Thursday, September 30, 2010

juggling life

It's been a while since I updated this blog, mostly because things got CRAZY around here!  We decided to buy a house, which would put me closer to school and thus in quick driving range if there was a child emergency, so I got busy with packing up the household.  It won't be news to anyone who has ever moved their whole family, but packing up myself, my child, and my husband was a LOT of work!  This was compounded by being foster parents, so in the midst of the move, we needed to update all of our foster paperwork, as well as get things like fire and safety inspections that most people aren't required to have.  We closed on the house on August 13, and moved gradually over the following week in an effort to (1) let Pooh get used to the new place, and (2) get a few things unpacked so that all of the unpacking wasn't taking place with Pooh running around.  Unfortunately, school was starting for me, so I would go to school all day, then go to the new place to clean and/or unpack, then head home to play with the men, clean, and pack.  Needless to say, I'm glad to be all in one place now!  And, to have started the school year and at least somewhat have gotten in to the swing of things.

But this juggling being a mom, wife, and full-time professor is not easy, I must say!  There are a lot of days when I get home, have an hour or two with Pooh running around, eating dinner, getting a bath, etc, and when he goes to bed at 7, I'm exhausted!  On days when I still have schoolwork to do once I'm home, it's often a struggle to force myself to pick it back up when all i want to do is crash.  Of course, it's also difficult to force myself to pick anything else up, like toys, trash, and my clothes.  So I'm not doing a very good job of keeping a clean house (admittedly one of my greatest problems even before I had a family!).  Since we didn't unpack everything before moving in, it's beginning to drive me crazy (and the hubby is already there).  So I've been trying to figure out a system - a plan to keep my sane, as well as my house clean and my family fed and clothed.  So far, the only thing that's really working is...

washing cloth diapers!  The pail gets stinky and/or we run out of diapers if we don't wash the lot about every 2 days, and I've been ultra diligent about doing it.  This is an especially onerous task because neither our washer nor our dryer work right.  The washer overflows the drain if we just let it run, so we have to be onhand to open the lid (multiple times) and stop the drainage whenever it's ending either the wash or rinse cycle.  And the timer on the dryer is not working, so we can't just turn it on 30 min and go to bed cause it will run all night that way.  Instead, we have to set a timer, and when it goes off, manually open the door of the dryer to stop it.  Now, I know we could go buy a new washer and dryer, but that's not really what we want to do.  First of all, the washer problem is a drain issue, not a washer problem, so we'd be likely to have the same problem with any machine.  Second of all, the dryer works great, it just doesn't time itself.  Third of all, buying new machines seems wasteful when ours work, and with us trying to reduce~reuse~recycle, tossing these out goes against our basic philosophy.

But this is not a post to lament about our w/d situation!  What I'm trying to say is that the laundering of cloth diapers is one of the most onerous (as well as odorous!) tasks around the house, and I've found myself able to accomplish it quite effectively as part of my routine.  So I know it's possible for me to establish and stick with new routines.   Why then, can't I effectively manage other household routines?  I've decided it's that I haven't figured out what I want the routine to be.  I'm a person who likes to plan.  Lesson planning is one of my favorite things about being a teacher.  As a planner, I'm a listmaker  prone to making lists for all kinds of things, and known to add things to my list that I've accomplished just for the simple satisfaction of crossing things off!   So, I'm now on a quest to determine and plan the best routine for making my home a pleasant and better-than-livable abode.  Any suggestions?

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