Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why aren't I better at routine?


Well, today's the big day everybody - the first day of our new linkie party, "The Lounge". If you don't know what I am talking about, check out my page here, it will tell you everything you need to know!
Today Tegan from Musings of the Misguided is our host, and the theme is - "Why aren't I better at this yet??" - please feel free to link up your own post and have fun!

I have to add the disclaimer that Brenda of Mumabulous fame has ALREADY WRITTEN A BETTER POST ON A VERY SIMILAR TOPIC for The Lounge this week! But I must press on...

Soooooooo......GUYS! Why the ever loving eff am I SO BAD AT STICKING TO ROUTINE? Particularly on the days I go to work?

It is a GOOD question.

Of course, one could cite the baby, small child, and husband as the obvious speedbumps on the road to ORGANISATION TOWN, but actually (and it pains me to say this) I must also take some of the responsibility. I know. Galling.  The words are STICKING IN MY CRAW YOU GUYS! UGH!

OK. Let's workshop it, people. Let's just deconstruct the shit out of a typical morning and GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT ALL!

This is what should happen.

Night before: Tidy kitchen COMPLETELY. Put dishwasher on. Make and pack lunch. Choose work outfit and put that out. Tidy house more or less. GO TO BED EARLY DAMMIT.

5am: Wake before kids. S has walk. M has shower. (THIS SHOULD BE SWAPPED ON ALTERNATE DAYS SO WE BOTH GET SOME EXERCISE)
6am: Kids wake. S has shower, M puts breakfast on and unloads dishwasher.
6:30am: Everyone eats breakfast and engages in family discussions about art, literature, current affairs, Peppa Pig, poo and wee.
7am: P assists M by getting her kindy bag ready. M gets B dressed. S tidies up kitchen and puts a load of clothes in the washing machine.
7:30: We all leave the house. M takes kids to kindy then goes to work. I go straight to work.

This looks REALLY SENSIBLE AND DOABLE, right? Am I right? I'm right aren't I? Definitely right about this. The THEORY IS SOUND, reader.

Here is a dramatic reinactment of ACTUAL EVENTS that occur on a typical work day at our house.

5am: I hear the baby stirring in his room. I squeeze my eyes shut and pretend to be asleep. I can feel M doing the same. The baby starts to squawk louder. I lie as still as possible until I feel M get up and go down the hallway, coming back with baby B. We all lie together in bed while he crawls all over us, until we hear P's footsteps in the hallway. She appears at my side, imperiously demanding that I "Move over!" and complaining that "Mummy your BREATH smells AWFUL!". M and I continue to lie with our eyes shut while they both squirm and crawl over us.  Finally M and I can pretend we are asleep no longer. We embark on a conversation along these lines;

M: Are you going to get up with them or have a shower first?
Me: I should really go for a walk. I need to do more exercise. I've put on so much weight. How do people fit in exercise? I don't think there's time this morning. Probably I should get up and then you should have a shower. Then I'll have a shower.
M: I think you should have a shower first.
Me: No you should have a shower first while I get breakfast and then I'll just have a shower and leave straight after.
M: OK.

6:30am: We finally get up. I take the kids out and start breakfast.  This is made difficult by the fact we forgot to put the dishwasher on the night before, so I have to wash out some things before I start. I can hear M carrying out long and complex ablutions in the ensuite. P and B pull a million toys out onto the floor. It all takes a really long time and sounds like this;

P: Muuuuummmmmyyyy I'm HUNGRY!
Me: I'm just putting the porridge on, darling, you'll have to wait a bit.
P: Muuuummmmyyyy Benji is taking my THINGS! *outraged screams from B as she takes her toys back off him*
[I interrupt my breakfast-making to intervene].
Me: P if you don't want B to take your toys then put them in your room.
P: NO!
Me: *Grr*
[I go back to kitchen and keep making breakfast. P disappears and appears wearing a different outfit].
Me: P! If you are going to get changed don't leave your PJs on the FLOOR! Take them into your ROOM! P! P! Are you listening to me! Hey! P! Oh FOR GOD'S SAKE I'll do it.
[I interrupt breakfast-making again to take P's PJs back to her room. While there I make her bed and chuck some things into toy baskets etc. before remembering I was actually making the porridge].

And so forth.

7:30am: I have finally finished making breakfast and we are sitting down, eating, I am wrestling with B as he desperately tries to shovel the porridge into his mouth with two spoons. It goes EVERYWHERE. Like EVERYWHERE. After we've finished, P runs off. B has smeared porridge all over his face and in his hair. I wipe him down and get him out of the highchair, and start cleaning the mess on the floor.

7:45am: M emerges from our bedroom showered and dressed. He channels a hobbit and has first breakfast and second breakfast too. General stuffing around and chasing of P and packing of kindy bags occurs. M remembers he hasn't made his lunch. I remember I haven't made mine either. M gets a whole lot of stuff out of the fridge and makes sandwiches and snacks and stuff.

8:15am: I am still in my pyjamas. By some miracle M and the kids are dressed and in the car. I wave them off.

8:20am: I race around tidying things, jump in the shower, decide there's no time to shave legs or wash hair. I get dressed, jump in car and begin my hour long commute.

But not before wasting time by taking a few selfies of my work outfit whilst doing dumb poses. SO IMPORTANT DON'T YOU KNOW!






9:30am: I race into the office, flustered, hungry again. People comment on how nice my hair looks. I reply "Oh it's probably because it's full of GREASE! Yeah I haven't washed it for like DAYS!". People look a bit less impressed after that.
5:30pm: I finally get to leave the office, because I got there so late, and race home.

6:45pm: I arrive home. Kids and M have eaten. Babysitter and M are bathing kids. I reluctantly counsel the young flibberdigibbit babysitter because her dreaders boyfriend said he'd marry her in ten years if they were still single but doesn't want to tell his friends they are going out together and she's quit uni to work for him YADA YADA YADA. Ugh. I hurry her out the door. She talks the whole time.

7pm: I put B to bed. M puts P to bed. B goes to sleep. P comes out a million times and finally stays in bed by 7:30 ish.  By this time we are exhausted, so shovel some food in, do a mediocre tidy of kitchen and slump on couch. I think about making my lunch but don't. I think about putting my clothes out for the next day but don't. You get the drift.

AND repeat!

WHY DO I DO IT DUDES?

I fly by the seat of my pants.

The idea of working more than 2 days GIVES ME THE HEEBIE JEEBIES! How would I do it? I want to have a lie down just thinking about it.

I need to BOOT CAMP MYSELF!

Come on! YEAH! GET PUMPED! GET ORGANISED YOU LAZY WOMAN! WRITE LISTS! AND THEN ACTUALLY DO THE THINGS ON THE LISTS! MAKE GOOD HABITS! BE BETTER AT STUFF! ROUTINE IS THE BACKBONE OF FAMILY LIFE! MEAL PLAN! ONLINE GROCERIES! AND SO FORTH!

Or not. Look, I guess it's got me this far. Look at me! I'm a high flyer baby!* Maybe it's working for me? Maybe it's because I AM A CREATIVE GENIUS AND VALUE SPONTANEITY AND FUN TIMES AND CHILLAXING WITH MY HOMIES?

Who knows. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. And it's hard for a tiger to change its stripes. And you can't lead a horse to water. YOU FEEL ME?**

Now excuse me while I write out a new Family Routine and Meal Plan, put it up on the fridge, ignore it for a week, and carry on in the same freaked out fashion that I always do.

Until next time, adieu. Adieu. To yer and yer and yer...

*I may not actually be a high flyer.
**It's totally ok if you don't. Feel me, I mean. I don't really know what it means anyway.

38 comments:

  1. I am not a morning person. And the prep that goes into routine... Blegh!

    So excited about The Lounge, just quietly!

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    1. I used to be a morning person! I remember the good ole days I started work at 7am!!!!! How times have changed. Also, i am excited too :-)))

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  2. Totally cracked up reading this post and even though I'm a full time sty at home mum, my mornings are still often like this with all the other errands and commitments I have thrown in there. But in all seriousness just tackle one small thing at a time like menu planning and once that's under control focus in adding my organisation in by tackling another issue. I think we often fail trying to change everything in one hit. When you've got young kids thy need time to adjust to routine too. I'm somewhat organised but get off track and when it starts to bug me again I go back to tackling one thing at a time. But again with young kids and babies things are always changing, so what works today may not in a month. Best of luck, but I do fully relate to the hectic.

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    1. Change is the only constant isn't it!!! I do think it will become smoother over time :-)

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  3. I start a routine, get bored and go back to what I was doing. Get annoyed at no routine, start a routine get bored and go back to what I was doing..rinse and repeat.

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  4. I still can't stick to a routine and I don't even go out to paid work. Of course now I have my Aspergers as a convenient excuse. Ahem. I tried to do a bit of casual work when Mr 11 was a baby and it was all too hard for me. I gave up. Plus, my Mum did not want to be a full time carer of my kids (how rude) and I can't afford full time child care. The other thing is that if you totally suck at this stuff, routines and organisation then it's hard to teach your kids stuff that you yourself suck at. Sigh.

    Meanwhile, I have a SIL who is SO organised and has their whole lives planned and the routine/planner thing up on their fridge. She has 3 boys, works full time and is studying at Uni. I noticed when I went to her 4oth birthday that she'd conveniently pencilled in her hangover for the next day. That is what I call planning.

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    1. That hangover planning is the funniest thing i have ever heard!!!! Oh my!
      I know, what is with the baby boomer grandparents wanting their own life!!!??? So rude!

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  5. Routine. Meh. It makes me want to sleeeeeep (then wake up and drink cyanide). Pants flying, now THAT my love, is the way to live. Meal plans? For those without creative skills and flair. Open the fridge! Find things! Throw them in! Wave your hands around! Voila! Oh. And - dry shampoo. Sent from the Gods. Never change. You are perfect, just the way you are. Greasy and rushed. ;)

    I'm not gonna feel you though, if that's ok. x

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    1. Voila! I love it! I do have dry shampoo but frankly it seems like too much trouble! See??? LAZY!
      I wouldn't feel me either. Too squishy.

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  6. I am useless at routine. I get through two days of a routine and then it is out the window. Flying by the seat of my pants is the only way I know how to fly!

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    1. You and me both, kiddo. You and me both!!!

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  7. I hate the mornings when you just try so hard to pretend you're asleep and the husband won't play nice and collect the very awake baby. Gawd, I remember when sleeping till 2pm was considered early.

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    1. M is quite well trained these days, I should thank my lucky stars really!!! I figure i have done the hard yards through the night breast feeding years.

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  8. Oh my god too funny. Just! Too funny. I feel you and yer and yer. There is never a balance in anything! Anyone who tells you so is like telling you to walk in a straight line when you're completely drunk!

    You'll win some days but if you're like me I'll just carry on - so long as everyone is fed and unless the Queen is coming, we do whatever we can! It's hard being a parent and working and raising human beings!

    Great post xxx

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    1. So true!!! And it's been a while since Her Maj made an appearance at our place. I mean P is a princess but that doesn't count...

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  9. I don't tend to think of it as a routine, but I guess actually it is. Our mornings are SMOOTH! After so many years we are a well-oiled machine.

    5:50 husband out of bed starting on school lunches
    6:00 me out of bed. Put away last night's dishwashing. Get breakfasts, eat breakfasts

    Some time in the next 30 minutes convince 3 girls to get dressed for school/daycare. Have a fight about hairbrushing. Find the fucking shoes! Remember to nag them to clean their teeth. Husband gets our lunches together and packs school bags.

    I get dressed. I pfaff around a bit.

    6:40 OUT THE DOOR!

    I work full-time as does my husband, so we have been using this routine for about 8 years now. Husband still gets cranky that I am taking too long with everything. Girls still think that this might be the day they don't actually have to get dressed. Baby girl (OK, she's 4 but she's still the baby) still manages to have a tantrum about not-the-right shoes/jacket/bag/show and tell just as we're leaving.

    Things that make this work: I do my makeup at work, husband irons clothes for me, school-age girls are responsible for their own breakfast. And the big one. NO TV until breakfast is eaten, uniforms are completely on, beds are made and teeth are cleaned.

    Wow. I sound good. I'm not. My husband on the other hand, is pretty awesome.

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    1. You are awesome!!! I am hoping that as the years go by it all becomes smoother! Surely!?!?

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  10. I got nothing. Just wanted to say hi, really. Hi!

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  11. Ha ha...we totally do the which parent seems more asleep in the morning! And I always lose! Which aggravates me to no end because I have to wake up first three days a week...I have to leave for work at 6:30. And so I feel that then justifies me getting a "sleep in" on the other two days. Maybe I should have written a post about why I am not better at fake sleeping?

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    1. M nearly always gets up to the kids at night and early morning these days. I think I probably did my hard yards. I don't even really have to fake sleep because I am just generally so exhausted that I can barely open my eye!!!

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  12. Hee hee Sarah, LOVE the reference to the Sound of Music! The only routine we ROCK at is bedtime, but maybe because we're SOOO keen to get our wee 'angels' off to bed (and out of our hair)! Congrats on being One of the Famous Five (totally patenting that term for you all) - as I'm now going to refer to you all as! Em

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    1. Ha! Famous Five! Hehe. And YES! Totally am with you on having the bedtime routine down pat. Yes yes yes! We rock it too. Apart from when we don't! But mostly we ace it.

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  13. Oh I love the sound of your theoretical routine. I would really like to make that happen. But alas, I live a long, long way from Organisation Town!

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    1. The road to organisation town is riddled with potholes, in my experience! I need to write a letter to the council.

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  14. Routine is overrated - I like a few surprises thrown in each day (that's MY story and I'm sticking to it!)

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    1. Yeah we are FREE spirits man! Don't bring us down with your rules, man!

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  15. yup.... I hear you. It's along the vein of my diarising so I feel that little bit closer to you already. Maybe we're just not meant to do rigidity.
    I'm bang on with sleep time routines though. No prizes for guessing why.

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    1. Mrs H, we totally rock the bedtime routine too! And yes, wonder why that is???!!! Ha!

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  16. Mr Eats World leaves for work at 6.30am most mornings so I get to organise the chaos solo. Getting my two ready is pretty much like herding cats but somehow (with a lot of swearing under my breath) we get where we need to when we need to. Leave the meal plans and routines for the Stepford mums, I think a little chaos is good for the soul. x

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    1. I like how you think! It's our very own "Chaos THeory!"

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  17. Phew finally made it :)

    I'm particularly fond of 7.15am. Because that is the time when I usually commence scrabbling through the clean but unfolded washing in the laundry to hopefully come up with 3 x clean school uniforms. And if by chance I happen to be down a pair of school shorts I would never raid the dirty clothes basket for yesterdays shorts, give them a spray of deodorant, and chuck them at the person missing their shorts while screeching "Here, these will do FFS!".

    You stick with that "creative genius" theory - if you can get people to fall for it I might use it myself!

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    1. Recycling dirty washing is BRILLIANT SLAPDASHERY and I endorse it with all my heart and soul. Anyway, if I was really organised and meal plan-esque I would have to change the name of the blog to "Organised Well-put Together Calm Mama". WHich totally doesn't have the same ring to it.

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  18. Oh gawd, this post made me shudder. This is our house when I work. It's crazy at the best of time but throw me working into the mix and it totally turns to shite. I am not looking forward to going back next year!

    I love that you make a new routine and ignore it! That is totally our house.

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  19. If it wasn't for the commute you would be breezing along like... well a girl in a breeze. Blame the commute. I do. Makes me feel better that its not just be being messy/late/disorganised in the ams.
    x

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    1. Yes the commute is a BITCH and I hate it. I'm sure if I didn't have to do that I would be SO TOGETHER it isn't funny.

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Vent your spleen! You know you want to.

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