I love "To Do" Lists. I find that if I don't start my day with one in place, I wander about semi-productively all day without much of a feeling of accomplishment. In fact, I derive SUCH satisfaction from crossing things off my lists, that I've been known to go back and add things to my list after I've done them, just for the pleasure of seeing another item crossed off. (I'm a crosser-offer, not a checker-offer. There's a difference. Making little checkmarks does nothing for me in comparison to a big ol' line right through the words. But I digress.)
Anyway, as a stay-at-home mom of small children, I think it's especially important to find ways to monitor my days. Otherwise, for me at least, I can do things all day long and not feel like I've done a stinkin' thing. By the late evening, this puts me in "redeem the day" mode, where instead of relaxing, I fritter around trying to figure out which tasks I have the energy for---to make my day end with a productive feeling.
(Now, a little side note: I am in no way saying that loving, feeding, and caring for my children all day isn't enough. And I am blessed with a sweet husband who understands why the house isn't always clean and my tasks aren't always completed. But for MY sanity, sometimes I just need to know that other things were done as well, even if they're small things.)
The other night I was having one of these "redeem the day" evenings. I had a few kinks thrown in my plans throughout the day, and although I didn't have a "to do" list that day, there was much to be done in preparation for upcoming events. So out of curiosity, I made a "Did Do" list---I wrote down all the things I could remember doing that day:
*read to kids for 1 hour and 20 minutes
*sat with and comforted a sick child
*2 loads of laundry
*prepared and served 3 meals
*called our weekend guests to make arrangements
*hung a sizeable stack of my kids' clean laundry in their closet
*took a "seize the day" moment to open the door and watch/smell the rain for 30 minutes, explaining to my children what this strange phenomenon was (we hadn't had a hard rain in months!) Also filled buckets with rainwater for watering.
And all this was on a day that I thought I'd done nothing! After seeing the day's events on paper, I was easily able to call it a night.
I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this post, but I thought it might encourage other moms to cut themselves some slack. Tending to the basic needs of a child 24/7 really is a full-time job. Some days are going to be crossed-off-list days, and other days you may as well just crumple up the paper. But as long as the little people are loved-on, the rest, as they say, is just details.