The other day, I sent my husband a text message every four hours, letting him know what I'd done. This probably sounds ridiculous, but I hate the fact that he comes home after ten days and it looks like I've done nothing at all except keep two kids and 50 animals alive. I needed for him to know that I don't actually sit around doing nothing - it just looks like I do.
Any worthwhile wife would be able to manage all that I do - and more- without getting overwhelmed. But I wasn't raised to be independent or capable, and mostly I just feel like there is more to do each day than there are hours to do it in. If I was better at managing my time, or if I wasn't so slow and lazy and weak and helpless, I'd be so much better at this. I'm getting better as years go by, but I'm still pretty much a failure.
Here's what I did on that "average" day:
4 am to 8 am: Worked out for 20 minutes (I'm getting so fat it's kind of disgusting), made zucchini bread and fruit salad, washed and dried a load of laundry, changed the cat litter, cleaned the laundry room, milked the cow and turned her out (turning her out involves wrangling a calf, which isn't always easy), milked the goats, strained the milk,fed the foundering horse, drained the side roll, added a wheel, moved it, weeded a garden bed, and washed the dishes, hooked up a hose and started watering the lawn. Oh - and parented.
8 am to 12 pm: Planted beets, folded and put away the laundry, taught math, English and reading, made German potato salad, cole slaw and pudding for dinner, tacos for lunch, cleaned up the kitchen and washed the dishes, moved the water... and parented.
12pm to 4 pm: Helped one kid finish a 4H record book, cleaned and organized the playroom, made a batch of brownies, made butter, moved the water, made 4H phone calls while folding more laundry, vacuumed a few rooms, ran for 20 minutes, and parented.
4pm to 8 pm: Taught a 4H crochet class, moved the water, moved the side roll, fed and separated all the animals, disposed of 4 dead baby rabbits, filled a horse trough, wrangled a calf, made dinner, weeded two garden beds and planted out the melon plants, listened to two Poultry speeches, washed dinner dishes, cleaned the kitchen... and parented.
From 8 pm to 10 pm I put the kids in bed, showered, finished cleaning up, graded school work, read a book for The Oldest, and then finally got to bed, only to start again in 6 hours.
It seems like a lot when I type it all out like that, but when I'm actually doing it, it seems like I ought to be moving faster, finding time to do so many more things. I just move too slowly, I think. Most women would be able to do that and still find time for the things I didn't have time to do - sew a nightgown, call a loved one, plant corn, shovel the corral, read a story to the kids.
I wish I could say I feel like I've accomplished enough for one day, but I'm constantly searching for just a couple more hours. I'm sure they're there... I just need to learn how to find them. Day by day, I learn to be a bit more capable, and a little less lazy. But it's not a fast process. The awful days are the ones when something happens that I can't control - a sick kid or animal, a failure in the irrigation system, or any number of other things that find a way of sneaking up on me. Some day I'll have it all together. Until then, I'll struggle along, wishing I was able to do so much more than I am right now.