Staying Sane: Just make a list and bang it out

For those that are following this blog, you know that I have more on my plate now than 1) working; and 2) being a mother.   I’ve also got 3) a move; 4) a divorce; and 5) child custody efforts.   I separate # 5 from #4 because dealing with the kids, their emotions, and the thought of these descisions into the future are soooooooooooooooo critical; money and things can be replaced (e.g., divorce); but the relationships and the safety net you provide to your children are just too important to overlook.  So I need to give that the special focus it deserves.

Anyway, the topic of this post.   How to manage all of the things going on right now…. how to keep it together without falling to pieces or feeling like a deer in headlights.  Well, I do feel like that sometimes.  But then my Type A personality kicks in and I just hunker down, focus, make my lists, and bang them out.   You can probably tell that I am a big “list maker” just by the way that I write.  Most of the time, I do this work at night.  After the kids go to sleep.   And online.   I cut corners and probably sacrifice cost to save me time.  I do not have time to bargain-shop when I have so much to get finished.

For example, in the last say 2 weeks, I’ve had to:

  • buy a minivan
  • sell a car
  • start my move
  • buy two bedroom sets for two rooms for the four children (and put together said furniture….)
  • buy a refrigerator
  • buy a washer / dryer
  • buy a kitchen set
  • buy a livingroom set
  • buy a shed
  • organize a fence/handrail installation
  • deal with court deadlines and paperwork deadlines
  • deal with a summer custody schedule that is ambiguous in some of its language
  • deal with back and forth between lawyers on said ambuiguity
  • fight with lawyer/ terminate relationship with said lawyer on dealings with said ambuiguity
  • lead a selling webinar for a forum at work that we are trying to launch
  • finish a client project and complete a Final Deliverable for our client
  • weed, weed, weed, weed, weed the grounds of the new house; I mowed a lawn for the very first time ever
  • buy things I never imagined I would ever own (e.g., electric drill) at Home Depot – make multiple trips to home depot
  • Start to think about financial mediation and then put that on backburner

I am not saying that I am super human.  I am not.  And I am floundering in many of the above.   But what I am trying to do is compartmentalize the aspects of my life that require ACTION.  And also figure out which of the items NEED to get done IMMEDIATELY versus which can wait a bit.  Which involve 3rd parties?  Which have deadlines?  Which do I need to work together with someone else versus what can I do on my own?  What can be accomplished at night, on-line, and executed through on-line shopping and delivery to my house?    Are there people who can help me (and YES there are and YES I take the help when offered, with MUCH appreciation).

And all along all of this is focusing also on my kids.  This must be hard for them.  This must be confusing for them.  But they are troopers and handling it very well – better than I expected.  I guess having four children is great in that they help each other… they look out for each other… they are a bit stronger I suppose than children of smaller families.

And in the list there is the recurring theme of getting the house ready.  Inside and out.   And I find great pleasure in the outside work.  Mowing the lawn.  Weeding.  I joke about all of the weeds but I think it therapeutic for me to actually do it.   I find that attacking that earth in the early morning before it gets too hot is the best time.  It is quiet.  And I fill up those wheelbarrels and I have time to think about my to-do’s… or not.   And many times I have helpers and workers (AKA the kids) and also friends and neighbors.   THANK YOU EVERYONE.

So… the things left to do…

  • hire someone for fence/railings [NEED TO DO SOON]
  • put shed together [OUTSOURCE… FIND SOMEONE TO DO IT]
  • hire another lawyer [backburner for now….]
  • complete the move
  • get internet set up [installation set….]
  • get washer/dryer, furniture delivered in one piece [delivery dates set… ]
  • organize kitchen [Mom to help]
  • focus on getting some work done at the day job

Have a great week!

– Mama K


  1. Good luck with that list! I went through a nasty divorce 5 years ago and it felt like a whirlwind … and it does get better and slows down 🙂

    • YOU ARE SO RIGHT! I’m feeling so much better now, even a few months later (sorry for the late reply). I’m feeling like I’m in my own skin again. I am able to be me again. This is not how I wanted things to turn out but I am so much happier. It is taking a long time (and we’re still not through it all yet) but honestly I am able to breath and smile and look up to the sky and feel the sun on my skin. A new beginning. Thank you for reaching out!

      • Good to hear things are getting better! I know how it feels when your world turns upside. It probably took me over a year to finally get out of the fog and start moving forward. Good luck and I’ll keep following along on your journey 🙂

      • Heading on a date tonight! My second in one week – two different guys! I’m really happy right now, for now at least. Still a bit of an up and down ride, especially when it comes to the kids, but they seem to be adjusting well (I wish my bank account would though, ugggh). Thanks for the continued support and feedback. I really appreciate someone rooting for me!!!

      • penneyfox says:

        Hope it went well 🙂
        And I’m with you about the bank account. It took me awhile to get use to being a one-income household. As far as the kids go, it seems that they get use to the new routine but then every now and then, something hits them. My son has his moments where he gets tired of going and back and forth.

  2. Best of luck tackling those lists. One at a time.

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