“How Do You Do It All?”

I get this question a lot. I wish I were half as heroic as some people seem to think I am. Just because I am a single mom in dental school doesn’t mean I have it all together… lots of things fall by the wayside because I am so busy and pulled in so many different directions. My flaws: dear internet, let me show you them.

Exhibit A: my desk at school. Unfortunately this is its natural state. Okay, fine, it’s actually a little less messy than usual. Yes, those calendars on the bulletin board are from December.

Exhibit B: my car. The check engine light has been on since last May. A piece of it fell off while I was driving down the highway a couple weeks ago. (It was making a strange noise which stopped as soon as that piece fell off, so I assumed it was for the best.) The oil hasn’t been changed since… well… I guess Tyler changed it last. That means it’s been… longer than recommended. I’ve had one headlight out for at least three months. In my defense, I did try to change the headlight, but I couldn’t get the cover off so I gave up and figured that one headlight was better than none. Plus it makes my car look totally badass.

Exhibit C: my utilities. Paying the bills was always Tyler’s job. Sometimes I forget to pay a bill until whatever it is I’m not paying for gets shut off. To be fair, this is a very effective reminder technique. Well played, cable company. Well played.

Oh no. Now that I’ve started listing my irresponsibilities, I can’t stop. Sometimes I put meat in the fridge to defrost and forget about it for a couple weeks. Sometimes I put off taking out the trash until the smell forces me to do it. I have incomplete audits on some of my patients’ charts that were due last October. I have a strange aversion to writing papers for oral surgery and so I haven’t fulfilled a single oral surgery requirement since 2008. Sometimes I keep my Netflix DVDs for 3 weeks at a time because I forget that I have them. AHHH!! Can’t stop!!

My point is. I don’t do it all. It only looks like I do.

Now please share all of your similar stories in the comments below, to make me feel better. And if you have no similar stories and you actually do “do it all”, please refrain from saying so.

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  1. by MJS

    On February 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Well, I'm loathe to admit it, but I don't even have a child, and DO have another adult living in my house (namely my husband), and I am still a bit less together than you. So there. ;)

  2. by Anonymous

    On March 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I'm a surgical resident with a 5-year-old. When his kindergarten recently asked us to bake something for a school fundraiser I may or may not have bought a package of cookies, ripped them open, and repackaged them in plastic wrap to pass them off as my contribution. Also, as I am sure you in particular will appreciate, I really don't think I've been to the dentist (for me) since my son was born.

  3. by kimberlie

    On March 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Well, I hope this doesn't freak you out too much since you don't know who I am (I forget how I ended up on your blog — a friend of a friend had a tag to it or something, i was bored, and it had a catchy title… ) but I've been reading for a couple weeks now. (I promise I'm not too overly creepy.) I'd like to share with you my list of "shortcuts":1) I don't brush the 1 1/2 year old's hair. It's just going to revert back to sticking straight up anyways.2)when my 4 year old says she wants corndogs for supper, i get excited because that means i don't have to cook.3)if the kids don't have any visible crust on them, i sometimes skip bath time and catch up on 'The Bachelor' or 'House Hunters' on DVR instead.Please feel free to blog-stalk me back! I've been feeling a bit guilty that I haven't announced my reading-presence earlier…

  4. by Kylie Mc

    On March 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    believe me, there is not one woman who does not have a list. even monica on friends had her secret closet where she stashed all of her crap. ;)

  5. by Melissa

    On March 2, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I'm not sure I have the time to write down all of mine, but they are lengthy. Which is further proof that my OCD is sometimes optional as I seem to only be OCD about some things and then lazy about others. I used to be a FREAK about Reese's cleanliness and now I am far more relaxed, like hey I don't think she looks homeless yet so she's good to go out in public like that. I often play games on my phone while she bathes because really after the washing I am bored and she's have a grand time so really its win win right?

  6. by Kelly

    On March 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Dude- I had a netflix DVD for about 2 mos. Turns out I wasn't as interested in watching it as I thought I was. Also, my sink is currently full of dishes. I am the only one who lives here and I haven't been all that busy lately. More like I get lazy sometimes until my OCD brain goes "kelly, this is gross- you don't live like this." Except apparently sometimes I do.

  7. by Anonymous

    On March 2, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    put your bills on auto pay

  8. by alittlebarefoot

    On March 2, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Girl please. I don't have to do it on my own so it's even worse for me to admit this but I will. Last night. I noticed the bathtub was grimy. like, bad grimy. but it was already 20 minutes past the normal bath time and I really REALLY need my "after bed time" time… so in my toddler went. Into the GRIME. For his BATH. I am ashamed.ugh. I did scrub it out after he was in bed. It was just at that point.

  9. by Julia

    On March 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Hahaha. Thanks everyone.Anonymous- well that wouldn't make for very good blogging, now would it. Just sayin!

  10. by Mrs. V

    On March 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I have a two month old, and couldn't figure out for the LIFE OF ME why my car smelled like crap. Not to mention the car is BRAND NEW! I searched and searched only to find a horribly poopy diaper under the driver seat. My feet are always cold so I always have the heat on the ground, so I was pretty much dutch ovening myself with my baby's poop in my own car… Nice!

  11. by edmo

    On March 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    My car is a disgusting mess. My boys eat breakfast on the way to daycare and their wrappers and crumbs have overcome the back seat. There is also an Old Navy bag with clothing that needs exchanged, it's from Christmas. And my check engine light is on as well. Food goes bad in my fridge weekly. I often think putting on lotion is a waste of time because there are other things I could be doing. I'm pretty much a mess!

  12. by bcmommy

    On June 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Last night, I let my 3 month old cry hysterically in his swing so that I could make macaroni as a “healthy” dinner for my 4 year old and me. To keep her away from the stove, I agreed she could play with water in the kitchen sink. Of course, when my back was turned, the sink flooded and water cascaded all over the floor. This post made me laugh out loud and realize that we are all in this together!

  13. by Danielle

    On July 13, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I loved this post. I just ran across your blog on Parents and I can’t stop reading, but this one I had to respond to. I’m a single mom and an attorney. Working full time and trying to be ‘super mom’ is tough. I try so hard and yet at times fall so short. I envy my stay at home mom friends who can do all these amazing craft projects and activities with their kids when some days it seems impossible to get her fed, bathed and in bed on time. Here are my admissions (this list could go on forever but I picked 5): 1. my daughters bedroom is cute and clean, mine on the other hand perpetually looks like a clothing bomb went off (my daughter actually told me last week that I’d better pick up my clothes or the “clothes fairy” would come and take them away), 2. I am so darn proud of myself when I make a legitimately cooked dinner….like spagetti b/c most of our meals come out of the freezer section at the grocery store, 3. I have actually stayed home from work just so I got to sit in my house ALONE and watch TV and eat chips and icecream (which I don’t like my daughter to eat), 4. I moved into my new house 9 months ago and my dinning room is still full of boxes, 5. my car is not only 2 months over on it’s oil change, my tires are bare, the back seat is full of crumbs, clothes, toys, etc…and it hasn’t been washed in at least 4 months when a friend washed it for me.

  14. by Jennifer

    On August 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I am a single mother too. Working in healthcare. I came across your site accidentlly…which is slightly funny. I am so impressed by you. You’re such a bright, genuinely interesting, and funny lady. Single motherhood is hard to say the least. But you definitely make me laugh and smile….primarily because its wonderful to know that there really is someone else out there like me. Lots of someones! =)

  15. by Julia

    On August 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Aww! Don’t make me blush! Thanks for your comments, Jennifer :)