Saturday, November 18, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

No. 1 on mom's to-do list: Avoid distractions

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I’m always joking that moms need to start a petition for more hours in the day.

I always feel like I'm behind. They say if you keep track of what you eat, you'll be surprised by what you consumed at the end of the day. I presumed the same would hold true for a simple logging of my daily activities.

So I awake the other day with the best of intentions, especially after being afforded the luxury of sleeping in until 10:46. After a late breakfast, I make my list. I beam with pride over how perfect and attainable it appears. I start to play music videos and optimistically begin to tackle my to-do list.

No sooner than getting the first load of laundry in the washer, I hear the Rihanna song Stay. I'll sit on the couch just for this one video.

Five videos later, and after perusing several channels, I stumble upon the Top 20 Country Music countdown. I'm now fully invested in the couch, a throw pillow and a blanket.

Then some catchy "As Seen on TV" whiz-bang invention comes on and I allow them to talk me into believing I can't live without it.

But wait I'm not easily tricked, just easily distracted. I check eBay to see if some other fool, ahem, consumer may have purchased this life-or-death contraption.

Score. I can get it for a fraction of the retail cost, but the auction doesn't end for 23 minutes. Now I must sit here on this computer because I can't lose this incredible — what's THAT? Is that the Shark steam mop? I place my bid on yet another unnecessary necessity.

A phone call momentarily interrupts my erratic shopping habits.

"Hey! Quick question!"

I don't know how, but that quick question turns into an hour-and-a-half-long conversation. We talk about what to wear to a wedding eight months from now, shoes she scored on sale at DSW, why our mothers never harmed us as teenagers and the killer deal I'm about to score on eBay. Then I realize the time.

I try to regroup and insist I can still complete this list, but the TV has to go.

But Ellen is on. She's doing her intro dance and Justin Timberlake is the guest. I lie to myself and say I can at least load the dishwasher while I watch. He performs his new song and I end up scanning iTunes for Mirrors. Thirteen minutes and $20.64 later, I've missed this adorable 4-year-old singing When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars.

I'm pretty sure I can find this on YouTube. Before I know it I'm watching a video of some weird unknown life form swimming in the debris during a tsunami. I awake from my YouTube vortex and realize its now 5 p.m.

I must post said tsunami video on Facebook to see of anyone else can identify what millions of other viewers could not. I have 13 notifications, my friend's daughter had a baby and five friends have birthdays. I skim over the superficial lives of fakebook and post something that no one really cares about. I'm nudged by Words With Friends and someone just invited me to play a game of Ruzzle. Last but not least, three people need lives because they're stuck in obscenely high levels in Candy Crush.

It's now 7:30.

I try to suppress my overwhelming sense of failure.

Where was I? Laundry?

Yes. That laundry sitting in the washer. With the lid open. Dry.

I throw a pizza in the oven. They're playing an episode of The Voice I didn't see because I was consumed by a marathon of Swamp People and Pawn Stars.

Let me confess my humiliation at how much time I spent doing — well, nothing.

There's always tomorrow.

I can't possibly do worse tomorrow.

Heather Tempesta is a Brandon mother of two sons, 17 and 10, and a daughter, 15.

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