Motherhood Means I'm Always Late

Sona Charaipotra

Kids Clock
I feel like I'm always running behind.
Kavi went to day care wearing mismatched socks this morning. They were both pink and white, which made me feel a little better. But the socks are a symptom of a greater problem.

We need a schedule.

Kavi's been in day care for nearly three weeks now, which is roughly about the same amount of time I've been in grad school. We've got some semblance of an a.m. routine, but that's about it.

I've been getting up with her at 5 or 6 or 7, depending on the day and what time she demands to play. Her eight hours strong a night? Long gone. She still goes to bed at around 9:30 or 10 p.m. But these days, she wakes at 3, won't go back to the crib, and sleeps snuggled between mommy and papa for a few hours. Then she decides when it's time to play, babbling and poking and kicking until we give in.

From there it's bottle and dress-up time, while I attempt to feed and clothe myself as well. She's at daycare by 9 a.m., which is when my workday is supposed to start. Except it never does. There's always something. One of us is always sick -- last week it was Kavi, then me. Now it's my husband. There are errands to be run -- groceries, diapers, bottles to replace ... those stupid, leaky Avent bitches. (Sorry, needed to vent there.) Grad school-related this or that or the other thing. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners to be made. It feels like it never ends.

Notice I didn't put cleaning on that list? My husband and I feel like we're in a constant cycle of doing dishes, wiping down counters, endless loads of laundry to wash and put away -- which, really, is the worst part. Then there are toys and books and other random crap that need to be stored properly so we're not tripping all over it all day long. Alas, we are tripping over it all day long. And I know this will rise on the list of priorities once Kavi is actually mobile.

Plus, there's work work and school work and baby books to fill and photos to have printed and blah, blah, blah, blah blah.

We just added going to the gym to our list of things to do. And believe it or not, I actually went yesterday. It was a little later than I had planned. Everything is these days. But once I was there, I actually felt a strange sense of relief. I had an hour to myself, and the only thing on the agenda -- besides watching Teen Mom repeats on the little screens they put on the machine -- was to work out all of those frustrations that have been building up.

So, believe it or not, the gym is the first building block for us in creating a schedule. My aim is to go three mornings a week, after I drop Kavi off, but before I start working. Otherwise I'll never go. And then, on the days I'm not gym-bound, I'll add one-and-a-half extra hours of writing time to my day, with the goal of three 750-word blocks a week, minimum. If I manage more than that, awesome. If I don't, I haven't done so badly, have I?

Once those two building blocks are in place, I'll start adding additional scheduled things to my day. And then I'll try to create some order in Kavi's. After all, my little girl should have matching socks, no?

How did you get your kids -- and yourself -- on a schedule?

Image via evgie/etsy

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