The Time Traveler’s Laundress

I have now been a stay at home mother/blogger/writer type person for close to four weeks. Time flies!

No, seriously. It flies.

When I was working as a thankless public servant, I imagined that my days at home would go like this:

I would wake up before the children feeling refreshed. The cardinals outside our window would sing to me while I made coffee and I would reflect on the wonder of nature. Then, I would have coffee and contemplate world peace because I would no longer have the worries associated with my job. Then, I would get the children ready for school and shower before dropping them off. After returning home, I would do laundry, make muffins, prepare a hearty and healthy dinner that could be warmed up in the evening, write several blog posts, and work on my manuscript. Then, I would pick up the children and go through our usual routine before tucking them into bed and spending the rest of the evening with my leisure pursuits. In fact, I imagined I might pick up some new hobbies–”I’ll really learn to knit,” I thought. “I’ll organize our recipes!”, I exclaimed. “I’ll load our CD’s into iTunes!” I declared.

Things have not turned out quite as I had imagined.

Week 1: I didn’t manage to shower before dropping the kids off. Not even once. It took me the entire week to do the laundry, fold it and put it away. On Friday, the kids were pulling pants out of the laundry basket to wear to school. I made muffins and then had to mop the floor after dropping said muffins on the floor. There was a night I served quesadillas–just like old times. I wrote blog posts late at night like usual and didn’t work on my manuscript at all.

Week 2: Afternoon showers are totally fine! Laundry only took me four days! I made scones and did not drop any on the floor and I managed to prepare hearty and healthy meals. I still didn’t do any writing and slid all of my posts in right under the deadlines.

Week 3: Thanksgiving Week! The kids were home all week and got nothing done. Nothing. Well, I did shower.

Week 4: This week is just beginning but today I went out for coffee with a friend, attended a webinar, and wrote a blog post. That’s all I did in 7 hours! How is that even possible?!

What evil is at work here? Where does the time go? Why am I writing this post at 11 p.m. the night before it is due? Will I ever get to that manuscript? Will I ever learn to manage my time?

Please tell me I will. Please.

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About Vikki

Vikki is a bored social worker by day and a mom/writer/pop culture junkie by night. She writes about GLBT issues and parenting at her personal blog Up Popped A Fox and her writing has also appeared at Grace the Spot and Autostraddle. She also has an inexplicable fascination with marshmallow Peeps. Don't ask.


  1. Megan says:

    Whilst reading your description of what you imagined your days to be, I kept thinking of Snow White or Cinderella. By the way, you don’t look good with a ribbon in your hair. Just sayin’.

    You’re still in transition. It will take a while to find a workable routine. Try changing just one thing (waking up earlier or showering as soon as you get up) at a time, and when it’s a habit, add the next thing.

    Or hire someone to do the laundry. How old are your kids? I was doing laundry at like nine.

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  2. Vikki says:

    I obviously pictured myself as Cinderella too.

    This is good advice. I’ll start with showering.

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  3. Betty T says:

    My command to you: cut yourself lots of slack till the kids go back to school in Jan after winter break. Then, get crackin’

  4. Ethan says:

    I agree with Betty. Also, having someone else to hold me accountable is important for my motivation. I can shame you at a certain time of the day, if you’d like!

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  5. Laurie says:

    Hey, you vlogged. Brava.

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  6. I too imagined a utopia where birds would sing to me and animals would come to my window… not even close.

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  7. Sheeps Eating Me says:

    This was pretty much my experience as a grad student too. I had this image I would get all my schoolwork done, plus the laundry and dinner, before the kids got home from school. I’m pretty sure that happened twice. Well, okay, once.

    Sticker charts: they’re not just for children any more.

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  8. Alexandra says:

    I remember being shocked, too. I quit working when Alec was 3 months old b/c his asthma was so bad and I couldn’t leave him anywhere with anyone. I thought VACATION! LIKE FOREVER!

    Holy wow but the days were like minutes.

    MINUTES, I tell you . How does that work? You get more of something and it feels liek less?????

    Have not figured it out yet, Vikki, and it’s going on my 18th winter.

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