Move. Move. Move.
And in the midst of the moving will come the mom cry. Mom, mom, mom, MOM. I’ll hear it. May I have cereal with milk? Will you read me a story? Can you play with me? Would you find me new shorts? When are we going? Can we got to the park? What’s for dinner? Do you like dinosaurs or tigers better? Are you listening to me?
I’ll mumble my answers, trying to look them in the eye and really listen, but I’m still the distracted mom or the in a minute mom. It’s that to-do list. That never ending laundry shouldn’t even be on it because it’s like breathing to-do list. It’s the to-do list of needed things, and important things, and valuable things that often is so huge and daunting and overwhelming.
I want to finish it.
My kids want me.
They don’t care about the to-do list or that organize the bathroom linen closet has been on there for 3.5 weeks. They want me. They want me to listen, to pay attention, to play with them, and to not see them through the lens of the never ending to-do list. Then I’ve become the distracted, preoccupied, and not living grateful with her to-do list in front of her not taking a break mom.
So hard. And I’m not very good at remembering it. I’ll tell myself things like when I get the laundry done then I’ll play legos with them and then next thing you know I find something else in the laundry room to do. And they’re waiting. They’re waiting for a mom who’s stuck in a cycle of perpetually busy and who keeps herself busy because of things that she wrote down that were important to accomplish.
The to-do list won.
It frustrates me if I go to bed at night thinking of all the things that I accomplished and then realizing that I didn’t accomplish the real important – that intentional time with my children. With those kids that are growing up right in front of me, the kids who see this crazy busy mom with a never-ending to-do list that some days won’t slow down a bit to allow them in her space.
I’m adding them to the to-do list.
Real time. Not fake time, not time where I’m supposed to be playing duplos in the room with Samuel and I’m actually sorting toys and semi-playing. No, I’m talking about real, intentional, laughing and enjoying the moments time. And I won’t feel guilty. Ever have that? When you know that you must stop your to-do list and then when you do you sit down feeling like you should be doing all that stuff on the list? I do.
Those hearts matter more than finishing the list.
You know what I’ve found? I’ve found that I actually accomplish more when I slow down a bit versus those days when I plow through the list becoming the crabby mom who complains about having to do all this work and grumbles about having a messy house.
It’s focus. It’s living awake. It’s being aware.
Put your family on the to-do list. Add a slot for each member and carve out the time for them. The nature of busy is that even if you think you’ll get around to playing with them or reading to them or taking the walk the reality is that unless it’s intentionally plotted it won’t happen. I don’t want to think back to these motherhood days regretting all the should have done moments and being irritated at myself for trying to keep a to-do list perfectly complete.
My kids will remember me. Not the list.
Put them on the list.