Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Back in my teaching days, I had all sorts of deadlines:

Essays need to be returned to students before the next is due, so they can learn from mistakes. (Note: I finished grading my last set of essays the afternoon before I went into labor with Leah.)

Grades need to be in by such-and-such time, along with a comment for each student, if possible.

Requests - buses for field trips, copying orders, special equipment for a lesson - all need to be made by specific dates.

Nowadays, in my lazy stay-at-home mom life (ha. Only those of you who are a SAHM know how sarcastic that comment is) these are my deadlines:

Finish reading Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck by Saturday night for book club. I'm halfway there.

Read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan for the MOMS book club, Easter Monday.

Get the house ready for our first open house, to coincide with our being out of town for four days. Potential thieves, beware. We have loyal and attentive neighbors. This deadline is two weeks away.

Send out invites for Ben's Elmo-themed birthday, April 8th.

These do not seem so important - there isn't a paycheck involved, after all, and there's really no one checking up on me. Except for the nine other book club ladies, that is. And that realtor guy.

But somehow the stress I put myself under to accomplish them is much the same as in my past. I even REQUESTED a deadline for the open house, lest I find myself procrastinating until July. The snow is melting, and people are itching for new yards to fuss over, new walls to paint- let them be mine!

Aaron asked last night, "What happens if our house sells right away? That's a lot of pressure!"
To that I replied, "Bring it on! We can stay in a hotel, rent a place, or even go to my mom and dad's - I'll take it!" Mom even offcially extended the invitation, poor crazy lady. She probably doesn't think we'll actually take her up on it.

I create deadlines of my own because without them, I'm afraid I would collapse into an unmotivated glob of skin and bones. What would be the point of doing laundry? If we're running short, I'll throw a load in. Or washing dishes? If I need a pot, I'll wash it. Just that one.

I can't live my life that way. Which is why the laundry gets done on Monday/Tuesday, the bathrooms get cleaned Tuesday, vacuuming is done upstairs on Thursday, and downstairs every-other Friday. I have used a card file for other, less frequent tasks, but have gotten very lazy about that, too. Maybe I'll start fresh in a new house. Yeah, that's the ticket! A new house is a GREAT that doesn't have an actual date.


Noel said...

And don't forget April 15th as a deadline...I'm skipping out of work today so I can spread out my paperwork in the digital den and get stuff ready for the accountant on Monday. I could prcrastinate until Saturday (when I'll now be at the office), but this way I have today and tomorrow as business days to get any questions/issues resolved with organizations which have (or worse, have not) sent me mail with "IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION" printed on the outside. Then there is collecting documentation on the itemized deductions, farm stuff, etc. All my paperwork should be in three folders and one pile, but making sure is what today is about.

It's coming up on 8:00 AM, so better dive in with favorite songs from the '80s playing in the background (gotta love subscription music).

-- Noel, SOHA (Stay At Home Administrator)

mama.nichols4 said...

Life without deadlines would be pretty impossible, especially as a SAHM.. just imagine.. kids crying, grabbing for food of any sort, pulling on the lifeless glob of skin and bones they call mom, dressed in grubby clothes, all amidst the rubbish on the dirty floor, ha -gross! (There would be an impending visit from social services for sure!)

Sadly, deadlines are a part of life and I think they're here to stay. So, laundry will get done, dinners will be made, days will come, days will go... just don't forget to live in the mean time! :) (that's my trouble.)

Ruth said...

my deadline are great and orderly, but i learned to use them with tim in a new way. when i say: will you change this lightbulb? tim gives himself a deadline of about 7 days. so now i say: will you change this lightbulb before it gets dark out/after that show is done/before i am forced to do it myself and punish you for it later?

works pretty well.