Overloaded With Your Parenting To-Do List?

parentingIt’s not one thing. It’s so many little things. So many parenting things to keep track of. So many things ever present in my brain. So many small actions I need to remember to take.

Depending on the day, we either have art class after school, or OT or intra-murals. Or nothing at all which means don’t go pick them up at school but meet them at the bus stop. Which day is it, bus day or car day? Make sure to throw some after school snacks in your purse. Afterwards it’s homework time. Did Madden bring a Book Adventure book home this week? Have we practiced all the spelling words, including the challenge words for Friday’s test? Does Jack need help typing out both of his papers? Oh and I need to make sure to write out a check for the Scholastic Book Fair and put it in her backpack.

It’s Thursday. The library books were due Monday. Good job, mom. Need to get that remedied. Also, I need to call to get my prescription filled.

We have a new dog, which means I have to think about the new dog. When’s the last time I took her out?  Who knows. Please stop peeing on the carpet, new dog! Speaking of the dog, I need to remember to give her the heart worm medicine — that’s on the 29th, right?  And I’ve got to fill out the application for the doggy daycare place so that she has somewhere to be on the days that I have to be gone all day at a meeting, or traveling. I’m responsible for her being taken care of if I have to be somewhere or go on a trip.

And the turtle. Jack has told me ten times we need more food for the turtle but that means I need to make a trip to PetSmart and who has time for that? Thank goodness our cat pretty much fends for himself, though I do need to fill his water bowl now that I think of it.

I need to remember to schedule flu shots for the kids. And also their annual pediatric appointments. It’s that time of year.

Did I put the dry cleaning out for pickup Wednesday morning? Yes. Remembered that. The bag was huge since I forgot last week.

I need to RSVP for that birthday party. Madden is so excited for the “spa” slumber party. I need to make sure to clip her toenails before the spa party, since they look like claws these days and the girls will probably give each other pedicures. And I need to get a present. Do seven-year-old girls like Minecraft as much as mine does?

I’m freaking out a little about how much October and November are packed with travel. I have four, and possibly five, trips. I’ve got to talk to my husband and the babysitter and make sure everyone is squared away on who is doing what on which days. I’m responsible for that. If everyone doesn’t show up in the right place at the right time it’s my fault.

It also falls under my purview to find things. Lost shoes or uniform belts or jump drives or cafeteria cards. Mom is supposed to know where everything is.

And then there’s my job. I have a speech tomorrow at the Type A Parent Conference and I have no idea what I’m going to wear. And I have to schedule the flight arrangements for the trip to DC.  And I’m way behind on email. And the agenda for the board retreat needs to get squared away ASAP.

We’re out of olive oil. And also paper towels I think. And I forgot to get one of the key ingredients for tonight’s dinner at the store last night. Oh well. Screw it. I’ll make it anyway.

Whether you’re a mom or dad, if you’re the stay-at-home parent or the work-out-of-home parent who is chiefly responsible for healthcare and after school activities and RSVPs and gift buying and homework completion and checks to the school and notes to the teacher and scheduling the babysitter, you know what I’m talking about. It’s never ending. There are so many parenting details. So many passwords and appointments to remember. I can’t fit it all in a mind that hit full capacity at least five years ago if not more.

I’m grateful to have a husband who is such an involved parent and 50/50 in terms of keeping our household, but if there’s one thing I think he doesn’t suffer from or struggle with it’s the brainmelt of having to remember and keep track of a thousand little things related to each kid. He doesn’t have to think about it, because he knows I will. I do. He doesn’t know which day the dog needs a heart worm pill, or which day the kids need to bring a swimsuit to school, or what time of year the kids need their annual pediatrician visit. He doesn’t know which major school projects are due this Friday or how to log in for the Book Adventure quizzes.

Sometimes I envy that. I wonder what it would be like to not feel like you’re always blowing it, late to something or forgetting something or showing up on the wrong day or racking up the library fines. Not to have that certain level of stress that comes with all these parenting details ever present in your brain.

Last night he came home from a three-day business trip and noticed there was wet (and probably now moldy) laundry sitting in the washing machine. How long has it been there, he asked?  I have no idea, I said. I’ve been a little busy.


Photo credit: © aleutie –

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