Wednesday, June 17, 2009

To-Do Lists, Revised

My list of chores is simple: Meals (and meal planning/grocery shopping), Dishes, Sweeping, Mopping, Vacuuming, Garbages, Laundry, Bills, and Cleaning the Bathroom. I don't even dust. But I can never seem to accomplish these simple things according to my weekly plan. Never. I do get it done eventually, but not before it reaches a disastrous state. My to-do lists on paper remain small and unaccomplished.

I always think I am capable of doing so much in a day. For some reason the part of my brain responsible for planning and list making doesn't know that I have 2 kids and am pregnant with another. When I sit down to make my daily to-do list (I need a list or I do nothing), I always think "Yeah, I can totally do all that." But seriously, since I became a mom, I NEVER get my lists done. EVER. I used to always complete my lists, and I would take great satisfaction in that. But now I guess I just have too much to do, and way more distractions than ever. Oh, and a lot less brain cells (it feels like, anyway), and energy.

At the same time, when I think back to everything I actually did at the end of the day, it really is a lot. I feel like I am capable of so much, because I AM. I should just make my to-do list up of the things I ACTUALLY do all day. Maybe I wouldn't feel like such a failure at the end of the day if my list looked like this:

~change diaper
~scrape poop into toilet
~nurse Gideon
~make snack
~clean up spill
~talk to Dave on the phone
~put Gideon down for a nap
~re-roll an entire roll of loose, unused toilet paper
~pick up toys
~nurse wounded foot after stepping on toys
~clean off table
~pick up clothes
~find random dirty cups and cutlery around the house
~help Gideon down from couch
~supervise craft
~change DVD
~retrieve Gideon from toilet/bathtub/top of stairs/garbage can/laundry machine/kitchen
~hang up coats
~put away shoes
~find Lambie
~fish bead/small toy/marble/chalk from Gideon's mouth
~blow bubbles
~read books
~pick dandelions
~supervise Judith's home-made gymnastics circuit
~retrieve stapler/glue/paint/markers/tools/tape measure/other things Judith shouldn't have from under her bed where she stashes those kinds of things
~wipe yogurt stain off couch
~narrate my day in song
~eat Gideon's toes
~make new baby in belly
~respond to never-ending WHY questions
~inquire as to Judith's lack of underwear
~find random bits of Play-Doh and put away
~wipe children's faces after taking a really cute photo and realizing they are dirty
~bathe children
~sop up aftermath of bath from bathroom floor
~sit with Judith and console her after she hurts herself
~kiss booboos and administer band-aids
~dispense finger paint
~wash hand-shaped paint spots off walls and table and bathroom sink
~re-fold all of the face cloths.
~play "Catch"
~attempt to distract Gideon when Judith won't share her trains
~walk down the hill and hope for a real train to come by
~be overwhelmingly excited at the sight of a train
~melt into a puddle while watching the kids playing and laughing together
~participate in puppet plays and magically know Judith's secret plot line as to not cause a meltdown.
~play with invisible cats
~walk uphill to the park with Gideon on my hip while pulling Judith on her bike
~push two kids on swings at once
~make train tracks in the gravel
~check mail for surprises from Grandma
~tend to flower garden
~run away from bees
~deny constant requests for sugar and ice cream
~find the missing baby sock
~follow the trail of crumbs to locate the source
~remove crumbs from feet
~help decide which dress is the best to spin in
~tear apart house looking for missing puzzle piece
~remove Judith from refrigerator
~find half eaten yogurt cups and apples stashed around the house
~build lego towers
~play with PhotoBooth
~sing "Old McDonald" and other various songs, as per request
~dance, dance, dance
~dispense hugs, kisses and "I love you"'s like Pez
~dispense actual Pez
~photograph everything
~blog it

Wow, I can't believe that was all just off the top of my head. I'm sure I could go on and on and on if I had more time and energy. Ha, I'm sure I could do a lot of things if I had more time and energy... Also please note that most of those things I do more than once (or 20 times...) a day. AND that is just my list of things I do at home, during the day (not including bed time and all through the night). We also go out a lot which involves a slew of other tasks. Even just getting both kids from the door to the van involves a lot of work.

And those are all just things I "do". I could make a whole other huge list of things I think, plan, organize and worry about on a daily basis, which honestly consumes just as much energy. And then there's the things I attempt to do for myself like shower, read, eat, get dressed, look in the mirror, and go online. Even those things are no longer straightforward and simple when you have kids.

Hm, no wonder moms are so tired.

Ok, so my plan from now on is not to look back at the end of each day and see what I didn't do, but rather what I DID do. All of those little things add up! Perhaps, in reality, all of these "distractions" that keep me from accomplishing my to-do lists are what's really important anyway.

What are some other little things that you do as a mama that deserves recognition?


Stinx' Mom said...

amazing post. seriously. so good.

VanessaKim said...

This cracked me up! It's so true. Soon you'll get to add non-stop nursing to the list again.
I break up fights all day long & say "Elliott, be gentle!" about 50 times a day.

april said...

Isn't it mind blowing how much a mom accomplishes in one day.
When you are feeling down after a 'non-productive' day, take pride in your role in your family's life :)