But I often wonder if someone took a peek inside my mind, would they think I’m totally mad?
Take for instance this week.
- Our dryer went out, which is catastrophic with an active family of five. Must research new dryers, comparison shop, find time to buy and then coordinate delivery.
- I have a slightly crazy project going on at work – and things are simply not falling into place. Must alert boss. Must pass along screen shots. Must get legal counsel to approve copy.
- My daughter was sick, so I needed to remember to give her the twice-a-day antibiotic treatment.
- Summer is months away. Must decide on vacation plans, research, book trip.
- Oh yeah, my son needs me to fill out some items for cub scouts.
- Wait, did I remember to bring in a dessert for the going-away party for our departing work colleague.
- Crap, when was the last time we vacuumed this house?
I could go on and on.
And then I started thinking about the post I wrote last week, trying to hang with the boys in the office, specifically the ones who have stay-at-home-wives.
I received several interesting comments, but one really stuck with me from fellow blogger Savvy Working Gal. She wrote about a recent moment in her life when her husband ended up being laid-off from his job, and as a result he started handling the household chores while she continued to work. He did the errands, made the meals, took care of the general management of the home.
She in turn reported, “Not having to think about these things freed up my brain power to focus more at work and get more done. So yes, the men at your office do have a clear advantage. They not only have more time to work, their minds are clearer, allowing them to focus more on work.”
Now I have to say my husband does handle a great deal. He makes the kids’ lunches, shuttles them around in the afternoon, keeps the endless stream of laundry moving.
But I do tend to handle the scheduling, financing, tax prep, filling out forms for the kids, organizing outgrown clothes, RSVPs to parties, meal planning and beyond.
In Liz O’Donnell’s Mogul, Mom & Maid, she refers to this work as the “invisible task list.” So while couples who are really trying to split the housework 50-50 may think they are succeeding, both men and women might forget to capture all of these “invisible tasks.”
To be honest, I’m not sure if I just tend to take on the “invisible task list” because I function like a Type-A planner, or if it’s because I’m the wife/mom.
What I do know, is that my mind is always streaming an insane to-do list.
Does this necessarily translate into being “not as effective at work?” I don’t know.
I do know I’ve grown to become very efficient with my time and “roll with the punches.” While work might consume some individuals, motherhood has given me perspective. I’m used to dealing with unplanned events and tantrums and setbacks, which actually makes me a pretty stable force – at home and in the office.
Still, this “invisible task list” can be all-consuming. It might be time to re-negotiate with the mister.
Who handles your “invisible task list” at home?