The Amazing One-Armed Woman

I’m constantly amazed at what I don’t get done. At the end of the day, I look around, exhausted, and think “I know I did something today! I remember cleaning up and doing the dishes!” But, it’s all gone. By the end of the day, everything is undone.

When I was a full-time journalist, I saw results. Every day- at 5:00pm- there was my day’s work. All tidied up in one half an hour newscast. And, when it was over, it was over. Sure, I screwed up sometimes. Misspell a public official’s name and you never hear the end of it! Nonetheless, when it was done, it was done. Now, it’s never done. And I’m starting to figure out why.

Enter the rule of Paula Abdul: Two steps forward and two steps back. For everything I clean, there’s an army of children around with one mission: Dirty everything! I can sweep. They come in with snow boots on, dragging with them all the scuz from the street. I put the dishes in the dishwasher. They want a snack. I clean the bathroom. They try out their new Sponge Bob Squarepants toothpaste dispenser, leaving behind a trail of green paste all over the counter. And so it goes, all… day… long.

Beyond Paula Abdul, I have another challenge. I’m trying to do everything while tending to a one year old. True, there are times when he gets fascinated with a toy and I have a few spare moments to rush and clean whatever I can, as fast as I can. But, most often, I’m doing my chores with him in my arms. And yet, I know it can be done.

When I was about 12, my next door neighbors moved away and we got new neighbors: a married couple. The wife had only one hand. She had a hook for the other. I never did ask, though I was curious, as to what happened. It was none of my business. A few years later, after we’d moved away, she had a baby. I’m amazed at what she must have been able to accomplish with just one hand.

With the inspiration of such a mom, I’m trying to banish the idea of “can’t” from my mind. Earlier today, I hefted the vacuum up the stairs in my left hand while I carried my baby in my right arm. Yes, there are limitations. Yesterday, I stopped short of lifting the Christmas tree box back onto the shelf in the garage. (Don’t judge. I know it’s February.) That’s what husbands are for! Or nap time. Without nap time, when would I ever write this blog?!

Short of growing another hand or pappoosing the baby 24/7- how do you ladies get your work done?


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