Just the other day I wrote this blog post about the 21 point checklist I produced at the weekend. The aim of this document was to provide my family with a guide. It would not result in domestic bliss, but, if followed on a Sunday evening we would start the next week with the minimum of fuss and stress.
The most important statement in the entire blog post, however, was this; “Having written this thing, I then took a step back and read it. I realised that, with the exception of two items, I do everything on the list every evening.” Although I had intended to provide a schedule of tasks to follow every Sunday, it was in fact relevant Sunday through to Thursday.
Why am I rambling on about this list? What is this nonsense all about?
Well, I spent Tuesday up in Skipton in North Yorkshire. It was one of those rare occasions where I was away from my family from early morning until 9pm. Under the circumstances my wife had collected the kids from childcare and put them to bed.
Having only just written my 21 point list, I felt it was a bit unfair to request it be followed in my absence. After all, I knew I would be back at 9pm, I would have plenty of time to prepare anything my wife hadn’t.
I must have been in an exceedingly good mood on Tuesday. When I left the house I said; “Don’t worry about giving the kids a bath tonight, I can do it in the morning.”
That had been the idea. What I hadn’t accounted for was the fact my wife’s tube line went into meltdown so she’d had a really stressful journey and arrived home later than planned. Then the kids had played up. When I walked through the door at 9pm, she went straight to bed.
I’d had a long day myself. I took a brief look around, figured things couldn’t be that bad and went to be myself.
That was such a stupid thing for me to do. When I woke the next day, there was no food for breakfast and key ingredients for my wife’s lunchtime salad were missing. The only way to remedy this situation was to throw on some clothes and head out to the 24 hour petrol station (…at 5.15am).
My daughter’s school shoes were missing, the lid to her drink’s bottle was missing, the containers for her packed lunch were AWOL, as was my wife’s lunch box. There wasn’t enough clean crockery or cutlery and we had no coffee. The next hour was tense as I worked my way through the 21 point list and dragged this family back into an acceptable domestic state.
By this point the children were awake. This wasn’t so bad as it meant I could give them breakfast. Then I remembered that they needed a bath and had to persuade them to eat quickly so I could squeeze one in.
What was the ultimate result of all this? Ironically we ended up at the school gates 20 minutes earlier than usual and had picked up a parcel from the local sorting office along the way.
Yes, I succeeded. Nonetheless it had been very stressful and before leaving for work my wife made it quite clear I was charging round the house like a rampaging bull as fulfilled my quest to bring domestic harmony to this household.
It may be possible to get everything ready for the day ahead on the day itself, but I hate doing things that way. Please, just give me my list and let me quietly work my through it.
Pic credit: W Magazine.