As a young parent the demands on your time are insane! While my youngest child is 13 (eek….14 in a week!) I remember all too well the non-stop days of diapering, cooking, cleaning, reading, rocking, singing, refereeing, time-out-ing, time-in-ing, bathing, dressing, teaching, playing, block-building, washing, folding, ironing, (yes. ironing.) shopping, cooking, listening, talking, yelling, explaining, bandaging, cuddling, teeth-brushing, face-washing, hair-brushing, cooking, baking, picking-up, organizing…and that was just in one day.
Really, there is no way to possibly do it all. Whoever says she can is LYING. Well, I take that back. Whoever says she can, and do it all and do it WELL, is LYING. The exhaustion merely from mustering the patience to parent all day was overwhelming. When I was faced with a decision between two tasks — I would ask myself, “Could I pay someone else to do this?” If the answer was “Yes” then it went to the bottom of the list. An example of that would be ironing. (yes. ironing.) Could I pay someone else to iron? Of course I could. Would I? That might be a different answer, but I could if I were so inclined.
At another time, the decision in choosing might be reading to my child. Could I pay someone else to read to my child? Well, not in my book (no pun intended, until I re-read this, and I left it in, so now, pun intended). To me, snuggling my little one on my lap and reading to him was priceless…so, the answer was, “No” — okay, to the top of my list goes reading to my child.
The reality of my life has been that I rarely have had extra money to pay anyone to do anything listed above. Occasionally I would treat myself to dropping off all the laundry at the “$1.00 per pound wash and fold” laundromat. Heaven it was! But most of what I have done as a parent, whether as a single-mom, or with a husband, has been either done by me/us, or not done at all. Because remember, no one can do it all. If she says she can, and claims to do it well, she is LYING.
This rubric, of sorts, that I used to distinguish what was important in the flood of parenting tasks, was simply a tool I used to try to prioritize my days. And it worked quite well, if I do say so myself.
The poem below is one of the poems I had on my wall when my babies were little. Click here for a printable version suitable for framing. Or for your fridge. Or with a thumbtack. Or tape…oh, you get the idea.
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ’til tomorrow
For babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow
So go away cobwebs, dust go to sleep
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep
Click here for FREE download of Printable pdf
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