Thursday, February 3, 2011

done and done.

Today was a very busy day. (as are most days, these days. Le sigh.) I think this is literally the first time I've sat down!

And yet... and I type this, my kitchen is a mess. There are towels sitting on my floor needing to be put away. There's laundry waiting in baskets to be folded... and it's been that way since mumble mumble monday mumble. I didn't get to those dishes sitting in the sink that needed to be washed today, and I'm pretty sure that I spotted four cobwebs in a corner of the living room earlier.

Sometimes, as a stay-at-home mom, it's hard to feel accomplished. So much of what we do is constantly being UNdone, and needs to be done again and again. Or, our day is taken up by tasks which can't be "checked off". We chase children round and round, trying to keep them entertained and out of trouble. We clean up one mess only to discover another, even bigger, mess in a different room. We wipe snotty noses, kiss bumped heads, change diapers, read stories, fix meals, fix snacks, discipline and teach lessons, praise artwork and accomplishments, listen to little voices tell us endless tales of important things in their world. Meanwhile, other things get pushed aside, time speeds by, the day ends, and we look around and think "why do I feel like I got nothing done today??"

On one particular day, a day where I felt especially behind, I decided to make an "already-done list". Sort of like a reverse to-do list, where instead of writing down what I had still to accomplish, I wrote down everything that I had already done that day. And you know what? It helped. It made me see that, even though my house was a mess and there were many things on my to-do list that didn't get crossed off, I had in fact accomplished much. The day had not been a waste, and I had done my job to the best of my ability and filled my time wtih good and necessary things, even if it was simply taking care of my children. The fact of the matter is that God only gives us so many hours in a day, and sometimes there's just no way we can do it ALL. And that's ok.

(You should try making a similar list sometime. I highly recommend it.)

And so, even though, as you can see, my house looks like a tornado ripped through it, I'm not going to bemoan today or what I didn't get done. I'm going to look on the bright side, and be happy that I...
.....finally got the vacuuming done (and the dusting too!). through a full day's worth of schoolwork with Emma, and even made time for some artwork, which she LOVES.
.....showered and got ready, including make-up and cute hair (please realize that this totally counts as an accomplishment, especially when one has a teething toddler).
.....taught four piano lessons.
.....cuddled and comforted the afore-mentioned teething toddler.
.....washed all the towels.
.....washed all of Rosalie's laundry.
.....washed the pillows on our couch, which had been looking sadly dingy for quite some time.
.....hung a few new things on our walls.
.....made my girls laugh when we had kissing wars.
.....tried for the first time ever, and succeeded at, baking shepherd's bread (my husband's favorite kind) from scratch. Hurrah!

and now, I'm going to eat some m&m's, watch a little bit of tv, and maybe fold some of that laundry.
Today's work might be done.
There's always tomorrow to fold those clothes.
And put away those towels.
And clean the kitchen.
And wash the dishes.
And get rid of  those cobwebs. oh, I hope I don't forget about the cobwebs!


What's your "already-done list" for today?


Tristan said...

That is a fantastic idea!!!
I'm thinking T-A must be teething right now..shes a

and..i totally just ate m & ms and folded the wash..haha

Band of Brothers said...

ooooh i loved this post! so what i needed to see and hear today! it echos my heart so well. i cherish these little ones and these little moments.

something i did realize after spending some time in someone's house that had squalor...i am so BLESSED to be able to clean my house. it's such a privilege to be physically and mentally able to get the house clean so that it is not a diseased mess. i am fine with clutter and such....but yucky mold and bacteria....gotta go!!!

some people are not able to keep there house liveable for various reasons and this has totally changed my heart on my attitude toward cleaning my house. it really is a joy to have order and a system of organization.

anyhow, i think you do a wonderful job balancing the house chores and child raising!!!

katy said...

hi talia. :) i loved this post b/c even though i only have one babe, it still seems like nothing gets done around here. just this morning my husband had to iron his own shirt before work and i felt guilty. but then i realized that sometimes ironing is just not a reality when your baby has 2 ear infections. anyway, thanks for the honesty. i appreciate it.

Cheri said...

love this! and i make these sorts of lists regularly {mostly in my head}! and i'm always reading the list off to my husband because i have this self-imposed guilt & think he's going to look around and think, "man, what DO you do all day!?"....of course, when i tell him, he looks at me like, "hey crazy! i KNOW you're busy! you don't have to tell me every little thing you did!" LOL
aaah, the woes of a stay-at-home mom! :)

Sami Jo said...

I totally put things I've already done on my To Do list so I can mark them off! I will have to remember this idea, too! You're girls are precious, Talia.
Hugs, SJ

liza mae said...

Talia, this was such a great post, I have been truely struggling with being a stay-at-home mom on many occasions lately! I got way too much gratification from being a hairstylist, and now I feel like a failure when I dont have a "list" of things I've accomplished when the day is through. I appreciate your honesty and transparency! I need to remember that my mission of motherhood is quite a big mission. thanks from the bottom of my heart xxxxx

Meghan Elaine said...

I found your blog off of Molly's...this post is SO TRUE! Yay for cute hair and makeup- it rarely happens for me, but what a difference it makes me feel. Sometimes I feel like the reason I blog is because once I press 'publish,' it can't be spilled on or messed up. It's something I created (simple as it is) but I can visibly see something that I did. Does that make sense? Just saying I get this and today I'm going to make a list of what I already have done. I bet it will feel good :)

Sarah said...

wow, I just love the idea of an already done list! I am totally going to do this!