Underachievers anonymous

by DaniGirl on February 21, 2008 · 9 comments

in Baby days, Mothering without a licence

I think I’m an inherently lazy person. Given the choice between action and inaction, I’ll often default to inaction. It’s just easier! Not that I don’t get things done when I have to, but in general I’d rather be understimulated than overstimulated and have lots of leisure time rather than having activities scheduled back to back to back all day long.

So you’d think that mothering a newborn, with all its sitting around doing not much except holding the baby would appeal to me. In fact, it’s driving me batshit! I’m good for one solid activity per day, and I have no idea what happens to the rest of the day. How the laundry remains unfolded for three days is a mystery, and the question of when the floor was last washed perhaps remains best unexamined. The post with Lucas’ birth story is stuck at six paragraphs, which if you know my long-winded style at all barely covers the drive to the hospital.

Yesterday my activity-du-jour was the payroll forms for the nanny’s taxes (itself a bit of a bureaucratic nightmare — you’d think after nearly 20 years with the tax department I’d find the forms and processes a little bit less intimidating!) and the day before that it was an expedition to Service Canada to complete the paperwork for my maternity benefits. (We’re actually drowning in paperwork right now, between registering Lucas’ birth and registering Simon for junior kindergarten and tax time and getting my maternity leave in order.) If there’s an appointment, the day is a write-off. Same for a trip to the grocery store. One activity is all I’m good for, and the rest of the day passes in a blur of baby wanting to be held, baby being fed, baby being changed, and loads of laundry being done (oh my sweet lord, the crushing amounts of laundry) but not folded. And then there are the two other patient, sweet and understanding boys who occasionally demand if not equal time, at least the occasional game of Uno or Candyland as recompense for continuing good behaviour.

I know I should look at all this as valuable nurturing time — not to mention an excellent chance to catch up on the rewatching of all my favourite movies on DVD while Lucas either nurses or snoozes contentedly in my arms — but I can’t help but get agitated over all the things that aren’t getting done. Like blogging. Or blog reading. (I’m actually afraid to look at my bloglines account right now!) Or Scrabulous on Facebook. Oh, and you know, dinner and housekeeping and personal hygiene and stuff. Yeah, of course I meant to put those first.

I think the third child is especially challenging this way. I’ve gotten pretty good at the multi-tasking required to keep a household of four running smoothly, and while I enjoyed the respite that came with being ridiculously pregnant and unable to do much for myself except waddle around the house and take care of things I could reach without bending over, now it feels like I’m supposed to step up and get back to business again. Except there’s this absolutely adorable and engaging little guy who sucks up even more of my time (gasp! it’s true!) than the Internet ever did.

Meh. I guess checking only one thing per day off the to-do list is not too bad. I’m just afraid that I might get used to it!

Edited to add: Ha! It’s like she was reading my mind. This may explain things. From Lee’s Doodles today:

2008_02_20_plan_vs_reality_pe

Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mom On The Run February 21, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Can I join the club? So far today I have managed to get 2 out of 3 of us dressed, fed the us breakfast and lunch. That’s it. Oh wait – I pressed start on the dishwasher 🙂 Uh oh – baby is looking at me, whining and reaching out for me – I wonder what she wants?

PS – registration of lie birth, birth certificate, and SIN can all be done in one step online, and EI can also be filed online. No need to leave the house!

2 Chantal February 21, 2008 at 1:22 pm

I would think managing even one task a day with a 2 week old should be considered fabulous. Although I am sure if I was in your shoes I would feel the same way you do. Thanks for taking time to write here, I am enjoying your updates.

3 nomotherearth February 21, 2008 at 1:46 pm

OMG this is my life with only two kids! I’m trying to look at it as an accomplishment to only get one thing done, not a failure. Not working so well lately.

4 Lee February 21, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Dani, I’m with Chantal and nomotherearth here, getting one external thing done a day is fabulous! (’cause your full-time internal thing is the most important thing in the world…. being the great mom that you are!)

5 Annika February 21, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Cut yourself some slack! Laundry was meant to remain unfolded and the paperwork will get done eventually. You’ve got a great support system with Beloved and your parents and two older, sweethearts for sons. They will help you meet the most pressing deadlines and household needs. The rest can wait. =)

6 MomOnTheGo February 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Man, that is exactly what it was like when I first had Reid! I used to compare the “at work Barbara”, the one with staff who more or less followed direction, project plans that generally described what would happen and a work day that ended about 8 hours after it started with my baby/dictator who required utter dedication to her needs, a daily plan that sometimes included a constructive activity and a work day that required 24 hours to complete. After awhile, I just celebrated when I accomplished anything (and sometimes that was making it until Ken got home). It took a while to get to the Zen spot of just being.

7 colleen February 21, 2008 at 4:21 pm

I’m at the other end of the age spectrum, as in retired. I only schedule one activity a day and some days do not even accomplish that. No, I don’t feel the least bit guilty because when push comes to shove, I can get a lot done. Your laundry, paper work etc. are really not important right now. Take this time to enjoy your boys.

8 Mac and Cheese February 21, 2008 at 9:03 pm

Ugh. I keep reading posts like this. It’s a good thing I’m an underachiever by nature. Maybe I won’t mind so much when my turn comes.

9 lugina February 21, 2008 at 11:45 pm

I’m totally a slacker. It’s in my bones. Everything eventually gets done though, if it has too. (cleaning, folding, etc don’t usually make the top of the list.) My third baby boy is six months old and I feel like super mom if I can just make it out to get groceries!
I wonder what I would be like without a husband and three kids – a total mess, I’m sure.

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