Wanted: Dishwashing fairy.

12Apr2013

The CRUNCH:
Wanted: Dishwashing fairy.

CRUNCH deets:
You had high hopes going into last weekend. There were no birthday parties, swimming lessons, or family events; the calendar was clear. On Friday, you carved out time to hit the gym, declutter your closet (TTYN Thyme Maternity), shop for spring gear (too optimistic?), and maybe even finish your taxes (ugh except they owe you money). But Monday morning rolled around and the only thing you’d done was the dishes. Sigh.

The Fix:
Start thinking bee.

Fix deets:
If you like Seinfeld, and your four-year-old likes movies, it’s time to watch Bee Movie. Yup, it’s cheesy and parts of it don’t make sense, but it’s also hilarious and has meaningful dialogue. For example, “Most bee jobs are small ones. But bees know that every small job, if it’s done well, means a lot”.

Of course you lost your weekend! Your days go something like this: breakfast, craft, snack, play, lunch, quiet time (for you), snack, play, TV, dinner, cabin-fever race around the house, bath, story, another story, “SO thirsty,” ridiculously small sip of water, one last kiss, pee-break, and finally lights out. Throw in all the diaper changes and toilet trips and it’s amazing you have time to do laundry, grocery shop, and make a decent meal once in a while!

So first of all, pat yourself on the back for all the small jobs you do that mean a lot. Just because they don’t always give you props doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate it. And next, admit it: your life currently revolves around your fam. But don’t despair – you won’t always play second fiddle – and you don’t have to sacrifice ALL of your priorities. Here’s how to avoid losing yourself to your obligations.

Make a list of things you’ve been wanting to do for months, or, er, years. Nope, we’re not talking total kitchen reno because that is definitely not doable if you can’t find time to take a shower. You’re listing small milestones: planting an herb garden; getting a haircut; installing a closet rod a two-year-old can 12Apr2013areach. If you hit more than five things, put the pen down: when your kids are school-aged you might be able to Pin-dream, but today? No time.

Next, pick the smallest task that’s the most appealing. After that, the key, take the next step! Rocking an ombre ponytail because your last highlights were pre-pregnancy? It’s not trendy when there’s grey. Day/step one: book appointment. Day/step two: schedule your spouse/mom/babysitter. Day/step three: go.

Bigger projects can be broken down too. Want to hang a gallery wall? This weekend’s task is to order prints. Have them shipped: it’s one less shopping trip, shipping fees are cheaper than last-minute must-haves, and you just bought some time to figure out the frames. You’re welcome. Next week, head over to a big-box store. Take your kids with you – they don’t mind shopping sporadically. Bonus of going to a big-box: the aisles are long and wide (perfect for races and invisible light-sabre battles) and you can never find anyone to help you (so no one cares if you’re using them like a playground). Find the frame aisle asap and decide fast. They’re picture frames so, you know, you’re not marrying them. Once the frames are in your house, don’t hide them in a closet. Put them somewhere out-of-the-way that’s still in-the-way. When you’re annoyed enough and your baby’s happily jolly-jumping/eating in her high chair/playing with your wallet, get busy on the next step:12Apr2013b

  • lay them out in different orientations and snap a photo of each
  • review the pics to choose the arrangement you like best
  • pencil in the frame locations on the wall
  • whip out the hammer or those handy 3M picture hangers
  • get those babies up (even if it’s only one per day because your real baby loses it when she has to play by herself for more than, say, a minute)

You’ll be awwing/creeped out by pics of other families for now, but when your prints arrive you can switch one out whenever you notice your baba’s content. After another week or three, bam – photo wall done.

Sure, it’ll take a couple of months to do what would have taken one afternoon pre-kiddos. But after two months you’ll have a beautiful gallery instead of an annoyingly bare wall. So enjoy that hard-earned feeling of accomplishment before you move on to task number two. See why we said ten max?

Remember this:
You’ve worked your whole life to get to the point where you can work your whole life, but prioritizing some of your needs and taking them one step at a time will help with the work/life balance. Even if it means you have to skip the dishes tonight; there will always be more dirty dishes.

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