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Challenge: Stretched Too Thin

A working mom's typical busy Saturday

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“I’m going to take my mom to church today, any interest in going? We could go to the college hockey game after…”

“Not to church, no. honestly, I have way too much to do today.” I had just come home from kickboxing class. (I knew I was going to be busy and I wanted to be sure I'd made time for myself.)

“Like what?”

“Well, I have to take D to the eye doctor. Then we’re out of coffee and a bunch of other things so I am going to have to go to the supermarket. And I have a to-do list that’s a full page long and I don’t remember what’s on it. That’s why it’s on the list.”

*The list is what keeps me sane. I have numbered items, highlighted items, and boxed or circled items, and exclamation points in an effort to prioritize the list. That, and a two-month color-coded whiteboard calendar on the refrigerator.*

“Laundry, probably,” I continued.

“I’m going to strip the bed as soon as the dogs get up.”

“Laundry, definitely, then.” I knew my husband would stuff everything in the hamper and I’d probably end up doing four loads. “I’m not sure about the hockey game. Let me ask the kids.”


Of course it would have been nice to have a night out, but I had a ton of housework to do and all manner of other invisible (to everyone but me) chores. Yes, I work full-time, but since I telecommute, the bulk of the household responsibilities are mine, as they are most working moms.

On the way to the eye doctor, my son informed me he was working that night so he wouldn’t be able to go to the game. I made a mental note to text my youngest between hockey practice and his fundraising gig. (He was with his dad, which was how I’d been able to get to kickboxing and the eye doctor.)

When we returned home, I decided to cancel the future eye doctor appointments because I found out the doctor we saw no longer takes our vision insurance, but they’ll “try billing the visit to the medical insurance.” (Fortunately, my son didn’t need new glasses.)

What I did on Saturday afternoon:

  • Researched which eye doctors I can use
  • Washed, dried, and partially folded four loads of laundry
  • Washed a sink full of dishes
  • Tried to figure out how many tickets I need to buy online for a fundraiser (e.g., does it work with others’ schedules?)
  • Exchanged emails with school officials to try to sort out youngest’s term grades; Print a copy of the Gettysburg Address and format it for easier memorization
  • Signed youngest up for baseball
  • Renewed one of my domains
  • Corresponded with family and friend about upcoming business trip to see if we can squeeze in a visit (we can, on both ends, yay!)
  • Contacted family about visiting in FL, research potential flights
  • Logged receipts in my budget spreadsheets
  • Thought about what to send Oldest for his birthday at college
  • Let dogs in and out, repeatedly
  • Cleaned up suspicious substance from kitchen floor
  • Hand-wrote a card to a friend
  • Messaged with a former neighbor

After several hours, I decided to take a nap with one of the dogs in between loads of laundry. *If a nap is good for a tired and overwhelmed child, it's good for a busy working mom!*

Then I:

Reevaluated going grocery shopping because my husband texted me saying he took his mom out to eat.

  • Made a salad and called customer service to get a password reset on one of my financial accounts so I can download tax forms.
  • Started sewing my son’s sweatshirt that had needed repair for at least six weeks.
  • Delved into leftover work from the previous week.

My husband came home from dinner, so then I put off a bunch of things that are on the list but likely won’t get done until they’re urgent, including finishing cleaning up the Christmas decorations and trying on business clothes, both of which involve the attic and it’s cold up there.

Everyone had to get up early Sunday, so it didn’t make sense to stay out late anyway.

I left my work teed up for Sunday afternoon and finished sewing the sweatshirt while my husband and I watched Netflix.

*Working moms can do it all, we just can't do it all at once!*

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