I finally figured out my problem. Yes, problem. You see, the Good Lord has blessed me with 24 hours in my day just like He's blessed the rest of you in the same way. But, with me, He also blessed me with 3 time stealer's... i.e. children. As if that wasn't enough to be blessed with, He gave me 8 loads of laundry to do. And then He required of me to do justly and be merciful to my family and feed this flock 3 times a day. With the food comes the fun of dirty dishes. Usually about that time, the precious baby is screaming because his swing is causing him to feel lonely. And as I walk to the swing to get the precious screaming lonely baby, I step on a slimy noodle and track the noodle all the way to the baby swing.
So, not only do I have 3 darling children, 8 loads of laundry, 3 meals to attend to, 3 kitchen cleaning sessions a day and 1 precious baby to comfort, I now have 1 sticky smeared noodle to pick out of the carpet.
You do the math:
That leaves me with 5 hours left over. I usually use those 5 to sleep. If I'm lucky.
The other day Toby found a hastily scrawled 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper that I had sitting on the buffet. "What's this?" He asked, reading down the sloppy list. I pleaded with him to treat the parchment like a sacred scroll because That Paper was My List. I took precious time out of my 24 hours to design that list. And I look at that list every few days just to see what else I could add to it. It's usually, "Clean noodles out of carpet" or some other monotonous thing. I'm thinking about putting "Change baby's diaper" on there just so I could actually cross something off.
I always thought 24 hours was a lot of hours. Until I had 3 kids. It seems like once my feet hit the floor in the morning, everything starts going backwards. My daily motto is "running 90 mph backwards." I call this frustrating; my husband calls it talent. He claims he doesn't know anyone that can run 90 mph backwards. "Well, hi my name is Courtney, I'm your wife and I can run 90 mph backwards."
Just recently, I spent all of one entire Saturday cleaning, sweeping, mopping and organizing the basement. You read that right, all day. In the huge process there were a few highlights. Such as me finding a snake skin behind the dryer, me killing giant crickets and fast spiders that hid under heavy bins and boxes and me saving an entire freezer from defrosting when I found it had come unplugged. On the way to church the next morning, Toby was complementing my successes. You know, doing what the Proverbs 31 woman gets when she finishes a job... "her works shall praise her." In our case, my works give their voice to Toby and I might add he does a fine job of encouraging me in this way.
I hate to admit this but lately, my unfortunate habit has been to occasionally moan to my dear husband about not being able to get anything done. When I worked so productively in the basement I think he was either praising me or else saying "I told you so" since he always counteracts each, "I can't get anything done" with "You'll get it all done." I seem to have a practice of complaining every night about my inability to actually accomplish something so maybe it's not as occasionally, as I like to think it is.
I mean, seriously, I can't even just sit and eat a meal without getting distracted in some way or another. I asked someone once what it was like to actually sit down at the table and stay there until the meal was done. I think if I did that, I'd feel like a child feels when their mom says, "you sit in that chair and stay there." I'd feel grounded.
Back to the Praising Works conversation we were having the morning after my big day... "I know Honey, it's great isn't it?" I said to him, both of us enjoying our clean basement. Then I went on, "But, I still could only cross maybe one thing off The List though." As if that wasn't discouraging enough, I then remembered that only half of the basement was actually considered done so therefore, I couldn't even cross "basement" off. I should've written "Half of basement" when I made The List. Or even, "Plan to clean all of basement."
So, back to my problem. I have 24 hours to get done what is seeming to take me several weeks to get done. Sometimes I look at The List and wonder if maybe I should just not sleep at night so that I could actually accomplish something without a baby screaming, kids falling off the steps, a child spraying water all over the bathroom floor, answering a toddler's deep theological questions ("Does God make you die?") or stepping on a wet noodle.
But, when you're running 90 mph backwards, it's nice to get a little bit of a break once in awhile. One of the things I've learned about my full 24 hours is that slimy noodles can always wait until morning.