The Best Tool in a Working Mom’s Arsenal: Post-It Notes

A strange realization hit me as I looked at the desk in my home office recently.

My life as a working mother is dependent on Post-it® notes.

Put chicken in crockpot. Pick up at band 4 p.m. Fill in hot lunch order. 

These bright sticky notes are literally strewn all over my desk. I shudder to think what would happen to our life without them. Work deadlines would be missed. Bills would not get paid. Suppers would not get made. Kids would be left stranded at band practice. The dog would forever suffer the pain of walking around with long nails. General havoc would ensue!

In fact, I had so many Post-it® notes on my desk that I’ve had to color-code and organize them.

Hot pink Post-it® notes: Work tasks that must be done TODAY or the ‘you-know-what’ will hit the fan.

Neon orange Post-it® notes: Work tasks that must be done THIS WEEK or the ‘you-know-what’ will hit the fan.

Bright blue Post-it® notes: Work tasks that have been on lists for ages but aren’t getting done and are causing stress and worry.

Bright green Post-it® notes: Non-work related tasks that must be squeezed into my day in addition to work and the daily parent grind.

Despite my color-coded system, there were still so many Post-it® notes on my desk that the really important ones weren’t even standing out anymore, so I started a new category of Post-it® notes in an entirely different room where I will be sure to see them – the bathroom.

Bright yellow Post-it® notes in bathroom: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT FORGET TO DO THIS TODAY.

Take pizza dough out (or there will be no supper because there is nothing else!)

Mammogram 2 p.m. (this has been scheduled for three months!)

Buy birthday gift (the party is tonight so you can’t put it off anymore!)

The Hubster has learned that the more Post-it® notes he sees in the bathroom, the more anxious and stressed his wife is. He’s also learned it’s in his best interest to offer to do one or two of the tasks if possible.

“Want me to drop that cheque off today?” he offers.

“Oh, would you please?” I say, rolling the idea around in my head of how easily my bathroom Post-it® system could become an excellent “Honey-do list”.  The Hubster would tackle almost anything on those Post-it® notes as long as it does not involves buying tampons or bra shopping.

I never used to need notes to remind me of so many tasks. The other day I got stressed out about the sheer number of these notes all over my house.

“What is wrong with me? Is it just mom-brain? Am I chronically sleep deprived? Am I missing essential nutrients in my diet? What if it’s the onset of early Alzheimer’s?” I lamented to the Hubster as I strode to the bathroom to write down “Buy Gingko Biloba”.

When I returned to my office a few minutes later, a glass of Bailey’s on ice was sitting on my desk – a bright yellow Post-it® attached to it.

Drink this.

L’il Girl Talk

“Mom, you should know that,” says The Youngest when I asked her if she is 8 or 9 years old.

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