MOST people crave sugary foods or maybe a glass of wine at the end of a long week. I do occasionally crave those things too, I’m only human, but I will tell you the main thing I crave is not a thing, it’s a state of being - to be organised.
Despite my best efforts, it feels like I spend my days chasing my tail, rushing and racing, apologising for being late but then I think maybe we are all busy, busy, busy now?
I entered the pandemic with only one child in school, another one had just started, and I emerged from the pandemic with three in school. There was a real shock to the system with the onslaught of activities and all the balancing that goes with a firmly imbedded desire to make sure the girls get the opportunity to try everything their little heart’s desire.
I didn’t see the chaos coming, one year I threw out a calendar that was void of activities, appointments and holidays for months on end and this year already we are squeezing engagements into every corner on the page, and trying not to double book things is a daily WhatsApp check between my husband and I, despite the detailed calendar notes.
The days are busy, the weeks are busy and the months are busy, I try and carve out a few hours to do my own things but they are often gobbled up by athletics meetings or work dinners. Outside that, the entire day is handed over to food prep and cleaning, work, school runs, activities, homework and bedtimes, cycled through at a breakneck speed.
Although, don’t get me wrong, it is truly wonderful, I don’t think any one of us will complain for a long time to come about rushing and racing and washing lunchboxes.
Anyway, away from busy and back to being organised. I am not organised by my very nature, if I cast my mind back to my childhood I have numerous vivid memories of my mother constantly chasing me to clean my room. My sister would come home from school and immediately disappear into her room to do her homework while I would put it off until the bitter end. Perhaps I am a disorganised procrastinator. That is not a great set of traits for a mother of four believe me.
However, I have come to realise that, realistically, we may always exist in some level of chaos despite my best intentions.
We have an active family of four children, a dog, a mother who wants a bit of head space in the day to exercise, a husband who similarly craves said head space, and between the two of us, we can’t seem to say no to helping out at things. I’m beginning to see why opposites should attract, it’s called balance!
Presumably, you’re not here to read about how busy I am because we are all busy these days. I can confidently say that there are some aspects of the day I have gotten on top of in terms of creating a smooth few hours in the day. Dinner ordinarily occurs sandwiched between activities so I have worked on creating a selection of dinners that I can make early in the day. A heavy bottomed casserole dish and a slow cooker are the tools of my trade now, and I shall have you know that a dinner left stewing all day is a very nice dinner indeed.
The other area that trips me up is having all the gear organised – there is nothing more frustrating than looking for shin guards, goggles, spikes or jodhpurs at the eleventh hour, it’s hard enough find four pairs of matching shoes at times. And don’t get me started on socks. I have several canvas bags I keep downstairs, all labelled in neon lettering with captions like ‘Lucy’s Swimming Gear’ and ‘Cara’s Horse Riding Gear’ to cut out any and all confusion. The bits that need washing go straight from the kit bag to the wash and back again. If anything goes upstairs it disappears into a vortex I have little control over. This is a new organisational venture but so far it is working well. It’s not much but every little helps, now I should probably go out and take in the load of washing I did eventually put out when I had exhausted Instagram for, eh, tips!