing ALL THE THINGS on one day is a good system, and I think we should discuss it.

Pros: Our usual Stroller Strides/playtime schedule¬† means I only have time for one or two errands BEFORE nap time and the kids are always a mess if I try to take them out AFTER nap time, so taking a day out of the week to get everything done seems like a good idea. Plus if I’m going to haul the kids in and out of the car a few times I might as well do it a LOT of times. I love crossing so much stuff list in quick succession – Check! Check! Check!! Once I get on a roll, I stay on a roll for a long time and my roll spirals into a super clean and organized house/life without lots of hemming and hawing and eye rolling about how much I don’t want to be doing it. And it’s true that once the house is clean it’s easier to keep it that way – I am less likely to throw dishes in the sink instead of putting them directly in the dishwasher if the sink is totally empty. Mostly, I am no longer totally overwhelmed by all the things I know I need to take care of but dread doing.

Cons: I usually only get to the point were I NEED to do all the things after weeks and weeks of avoiding and putting off and honestly should have done most of it a long time ago. It is really, really exhausting to drag the kids to so many places in one day and they really, really don’t like being dragged. When I am PLANNING to do all the stuff at once I don’t bother even TRYING to keep up with it on a regular basis so my laziness spirals out of control. On the days when I am doing all the things I end up ignoring the kids – obviously it is hard to ignore them in public, but at home they watch too much TV and eat snacks off the floor while I try to organize just ONE MORE junk drawer. No matter how much I DO get done, there are still MORE things on my list so I’m still a little overwhelmed.

Wow, that was also exhausting. I think I need another nap. Or maybe I need to suck it up and stop thinking so much about what I have to do and just do it.

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12 Responses to “A Contrast in Productivity”

  1. molly says:

    Today I took the kids to “school” and mommy is having a day off to do ALL THE THINGS. Guess what? I’m sitting here reading blogs.

    I suck.

  2. Robyn says:

    First, why did Caroline need a lead test? is this standard procedure and i was never told? now i’m thinking i’m a horrible mother who didn’t even bother to get her kid a lead test! AHHH!

    Also, i tend to go with the do ALL THE THINGS in one day, and then be super lazy the next day. this is how all our weekends go. ALL THE ERRANDS on Saturday, sit around the house and play on Sunday. it’s just my personality. But Rory really doesn’t dig doing all the errands in one day and gets tired after one or two stores, so it really isn’t the best system. we may have to start splitting up and having one of us stay home while the other one does errands. we like to go all together though, since the hubs and i never see each other (literally) during the week.

    • Erin says:

      Robyn – They do lead tests at certain ages if you live in a house that is old enough to have lead paint. I’m not sure what the year is but if you live in a new house (or at least 80’s or newer) that’s probably why you have never heard of it.

      • Robyn says:

        Thanks, that explains it! our house is only 5 years old, and our last house was old, but completely gutted and renevated within the last 7 years.

    • bebehblog says:

      I surprised Rory didn’t get a lead test while you were here in CT. I think they’re mandated by the state at 1 year old, although it might only be mandated if you report you live in an old house which I would have told them a LONG time ago when Evan was a baby.

      Of course, Rory MIGHT have had a lead test when she was here and you forgot. They used to just do them in the office with a finger prick, similar to the iron level test they still do in-office. But the state dropped the funding for the in-office testing and now it requires a lab slip and a separate trip to a lab (and you have to call ahead to make sure they can handle an infant). My doctor was REALLY pissed about it because it means a lot of kids aren’t going to get tested anymore and I was pissed because it involved a real in the arm blood draw which Caroline did NOT like instead of the finger prick she barely notices.

  3. Erin says:

    I think this is a universal problem.

    …..Okay, it might just be a shared problem. I agree with the saving up the tasks. But I also agree that this might be also encouraging delusions that actually make me less productive. Take laundry for an example. My PLAN is to have a laundry day. One day a week where I stay home so that I can be here to rotate through all the loads that need to be done including sheets and towels and then use nap time to fold it all and get it all put away. It seems like a really good plan. In actuality I get through two or three loads (we seem to make an insane amount of laundry — probably 10+ loads per week — is that normal?) and then since I am waiting to fold it all in one fell swoop I start doing other things in the meantime. Which of course means that I forget to go back and keep the laundry going because now I am doing other things. Then I don’t fold any of it cause I’m waiting until “all the loads are done”. And that is why there is perpetually a laundry basket or two of unfolded clothes in our bedroom and a MOUNTAIN of clothes piles next to the washing machine. It would probably make much more sense to just do a load a day (or two since that isn’t even enough) but the theory of Super Gigantic Stay at Home Laundry Day is so wonderful that I keep sticking to it despite failed results.

  4. Amanda says:

    I usually do the same thing, and it’s often a grocery shopping day too. Speaking of which I STILL need to bring Maddie and Zoey’s SS cards to DEERS…. Maybe on the next errand day! On the plus side we always get takeout for dinner because I am too exhausted to move by the time B gets home.

  5. TMae says:

    I though of you this morning while I was going to the bathroom. Flattered? No, really, I have a point. Your earlier post about the lengths you will go to to avoid doing things has been sitting in my brain, and this morning I noticed that someone had changed the battery in the clock in the bathroom. Notice I say ‘someone’ and not ‘I’. Let me also add that the clock in the bathroom hasn’t told the correct time in….months? Basically, if I don’t have everything I need to do something RIGHT THEN, I won’t do it. I didn’t change the clock battery because I needed to find a new battery, and get the stool from the kitchen because I can’t reach the clock, because I’m short.

    Annnnyyyway. I have super productive days about every 2 weeks. At the end of them I sit in bed and think, “Damn! I got a LOT done today. I rock.” And then I think, “Huh. I’m pretty sure what you got done today and are patting yourself on the back about is the same amount of stuff an average person accomplishes in one day, EVERY day.”

    Oh well. I do what I can. :-)

  6. Kimberly says:

    I have one day a week that I have a babysitter for a few hours so I can run around doing ALL THE THINGS by myself. My husband calls it my “day off”, which pisses me off because a day off should not be so exhausting, but I do know it takes 1/10th the time it would take me with the boys, & it is a nice break. I am TERRIFIED of going back to work and having to be productive every day.

  7. Erin says:

    Suzanne, that’s a great idea! You should get all your mom friends together and hire a babysitter full time. Then each take her for one day of the week. Oh and make her do dishes and fold laundry and maybe vacuum to. That would be awesome!

    • Kimberly says:

      My husband told me to ask the babysitter to do the boys’ laundry (she is here while they nap), but I won’t. I’m a wimp. And I don’t want her to think I’m a lazy bitch (not that I think people who have others do their laundry are lazy bitches- that is awesome- I’m just irrationally concerned about what the 20-year-old babysitter thinks). This is why I could never be a boss.

  8. I need a nap just from reading that all! Well done, you! We had to have a lead test here too. All kids who live in certain zip codes have to have them.

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