Last night, our Esteemed Babysitter arrived, looked round and said "Good grief guys, what happened here?!" Good thing she didn't arrive five minutes earlier, to find me lying on the floor with my legs up the wall (an excellent pose if you haven't been able to feel your feet all afternoon).

While lying on the floor (instead of tidying at least one room, which was certainly an option I considered) I wondered why I can't seem to get on top of things. I seem to spend my days doing things for people: my boys, my ever more demented Gran, the charity where there are few active volunteers for many many roles and we are all so overworked that we are thinking of calling it a day. I'd like to write more, but there aren't enough hours in the day.

I am wearing too many hats, and something's gotta give. Probably the charity work, which has been a great experience... I know more about publishing and editing and advertising and fundraising than I ever could have learned out of a book or a class! And it's been successful, in that members are coming and funds are raising. But in this economy, few people want to give up their time for unpaid work. Many of the positions that need filling require someone with experience and a certain amount of professionalism. Anyone want to do that for free?


When I got in last night after a depressing meeting, the boys had not been anywhere near a shower and had no intention of going to bed. They were in the kitchen making cocoa with PLENTY of sugar and it was coming up on ten o'clock. I don't hold the babysitter responsible because they are big boys, and they usually play cards or something with her and then get themselves ready for bed. I yelled at them, and apologized again to the babysitter for the mess and chaos. She is a darling.

This morning there was a continuing 'discussion' about whether zero is a number or not. How can anyone get so heated about this? Chas is a creative maths guy, and won a prize at school yesterday for finding the highest number that you can make using the numbers 3, 2, 1 and 1. You can use them as fractions, to the power of, adding multiplying, whatever, but each number can only be used once.

Chas made 'infinity', breaking a school record with a fiendishly simple sum. Chas totally 'gets' that kind of maths concept. Sam was livid, claiming that neither infinity nor zero are true numbers, and giving us practical problems to illustrate his point. "if I had six m&ms, and I divided them by zero, I WOULD NOT HAVE INFINITY M&MS!"

I said "Are you eating those mushrooms? Can I have them?"

Can you work out how Chasbo did it, with all those hints?

And is it possible for 1 woman with 3 children, 1 gran and <2 weeks to go till her holiday with her 1 husband, to do everything she has to do and still be infinitely sane?


My husband used to look at me and the gathering chaos every once in awhile and say: "You know what we need? We need a wife!" Sounds like you do, too.
I think your dilemna is one familiar to most women. We do too much for too many until we realize the error of our ways and say: "no". "I'm sorry, that doesn't work for me." Then do what you most want to be doing in your heart of hearts.
Your boys are old enough to be self sufficient- able to do their laundry, make a meal, clean their room or share in whatever else needs doing.
On the other hand, they are wonerful human beings (and smart). But your needs matter too. This could be a turning point in the road for you all. Let me know how it goes.
Unknown said…
3^211 .

As Douglas Adams would say ... Don't Panic!!!
Anonymous said…
Sounds like you're STILL in a season of life where your primary responsibility is on the homefront. Make peace with that, honey. The other opportunities will still be there when things calm down for you.
Nan Sheppard said…
YES! I love you guys, you've always got the best advice. News Flash: the newsletter is done, I'm mailing the memory stick off NOW, and then I'll tidy up. And yes, the boys could certainly do more to help...

It's just often easier to do it myself!
Anonymous said…
Think of their future wives! Let them learn to help from now and you will be doing womankind a great favor. Stop the perpetuation of male inertia!

mother to 2 girls-who-may-one-day-become-wives
Kath McGurl said…
I agree - get those boys tidying! Give them regular jobs to do, and no pocket money unless they've done them. You don't have to be superwoman.

And Sam has a point about the m&ms. Infinity isn't a number it's a concept. Numbers are what you use to count with and infinity can't be counted. Yah boo sucks to Chas!
Get here soon my dear little wife
(my shirts need ironing)
Afrodeity said…
In case Chas is interested: