Monday, April 25, 2011

It's a Short-Cut ... Sorta

If being a mom has taught me anything, it's that evolution is complete and utter nonsense!  If evolution were true, then I would have six arms, a set of eyes in the back of my head and the ability to cognitively listen to my four kids with four different ears.  But as of last check ... I'm just a regular, old, two-armed, two-eared, two-eyed mom.  Bummer ...

In light of my normal body configuration, I am required on a regular basis to compensate for these short-comings.  Often with unfortunate results.  While attempting to complete several normal tasks around the house more quickly or more efficiently, I frequently find myself with more work to do, due to goofs and gaffes.  Let me elaborate ...

While bringing in the groceries one afternoon, I ended up with an huge mess, just because I was going to be stronger and quicker.  Little Aaron was about a year old and I was preggo with Norah.  It was summer-time and we were living in a little duplex on a lonely street.  It was hot, Aaron needed to take a nap and I had three grocery bags to lug inside quickly.  In my mad dash attempt to get-er-done, I grabbed the three plastic sacks in own hand, Aaron and my purse in the other and, kicking the car door shut with my foot, headed for the front door.  About three staggering steps from the threshold, I felt my grocery-bag-hand slipping.  One bag fell open and crash! the jar of spaghetti sauce fell to the concrete and shattered.  Oh-no.  I plopped Aaron on the couch and the bags on the kitchen table.  I walked back to the front door.  Rubbing my temples with one hand and my aching back with the other, I stood there a moment and looked at the devastation.  What a mess.  Then I shut the door, scooped the tired boy in my arms and we went and took a nap.  I don't really remember cleaning up the mess (maybe Brett does!), but I do remember taking an extra trip the next time I unloaded the groceries.

Another time I was loading the washing machine with a load of laundry.  I had tossed all the dirty clothes in only to discover a couple of socks had escaped the basket ... probably with a little "help" from Lydia.  I leaned down to scoop up the socks and tossed them back toward the washing machine.  The washing machine that had the lid closed.  The socks slid across the top of the washing machine and down the side to the dark murky crevasse below.  Grrrrr ...  Our washer and dryer are snugged up against the wall which means that unless I have Elastic Girl's arms, I have a job ahead of me.  While the washing machine waited patiently for its last two items, I squeezed my left arm down the wall with a ruler trying to flick the wayward socks back to the light.  Eventually I was successful, but not before I made a mental note to place the clothes in the washer instead of flinging them.

Finally, I had a rude awakening of the need to not try and take a short-cut when I tried to cram two hours worth of errands into 45 minutes.  It didn't go well.  It was the middle of a really crazy week.  We were celebrating a birthday, doing the usual school & gymnastic routines, volunteering in the kids' classrooms and trying to support our kids by attending an open house at their school.  And that was in the midst of just the regular life stuff ... you know:  feeding people, kissing boo-boos and keeping some sort of peacefulness in our home.  Suddenly Wednesday rolled around and I found myself with about 45 minutes and more than enough to fill it up.  Off to Target we ran, literally, to fill the cart with birthday items, toiletries and last minute gifty things.  With one agreeable child and one who wasn't.  Forty-three minutes later, we bundled back into the car and one-third of us were smiling.  I had yet another reminder that when I stretch myself too thin ... it hurts.  This short-cut of getting something done quickly ... something that would be impossible to actually do in the time allotted makes for one tired mommy.

When, oh when, am I going to learn that short-cuts and quick-tricks typically cost me more than they are worth?!?  In each episode above, if I had slowed down and taken a breather, I would have seen the logic in going back for an extra trip, looking before tossing and shopping when I actually have time.  And my kids would have enjoyed a less crazy, less frantic, less stressed mom.  Here's to hopping I've learned my lesson ... but don't count on it! :)


  1. It's all too true. Often going to fast ends up with more work to do. It seems like if one thing goes wrong, you have to slow down and step back for a moment or it just goes on and on and on.

  2. That happened to me when we lived in our first apartment. Instead of making "one more trip", I loaded myself up and tried opening the door with my very full hands... only to drop the gallon of milk on the ground! Bummer! And what a mess! I learned my lesson... I think!


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