Mothering, housekeeping, and procrastinating

I accomplish much more in a day now, with three children, than I ever did when I only had one child.

Once I realized that fact, I asked myself why that would be. After some thinking about the reality that there’s also just more to do, I figured it out! It’s not so much that there’s more to do or even that I have children who can talk now to remind me to do things that I probably wouldn’t have gotten done before. The key to why I get more done now than before is procrastination.

Procrastination has been the bane of my existence more than just a few times in my life. College is the time that springs most readily to my mind, followed by high school, and my entire life before then… Since having my own house I’ve struggled with the tendency to let things go and put things off for as long as possible. The dishes are dirty? Well, might as well just wait until after the next meal and do all the dishes at once! The floor is dirty? Might as well just sweep once a week and get more dirt with each stroke! There’ll always be more time later, right?


I don’t just procrastinate, after all, I wait until the absolutely last minute possible or even longer. Usually I wait too long when I have a known deadline. Something needs to be done by a certain day and I’ll stay up all night the night before doing it even if it’s something that takes longer than a day to complete.

Now that I have a preschooler, a toddler, and an infant I have different deadlines. If I don’t help my older daughters with their workbooks or play with them while the baby’s asleep… well… it doesn’t end up happening. If I don’t clean the kitchen while my older daughters are helping and relatively happy to help then the opportunity might not come again until the kitchen is completely unusable.

For the first time in my life, I have very specific deadlines. The great thing about these deadlines for someone who procrastinates is that they’re unknown deadlines. When will the baby wake up? I don’t know! I’d better get busy playing, working, or cleaning while I can! When will my older girls become tired, hungry, or uncooperative? Nobody knows… least of all me, so I’d better get their help (they are very good helpers too!) and get the house in order before that happens!

Realizing this has made a huge difference in the quality of my life. I relax now after my kitchen is clean, not before, and it’s much more relaxing to relax in a clean house than a messy one! I wish I’d figured this out much sooner in my life… but better late than never.



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