two-minute chunks

“I don’t know how you do it!”

It unnerves me when people say this to me. How am I supposed to respond? I don’t really have a choice. I didn’t ask to marry a man with two kids, or intentionally have three more in two years. I can’t help it that I have to work full-time to pay our bills – I’d love to work less, believe me. But I make it work. Just like you. I’m honestly not trying to show off, and I’m certainly not extra special. It’s why I’m featuring “Mamas Makin’ it Work” here on the blog (would love to have ya, email me for details). Motherhood is hard work. We are all supermoms, regardless of the number of kids or the number of jobs or the number of dollars.

Anyway, today took a toll on my patience. It’s really the only day for the next several that I have to clean and meal plan, etc. Ames has been taking shorter naps, and the sisters have been taking… well, zero naps. After a miserably hot, complicated, & short walk with the kids, I lost my cool and threatened to call someone to come over here to hold a baby so I could shower (let’s be honest, I actually tweeted it and you probably read it). When he saw how serious I was, Chris followed me upstairs and pushed me into the bathroom. He gave me a kiss, some chocolate, & a glass of milk. He said, “Momma, when you don’t got it…I got it.”Marital music to my ears. Bless his heart.

I had an amazing shower and came out feeling like a new woman. I also realized that I’d gotten a lot more done today than I previously thought. I just too caught up in my tunnel visions delusions of grandeur of scrubbing floors and washing eight loads of laundry to see it what we’d already accomplished.

Chris vacuumed every surface downstairs – floors, couches, chairs, fan blades, you name it. Ames danced around him with a mini broom, “helping.” This left me to sister duty, but I wasn’t going to sit around and wait for them to need me. I knew they wouldn’t take a good nap. I could just feel it in my bones. So I stayed nearby and took chunks of two minutes at a time to do something productive.

It hit me today – it really is all about TWO-MINUTE CHUNKS, people. I just have to accept it. In the time it takes for the girls to work themselves into a fit of fuss and need one of us, I can actually get a lot done. Today, I realized it’s basically what I’ve been doing since they were born. So I decided to make a list, to remind myself to think more positively next time they try to bring me down. You hear that, sisters? I’m stickin’ it to ya. And to think… I limited this list to just the upstairs, so that I’m closer to the nursery!

In two minutes, I can:
– clip my fingernails
– clip my toenails
clip Ames’ nails Chris doesn’t let me anymore
– wipe down the baseboards in a bedroom
– sort the laundry before washing
– move the laundry from washer to dryer
– go to the bathroom, wash my hands, & apply lotion
– pluck my eyebrows
– pick up Ames’ toys and straighten his room
– sit down with my phone and jot down to-do lists
– plug my camera in and upload photos onto my computer
– make my bed
– make the boys’ beds
– open up all of the bedroom drapes and wipe down the windowsills
– wipe down bathroom countertops
– hide the boys’ Nerf guns under Avery’s bedspread
– read a few pages of a magazine
– begin a blog post
– return an email
– upload a photo to Instagram
– check my phone for missed calls/texts
– dust all of the dressers and shelves
– take ten deep, cleansing breaths
– repeat my Nehemiah verse over and over
– thank God that these girls are healthy enough to cry

The upstairs still needs to be vacuumed, and I only finished three loads of laundry. But as far as two-minute chunks go, I’d say it was a pretty successful afternoon.

____

edited to add: Laura Short, you are the winner of The Vintage Souls giveaway! 
Sending your info along to Brooke now. Congratulations!

11 thoughts on “two-minute chunks”

  1. Well, I think you are amazing! I know how short fused I can be with just one around and I can only imagine the added stress of five total and 3 under 2! I don’t think you give yourself enough credit….and Jesus, be thankful for a hubby who can see when you need a break without you ASKING for it!!! I’m totally jealous there! Lol!

  2. I second the dislike of that question! I usually say, “well, I don’t really have a choice. I can’t send them back- and I wouldn’t anyway.” They are a blessing and yes, it is work but it IS a good work :) Thanks for sharing this- I can definitely relate!

    Thank you, Jesus for good husbands and good coffee ;)

  3. I completely agree – we do what we have to do. We make it work.

    It’s funny b/c I am up to longer chunks of time now. Sometimes I get 10 minutes, sometimes 15. It’s amazing what you can accomplish.

  4. i like the two minute chunks idea! with such limited time you gotta be fast and efficient.
    i’ll have to try this!
    thanks :)

    just stumbled across your blog…i love it. can’t wait to read through it tonight.

  5. Great post. I’m glad your husband stepped in to give you a break. I also hate the “how do you do it?” question. Like Sarah said, what do people expect us to do? Once the kids arrive, there isn’t much choice, other than to figure things out as you go and do the best you can.

  6. Rach, you are a rock star, plain and simple. I think what you do is amazing and awesome and Chris might be the best husband ever. I will be asking for tips once I go back to work full time after maternity leave ;)

    Also, there is a movie coming out called “I dont know how she does it” based on the British novel (so funny). I think we should all go see it together. Love you.

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