A blog forum I am linked to asked for people to blog about their to do lists and this seemed like an opportune moment to empty it all from my head in an attempt to order an increasingly fuzzy mind. There now follows a number of reasons why I sometimes don’t have space in my head to remember the correct word for the fridge. (Warning: if middle-class women bemoaning their first world problems irritates you you may want to skip this one!)
My to do list (by category, I am a keen filer).
Raise them to be kind, independent-thinking, empathetic and fun. Try to stop shouting as much and develop “Mother Earth” style patience. Try to stop being so demanding. Keep on top of all the school “stuff” so as to not forget money/outfits/donations/trips/events. Try to remember the arrangements for all the after school activities they do 1) because they love them 2) because I am trying to teach them that it’s not just about academic achievement (whilst undermining this constantly by tiger mother behaviour during homework sessions.)
Specific to Girl: perfect various celebrity hairstyling techniques. Listen to lots of clarinet practice. Help her with time-management as she is massively over-scheduled and fitting in homework/practice/relaxation is a challenge. Keep resisting the clamour for another after school activity. Keep up to date with new children’s books so she has access to the best stuff around. Remember which member of One Direction is which.
Specific to boy: lots of reading practice for this emerging reader. Try not to panic about screen time. Try to remember all the rules of chess because chess has replaced screen time as his latest obsession. Keep listening at all times because he moves from Harry Potter to Star Wars to Strictly Come Dancing to his school topic with alarming speed and I am frequently left behind. Try to get out of him the names of the people he wants to invite to his birthday party. Remember the names of the Moshi monsters. Try not to panic about the occasional burst of stick waving.
The never-ending round of washing, ironing and sorting stuff out. Maintain feeble attempts at decluttering. Keep teaching children how to sort out their own stuff. Try to recycle the kids’ toys without them noticing. Tidy the desk in my study. Pay bills/phone people/try to work out what to do about the wasps nest. Try to keep the house in enough order that I am not completely embarassed if someone drops ’round. In this area I am blessed with a fantastic friend who cleans for us and I also have a wonderful robot hoover. Both are essential.
See as much of them as possible. Spend a significant amount of time on facebook keeping up to date with them all Read the books for the different bookclubs. Book restaurants (my favourite places) and find people to visit them with me. Remember to tell them how fantastic they are.
(Today I bought Christmas wrapping paper. I have never bought for Christmas in November before, I think all that time on Facebook is filling me with a sense that it somehow needs sorting NOW). Try and work out how to meet boy demands for a wand that does real magic and a broom that really fles. Keep telling the girl that Santa’s elves don’t make mobile phones. Spend some time thinking about making some presents (I suspect I won’t get around to this this year.) Organise Sinterklaas meal for family.
I teach for a parenting charity and it is good, rewarding work but it involves a lot of emails and trying to find the right support for those who have specific concerns. Keep on top of these emails. Plan next courses. Explain to people why I am still doing it even though I have announced I am giving it up more than once.
Pay him some attention!
Stop feeling guilty about the lack of pilates. Do more orienteering. Finish the Star Wars cross-stitch (maybe it will distract him from the lack of Christmas broom.) Carve out more time for knitting/crochet/cooking (all of which I love.) Find some time to do the census transcribing for a charity I volunteered for and for looking at the family history stuff my uncle gave me. Read more non-fiction. Conquer Candy Crush compulsion which will help with that time carving.
Keep going. Stop panicking. Prepare for first exam in a month. Turn up at the hospital every day and learn things. Try and remember the stuff I am learning each day. Stop pointless worrying about what life is going to be like if I DO pass the exams and have to work such long hours.
and finally the MS:
Remember the injections every day. They really are helping. Yesterday was a bad day but currently most of them are good. Keep finding people online who have MS but are living life to the full. Continue to ignore all theories that tell me that if I stopped eating sugar I would recover completely. But I HAVE started trying to take high dose vitamin D every day (lots of evidence for this) but I keep forgetting. It’s almost as if I don’t have the time for it…