Do Men Have Mental To Do Lists Too?

Or, Things I Ponder As I Vacuum Cat-Hair Tumbleweeds At 3 AM

Because sometimes I wonder how many of my brain cells are used up with remembering how to properly load the dishwasher so it won’t stop halfway through its cycle again, that the field trip permission slip is due tomorrow, that the electric bill should be paid if we don’t want to live in a historically accurate 17th-century theme park, that we need to get a present for that wedding on Saturday… And will I ever get those brain cells back? If my husband carried an equal share of our collective family mental to-do list, would I regain enough brain cells and mental energy to be a rocket scientist, or Beyoncé? Because, as I near as I can tell, I am the sole repository for the shared history, future plans, and current logistical and practical needs of The Family. And pretty much every mom I know is the same. It’s a never-ending ticker tape of strategic planning and mobilization, obligations, worries, speculations, and dreams. There’s a roadmap to crazy in there, and I can’t always turn it off. It just runs in a loop in the background while I go about my life, like Muzak for the (hmm, nearly, almost, can-see-it-from-here) middle-aged mom.

So basically what I’m saying is, my brain looks like this:

Mental To Do List Infographic

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know the guys worry too. They worry A LOT about money and jobs and such. It’s not really the worry I’m talking about. That’s universal, I think. It’s the ongoing playlist of who needs to be where and when and what do they need to bring and what needs to happen first to make that work and DEAR GOD HOW DO I MAKE ALL THE PIECES FIT INTO MY PUZZLE!? That really, as near as I can tell, seems to be a mom thing. Guys I know just seem to assume all those logistical details will fall into place somehow. And I guess they do. Does that make me an enabler? Ah well, I can’t be resentful, since my own dear spouse regularly works 70-hour weeks at his incredibly stressful yet also often mind-numbingly boring job, and never, ever takes a sick day, and still manages to coach basketball and T-ball and go to scout meetings and engage in epic video-game battles and get down on the floor to build Lego masterpieces with his kid.

As for me and my ticker tape of crazy, I make lists. Then more lists, and lists of lists. And because I’m old school like that, I put actual pen to actual paper. I’ve tried lots of online listy things and it just doesn’t quite scratch the itch for me.

If it so happens that you are a crazy list-maker/worrier/planner like me, here’s a free printable (blank!) version of my daily planner sheet to download. Hopefully it will help you stuff all your crazy life pieces into your own too-small puzzle.

Sewthegirl Daily Planner

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Once More, Into the Breach!

Boy Stuff

I was up until 1:30 am last night, then back at it at 6:00 this morning, feverishly sewing a Roman centurion costume for a school performance I only found out about 2 days ago. It’s a familiar story for most parents of school-age children, right? The cupcakes for the bake sale you’re told about at 7 am the day they’re due, the week-late forms found crumpled in the bottom of the backpack, coated in sticky remnants of snacks gone by. But you know what? It was so much fun! For once, we managed to get everything done on time, no one was crabby or overly critical or demanding. We scrounged up the components from stuff we already had around the house—a never-used, never-will-be-because-it’s-way-too-ugly-ugh-what-was-she-thinking-when-she-bought-me-that? belt; the handle from an old broom for the sword, with cardboard sword tip painted silver; sword’s sheath sewn with leather scraps leftover from a deconstructed coat.

As much as I love the precision of sewing, constructing an item with care and time, as much satisfaction as I get from (the rare instance of) sewing a perfect quarter-inch seam, nothing—I mean, nothing—comes close to the satisfaction of using my skills to make a slap-dash, better-than-it-should-have-been costume in a few hectic hours, sending the kid off to school with a hug and a grin, knowing that his unreasonable confidence that “My Mom can make that!” is, at least this time, true.

Stitch 1, Take 2

Desktop SurferOften in life there’s no way to it but through it. Let it be said: A first blog post is paralyzing. The white void of the blank page, the cursor blinking impatiently. Come on then, just do it! it says. And so I am.

Hello, Interwebs! Welcome to Sewthegirl. I’m just hanging out here on the corner of Responsibility and Creativity, doing a little sewing, a little crafting, and whatever else strikes my fancy, while trying to raise kids, take care of my family, juggle a day job, and maintain my sanity, one stitch at a time. So, what’s the next move? And did anybody bring a map?