Work Expands

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For some reason I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Parkinson’s Law, which says that work expands to fill the time you have for it.

I think we can all relate to that.

Though my work tends to expand to the point of overflow, my ideas expand well beyond my ability to capture them and my frustration rises as I think about how much more I could be getting done if only I had more time.

(I wish I could just throw some of my ideas out to the world and have someone else run with them, so at least they wouldn’t go to waste. Here’s one: a blog about food you can cook — and eat! — with one hand. Can you tell I’ve been holding a little one a lot lately?)

Here’s where it gets ugly. What takes up all my time? My beautiful, amazing, inspiring, smart, clever, constantly awe-inspiring, sometimes infuriating, ball of energy, tantrum throwing, precocious 19-month-old, who I get the pleasure of staying home with on a daily basis.

I get to see everything, from trying to get in the kitchen drawers a million times a day to how much her face lights up when she hears the “Elmo’s World” music, to hearing her hum songs and learn new words, from pulling her off the kitchen table (again) to taking her to the park almost every day (poor me).

Sometimes I get so caught up in my work, in wanting to just be able to get through everything I hoped I’d get through in a given day, that I just wish she’d sleep a little longer, or play by herself a little better, or (god forbid) watch TV a little more intently so that I could just sneak off and wipe down a countertop or knit a few rows.

I know, bad, ungrateful mommy.

I love this girl, I really, really do, and I know having her was completely the right thing. I know raising her is my job, far more important than making sure my newsletter is completely engaging or typing up my notes about drinking more water for an article I promised someone weeks ago.

This time goes fast, people. And we never get it back. Cliche, horrible, I know, but it’s so true.

I feel like my girl is almost two already, and I can’t believe how fast we’ve gotten from tiny preemie who slept all the time to that above-described ball of wonder, energy, frustration, etc. And she’ll be in day care (or at least a mother’s day out something) before I know it, and after that, school, and then I’m sure I’ll miss our crazy, fun days together.

But really, I need Hermionie’s time turner, so I can be here for everything and still get my work done, too. I guess it’s true that you can have it all, just not all at once.

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