Ways I Make My Life Easier as a Disorganized Mom.

I was under the (very misguided and perhaps delusional) impression that being a mom would come easy to me. I rocked at babysitting, so how much harder could it be? It was just full-time babysitting! Amiright? 

Sleeping Beauty woke up singing to birds and full of promises for her future. This is what I pictured as my mom life. Full of ambition and promise for my little ones- my whole worlds, my hearts! I would wake up singing to my baby and fall in bed, exhausted but looking forward to doing it again. Blue dresses would twirl around my calves as I mopped and tended to the baby’s laundry and rocked her back to sleep. It would be a tiring but magical and fulfilling time.

Instead, having a baby was disorienting and exhausting, without the singing of birds or pretty dress swirling around me as I efficiently checked off my to-do list. My daughter and son were, are, and will forever be my whole worlds, my heart, but it isn’t always that straight-forward, is it?

Scared and excited AF

My firstborn, my daughter, had colic, my shirt was almost completely covered in baby barf 24/7, and my sweatpants were all I could find. (And old sweatpants do not twirl attractively around the legs, lemme tell you). I suffered from post-partum and all I checked off of my to-do list was feeding the baby. It was not the charmed, organized, efficient, life-affirming future I had pictured for myself.

So extremely tired. In love but so tired. 

Thinking, as the baby got older, that I would become more organized and more of a super-mom was also foolish. My kids are now in grade 5 and grade 3. I am still  a bundle of nerves, still forgetful and remain haphazard. 

What do I do so that I don’t send the kids out the door half-dressed? 

I have my  tricks. 

I do little things to help:

  • Post-its on the door to remind me to send specialty items or books for library day
  • File trays by the front door as “inboxes” for school notices 
  • Putting my breakfast food for the next morning on TOP of their lunchboxes, so that I see them and remember to pack them
  • Taping their forks or spoons to their lunchbox, if they need one, so it gets packed, too
  • Alarms on my phone to remind me of extra things that need to get packed: like sports stuff, forms, or an extra snack
  • Almost a ritualistic morning routine so that everything runs smoothly and on time

I’m a mix of Amelia Bedelia with the Absent-Minded Professor some days!! Sometimes these tricks fail, or I forget to do them- even the best-laid plans can be flawed. If I have a couple of off days, I get lazy, or I get sick, I often rely on the kids steel-trap minds to tell me what I’ve forgotten.

I’ve given up on being the mom that gets up at 5 a.m., making pancakes or putting her makeup on. I admire these women SO much, but I’m just not that person.

That mom, all dressed up and out the door for work by 8 a.m., or back at home making their castle shine, isn’t me. I love that mom. That mom was at my bus stop. She had grocery shopping Mondays, cleaning Tuesdays, laundry Thursdays and lunch with friends every Friday. She was so efficient and her schedule was so spot-on. I wanted to be that mom. (I am very Type A and list-oriented, but I have also learned my energy levels are all over the place lately, so I have to be more adaptable than her). 

Instead, I am okay with getting out the door in yoga pants, bedhead hidden by a hat. My computer work gets done when I get home and I rush around doing little things to keep my family comfortable, but there is no set time for anything and I am NOT a morning person. I keep a list and check it off, but it varies day-by-day, even though I plan what needs to happen ahead of time. My schedule is not as neat and tidy, predictable and organized as some. 

Working from home makes it easy for me to adapt to how I feel that day, which I used to feel guilty about- now I am grateful for. Fighting it used to make me miserable- viewing my need for Post-it warnings and inboxes as a “crutch”, for example. Now I say, embrace who you are! 

The two amazing humans I made and I’m doing my best for. 

And, yes, I still forget to pack the occasional lunch or pack an important form. But it does happen less! Do you use any of these tricks? Oh, do you have tricks of your own that you could share? I could use some more!

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