Saturday, August 06, 2005

So, What Did You Do Today?

Back in the day, when I was working (read: outside the home), I would spend a portion of each evening reviewing my accomplishments of the day. I somehow found it soothing to tally up all the things I did.

So I'd be bathing the kids, thinking "Okay, today was pretty good. I read page proofs for five articles, wrote blurbs for the table of contents, checked the edited manuscript of an editor in training, attended two semi-productive meetings, smoothed the ruffled feathers of an irate author, and wrote about 30 e-mails." (Well, often it wasn't that streamlined a thought process -- I tidied it up for presentation purposes).

See, all eminently quantifiable, and quite satisfying for an inveterate list-maker like myself.

'Tain't so simple these days.

Now, I can look back at any given day and just grasp at the air in an attempt to cobble together a similar list of accomplishments. Other than the set-in-stone tasks (for example, "prepare, administer, and clean up after three full meals and two snacks, plus backup meals when original menu is spurned"), what is it that I do all day? Certainly not a lot of housework. The dust and clutter attest to that. Provide enriching activities for the kids? I try, but I could do a lot better. Referee toy disputes? Yes, but that particular task is the epitome of fruitlessness. My kids are young enough (and I'm lazy enough a parent) that I can't yet add "ferrying kids to and fro" to my list of daily accomplishments.

It's a struggle, sometimes, for me to see value in what I do -- the standard stay-at-home-mom's lament, I guess. And in the grand scheme of things, not a big deal. Thanks, though, for indulging me as I whine about it for a bit.