‘You’re so organised’ people often say to me.
‘Am I?’ I tend to reply. Wondering just how they have come to this conclusion.
For the most part I am the way I am because otherwise I would never survive running around after three children and trying to work in between if I didn’t have some kind of order in my life. So if having a six column calendar (one column each plus an extra one for birthdays), plus a timetable of clubs that the children do both during and after school and then additional reminders on my phone means I’m organised, then I guess I am.
But don’t judge me for it. Sometimes I feel like I’m 75% organised and 25% winging it. I get behind on the housework, we’re often running late for school and it is not uncommon for homework to be a last minute job. I don’t like living my life like that though. I’m not a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of girl, I’ll admit that. I need order in my life.
It can be a struggle if you’re that sort of person though, because it’s not just yourself who you are trying to keep in order. If I’m running around in the morning shouting, ‘will you just hurry up and get ready or we’ll be late for school,’ and I hear ‘just chill out mum, it doesn’t matter,’ I will immediately retaliate with a lecture about how it does matter. Tardiness is not acceptable in my book and I don’t want my kids to think that it is. Of course, it actually wouldn’t be the end of the world of we were a bit late for school, but that’s not the point.
I am still fully responsible (and therefore accountable) for everything that my children do, so I take this seriously. I have learned from past mistakes, such as sending my eldest daughter to school wearing her hair in a ponytail that had been in since the day before and then slept in, only to find out later that it was school photo day. That photo (which I bought the smallest and cheapest copy of) is a constant reminder of how incompetent I was on that day, hence the calendar and phone reminders from then on.
With all three of the children at the same school now, I struggle to remember what their classes are called (each year they change by both number and letter) and I would never be able to remember what clubs they do and when, from memory. I need to write these things down, for my own sanity. And besides, I have always been a fan of making lists. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I make lists of lists, to try and convince myself that I have tackled the jobs that are written on them. I’m also very good at shuffling paper and making my pile of ‘to do’s’ smaller by moving them to another place and pretending to myself that they are done. It all gets done in the end though, so there’s no harm in that, and as you may have gathered, ‘last minute’ is not in my vocabulary.
So I thank all those who do think I’m an organised person. I guess I am, though it is nice to have the vote of confidence from an outsider now and then. On the days when it feels as though everything is going wrong and everything is crumbling around me, I will have to remember that.