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My poor husband.

I tend to get a normal amount of things done most days, and then something randomly possesses me and I go crazy, doing an insane amount of work in a short amount of time. Sometimes it is cleaning – I will decide I have had enough, and clean my house from top to bottom, even using a toothbrush to get in the corners, alphabetizing my cookbooks and colour-coding the closets. I won’t eat or stop for 12 hours until the work is done.

Last month I decided our house was cluttered, and went through our house in a 48 hour period, throwing things away and selling them in an online garage sale. We got rid of three truck loads worth of things. Truck loads. When my husband came home and I was throwing things out, there were bags at the curb of all the things I had decided to toss. His drawers were emptier, and he asked, “What did you throw away from there?” (Which, I might add, I agree is perfectly understandable that he know.) “Nothing you’ll even notice is missing!” I snapped. Perhaps having stopped to take a break and eat during the day may put me in a better mood. Then he was nervous for a few days. “What else did you sell or throw away today?” he’d ask, trying to make it sound casual.

So yes, I’ll admit I’m a bit crazy. When I am on one of these… well let’s call them “rampages,” I do feel bad for my husband. There’s no warning that it’s coming – usually it hits me that I am annoyed about something, and then I require a full day where I cannot talk or function until I get whatever done I am working on. Something little sets me off, like not being able to get into a closet, or noticing some dirty blinds.

This last time, my husband came home and I had four boxes of chicken breasts out, and and 20 packages of ground moose, ready to cook. There were pots and pans everywhere, I had an apron on and hadn’t sat down since before 5 am that morning, thirteen hours previous. I saw the look on his face. What the hell is she doing? Dare I ask? She might be in one of her moods… “So, how was your day?” he asked, with a concerned smile on his face. “It was fine. ” I said, continuing to race around the kitchen, measuring spices into the four frying pans I had going, and chopping stacks of bell peppers. What had happened was that I had been thinking about how if I did most of my monthly shopping on the first Tuesday of the month (10% off groceries at Sobey’s) then I would save us a lot of money, and save me time to work on my schoolwork in the evening, instead of preparing meals. I thought it that morning. Then did 2 massive shops (it wouldn’t fit in the cart) before coming home to cook like hell.

At the end of the night, when I sat down to have a drink with my husband, I had completed 56 meals. 56 meals are now in my freezer! (I used The Big Cook cookbook – what an amazing concept for crazy busy moms like me! I don’t have to cook for months if I don’t want to!)

Then it’s done, my goal is achieved, and Mike is left thankful to have his pleasant wife back, but worried for what tomorrow will bring. I did notice things were a bit crowded in the garage, so I may have to tackle that…

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After a wonderful month-long vacation from school, I am back in school. Things are crazy and busy again. Mike and I are lacking sleep, I am staying up late to do homework, my house is a mess, and our calendar is covered in scribbles. Do you know the feeling? Things are out of control, or at least on their way in that direction. Mike is putting peas in the cupboard and cereal in the fridge, and I have written down appointments on the calendar and promptly forgotten all about them. It’s one of those times of year! Here is a list of 5 things I have learned in my last months as an MBA student, mom, employee etc.

1. Multi-tasking is not a good idea: I always said I could multi-task. And I can! Just not very well… but can anyone? I have tried to play with my daughter and read my course readings. She’s two. Any mom out there who has a two year old is smiling to herself right now. Toddlers don’t let you do readings!! So this is the result of this experiment: my daughter is cranky because I am not paying attention to her. I keep reading the same paragraph over and over because I keep getting distracted by her climbing the bookshelf beside me or dumping a box of Cheerios on the floor. Result? A lose-lose scenario. Or I have tried to run on the treadmill while reading my textbook… besides the jarring attempt at reading, again it is ineffective. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Pick a goal. It’s okay to have dreams. In fact, I think the more dreams you have the better. However, working on those dreams one at a time (especially those BIG ones like completing your MBA) makes sense. (See point #1. Multitasking is not a good idea). I had it in my head that in the next few months, I would: learn how to run 10 km, upgrade my math, start following a home cooked diabetic diet (to reduce sugars in my diet), join the Kinettes to get more volunteer time, while completing my HR Management course in my MBA. Why not right? Go big or go home! Well, it turns out if you take on too many goals, you don’t do any of them well. Since I am putting such an investment into getting my MBA, I figure I should do well at it. It’s okay to go for a jog or make a healthy dinner, but having a goal to do these all the time at the busiest time in my life? Maybe not the best idea I’ve come up with. I asked my husband yesterday if I could become the chair of the Fundraising committee at Braeden’s school. Can you guess what he said? See point #3.

3. Take a break! Yes, the list of things to do is insanely long. And the list of required readings is even longer. I can’t take a break and have a rest! Then I will never finish! What I have learned, is that if you do not take a break, you will break. Those nights when I have tried to pull all nighters to do homework, my work isn’t done to the best of my ability, and I have a hard time functioning for the rest of the week. Sometimes these breaks help to spend a moment with the kids. Mike and I will take the kids to the local rec center and get a few balls, then let them run around with us for a bit. Get some energy out (never helps to have them sleep better at night either!) When I take a moment for myself and get into the bathtub, or even head to bed at midnight instead of 2 am, I am a much better and more efficient person because of it.

4. It’s okay not to be perfect. Really. I always put this pressure on myself to have a perfect clean house when company comes to visit, to have healthy home cooked meals for my kids, to make sure they get their exercise and outside time every day, to volunteer at every event at the school … these are all good and important things. However, I have learned that it’s okay if things don’t work perfectly all the time. The other day we had hockey for Braeden right after school, then rushed to swimming lessons. I had to do my paper after the kids went to bed, so I didn’t have enough time to make a healthy dinner… we went to A&W. I know, unhealthy, greasy meal. But it’s okay! My kids are fine after this one-time splurge, and they still went to bed fed, happy and healthy. It’s okay to let some of those things go. Which brings me to the next point…

5. Enjoy a moment. Sometimes things are so crazy that we aren’t enjoying ourselves all the time. We’re so caught up in the rush and the to-do list, that we forget to stop and really look at what we have. I try to do this daily. You can’t enjoy every moment – sometimes, the kids are going to act out, things are going to seem to crazy. But as long as you can stop from time to time and really take a look at the things that matter, then you’ll be okay. Last night I had to work on my paper. I was worried about not getting it done, and I was thinking how the kids had to get to bed on time so I could get back to work. But Jordyn was upset for some reason, and needed som extra cuddles. Braeden asked for some more of his story. And I gave it to both of them. So I started my paper an hour later. So what? I also soaked in the smell of my beautiful little girl as she wrapped her chubby fingers around my hand and helped me sing Baa Baa Black Sheep for the hundredth time in a day. And I laughed with my son as we shared funny moments of the day and enjoyed our favourite book together. These are the reasons I want more out of life, so it’s important not to forget what it’s all for.