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I don't know how I do it: When 24 hours isn't enough

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

It seems I am running on fumes recently. I don't remember the last time I felt rested. There's this crick in the crook of my neck and shoulder that will not go away despite numerous shoulder rubs and many showers with the shower head on a massage setting.
I don't know how I do it: When 24 hours isn't enoughSchool events are happening at a frenzied pace. I'm going from one thing to the next with little or no time in between. I prioritize, of course. The kids get fed, but the dishes are backed up because I haven't had time to unload the dishwasher so I can put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Clothes are getting clean, but we're all picking fresh underwear from baskets of unfolded laundry. I can't count the number of times I have left the house wishing for five extra minutes to vacuum! The only time to vacuum seems to be late at night after the kids go to bed, but it's a small house and the vacuum will only wake them up.

There are meetings and deadlines and homework to help with. There's always something else that needs to be looked at or considered or something. Is there gas in the car? Whose birthday is coming up? The dog did what? Huh? I barely have time for personal hygiene.

The thing is, although this week is a little bit busier than usual, it's not exactly unusual. We live and function at a fairly high level of activity. Much as I try and do say no to some things, I don't know how to stop it, or even how to wind it back a bit. There is always something to do, and sitting down and just breathing and thinking is more and more of a luxury.

Meanwhile, popular media suggests that I should be doing even more. I don't have time to research pressing issues (personal, local or global) fully, much less engage in reading just for pleasure. I don't have time for my favorite hobbies during a good week!

I know I am not the only mom feeling harried. I think of that line in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off:" Life comes at you pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

That's exactly what I am afraid of! I'm missing something, I'm sure of it.

When I think back to my life before children, I think about how much time I wasted. I remember complaining that I was so busy, and I guess I was, relatively speaking, but if I could have that kind of time now, I could get so, so much done.

I hear that I'll have more time again someday, when the children have grown and gone. Then I'll probably miss the busyness of these days. Remind me of that, then, will you?

Points and Prizes Keyword: DEADLINES worth 50 points good through 02/24/08.

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