13 days down, 352 to go!

Dear Productivity,

You and I had big plans today. Huge. Gigantic. Enormous. I had phone calls to make, closets to organize, piles to put away and to boot, a babysitter so I could do said things. You know the three things that have been on my list for weeks that are starting to eat away at me?  And what happened? I spent all day cleaning up vomit from #1 and cleaning diapers full of poop from #3. You might call that productive. And I guess it was. Just not the kind of productivity I envisioned. Sometimes I get in such a twit when we don’t hang out in the way I hope, when I instead hang out with your other half, unproductive. It stresses me out and that’s when I yell. Because I am not getting done what I want…Any tips on how to be more productive, or better yet, more chill? I think if I knew the answer I’d be a more enjoyable person to be around!


The Orange Rhino


You see, my challenge in being a Stay at Home Mom is that in my 5.5 years as a SAHM, my to-do list still doesn’t line up with that of a SAHM. I want to get organized, put together photo albums, do other personal projects, and decorate the barren walls of my office, aka my home, so it doesn’t feel like an institution. I don’t have clean up vomit, wash sheets, or buy new pillows because of said vomit on my to-do-list. And I certainly don’t have call doctor to discuss the color of #3’s poop because it seems awfully pale in color. Or on an ordinary day, I don’t have play with kids, have fun, cook them a balanced meal, love them etc…. on my to-do list, which really, all should be on my list for after all, that’s why I decided to stay at home.

And yet, here I am, 5.5 years later still mostly focused on my personal list, not my SAHM list and guess what…my list never gets the attention I wish it did. And that is probably how it should be, to a certain extent. I’ll save that soul-searching and SAHM struggle for another post! But every once in a while, like on days like today where I don’t even get to go pee or do one thing for myself, it gets to me. Who am I kidding, at least once a day it gets to me.

Being a parent is 24-7. It’s a lot of work. And on days like today, where it is ALL about the kids, non-stop, and there is no way to take a breather, it’s extra work. I’m not complaining. I do love my kids, especially when they are sick because they are so extra needing of my love and they don’t fight with me or yell at me, they just need me. Just like when they were little babies. And I love how they curl up in my lap and let me play with their hair…even if they smell like vomit and my hands are so dry from all the washing and hand sanitizer that twirling their hair actually feels uncomfortable.

But sometimes, like roundabout 3:49 today, I just want to fall in a heap on the floor and cry. Cry because I have so much to do (as an individual, a friend, a wife and as a SAHM) and I am pulled in so many different directions that I just want to scream “ENOUGH!!!  I need a break! I just need 5 minutes uninterrupted to breathe.” Well I felt that way all day today. It was NON-STOP. Of course the last time I was in this place, I screamed. I didn’t today thanks to that epiphany so that’s progress but still…

I am Wiped. Which is clearly a theme today.  I spent all day wiping asses off and wiping up vomit. And while I resolved yesterday to take care of myself and get the sleep I need, there is a problem with that. When my to-do list grows, and the clutter on my desk grows, I am left feeling claustrophobic and overwhelmed. And then eventually left feeling like today….like I just want to scream. And more often than not, that is when I lose it with the kids, for no real good reason. It’s not that I want to scream at them, I just want to scream. To let it all out.  Unfortunately, in the past, they have been the target, been caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Orange Rhino Community shared some great ideas on what to do in said situations…

  1. Call your own voicemail and scream/b*itch (this has double points because when I replay it I can very quickly realize how irrational I am being!)
  2. Go to the Garage and scream…or anywhere else where the kids won’t feel targeted
  3. Let The Orange Rhino Community know instead (I like this one too!)
  4. Get to the computer FAST and type…it’s a release! 

Here’s one that I actually did because the advice from my other fellow Orange Rhinos wasn’t in yet…

  • Do what that silly commercial on SPROUT says to do…when you are about to lose it, turn it into something silly.

#2 was the witness of said silliness.

Dear, sweet #2, my 3.5 year old, had a bee in his bonnet today. Or whatever heck the saying is. He is so overtired from dropping his nap, waking up at 530 regularly but 430, yes 430 today, that he was bouncing off the walls. Holy bejebers. Spelling?

So here I am making #1’s bed. I have just paid the carpet cleaner to miraculously remove the neon Kraft macaroni and cheese stain from the oh, 6 month old brand new carpet. You know, the one where I thought I would save money and buy the one without the 3 year any stain warrantee because my kids NEVER throw up? Yeah, that carpet.

I hear #2 LITERALLY running into his walls and bouncing off, laughing. He was wasted tired. Ever seen a 3.5 year old on speed? No, I haven’t either. But I think I witnessed it today. Holy Sh*T!

I went into his room.

Me:        #2, what are you doing?

#2:          Just making a mess.

Me:        Clearly, you’ve destroyed your room. (He had pulled all his sheets off, dumped every lego bin, and put all his books on the floor. Awesome times.). Well, time to clean up.

#2:          I don’t know how.

Me:        Clearly you do, you just made the mess, just do the opposite.

#2:          Oh, no, I didn’t make it a mess. I was just having Fun.

Isn’t that the case not half the time, but most of the time I yell at the kids? They are just having fun. Just being kids. Yes, making a mess of his room. So not cool especially when I had been cleaning up ALL DAY LONG. But in his eyes, as he is still learning, he was just having fun. Totally harmless. So as I went to yell at him for “having fun” … voice was in Level 3 but fastly approaching 6…I looked at him, saw that damn twinkle in his eye and went “ooga-schmoooga-booga” three times and let it go.

Totally sounded like a moron, and I think #2 shared that sentiment, but it stopped me from yelling at him for being a kid something I’ve done way to much in my Pre-Orange Rhino days.

So today, I give thanks to Sprout (and the twinkle in #2’s eye) for helping me let my kid, be a kid. But I also have The Orange Rhino Community to thank. We are small in numbers now, but the support is huge. Gigantic. Enormous. And while I might not have been productive in the way I dreamed of today, you are all productive in the way I dreamed of. Thank you. 

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11 thoughts on “Oooga-Schmoooga-Booga!

  1. You go girl! Love this post, don’t live the vomit and poop but have been in your shoes. You need a glass of wine (or a shot) and then you need to go to bed. Tomorrow HAS to be better 🙂

    • Yes, tomorrow HAS to be better. It’s my birthday 🙂 But guess what? #2 just threw up as I was posting this so I think I will be having a repeat tomorrow. No worries 😉

  2. RE: getting everything done. It will never ALL get done. Put blinders on when it comes to messy rooms. There are no bedroom police coming to make sure the beds are made. A 5 year old can pull the quilt up on the bed; the sheets underneath don’t have to be straightened out until he’s ready to go to bed again. Organize the photos when they are all in school! Prioritize; prioritize; prioritize. NOT organize; organize; organize. And we all know what the priorities are: #1, #2, #3, and #4 with hubby and you in there somewhere. STUFF is never a priority unless it is unsafe! I have lived with this mantra and my children are now grown. They all know how to make a bed and keep their homes neater than I kept mine. They were not negatively affected by unmade beds and messy bedrooms; quite the opposite. Good job on being silly instead of yelling!

  3. I can completely relate to this post. I also have a to do list that consists of getting things organized around the house and the only time I can start to cross something off is when my oldest is in preschool for 3 hrs 2x a week. However that is only if the baby sleeps for part of that time and there isn’t laundry or the dishwasher to empty. I agree with the comment from LD in that it is never all done! Isn’t the saying a woman’s job is never complete or done lol something like that. All we can do is focus on taking care of the kids and everything else can wait and you will get to it when you can. I like the being silly when you are about to lose it I think I will have to try that next time. 

  4. Pingback: You never know… | The Orange Rhino Challenge

  5. I just found your blog yesterday when I was trying to google something like “not yelling at kids.”
    Hi. I’m Tracey (Hi Tracey!) and I am a yeller.
    I was so inspired by your quest to go 365 days without yelling that I immediately started reading from the beginning. I thought maybe I’d give this a go in the New Year, but I guess there is no better day than the present, right?!!?! So I told my son last night while I was lying in bed with him that I was going to try not to yell at him and his sister. They are totally all about it and even made their “orange rhino” signs this morning.
    I started today. And wouldn’t you know that it’s a snow day so no school. I’ve had the kids home all. day. long. But, I don’t know if they just feel sympathetic on me today or what cause they have been surprisingly less annoying! I’m at 3:22pm and I haven’t yelled once. I almost did a few times, but I kept my cool and stayed on track. Man, this is hard…even on a “good day!” I have realized that I have many more “triggers” than I originally thought. But I am determined to bring calm to my home. One day at a time. Thanks for this blog! I found it just at the right time for me and my family!

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