When I was a kid, I used to make fun of the moms and dads who got their children’s names mixed up. Bruce’s joke is that he got so used to hearing his mom holler “Dou-Bruce” (beginning with his brother Doug’s name and ending with his own) that he developed a bit of a complex. Well, I must officially be one of the laughables, because more times a day than I can recall, I shout for “Cel-ena-Bru.”

Juggling leads to exhaustion which brings on confusion of the linguistic sort.

While I hold down a job and travel a fair amount alongside taking care of a house and two kids, I have to admit that the load I’m carrying isn’t as heavy as I sometimes lament. At least, not by yesterday’s standards.

A family that once lived next door to my grandmother Helen Ryan had 19 kids. Not quite the size of the Duggar clan, but close to it. If the family had been young in the age of reality TV, they might have even had their own show!

If Mama Roseanne of the “19 and counting” crew could manage it all–the laundry and the cooking and the bathing and dressing for church and school–why do I struggle to fit everything into a day? I’m thinking that juggling might be to blame, the tendency of moms like me to divvy up their days into the “have-to’s” and “want-to’s.”

Weekends at my house are a case in point. I rush about trying to get all of the back-up work from the week done so that we can do something fun with the girls: an afternoon at the park, movies and popcorn, a trip to the zoo. My time, my life for that matter if I’m totally honest, is compartmentalized: work (as in on-the-job work), housework (you name it, from paying bills to scrubbing the bathtub to grocery shopping to hauling the pile of stuff that somehow made it upstairs downstairs once again), family time, and, if I’m lucky, some alone time to rest, reflect, and prepare to do it all again.

I’m doubtful Roseanne segmented her life in this way. And that’s not to suggest that she didn’t work really, really hard most of the time every single day when her children were growing up or that she never stopped to smell the flowers and share a laugh with her little ones (assuming she had the time to plant anything in the first place). But I’ll bet some of those 19 kids traveled along beside her, throwing clothes from the hamper into the washer and clearing their plates on the way to finishing up homework. Maybe it was less “let’s get this done so we can do that” and more “let’s take on today, the gottas and the wannas, together.”

De-compartmentalize is going on my next list of to-do’s.


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