A little background for those of you who haven't known me since 1998.
Back before kids, we used to go to a lot of science fiction conventions. We were at a big one in San Jose sitting in a conference room listening to someone play music. I turned to my friend Beckett and asked her if she wanted a beer. She replied in the affirmative and turned to get her purse to give me some money thinking I was going to the bar. When she turned back around I was holding out a bottle of beer. And it was cold.
She took it in her hand. She looked at it. She looked at me and said "What are you? The Amazing Amanda?" And the nickname The Amazing Amanda stuck. When I'm able to pull off something that involves a lot of work in a short period of time, I say that of course I could do it because I'm the Amazing Amanda! Ha ha!!
Fast forward to now. I'm in school from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday I work for free 6 a.m. to noon in a bakery to fulfill my externship requirements. Here is what one of my school days looks like:
5 a.m. Alarm goes off. Go out and make coffee. Spend 45 minutes on my computer watching TV shows and playing Facebook games.
5:45 Get dressed and gather up all my stuff for school.
6:15 (latest) I'm out the door.
6:30-6:45 Arrive at school to sharpen my knife, print homework, go over notes or have coffee with my classmates while we wait for our instructor to arrive.
7:00 Class starts. Usually we have 45 minutes to 1 hour of lecture followed by 3 1/2 hours of cooking. We have a break, usually 20 minutes at the most and 5 minutes at the least before we start cleaning the kitchen.
12:30 p.m. Class is over, but a lot of the time we're there until 12:45.
1-1:30 Get home and sit in my brown chair with my laptop for my afternoon rest. I zealously guard this time since it's the only time I have with no one else in the house to ask me for anything.
2:30 Leave to pick up the kids. Zoebelle has tutoring for twenty minutes after school. Will and I will get the mail, run a quick errand or hang out with the other parents waiting for their kids.
3:30 the kids friends start to arrive at the door. During the time that I have other kids in the house I try to do dishes or fold laundry. Friends usually stay until 6 at which point I kick them out. I start dinner for my kids around 5:30. Occasionally, my kids will go to someone else's house but it's not often. I like having them all around.
6:00 Dinner for kids and me. Afterwards, I'll do my reading/homework.
7:00 I start to browbeat the kids into doing their chores. Then they go get in the bathtub.
7:45/8:00 - Read to the kids and tuck them in.
8/8:30- I'll finish up any homework I might have before I start to realize that I've been up since 5 and I start to wilt.
In the evening I tend to be a slug. I take a bath around 9-ish every night which lasts around 45 minutes. This is another one of my rituals that I refuse to give up.
I look at that list of what happens during the day and I think I should be able to fit all the housework that needs to be done in there. In 2010, Dr. Phil announced that according to studies, stay-at-home moms actually had around 30-40 hours of leisure time a week.
When that info came out I said, and I quote "I'd like to find the person who headed up that study and punch them in the face."
But I really pondered that. Did I really have 30-40 hours in a week as a stay-at-home mom? Did I really have enough minutes to work a full-time job in addition to my already full-time job? All that did was make me beat myself up.
Anyway, now that I'm doing stuff six hours a day six days a week I'm once again pondering the fact that I've found myself totally unable to keep up with the house. We can barely keep the dishes done. And don't even ask about the laundry. Well, I can get the laundry done, just not put away. This doesn't effect me that much since I'm in uniforms for school.
I do cook, but that's part of my homework. Honestly! It is!
Shouldn't I be able to keep everything neat as a pin even though I've got other stuff going on? If I would just do the 30 minutes a day thing I'd be able to keep up. But wait, it takes 30 minutes to unload and reload the dishwasher. It takes 30 minutes to fold the laundry and put it away. It takes 30 minutes to get the kids to do their chores, which don't amount to much.
I could spend all day Sunday cleaning, but then I'd lose my one day off during the week.
I finally accepted the fact that I can't do it all and remain sane and standing. This means I have to accept the fact that the house is going to be a mess all the time. My kids are going to be rummaging around in their rooms for clothes. There are going to continue to be drifts of dog hair around the baseboards.
I'm alternately relieved to come to this conclusion and pissed off at myself, thinking I'm just lazy.
What do you think?
Amanda's beauty tip of the day: If you have stinky shoes, put them in a plastic bag with a bunch of baking soda, then stick them in the freezer. Knock off all the baking soda the next day and stuff them with the most strongly scented dryer sheets you can find. This will help. Now you can kick off your shoes in a social gathering and not worry.