My brother just sent me a link to this article in The New York Times called “The Busy Trap,” suggesting only that I might be interested in it. Have you read it already (the article, not my brother’s email, I mean. If you’ve seen the email, dear Lord, STOP HACKING ME. But before you do, maybe help me figure out why gmail’s new format is trying to mess with my life? Thanks!)?
I am one of you–one of those people who thinks she’s just so busybusybusy all the time, and spends a good deal of her waking hours (usually at 12:30 a.m., when I can’t sleep, or 4:45 a.m., when the baby thinks I shouldn’t) stressing about either all the stuff she’s not doing well, the stuff she has to do, or the stuff she wants to do but can’t, or should but doesn’t want to, and on and on…
Saoirse starts kindergarten this week, and right about Sunday, as we were leaving the open house at her school, I started what seems to be this fun new hobby of spontaneously bursting into tears. I honestly thought all the boo-hooing was going to escape me–SK is so, so ready to take this new step–but of course, the ringing in of a new school year–and one where she’ll have to be there every. single. day–is enough to remind me that time is marching on whether I like it or not.
(For the record, I don’t. Like it, I mean. And it’s not just me: I told David the other day that in 14 short years, we’ll be dropping Saoirse off at college. He asked me why I wanted to ruin his night.)
Further proof? Yesterday I looked at Cian, so big already in his car seat, and suggested that maybe, possibly, I want another baby. Have you ever seen an Italian guy go pale? It’s weird. Also weird is having to scrape your 220-pound husband off the floor of a frozen yogurt shop. My mom caught wind of my crazy talk and started wringing her hands and talking about how I need to stay alive for my three existing children before I start playing Russian Uterus Roulette with a fourth. I told her she was being just a weeeeee bit dramatic, but you know how those moms are.
As if we could even handle a fourth, risky baby-making abilities aside. SERIOUSLY.
I haven’t one photo of Cian printed or framed in the entire house. He’s almost eight months old.
I’m so behind on laundry he wore pajamas so small to bed last night the shirt was practically a midriff top.
Our social life comes and goes in chunks, by choice. One week we’re little butterflies, hosting and being hosted, and it’s wonderful and busy and my house is so NEAT, and the next, well, I’m sitting on my computer at 9:32 in the morning, still wearing pajama shorts and a nursing tank because, eh, I need a break from well, people. I realize that this probably isn’t healthy.
I still haven’t sent those emails. Or the thank-you notes. Which, yes, I should probably be doing instead of this, but…well, I don’t know. I can’t argue with you, there.
I still feel busybusybusy, though. My brain is set up incorrectly, I’m afraid. I’m someone who craves order, and routine, and making sure I feel in control of my life–typical Type A stuff, I think–but at the same time, I’m horribly inconsistent. My house is either really clean (HA.) or really messy. The contents of our pantry are either organized in grocery store-worthy categories or so disheveled I find the cereal tucked in behind the cleaning supplies (this bothers me more than, again, what would be considered healthy). Don’t even ask me about my clothes closet. Just know that when you come over, and the bedroom door is closed? It’s not because I’m super-protective of my bed pillows.
When Saoirse starts kindergarten next week (MWWWWAAAAHHHHHH), we will have to be somewhere, every day, at 8 a.m. I will have to pick her up at 12 on the dot. I will have Quinn’s preschool, and the girls’ gymnastics, and Cian’s music class (it’s just a mommy-and-me class, not a “Hey, kid, you’re gonna learn the viola by the time you walk, or else!” class). Our lives will be ruled by the weekends. I’m not ready for it. I’m not ready to conquer the busybusybusy into chunks of time I HAVE to manage. I’m nervous about being the type of parent–the type of grown-up–I have to be in order for my children to be happy and successful and set up for good, not “Hey, Mom, why aren’t there any clean underpants in my dresser?”. When I’m in the midst of writing (or revising, as the case has been), I lose control of everything. I need to fix that, somehow. Is it possible to reorganize your priorities so that they all stay, well, priorities? Or is it really only possible, as my grandmother used to say, to do one thing well at a time? (If you find the answer to this, please feel free to shut down this blog, because I won’t need it anymore.)
This is it. I need to grow the heck up, get organized, and stay organized, and manage the busybusy into I got this. I need to learn to manage my time like I did when I was working a paying job, and try to sleep more, and wake up well before the house arises (well, not Cian. I draw the line at 4:45 a.m.). I need to find my rhythm and put away the underwear. I need to start a new writing project but raise the kids, too. I need to sort through the kid’s fall clothes and wash the new ones and, yes, frame some photos already of my beautiful son.
But before that, I should probably stop crying first. It’s only kindergarten, anyway. Saoirse’s not in college yet.