What is my real job?

I am a work at home, business owning wife and mother of 3. Nothing chaotic like 3 under 3… I have a teenager, a 5 year old and an infant. I am the duty master. I am the czar of jobs. The empress of tasks. I am the mom.

Everyone in the house has their daily and weekly duties. We have our “family jobs” that we’ve each been designated. Typical, right? I’m sure it is. I’m sure my entire thought process today is just like a million other families, but to me, its a unique situation in my life and I’m trying to figure out how I let it get to where it is.

Now here is where my train of thought fits in today…

The cleaning ladies are coming. YAY!  It is a proven fact that I am a pack rat and a slob about daily nit picking and dusting and all. I’m an anal organizer, but I’m also a habitual pile maker. If you actually read above, you know that my family is probably an unlikely source for the deep cleaning types of duties. So yes, every two weeks my favorite ladies arrive with their mops and dust clothes and they tackle my corners that would otherwise be neglected for most of the year.

With this routine, I run around the house the morning of cleaning day, picking up odds and ends, hopefully just gathering things that have been left out throughout the week so the cleaning can begin. Today I realized, I am no the job manager, I am the job doer with helpers that ponder helping… when reminded. I am doing all the jobs. The jobs are getting partially done. However, it’s only 8:30am and I have… taken out the trash, swept the floor, picked up toys in 4 rooms, cleaned 2 bathrooms 1/2 way, laundry, kitchen counters, dishes, homework space pick up… and the list goes on. I’ve only been awake and dressed for just over an hour. None of those jobs are mine – ok, washing the clothes is. No no, as a mom, they’re always mine, I mean, had everyone done their their jobs as they should, I would have been writing a completely differently blog… 45 minutes ago.

How and when did it get this way? When did half a job become ok and when did I sign that agreement? Am i just a bad example? My kids don’t sit around doodling or managing their websites either… so what happened?

I like being in charge, I like making the decisions (sometimes) and formulating plans, guiding and coordinating. This is out of control.  No wonder people ask how I get so much done in a day – I don’t know either.

So the now plan of action… resign or go on strike? I’ve done the strike thing before. I promised to not cook meals if the kitchen weren’t cleaned after meals. That worked, but then I got hungry.

I’ve boycotted bathroom cleaning – did you know boys pee on the floor? That didn’t work, they still pee on the floor. I’ve threatened to just do all the jobs as a guilt trip tactic – everyone says “no, don’t do that” but then the excitement for the argument ends and what am I stuck with? That’s a dumb move.

I have no answer, but I’m pretty sure something will change… Good thing it’s just me and my biz — can you imagine the doodles that would result? Wow!

Deep Cleaning

It’s been almost 3 weeks since I’ve written, and not because I have nothing to say. I’ve been cleaning. If you saw my house at the moment you’d laugh hysterically and wonder what I’m talking about. Seriously cleaning. Cleaning up my ideas and my thoughts and priorities… or at least, that’s what I’ve been trying to do, with little progress. Regardless of mental or emotional or physical surrounding cleaning, I always find myself with a bigger mess at the end of the day than when I started. I need a new plan, a new strategy.

This is how cleaning works for me… I set out to clean one little cabinet. No big deal. It’s 4 shelves tall and only 12″x12″ deep. this kind of project should take an average person, maybe an hour. For me, this takes months. I pull everything out and as I do I find things I forget I had. “Oh look, there’s those beads I bought last spring”. Which then turns into my remembering the projects I want to do. “I should dig out my other beads and make a few of those bracelets before the weekend”. So then I go hunting for pieces of things I know I will need “before I forget”. In the hunting process I find things I was looking for yesterday along with more things I forgot I wanted to do something with. Occassionally I’ll actually find what I set out to find, but probably less often than I’d like. By the end of the day, I’ve found 4 new things, remembered 10 new things, brainstormed 20 new ideas and the cabinet is now spread across the entire kitchen table and the counter.

Hear See Speak No Evil Monkeys

So what happens when the mess is overtaking the kitchen?

If my family is going to eat, I need to clean up quick, so I usually stash everything (old and newly collected items) back into the cabinet. OR, if I am really determinded to clean up, I’ll grab a box and dump everything in it.. only to store on a shelf somewhere else.

This is exactly how my mind cleaning works as well. I set out to focus on one thing, start looking at the details which reminds me of other topics… so then I sit and ponder the pieces and parts I need to remember. By the end of the day I’ve completely forgotten the first focus only to have rediscovered, brainstormed freshly today and sparked more brain clutter for me to sift through later. I then have to just dump it all into a “gotta remember this later” box and continue on with the path of the day.

So when does this cycle end? When I finally find something of interest and importance enough to focus and finish. Even then, the cycles only ends for that one thing… and then it starts all over again.

There are numerous people that have commented over the years “gosh Jen, you do so much… how do you do it all?”

Reread that path above… while you hang upside down from your chair, trying to drink pink lemonade from a straw  and whistling any number of kid themed songs…

No coffee or soda… it’s 100% me – A Happy Pig.

Happy Pig