Monday, April 14, 2008

9:20pm - what are YOUR children doing?

Mine are giggling to each other. First there were many tears (neither of my children is a big fan of change); now there is giggling. Sleep doesn't seem to be on the agenda tonight!

We rearranged Jonathan's room this evening, and now it belongs to both boys. I actually really like the result:

Gabe thinks I'm nesting again. I have this mad urge to throw or give practically everything away, reorganize closets, and reorganize my life. I guess he might be right, although I can't imagine why most normal people nest right before delivery and I seem to do so regularly throughout my pregnancies.

Part of what is prompting this is a moderate case of dissatisfaction with the order/schedule/planning of my week. Suddenly I have transportation available every day, which I haven't had since before I had any children. The flip side is that the van gets about 17 mpg, and gas is nearing $3.70/gal. Also? The number of random errands on my list seems to have multiplied like rabbits!

I feel like I ought to be able to do life well with one trip out for groceries, one trip to the library and park, one trip to church, and perhaps a visit to a friend each week. That would be manageable and give us plenty of at-home time to keep up with laundry, chores, and the all-important things like playing with playdough.

Like my snail?

Jonathan did.

Maybe it is a result of being pregnant and tired, but I'd really rather spend most of my time at home doing home stuff. Playing with the kids outside, watering the garden, cooking good meals, staying on top of the laundry, keeping a clean house, cutting and pasting and playdough-ing and reading with my toddlers. Those are the things that seem real and solid and good and important.

But the errands on my list aren't made up, much as I wish they were. The fact is that to make meals I have to get groceries, and that isn't a short trip. In fact, it is usually at least two trips, because we generally go to three different stores in an attempt to keep costs down.

Add to the grocery shopping the trip to Lowes to return/exchange some house project supplies, and the dry cleaner who has had our clothes ready and waiting for two weeks now, and Jonathan's dentist appointment that I need to make (and then keep), and the fact that I've managed to outgrow my maternity clothes in under 16 weeks and need to go find some new just all adds up.

Sometimes I think it would make more sense to do one or two errands every day, instead of trying to do them all together in one or two days. That might make it less stressful and more possible to work around two different naptimes. And it is a possibility now. On the other hand, it takes so much effort and time to get out the door for errands I wonder if I'd ever get anything done around the house?

I'd like to find a way to balance it all, to start a week with a plan and finish it well, without either dragging the kids all over town or leaving half the items to sit on my list and reproduce exponentially for the next week.

Has anyone else encountered this problem/feeling? Is it a result of my tired pregnant body and brain, or does it just come with the territory of having two toddlers? Has anyone figured out how to balance it all? Because I'm sure my husband would prefer that I figured this out before I rearrange all our closets, give away everything we own, and turn into a puddle of frustrated tears in his arms. :)

Wow, this post ended up going an entirely different direction than I originally intended. It is 9:55pm and apparently my children have passed out from exhaustion. Bedtime for me, too!


Amber said...

Why yes, I have figured it all out because I, like Mary Poppins, am practicallly perfect in every way. :-D

Sorry, couldn't resist. Congrats on your van though, that is very exciting. I bet it is nice to have transportation whenever you want it - although I completely understand the tug-of-war between wanting to stay home and wanting to make errands and such not such a marathon. Right now we have to go out every afternoon to go up to the property and feed the dog, so I am splitting up my errands throughout the week. With all the practice we're getting, we've gotten better at leaving the house without taking forever. Also, since we're not doing as much on any given trip the prep for me is generally shorter. For example yesterday we stopped by the bank, post office and storage, today we went grocery shopping, tomorrow or Thurs we'll hit the library, and Friday we'll do some misc. errand that I can't recall at the moment. I'd rather not be going out every afternoon, but it is nice to get out of the apartment and to not be doing the marathon errand day once a week. I imagine once we (finally, someday, I hope) are in the house I'll probably be doing an errand day again, but I suspect I'll look back on how I'm doing errands now with a certain amount of wistfulness.

I can also completely understand wanting to re-organize, give or throw everything away, and get other stuff only in dire need. There's a bit from a song by The Cure that tends to go through my head during my pregnancies - something like "and I set the house on fire and I never looked back" Yeah, that sounds awfully nice sometimes, just get rid of it all and start over again. It hasn't been so bad this pregnancy - come to think about it, I'm not sure I've really felt that way at all. But my living circumstances have been so weird and so much of our stuff is in storage that I suspect this has a lot to do with it. Although come to think of it, when I was at storage yesterday the song did pop into my head...

Anyways, it is past my bedtime. Good luck! :-) Oh, and I did like your snail. I have some play-doh for the kids but I haven't been brave enough to open it yet... our table is over carpet and I shudder at the thought of trying to get play-doh out of it.

Ashley said...

I remember feeling that way when we got our second car. I enjoyed the days where I could stay home and get a lot done because I was stuck (just as long as there weren't too many of those days). I think because my kids and I are so social we try to get out every day that Brian is not home. It is definitely a hassle to load up the troops, but I've never been able to handle a marathon errand day. I just can't get everything done in one day and be a patient loving mother at the same time (even with caffeine). Good luck on getting Jonathan to the dentist! Getting my children to the dentist has been on my to-do list for the past few years.