The amount of half-filled planners in my home is shockingly high. I mean, I try really hard to stay organized as a mom, but the seemingly never-ending batch of notebooks, gel pens, tape, and the laminator I have (that I love) but rarely use prove it: I'm the former shell of an organized woman. I used to have everything labeled and everything in order and, well, the struggles all super organized moms encounter when they have a toddler have whittled away my type-A personality to that of an unorganized stick, thrown in a pile of other unorganized sticks to embody that mess that is life with a two-year-old son.
To me, organization is about lists and plans and ideas and the comfort that is having a clear picture of what I need to get done and what I’m doing that day or that week or even that month. However, I can’t claim to be a neat person. Well, not anymore. Cleanliness is about hanging up the laundry and loading the dishwasher and not letting the diaper bag spill onto the dining table and vacuuming before it gets to the point that you look around the room and think, “Damn, I need to vacuum.” I mean, I would if I could, but I can’t. Not with a toddler. Now that I've been a mother for two years, I have that innate ability to look past clutter and go about my business as if it’s not even there. Sorry, Martha (for the record, I am working on it).
Instead, I maintain a loose grasp on my organizational abilities, which are constantly being called into question now that my son is a toddler. In fact, he may or may not have (but definitely did) scribbled all over my planner with a pink marker just the other day. Seriously, if that’s not a metaphor for my current life status, I don’t know what is. Here are a few other realities of being an organized mom with a toddler, because if you don't laugh you might just cry into the pile of unorganized papers on your previously clean kitchen counter.
Your To-Do List Is Never-Ending, And Thus There Is No Feeling Of Accomplishment When You Complete It
Among the most satisfying (non-sexual) things I can think of are: having someone hand me coffee, skipping through the commercials, and checking things off a to-do list. However, I can't remember the last time I actually completed my to-do list, so this is a never ending battle of which there is no satisfaction to be had.
Any Attempt To Plan Goes Out The Window
When I'm the most ambitious about laying out my day, or my week, or my month, my son magically starts teething, or has a rash, or some other mysterious ailment that requires us (me) to cancel plans. Why didn't anyone tell me that parenthood is complicated and messy and requires putting the needs of someone else first? You'd think it would be common knowledge or something.
All Your Organization Tools Get Mistaken For Craft Supplies
A trip of the cap to my fellow sticker hoarders.
It Feels Like Cheating To Put Things Like "Change Diaper" And "Feed Son" On Your Daily List
I may or may not add "take shower" to my "to-do" list on a regular basis, but I draw the line at "floss."
Nothing Stays Where You Put It
I tend to keep a good handle on where my things are, usually by insisting on being organized. However, once my son started walking, and running, and discovering how fun it is to shove important things under the couch, this is no longer the case.
You Have No Time To Actually Do Any Planning
Okay, yes, I know how this sounds, but I really like sitting down with a blank planner or making a fresh to-do list or scouring Pinterest for goal-setting worksheets (I know, I know. To all the kids who called me a nerd in middle school: who's laughing now?). Still, the opportunities I have to do all of the above are pretty rare, what with a toddler who needs to be fed and all.
The Amount Of Artwork And Pictures You Now Need To Find Space For Is Insane
I seriously don't know what I'm going to do when our fridge is full. This is the stuff nightmares are made of.