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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Life right now is messy, literally

I used to be a much better housekeeper. Of course, that was before life got this messy, literally.

It was actually easier when the kids were babies, I think. At least they napped, and I could run around the house tidying and cleaning then.

Now, we're so busy between their commitments and mine (I'm lucky if I'm home one night a week), it's pretty easy for the week's junk to pile up. The kids bring home so much paper from school, so the kitchen table gets buried by Friday. It's a good thing we actually eat at the breakfast bar instead. If I get sick of it by mid-week, I can create an illusion of order by neatening the pile and shoving it into one corner.

Before I leave the house in the morning, I have a ritual, though, in which I do the following:
— Make all the beds
— Fold any blankets left in a ball on the couch the night before, and return all couch pillows to their respective places on the couches and chairs.
— Put dishes in the dishwasher, and set it to run later in the day if it's full
— Put a load of wash in, and set it to run after the dishwasher (love these devices with delayed-start programming. It makes me feel so productive at home even while I'm at work.)

Some of this stuff sounds a little obsessive compulsive, but it really helps to come home to some semblance of order after running around all day.

Still, over the years, I've had to learn to let some things go — to block the layer of dust in the living room out of my mind — until I can get to it, perhaps on the weekend. And even then, with lots of activities on the weekend, too, many times I have to spread what used to be a weekly cleaning routine over two or three weeks.

We have a chore chart on the fridge on which the kids are each assigned daily tasks — stuff that I really need help with throughout the week. Sometimes it's more of a chore to work it in during the evening in addition to dinner, homework, showers, etc.

The truth is, most of the time, my three roomates don't seem to see the dirt, clutter and general disarray the way I do. It doesn't bother them, and they can successfully relax in the house, even play a game. Perhaps it's time I gave in a little and just adopt the old adage "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

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Blogger Media Mom Lauren said...

Thanks for the post. Like you, I have a ritual that keeps me (somewhat) sane in the morning. Some mornings, though, I find out that I've left something critical behind: my son's sheet and blanket for school nap, his show & tell toy, my laptop or Blackberry, or worse yet - I've forgotten to brush my teeth, have a run in my stocking, or have forgotten my own lunch, snack or sanity. The life of the working mom!

December 8, 2010 at 6:12 PM 

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