My husband and I have done some work on home renovations and construction. Things always take longer than planned, so to make predictions on how long things would take when making the renovation timeline, we had a “reality factor of 3.” Multiply what you THINK the time will take by THREE, and that is how long it will actually take. You think dry walling will take 4 hours? Make that 12 hours.
I have learned that the same reality factor we used there applies to parenting as well. You think you are going to get out the door in 5 minutes? You better go ahead and plan for 15 minutes.
When I was first pregnant, I resigned from my job as a high school teacher, and I believed this would be my moment to tackle some personal goals. I would stay home with my newborn son, and I would learn a new language and maybe write some math books for children. I could pursue and accomplish awesome things. I wanted to be a super mom. People would wonder- how does she do it all?
Three and a half years later, I have not accomplished those two goals. I get to the end of the day and wonder what I even did all day.
There have been quite a few instances, or the like, where I have made it a day-long goal to just get the bathroom clean. The bathroom is spotty to say it mildly, and I NEED to clean it. Yet, at the end of the day, it is not. There have been days of tears asking myself, “Couldn’t you have JUST cleaned the bathroom?”
I made a pretty nerdy image of a combination function for how many hours in the day it takes to be a parent, sparked by the read “If SAHMs were paid, their salaries would be over $162K/yr”. Thanks, @StayatH08156265.
Basically, I just wanted to portray how complicated the day is with all of the parenting demands. It is not accurate, although I tried to make it roughly close. I would need a formula with many varying variables and scale factors, and obviously, no perfect formula could be made. My function is merely a visual of the complexity.
Whether you are a stay at home parent or a working parent, being a parent is THAT hard, and there is NEVER enough time in the day. The working parent goes to another place to work and then comes home to work on making their family the best they can. The stay at home parent works with their family to make them the best they can, and then they do that some more.
So, if you are kicking yourself at the end of the day because you had a goal to clean the bathroom, and it didn’t happen- don’t kick yourself. If you are wondering why on earth you swept the dirt into the corner with the intention to vacuum it up, and it is still there and now spreading itself back out- don’t wonder. Come to the realization as I have that this REALLY is the hardest job on earth as they say. The day was filled with doing other things that just happened to get done first. As long as you were doing those baby steps to try to get this clean, or play with your kids, or cuddle your kids, or improve the health of your family, or better your kids, or better the finances of your family…. you functioned as a parent, and that is THAT amazing.
This is not my intended post. I made a deadline for a business date night idea post last Friday. That didn’t happen. Am I kicking myself? No, because parenting is THAT hard. I may also mention that I started this 2 days ago, and I thought I could get it up in the middle of the day today. It is 10:30pm after spending about an hour getting my sick toddler and infant to sleep. I’m doing pretty good:).