#thursdaythirteen 13 things that are sucking up all my time and energy right now #motherhood #parenting #kids

Life is busy.

When is it ever not?

I can't remember the last time I had nowhere to be and could do nothing all day, should I choose. Oh, wait, yes I can, it was when I was pregnant with Emily and not working (by choice) - that was 9 years ago. {sigh}

So, why is life so busy? Here are 13 random reasons why:

1. The demands of having a 3rd grader
My thoughts, meal planning, laundry schedule, whether I shower in the morning, and ability to make other appointments revolve around Emily's life as a 3rd grader. She needs her tennis shoes clean for P.E. on Mondays and Tuesdays; I have to pack an extra snack on Thursdays because she has Toyology class after school, I can't forget to pack her knitting needles & yarn for Friday's after school class; another parent picks her up on Wednesdays because she joined a Homework Club; and Girl Scouts meets every 1st and 3rd Wednesdays and I have to remember her sash and her $2 dues. There are library books to remember every other week, sunscreen to rub on everyday, lunchboxes and backpacks to clean out daily (gross!), an insurmountable amount of papers to riffle through about the Readathon, Book Fair, picture day, and which day to ride your bike to school. Is it a wonder why we are all exhausted at the end of every day?!?

2. Shopping
Every single week, multiple times during each week there are groceries to buy (who do such tiny children eat so much?!?), home supplies to restock, snacks for Girl Scouts or school to make, and someone is always growing out of their pants or their shoes. I spend a great deal of time in the car or online shopping especially now that fall is upon us, which means the rainy season is on it's way, and both my kids outgrew things like rain boots and hooded jackets.

3. The health club/spa
I rejoined our local health club & spa and, while I'm ecstatic, I'm exhausted. Physically. Not just because of all the extra laundry there is to do as I'm going through an outfit a day! I take 3-4 classes each week that suck up the mornings before David heads off to work, my evenings before I finally collapse into bed, and parts of my not-so-relaxing weekends. This is a positive thing, people, but it's such a time-suck!

4. My volunteerism
PTA meetings are every 2nd Thursday, which creates about 5 hours of work each week to prepare for them as Treasurer (2nd year in a row) and I have GOT to shower and get dressed Wednesday and Friday mornings as I'm one of the Book Club leaders in Emily's class this year. I'm also still co-chairing the Go Green committee and I am the Hospitality committee again this year so there are meetings to attend, recycling to organize and baked goods to provide a few times each month. I really enjoy it, I wouldn't do it if I didn't, but these things are the reason I don't go out on weeknights and why I have no "free time".

5. It's birthday party season!
For just about everyone we know, including three of us in my family, the first four months of school is also known as birthday party season around here. We go to a party every week, sometimes two in one Saturday! It's not just the 2-3 hours at the party but the time spent to purchase and wrap the perfect gift that sucks a lot of my time. I think some of the employees at Target have started to recognize me.

6. Preparing the garden for winter
I don't garden in the winter. We don't love anything enough to tend to it while it rains nearly every day here. In order to protect it, I have to weed it, lay down a thick layer of compost then newspaper, then top soil. With all the rain we get, we have to mow the grass weekly and trim back the trumpet vine. All the leaves falling from the trees cause huge piles to rake, just like you see kids playing in on television. Several hours of the last couple of weekends have been spent doing manual labor outdoors.

7. Flipping over the closets for winter
This goes with all the shopping I've been doing lately. It's time to bundle up all the shorts, flip flops, bathing suits, and tank tops to make room for fleece pajamas, leggings, and sweaters. I've been trying everything on the kids to see what might still fit for next year (storage) and what is just too small (donate). I've had to collect boxes so one of our closets looks like an episode of Hoarders. I'm going to consignment stores that always buy all the higher-end items we have to get rid of and dropping things off at Goodwill and I'm even posting things to an online garage sale site, which takes so much time to organize and upload photos of everything.

8. My 3yr social calendar
Play dates, weekly Preschool class, tumbling, swimming, scooter rides to the park, sitting down to build a zoo for an hour, and shooting hoops until lunchtime are just a few of the things I do every single week with Nolan. He's nearly 3 1/2 and soooooooooooooo busy. He needs activities, the kind of activities with other kids, outside of our home. I'm in the car or walking to an activity almost every single day that sucks up my mornings from about 10am-2pm. We have great big fun and are lucky to be surrounded by so many friends with a child the same age but boy do I long for those days when he was happy to lay at my feet while we read books and snuggled.

9. Managing our family calendar
School, after school activities, dental appointments, soccer, Dad's club baseball, PTA meetings, committee meetings, visiting relatives, birthday parties, no school days, Holidays, early morning work meetings, late night work meetings, face time with friends & family (you bet your ass we have to schedule this, what did you think - we just had loads of free time around here?), homework club, Girl Scouts, travel, camp for no school days/weeks. I know we aren't rare nor special, everyone has a life like ours, but it must be said how much work it is to stay ontop of the family calendar. I have to check it, recheck it, update it, cancel things, reschedule things, and add new things every single day!

10. The friends I love so much
A quick email here while helping Emily with homework, a text or two there while the kids play in the toy section during a shopping trip, a phone call while pushing Nolan on the swings once a week, a little Face time from my bed just before I go to sleep at night, a conversation right after morning school drop-off, and the very rare meet-up for cocktails are the ways I nurture my friendships these days. Brief but meaningful, it's just all I've got time for.

11. Cooking
See any of the above. Cooking and basic meal/snack prep rules my daily life. You could say life revolves around meal time. Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner - I live in my kitchen! If I'm not making a meal for my family, I'm taking a meal to a friend, taking snacks to a meeting, prepping snacks for a classroom party, or dropping off snacks to an ill friend. Then, I have to clean it all up and restock everything I used. Cooking is one of my favorite time sucks!

12.  Quality time with my family
Regardless of how much I NEED to do or SHOULD be doing, I drop things daily to spend some quality time with my family. Life is short, childhood even shorter, and I'm just not going to miss it. So little things, like this blog, take a backseat. My house and car aren't what I would call "clean", tidy maybe, but we're happy, feel loved, and rarely regret a day thing we could've done better.

13. Sleep
I'm just not one of those people who call themselves "night owls" because I have to get up at 7am every day and I NEED my sleep. I go to bed by 9:45, 10:00pm most nights. I just can't sacrifice sleep to do anything fun so, while y'all are out having those aforementioned cocktails, I'm blissfully unaware, getting some much-needed ZZzzzzzzs.


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