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« Perinatology Visit #409983 | Main | major decisions »

July 02, 2007


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awww, if I was closer I would come and help out. I'm a good cleaner and organizer of other's people stuff. ;)


Oh and you are NOT a wimp. Everything else is just being a bully and overbearing.


oh you sound exactly like me. Clutter and disorganization drives me totally nuts and completely stresses me out. I can't relax if my house is not tidy. and I am completely obsessed with getting this place in order before these babies come.Here's how I have approached it:We have a master list of 'house projects'. In excel (yeah, really). I have prioritized this list - assigned a priority to each item. things marked priority 0 are things that absolutely need to get done before the babies. Priority 5 are things that I'd really, really like to get done before the babies, but I might survive if they don't get done. Then we have priority 10, 20,etc. - you get the idea. I have a column for estimated cost for things that we'll have to pay for, and a column for notes or more detail.J and I have gone over this list occasionally, and we often change priorities as we rethink things. I keep a current copy of it printed out on the counter. Then basically every week we make a to-do list for the week. This includes selecting a few things off the project list, plus other misc stuff that needs to be done around the house but hasn't quite made the project list (chores like shopping, cleaners, etc.). And then we both work off that list, agree oh who's taking what (basically he does the big stuff, I do the lower impact stuff). We cross things off as we go, and add/subtract things.I know it all sounds very anal. But it's really working for us. We're slowly but surely getting the work done. I feel better because I see that we're making progress as we cross off the list - even though there's still a lot to do - it lets me see progress, which helps with the mental state. It takes the emotion out of it - I don't have to feel like I'm nagging him to get stuff done, and he at least knows that there aren't any surprises and he knows what my expectations are and what's important to me. It's in black and white on the list, and he has the right to re-organize the list if he things should be prioritized differently. It really, really minimizes the meltdowns and arguments.Good luck!!

Rachel Inbar

You've described it so well :-) Just take care of yourself. Everything else can wait.


WOW, I'm tired just reading that and I'm not even pregnant!


from what I read, you're a talented consultant, mother and planner (not in that order). you just need a little help.I'm assuming your shul has a sisterhood, or some group of women who help out with illness, deaths, births, etc? call them!you are extremely capable, and making this phone call might be difficult, but, please, do it. I'm betting there are people in your life who'd love to help.thinking of you,a lurker from cambridge


Oh my god, you're me! I have an Excel spreadsheet for EVERYTHING - seriously, i drive my husband BATTY with the reasons I have for creating new and amazing spreadsheets! Unfortunately, with this infertility thing, I've fallen to where you are - I can't make anything come together, it's too hard, so I don't:-)One thing I can help you with however, is a list for babies if you need one? One of my very fertile friends gave me a list of stuff to buy for when I'd need it. I'll share if you want.

Changing Expectations

I hate disorganization also. But in this case, try to not stress it. Carol's idea sounds great. Would that work for you?Take care of yourself! I am thinking about you.


Can I borrow your handicapped pass? Yep I am a bad person and just asked. If you need me I only live a hop skip away. You need help! HUGS! DON'T OVER DO IT you crazy woman.


I'm so sorry you were so upset yesterday. It is totally understandable. Once again, though, I note how aware you are of your feelings.It seems the level of panic might have been a bit exacerbated by the need to both sleep and eat, possibly also by the heat or by thirst. Maybe in the future make sure to check in with yourself about those things when you feel overwhelmed. (I am NOT saying you didn't have reason to feel overwhelmed.)It's great that you got the parking tag! Call yourself a wimp if that self-deprication helps you feel better, but be sure to use the tag and to not overdo things.I hope the Ampicillin finally clears up the UTI. Four times a day is difficult, but, let's see: upon waking, during your lunch break, upon getting home, and while preparing for bed. You can set an alarm to remind you on the days you are home. A pill organizer might help. You could task your husband with setting out your doses.I bet your pharmacist husband could also obtain for you a reaching aid, one of those extending, gripping tools that is used to help reach and pick up things.Depending on your foster son's personality, you might be able to convince him to practice putting away one toy before starting the next one. And yes, definitely reinstate his doing cleanup as part of his nighttime ritual.Advertise that you have the dressers and nightstand available for someone who wants to come take them. Have your husband add to his list to empty out his items. If worse comes to worse and someone wants to come get them before your husband does this, his items can go in boxes.You might not want to remove the second bed from the guest room, because it might be helpful for you and your husband and any other caretaking adults to have it right there in the babies' room, if there will be space for it.It sounds like it would be helpful for someone to come and be a physical stand-in for you, someone who won't mind being ordered about and micromanaged, someone you can simply instruct to bring things here and move boxes over there, and such; instead of you deciding what to do and doing it, you decide what to do, but the other person physically does it.It also sounds like you need someone who understands your style of working with lists to come help you make the list you are having trouble making, preferably someone who has been in the same situation of needing to get ready for babies. For now, at least, put things as you think of them on the list, including everything you mention in this post, and you can organize and figure out where to start when you are able to.Before you decide on saving space by getting rid of something like a piano, realize that you will only need space for changing tables and strollers for a few years, and weigh that against getting rid of something you don't currently use but might like to keep in the long run.Maybe I'm just reading into this, but it seems as if you were able to feel calmer once you brought your husband into the loop; once he offered to come in, you were able to do a few tasks and then rest. And once he came home and began to work on tasks himself, you were able to do more tasks, both independently and with him. So perhaps you and your husband will agree that when you feel like you are about to have a panic attack, you are not to worry about "unloading on your poor husband," but rather you are to share your feelings with him to diffuse the pressure; whether he is home with you and can help or he is simply talking with you by phone about what's on your mind or while you are working on a task, you then will have him sharing the burden of how you are feeling and working on the tasks to some extent or another with you, reminding you that you are not in this alone, and you might feel better.All in all, you did get tasks done, so maybe you have to admit defeat with respect to the pantry, but not in general.I'm sorry this is so long. I have so many ideas and thoughts and want to share them because I really wish I knew you in real life and lived near you and could come help!

Truck Driver Wife

Take it easy child. Ya need a break and for once, let it go. Everything will not do it on it's own, but those babies need their mamma and J and hubs need you too.


Enjoy that parking tag!


Try to take it easy. I totally feel you on the clutter/disorganization. I wish I lived nearby so I could be of some real help.


I HEAR YOU!!!!I've just spent four months on the couch with morning sickness, and every. single. day. I was driven mad by junk all over the place. And like you, our house wasn't all that bad, it was just that I couldn't change any of it.


My goodness, I am exhausted after just reading your post. I am a rabid, insane list maker too. I have been guilty of making lists of lists as well, I totally get what you are saying.I think the reason you are so overwhelmed by it right now is that even if you could muster up the physical energy and mental stamina to compose the list, it would be difficult to get it done because YOU couldn't do any of it. I have a hard time making lists for other people, an easy time making lists for myself.I *do* live close to you, so let me know what I can do to help. Heck, we could have the next DC Metro gathering at your house -- not for margaritas and pedicures, but to tackle the To Do list. I'm serious!

In and Out of Luck

I'm tired too, reading it! And yes - you deserve that disabled sticker. Of course you're not disabled per se, in the sense of permanent disability, we know that, but the body can only take so much! And thank you so much for visiting me, your comments really helped and gave me a lot of encouragement.


Leah makes a good point, that it might be difficult to organize a list knowing that much of what will be on the list is currently not easily tackled by you.I cried when I read Leah's subsequent suggestion. If you are the kind of person who can handle having a bunch of people over helping you at once, DO IT!

The Town Criers

And if you don't get to it, you don't get to it. And it will continue to stress you out, yes, but it will be for a finite amount of time (and I have to admit that I just realized that there were a few things that never got back into the cupboard after Pesach yet again...). There will again be a day when you will be able to lift and have the time to get stuff done. It may not be today or even this year. Or next year, come to think of it. But it will come. And in the meantime, no one is going to judge because you are growing (or soon raising) 4 kids--three of them newborns.

mother in israel

You are cooking three babies!!! That is a lot. How could you go the whole day without eating? Your day should look something like this: Bathroom, eat, bathroom, sleep. When I was pregnant with my sixth, I had a friend who cooked for me every Shabbat for the final five or six weeks. On Thursday, she would call and tell me what she was planning to bring. I gratefully accepted this generosity. Don't hesitate to ask for and accept help.

mother in israel

Let me say that again:Bathroom, eat, bathroom, sleep, repeat.

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