I don't get asked this question very often because most of the people I talk to on a regular basis are in the same boat and already know the answer. But I do sometimes wonder myself.
I actually try hard not to be busy. I don't like the feeling of rushing from place to place with a stressful to-do list and exhausted kids in tow. And to be honest, I'd much rather be at home reading stories to my children, cooking dinner at a relaxed pace (with time for kid help and taste tests,) and being present for all the moments in my family's lives, big and small. So I try to carefully limit what I sign up for. Which sometimes leads me to wonder at the end of a long day where all the time went and what exactly I did with it since on paper it doesn't look like much. That is why I'm putting it on paper now, so I'll have something to refer to when I ask myself this question. And to show to the kids when they complain that they do all the work around here. (Jacob actually told me the other day that he thinks we had him purely for slave labor. But that's another post....)
Of course, there are the daily tasks: wake the children, breakfast, help Jacob find lost shoe, pack his lunch, walk him to the bus stop, feed Isaac and Grace, cleanup, dress Grace, change diapers, wash dishes, motivate kids to pick up toys, dust, vacuum, bake cookies, read my scriptures, teach Isaac preschool (http://www.letteroftheweek.com/), dishes, laundry, more laundry, scrub crayon off the walls and marker off the toilet, organize closets, take kids to the park, swat flies, pay bills, shop for groceries, weekly trip to library, occasional playdates, cut the kids' hair, clean the bathrooms, read books to children (TONS of books,) take advantage of teaching moments, pick Grace up off the floor after she falls every half hour or so, oversee the kids' chores, homework with Jacob, teach children how to solve their disagreements, orchestrate baths, meal prep, more cleanup, phone calls, family scripture study, you get the idea....
And then there are weeks like last one. (I prefer to measure time in weeks, not days. Feels more productive and balanced that way.)
Monday: Cleaned the house. (As Isaac says, "We don't work on Sunday. Sunday is the day we trash the house so we can clean it up on Monday." Nice.) Baked an apple pie for a friend. Quick trip to Kohl's for a last-minute birthday gift. Fielded phone calls about Cub Scouts. Played "Aye, Aye, Nephi!" with Isaac. Smiled when he referred to the Liahona as the Oklahoma.
Prepared Family Home Evening lesson on pride, based on President Benson's talk.
Tuesday: Attended weekly Institute parenting class. (Awesome, by the way.) Grocery shopping for Marty's birthday dinner and decorations. Baked brownies. Presidency meeting at 4:00 pm.
Wednesday: Worked on blog. Marty's birthday festivities, detailed in the previous post. Prepared activities for preschool Thursday.
Thursday: Taught preschool. (Three moms and I have a rotating co-op. I teach once a month.) Made sugar cookies shaped like stars. Let Isaac take pictures of me and blankie.
Taught piano lesson. Visiting teaching.
Friday: Rehearsed a piano-violin-flute trio for Sacrament Meeting. Worked on Jacob's Halloween costume.
Family tradition: I sew the kids' costumes each October. This year I lucked out. Isaac chose a costume I made two years ago, and Grace barely fit into the cute little lamb costume my mother made when Jacob was a baby. Nevertheless, Jacob's monkey costume took me several hours. Returned books to the library. Picked up printer cartridge. Impromptu photo shoot in the backyard.
Ordered Chinese food for date night.
Borrowed DVDs from next-door neighbor for a family movie night.
Watched D.A.R.Y.L and National Treasure 2. Worked on new cross-stitch. (I can't stand to watch a movie without doing something.)
Saturday: Primary program practice at the Church. Went early to set up. Stayed late to clean up. Brief rehearsal with the trio. Finished Jacob's monkey costume. Our ward chili cook-off and Trunk or Treat 6:00 pm. Brought orange-frosted cookies from Walmart that I arranged on a plate so they might pass for homemade. :)
Sunday: Marty-home teaching. Church from 1:00 to 4:00. Primary program in Sacrament Meeting. Hooray, it's done! (Been working on that for two months.) Fortunately, no choir practice today. Watched kids so Marty could nap. Short family walk. Dinner. Planning meeting with Marty. Read five pages of Eclipse before falling asleep with the book open.
Sorry if this post is terribly boring for all of you. I figured I'd better write it down, because I likely won't have another week this "productive" for a long time.
And that's perfectly fine with me.