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Full Time, All the Time

with Britt Reints

Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.

You can also find Britt on Twitter and at

What slips through the cracks when you’re “doing it all”?

Categories: the juggle


I consider myself a pretty organized person.  Granted, that’s by necessity more than design - but still.  Organized.


I keep track of doctor appointments and work schedules and class plays.  I get one child out the door at 7:00 A.M. and another in the car at 7:30 A.M. five days a week.  I remember birthdays and due dates and everyone’s favorite color and least favorite food.  I keep my house and my family running like a well-oiled machine.


I do not, however, remember to pick up the mail.  The mail in our neighborhood is delivered to a centralized box made up of individual locked boxes, almost like a mini-post office box system.  In order to retrieve my mail, I have to take my key and go to the big block of boxes.

The big block of boxes is located directly across the street from my driveway.  But still! For some strange reason, I consistently end up leaving my mail unchecked for days on end.  In fact, I’ve gone weeks before without checking my mail.  The majority of my mail is advertisements or copies of bills that have already been paid online automatically, so the fact that I have this little issue with my mail isn’t a problem.


I have exactly one bill that is not paid automatically each month: my water bill.  I know this.  I know I have to remember to get the mail so that I can retrieve my water bill and send payment on time.  I know this.  And yet, my fairly organized self has managed to forget to pay the water bill long enough that my water has been shut off.


Luckily, a quick phone call and a $40 reconnect fee later my water is up and running again, but that $40 is basically a what the heck is the matter with you fee. A couple weeks ago I actually got a notice from the post office that my mailbox was so full that they were holding my mail at the post office until I retrieved it in person and proved that my address wasn’t vacant.

But honestly - I’m a fairly organized person!  I juggle and multi-task and remember!  Everything!  Mostly.

Checking the mail, for whatever reason, is the one small task that consistently falls through the cracks for me.  Do you have some seemingly mundane task that you seem to have a hard time keeping up with, in spite of juggling everything else fairly well?

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6 comments so far...

  • I am crap at getting greeting cards out ahead of time. I put a reminder on my calendar, but I find it difficult to find the 15 minutes to get to the store and pick them out. So I usually end up rushing there on the day before they need to mail and then have the added pressure of filling them out that night.

    This vexes me because my mother and brother and aunts all seem to have the time to get the card and write an additional, thoughtful note in them AND send them out early.

    Finn  |  May 26th, 2010 at 9:29 am

  • I’m the same way. With me, it’s work email. I’ll do the important emails, but the ones that are busy work and non essential I will ignore until there are 100 of them, and then spend one day working on them. I don’t know why I do it!

    Avitable  |  May 26th, 2010 at 9:30 am

  • Mail sits in the bin waiting to be open & sorted for weeks. Luckily water is paid only twice a year here - only two opportunties for shut off I guess. I’ve never actually been shut-off, but I’ve certainly paid the late convenience payment fees!

    Mich  |  May 26th, 2010 at 11:45 am

  • What is it with mail? I have this same problem. I in fact lived in an apartment where the mail box was in the front and I entered through the back so forgot so often to get the mail that the mailman actually buzzed my apartment and asked, in a very frustrated way, if I even wanted it at all. Of course I didn’t want it, it was bills and junk mail. And like you, I pay most of my bills online. So the paper versions are more annoying b/c they take up space and my time and the time of this poor mailman struggling to shove more mail into an already neglected box.
    I think we have gotten away from writing letters and cards so much that mail is no longer something anticipated but something dreaded. I think this is why I so often forget it. It’s a paper mess to go through, after a day full of messes to go through. Where’s the incentive?

    Cathy  |  May 26th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

  • I make a concerted effort to forget to check the mail…otherwise I have to fight with LM to get my kids back when I inevitably drop them, along with all the mail and whatever else I’m hauling through the front door.

    But then I forget to check it for a week or two and the mailman complains.

    I used to be super organized. Then I started sucking. Then I started getting better and now I’m back on the sucking trail.

    So. Um. I guess a lot of things fall through the cracks these days. BUT I did remember to feed the kids lunch last Saturday so that’s a positive.

    Sheila  |  May 26th, 2010 at 2:18 pm

  • My work as a nonprofit board member is SO HARD to keep up with. It’s not that it’s hard work. It’s just that it’s hard to justify doing it when (a) my brain is working and (b) I have a work to-do list a mile long. So almost every day I think to myself “I’m going to get to that right after my mind peters out on the real work, say about 2am” but by then, I am ready to die and I think, “no problem, it can wait one day, I’m sure I’ll do it tomorrow!” It’s a good thing we have regular board meetings or I’d be years behind!

    But I’m really good at keeping up with most other stuff, considering how heavy my workload is. It’s just that the nonprofit stuff falls in a dead zone between work mode and personal mode; it doesn’t seem to rate on either scale.

    SKL  |  May 26th, 2010 at 6:38 pm