To-do List Stress

I’ve been reading a lot the past couple weeks about de-stressing your lives by saying no to more things and having a hyper-organized day.  I’ll be honest, saying “no” to outings, projects, and other optional work has never been my problem.  My problem is that I’m a procrastinator by nature.  I can only get ahead when I can justify that the extra work I do now will save me hours in the future.  I have a to-do list posted in my kitchen and have only a few things crossed off of it this month.  These things are important and need to be done but I’m having a hard time finding the time to do them.  Between enjoying my (limited) time away from work and spending some quality time with my daughter, I tend to push off the list in favor of ‘me-time’ and other leisure activities during her 1 – 2 hour nap.  I feel like I get very little done.

On the list:

Finding new doctors – I have the hardest time picking doctors, in the past the ones that I pick wind up being terrible.  Normally I find new doctors when I have to make a hospital visit and get referred to a specialist from the ER doctor.

Applying to more jobs – I thought for sure I would have a great job by now.  I gave myself a month to get a job and its been two.  I want to get paid what I’m worth and also do meaningful work that isn’t boring.  Of course replace the word boring with “offers me challenges” for interview speak.  I interview great!  I know this because most of the jobs that have had me come in for interviews offer me the position!  Right now it seems like part of my problem is getting in that process.  It might be time to work on the resume.

All the homemaker stuff – I tend to avoid doing things when my tornado of a daughter is playing because I know that as soon as I start doing something in the she will want to be held and watch what I’m doing.  I can put her in the highchair to watch me but that only buys me about 20 minutes.  I need to find more motivation to work in some of the day to day stuff into fun time with baby.

Maintaining the me time – It is so much easier for me to stick to a to-do list when I’m at work.  I have 8 hours that I’m being paid to do certain tasks, so I just do them.  What else am I going to do?  At home its a completely different story.  I’m awake for roughly 14 hours per day, and my daughter is awake normally 10 hours during the day.  So this gives me 4 hours of time to take care of things baby free.  I normally take at least 2 of those hours after she goes to sleep to decompress and do something that is fun or relaxing or just go to sleep early.  I function best on 9 or 10 hours of sleep.  I wish I could be one of those people that happily functions on 6 hours per night, but I would be a miserable human being.

I’ve gotten a great routine down for all of the craziness that is motherhood.  No I do not keep a schedule or list for these activities – I just do them.

  • 7a – Wake, answer emails, browse the net, drink coffee
  • 8a – Baby girl wakes up, we both get dressed and then eat breakfast
  • 9a – We play and I make a plan for getting out of the house (but really I’m just waiting for her to poop before we go anywhere)
  • 10a – Go out for a walk, shopping, playground, or YMCA
  • 11a – Snack for baby
  • 12:30p – Back home and play a bit more
  • 1p – Lunch for both me and baby
  • 2p – Nap for baby and normally I’m glued to my computer for 2 hours for either work and sometimes the occasional guilty internet pleasures: blogs to read or video games to play.
  • 4p or 5p – Wake from nap, snack and more playing
  • 6p or 6:30p – Prepare dinner
  • 7p – Husband gets home, we eat dinner
  • 8p – Clean up kitchen, clean up living room, bath and bedtime routine (honestly my husband has been doing most of this lately while I run around trying to fold laundry I forgot about or other things I should have gotten done earlier)
  • 8:30p – Leisure time – no chores are done after baby is in bed
  • 10p – Bedtime for mommy

As you can see this mostly revolves around eating, sleeping and playing.   I do buckle down at least 1 or 2 days during the week and keep it all business and on those days I do get a lot done.  But the rest of those days I feel guilty that I don’t cross more things off the list.  I know this is a normal feeling and that every one will have their own personal goals to meet.  Kudos for those parents that stay home AND manage to get work done.  I don’t know how you do it since I’m lucky if I get a shower in during the day 😉