I like to think that I have strong life skills. I like to think that I am a survivor, a conqueror, and an overall go-getter in life. However, there are days when I step into my house, survey the situation that is my entirely unorganized home and question all my life skills while wondering how I was ever authorized to run a household.
Household and general life organization has never been my strong suit. In fact, it is probably my weakest suits of all my suits. At the workplace, however, somehow it is a different story. My offices and desks were always extremely organized, my computer work files were layed out so intuitively Curious George could navigate them, and barring the several coffee cups that would somehow proliferate in my work area, for years no one ever knew my dirty little unorganized secret …
That is until I had a child.
You see with a child, you always have to be organized and prepared. Preparedness wards off disasters. You must be prepared. And up until this point in my life I was able to skirt by with just some minor infractions as a direct result of my my tendency to be unorganized. (You know, like an occasional missed flight, lost keys, a lost parked car, unmatching socks, a boarding pass flushed down the toilet on accident, a phone flushed down the toilet also by accident, a perpetually lost phone, a dropped wallet in a parking lot, an expired drivers license etc.). But, when a child came along, organization became paramount to survival and sanity. So, I stepped up to the plate and upped my game and somehow we got through the infant years with no major disasters.
But lately, something has gone back to being seriously awry with my household organization skills. Is it too late to blame y2k?
A couple of weeks ago, I was taking my daughter to swim lessons and of course we were running a few minutes behind. So, I grabbed her swim bag and searching high and low, went to look for her swim towel. After several excruciating minutes, it finally came to me that I wasn’t going to find a swim towel in the several piles of unfolded laundry located in various rooms of the house. Then, I couldn’t find my shoes. Then, I couldn’t find my daughter’s shoes. Then, I couldn’t find my purse. Now, we were really late.
So, I just tossed whatever I could find in the car and off we went hoping a magical towel would somehow appear at the end of the lesson. But as you can imagine, a magic towel did not appear and there I was staring at my shivering child, realizing I had absolutely nothing to dry her. But my inner Macgyver noticed a napkin in my purse which I used to wrap up a cookie that I would later use for bribing purposes (I mean, seriously, aren’t I an excellent parent?), and I took said napkin and dried her tiny body off. Then, to my delight I found fresh, dry clothes in my bag and quietly thanked God that somehow I had the foresight to at least pack dry clothes.
Celebrating my ingenuity and success, I completely forgot about the dreaded towel incident. Unfortunately, my daughter did not. As we arrived home, she ran to my husband and like a tiny little spy told him flat out “Mommy forgot my towel and used a dirty napkin to dry me.” To which he looked looked at me slowly and repeated “You dried her off with a dirty napkin?”
It was a low point for me. Yes, I did. I dried my daughter off with a crumb infested napkin. And sadly, dear husband, I can’t promise it won’t be the last time.
You see, I have come to own my unorganization. I have gotten better in some areas, but for the most part trying to be organized exhausts me on every level. I like flying by the seat of my pants, and I thrive in chaos. Yes, I may have a mountain of unfolded laundry at every given moment worthy of an elevation number, I will lose my car in the parking lot once a month, and you would be lucky to find two matching socks in my sock drawer or a swim towel at a moment’s notice. But, at the end of the day, my goal this year as a mom is to own my strengths and my weaknesses, improve where I can, and throw in the swim towel where I can’t.