Photo by Thomas Q on Unsplash

The other morning, I was picking up the living room, which is where the 19-month-old spends a majority of her time playing, therefore is always in disarray with toys scattered everywhere. Too young to effectively clean up after herself, it is a daily decision of either putting her things into baskets, or accepting a messy living room. My 9-year-old saw me on my hands and knees and came over to help. He said, consolingly, “I know. It’s hard being a parent.” Yes, yes it is.

By itself, this was an amusing comment, but a few days later when we were making dinner, sorting the mail, unloading the dishwasher, and I was simultaneously trying to get myself ready for an evening event, the same observant 9-year-old said “It seems like parents have a lot of jobs to do.”

His second comment seemed to stem from how I have felt lately. We are coming up on a year since we started talking to an architect about putting an addition on our house. Now in the final stretch of the last few weeks, it feels like it will never be done. And yet, so close. The house feels like chaos in its “in between” state.

It has culminated over the past few weeks. Perhaps stemming from a rotten end to winter we had, with someone in this house constantly feeling sick. Perhaps it is looking ahead to spring, and knowing that we always have a lot of yard work that needs to be done, but knowing we cannot do parts of it effectively while still under construction. I pulled out my totes of “warm weather” attire from storage under my bed and now there are piles of laundry as I do the giant twice-annual seasonal switch.

I feel like I need about 24 hours of uninterrupted time to get caught up on everything. And can never find the time.

I take care of everything related to our household finances. Years ago, I abandoned Quicken’s budget tool because it didn’t have a mobile companion and switched to an app called Goodbudget. It meant duplicating a small amount of effort between Quicken for tracking overall finances and Goodbudget for its purpose, but worth it for what I could access on my phone. Now Quicken has rolled out a new version of the app, and with it, a budget component. To effectively use it, I need to make a huge change how I track things. Once I get there, it will be easier, but finding the hours of time I need to make the switch…?

I used a product called Neat to scan all of my documents, starting at least seven years ago. Neat has now sunset the desktop application and has tried to move all of its customers to the cloud. In addition to costly, I found the cloud app not nearly as nice and the migration to be disastrous. So now exporting 7 years of scanned images out to Google Drive. Again — where is the time to do all of that?

I have Flex Claims that need to be filed, a pile of incoming mail that needs to be scanned the first time, and kid projects that need to be sorted into “keep” and “toss.” The kids’ basement playroom looks like a hurricane went through it, but in addition to “teach the kids how to pick up after themselves” is to give them a clean slate to start with. My husband and I both signed up for a running challenge in March with a group of people (with money on the table), committing to running at least 20 of the 31 days, but usually evening rolls around and I wonder where the heck the day went.

I have to keep telling myself that toddlers are hard. We were in a pretty good rhythm when the kids were 6 and 4, but adding a baby into the mix made everything exponentially harder. I keep trying and trying to find that rhythm I knew I had at one point, but it feels like I am falling further and further behind.

But… in a few short weeks the addition will be done. The house will (hopefully) not feel so chaotic. The weather is now warmer and my kids are able to play in the front yard without supervision, enjoying running around or drawing pictures with sidewalk chalk. Yesterday my husband said to me “How can I help?” which are the words I often say to him when I can tell that he is stressed. I told him that I would like a few hours to work on Quicken. He gave me a few hours this morning. It’s not done — but I made a dent.

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