I Think I Need a Life Coach (or a Drill Sergeant)

Posted by on September 2, 2010


It’s that time again…that time of the month (I call it DMS for During Menstrual Syndrome) when I get an all-consuming desire to organize my entire life, experience massive amounts of guilt over my parenting and become thoroughly convinced that nobody loves me or cares about me—all while feeling more tired than I ever thought humanly possible and being busier than anyone who doesn’t work outside the home should ever be.

One would think that I’d be used to this cycle of suck by now, that I’d see it coming and somehow be able to ward it off but no…that never happens. Instead I act like a crazy pregnant woman and start “nesting” which really just means I start cleaning things and develop an overwhelming desire to turn my house upside down, shake it out and start fresh with NOTHING because I CAN. NOT. STAND. THE . CLUTTER. Now mind you, this is the same clutter I live with the rest of the month with apparently no issues whatsoever, which probably contributes to the problem.

Right now I’m fighting the physical clutter, as well as the digital and mental. I long to become a well-oiled machine of organized precision—our household operations will be streamlined, my thousands of photos will be sorted through with all the bad shots discarded and all the keepers organized in such a way that I can actually do something with them—although I have no idea WHAT that would be. And I will be so organized that I can make time for the most important thing of all…spending better quality time with my kids.

It’s that last one that really eats at me every month. I read other people’s blogs (and Family Fun magazine because I’m a masochist, apparently) and see all the great things they’re doing with their kids and families (this can range from craft projects to family outings to little things that create special memories) and I feel like a total loser.

Honestly, if I can get some work done in the morning, get a load of laundry washed and have dinner ready early, I feel like I’ve moved mountains—which is to say, I don’t exactly challenge myself and yet, squeezing in the planning and execution of special things to do with my kids always gets backburnered. Before I know it, the weekend has come and gone and the weekly grind starts all over again—school, work, errands, housework, dinner, cheer practice and/or Girl Scouts, bedtime—lather, rinse, repeat.

I just don’t know how to make any of this happen and yet it’s all I can think about during my period. Well, that and trying to find extra moments to sleep because I’m JUST. SO. TIRED.

Because it’s all part of the wacky nesting thing, I feel compelled to make a list—I don’t hold out much hope of actually doing most of this stuff but maybe seeing it in writing will make me feel more organized and uh…WHATEVER—I just want to make a freakin’ list!

Things I Want/Need to Do and That Will Hopefully, Somehow, Make These 5-6 Days Per Month More Tolerable—in No Particular Order:

Organize the thousands of photos that currently live on my external hard drive.

Plan a weekly dinner calendar. Grocery shop while kids are at school.

Clean out desk and old school papers, calendars, notices etc from last year.

Clean out overstuffed file cabinet so I can file more stuff that I will probably never look at again.

Finish up washing all the bedding from when we tried to go a week without Pull-Ups (See Also: Thank God for waterproof allergy covers for mattresses).

Plan 1 or 2 cool things to do with the kids every week (i.e. go to the duck pond, go to Busch Gardens in the evening, plant the seeds I got from the Greenworks luncheon I attended at BlogHer 09. (2009, people! This alone speaks volumes) Note: Grocery shopping does NOT qualify as ‘something cool’ and bribing kids with bakery cookies so they won’t complain? Not the best parenting technique.

Clean out all the junk from daughter’s room (this alone would take half a day).

Organize all son’s toys so he can actually PLAY in his room.

Plan a fall family camping trip. Think about a vacation for next summer since we didn’t do a damn thing this summer and I spent most of my time shuttling kids around between points A, B and C and dying of near heat stroke.

Start planning Christmas now because when December comes, I will, without a doubt, feel like skipping Christmas altogether.

Implement a work schedule I can stick to so I don’t spend so much time working when the kids are home.

Be more social (i.e. stop ignoring Facebook messages from friends, call people back in a timely manner, make real plans so I can’t claim I’m too busy when loosely organized plans come up.

Stop effing around so much on the internet. Reading news, reading junk on Twitter and bookmarking random crap that I won’t ever go back to is enriching my life HOW? See also: Spend more time writing.

Catch up on Editorial Calendar for The Green Mom Review so I’m not scrambling at 11pm to figure out what we’re posting the next day.

If I do read blogs, which I actually DO, make sure to comment because I don’t want to be one of  those people who swear they read blogs but never comments.

Watch the few shows I enjoy early in the evening so that when bedtime comes, I actually get some sleep instead of watching said shows. See also: GO TO BED EARLIER, DUMMY.

Look into swim lessons for my son, who totally got screwed out of them this summer (and it was really the only thing he wanted to do).

Make dinner earlier on cheer practice nights so we can still eat together.

Play with my son more when his sister is at practice instead of using this time to catch up on laundry while he watches TV and rots his brain.

Volunteer more at school (See also: get more sleep and use time more wisely so I will actually step up and volunteer instead of putting it off because “I’m too busy” —because I wouldn’t BE too busy if I was less tired and used my time more wisely.

Now I need a nap. I can do some of this stuff later, right?

OMG…see how I did that?  SEE? *head meets desk*


  • Becky says:

    Actually, taking a nap *is* on you list, under “get more sleep.” It’s not a terrible place to start!
    .-= Becky’s last blog post…WiW- Week 22 =-.

  • Apryl's Antics says:

    Take out a few and add a few and you can make this my list, too. (Apparently, being completely overwhelmed by “to dos” and guilt makes me channel Dr. Seuss.)

  • Sarah B says:

    I’d love to have a life coach! When I was a kid I didn’t appreciate my parents telling me how to live my life but for some reason, I’d happily pay a stranger to do it (if I could afford it) and hopefully learn something this time around!

  • It is the eternal quest to find balance. If you figure out the magic combination, let me know. And while I completely understand the notion, your desire to start planning Christmas now made me throw up a little bit in my mouth. I know it is coming fast, but it is still too soon! Good luck!
    .-= Another Hot Mess’s last blog post…Because Good Help is Hard to Find =-.

  • JenGid says:

    I hate Family Fun. It makes me feel like shit, and it won’t stop coming. I think someone got me a subscription as a cruel joke. It should be titled Mc Guyver Mom. Make a working telescope out of empty toilet paper rolls and seran wrap, yeah right.
    .-= JenGid’s last blog post…Have fun and help =-.

  • I understand the need to get organized. If I had my way, I’d be the most organized person around. However, when I think of how I’d rather spend my time, it’s not filtering through clutter or sorting unwanted belongings. I know it would make my life easier and better to do it but that still doesn’t motivate me enough to really tackle it. I commend you for even writing up the list. Mine would be equally long but I would find it depressing to not be able to make a dent in it.
    I wish you luck getting your life in order. When you come up with a system, please share it! Maybe you should have the kids sit down and write a big long list of fun things they want to try. Then combine their lists and yours and each weekend pick one thing. If you have others to choose from, you’ll have a backup plan in case of bad weather, etc.
    I think you’re like most women and hard on yourself when you don’t accomplish all you want to or feel that you should. Do what you can–when you can and reward yourself when you stick to a schedule or mark something off your list. :-)

    • IzzyMom says:

      I like your idea of having the kids write along list of fun things they want to do. That would certainly help me plan better. As for the rest, it will pass in a few days…until next month! The down side to putting it off when the crazy subsides is that it just gets more and more daunting as time passes and stuff and obligations pile up. Of course, I could be dealing with it right now instead of being on the internet, right? lol

  • badgermama says:

    Your list cracks me up! I also get super ambitious and frantic, not just while I’m on my period but right after I’ve been sick. Right now I have this giant list of things including moving my stuff into storage, sorting through every damned piece of paper in a giant file cabinet and throwing half of it away, and… and and and and. So much is on that list. Including stuff like “Write Great American Novel”. And “Remember to take a shower.”

    If you finish even one thing on your ambitious list it will be super impressive!
    .-= badgermama’s last blog post…Best New Wave Songs for Kids =-.

  • Diana says:

    I’m just, ummm, I’m commenting so that I have proof that I read blogs. Because that (and the rest of your list) hit home. And I’m not even having my period.
    .-= Diana’s last blog post…Thoughts on Growing Up Inappropriately =-.

  • MommyGeek says:

    First of all, HOLY CRAP i just realized I do this too. (Organize around DMS, hehe) and also how’s that working out for you?
    .-= MommyGeek’s last blog post…Spoon Heating Element Strainer =-.

  • yknot says:

    I think you will discover what I have:
    -Even if, by some Miracle to actually Do all of those things, another 2 dozen will make themselves apparant. Organization is a Process, not an Event.

    -If you complete 2-3 of those tasks each time, eventually you will tackle All of them!

    -Take it from me, Mama needs to work steadily,diligently & when the work day is done, Mama needs a Mojito!
    .-= yknot’s last blog post… =-.

  • roo says:

    I think you need to add a line : Go easier on myself.

    Just a thought.

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