Before I had children my need to be organised mostly revolved around gettng to pre-arranged meetings or appointments on time. I was pretty good – checking travel times and making sure I would have the time I needed to prepare in advance. Other than that there wasn’t a huge call to be super-organised. Oh how times have changed!
This week EJ turned one and I realised that, although I had sent out a general invitation for a party ‘of sorts’ on a specific date, I hadn’t thought to plan ahead with food, party bags, activities or indeed EJ’s main present. This has led to last minute panic shopping online and succumbing to a few inflated delivery charges.
On a day to day basis I have learnt that the best way to cope with juggling everyone’s needs is to run things like a military operation. Second guessing and thinking ahead are everything and I’m rapidly becoming an expert. For example, I know that the kids hit a hunger/tiredness meltdown between 5 and 6pm, so knowing exactly what they will be eating, how long it will take to cook and minimising the last minute preparation so that I can give them as much of my attention as I can manage are crucial.
This is probably why the bedtime hours of my work days are the most organised of all. I can’t be there during the day to manage their snacking or make sure they have rested or napped at the appropriate times so we often have a meltdown anyway, but at least I have some semblance of a plan to cling to.
This last thought leads me to the conclusion that having children has turned me into a control freak. Or maybe I was always a control freak but I just didn’t have anything to control before! At any rate I look forward to the day when I can let someone wrench some of this uptight control freakery out of my clenched, white-knuckled fists – at which point I will breathe a loooooong sigh of relief and flop!