For me, one of the most distressing aspects of living and parenting on my own has to do with what I refer to as the pileups. In my case there are specifically three - the always overflowing sink, constant towering laundry basket and ever present growing stack of unread mail. Last night I tackled the mail which was contained in a basket and a handled shopping bag. Both boys were out with friends so it was a perfect opportunity to do so. I only tended to the mail in the basket and even after a number of hours or sorting and reading I had not finished the task. My eyes were bleary eyed by the time I called it a night around 1:00 a.m. I will sort and recycle the rest in the shopping bag on Sunday and hereafter promise to make a better effort at nipping the pile in the bud by dealing with the mail as soon as it comes in.
The problem has to do with lack of time, fatigue and juggling too many balls at once. For example, my mail comes late in the day just as I am usually making dinner. I bring it in but then have only a moment to glance at it. It gets tossed on the pile. The boys come home at dinner time after their sports practices and remove their athletic clothes (after 6 days/nights of practices and games the pile can get pretty high!). We eat dinner and then there is homework to help with or something goes wrong with the computer or printer or I have to run out for milk or a needed school supply. By the time all is quiet, I am drained and the sink remains full, the mail unread and the laundry has fallen out of the hamper onto the floor. And of course looking at all of this only serves to depress (not to mention make one feel guilty for not being able to keep up, etc.).
There is much to be said for tending to chores in manageable chunks on a daily basis. It takes longer and is harder when there is more! So starting Monday, I am making a sincere attempt in at least managing the mail on a daily basis because I never want to have to dig through a stack of old papers, ads and hidden bills ever again!