A few years ago, I declared that my new motto was “Praise God and cut corners.” Pretty good, eh? Although these days I’m only managing about a 50% success rate (guess which half).
My poor husband has been working long, long hours as he covers a murder trial, and we have four kids at home, three in one school, and one in another, and I somehow scheduled four doctor’s visits, two dentist and one orthodontist visit, and two parent-teacher meetings this week. And I scored a writing gig from a -gasp- secular website!
Whine, whine, whine. Don’t hate me, mothers who hold down full-time jobs, or military wives. I am just not used to being this busy! I’m spending three hours or more in the car every day, and the other things that I Absolutely Have To Do just get crammed in during the brief visits we make to our actual house.
So it’s either make a lifestyle change involving a plane ticket to the Yucatan Peninsula and a forged death certificate . . . or cut corners. Here’s how:
1. Gotta read to the kids? Children’s books are horribly repetitious. Yeah, yeah, it’s good for their brain development, it makes them feel secure, whatever. Just cut out all that dead wood, and you get to the end a lot faster. Try this:
“Would you eat them
in a box?
Would you eat them
with a fox?”
In the dark?
Here in the dark!
Would you, could you, in the dark?”
2. Gotta feed them? Try making all the meals at once. At lunch time, try to be also cooking supper, baking a treat for the classroom, toasting some granola for the upcoming hike, and packing tomorrow’s lunches, while making a shopping list of high-protein breakfast foods to alleviate that “Your child weeps her way through math every day” problem. By the time you’re ready to dish up, the kids will be so disoriented, they won’t even realize that you’ve weaned them down to two meals a day.
3. Gotta teach some school? Take a leaf from the educational fad of my childhood: it’s called “spiral education” and it means you only actually have to teach them something every three years or so. The rest of it is “enrichment through incremental exposure,” which is educatorese for “endless reveiw.” Like this: “Look, everyone, a cloud! You remember clouds! Who can tell me about clouds?” They’re certainly not learning anything, but this type of conversation will give them that same nervous, alert feeling that signals True Education.
4. Gotta get some time alone with your husband? Try the “surprise reward” strategy: “You know, I’ve been watching you, and you guys did SUCH A GOOD JOB with that, that thing you were doing today that Daddy and I think you deserve a movie. A nice, lo-o-o-ong movie.”
5. Gotta write? Try this handy phrase: “Several of my readers have requested [or would, if I asked them to] a re-run of a very popular post from a few years ago, so here it is.”
6. Gotta pray? Remember that God is very, very smart, and can figure out what you mean by, “Hello! The thing! And all. Would You? I need! Amen.”
7. Gotta finish seven quick takes? New rule: six is the new seven.
Conversion Diary! Linky! List! Skip pic! Done.