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As moms, there’s a lot of pressure on us to get things done. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooling mom, or a working mom the pressure is there, and that to-do list? It’s a mile long. There aren’t enough hours in the day to actually accomplish all we “need” to do or set out to do.
The Problem With the To-Do List
I’m a list person. Without a list, I’m going to meander through my day forgetting important stuff and focusing on stuff that really doesn’t matter a whole lot. It’s kinda like having a grocery list. Without one, I grab all the things that I don’t need, forgetting the things I do need. I need a list to help keep me focused.
But at the same time, lists can drive me to the other extreme. If I’m not careful, I’ll let the list lord over me, making me feel defeated every time I look at it without marking something off. Truthfully, some days nothing gets marked off, and that makes me feel like I’ve wasted my day, not doing anything of importance.
What I forget, though, is that most of the work I do isn’t even on the list. I bet yours isn’t either.
I’m talking about things like….
Feeding the baby
Balancing the checkbook
Keeping the house tidy
Going to your job
Refereeing sibling fights
And on and on and on…. It’s all those things that we do every single day that don’t make the “to-do” list that actually take time and effort. Keeping tiny humans alive doesn’t happen by itself. Running a household doesn’t happen by itself either. And bringing home an income certainly doesn’t.
Regardless, that list. It reminds us of what we haven’t done, but often doesn’t reflect all the things we actually have done.
I’m not saying to throw out the list. Nope! The list is a guide to help us remember the things we don’t do every single day, so it is helpful. However, it should not define us. It should not make us feel like we are failing when we can’t mark off every single thing, every single day.
Stop Expecting So Much of Yourself
Instead, we need to remember that we can’t do it all–at least not all the time. And we need to extend ourselves grace. I’m usually pretty good about being gracious to others, offering forgiveness and understanding to them. But to myself? I rake myself over the coals when I can’t do it all and be it all. I feel like I should be doing more, being more. Being better.
Unless you are sitting around the house all day really, actually doing nothing but binge watching Netflix and scrolling through your phone, I’m quite sure you are doing more than you give yourself credit for.
Today, I just want to encourage you to stop beating yourself up and expecting so much of yourself. Please hear me: I’m not saying that we get to go around acting like SuperMom or anything–though you might just be her–but I want you to relax and realize you are doing something important whether it seems like it or not.
I often find myself at the end of the day, list unchecked, thinking, “What in the world did you do today???”
And then I remember. I prepared three meals for seven kids. Then I taught school to six of them, keeping the seventh out of toilets and diapers and freezers and toothpaste! We tidied up the house that was wrecked most of the day, and we all lived to tell about it.
For me, that’s just my day. My every day. I forget that if I actually get those things accomplished, we have, in fact, had a successful day. The other things on top of that part of my day are bonuses. And sometimes the bonuses just don’t happen.
Give Yourself Grace
Be sure to give yourself grace today, and don’t let the to-do list be the dictator of how you feel about what you accomplish. Almost certainly, what you do each day is no small feat, and there are those sitting back thinking how amazing you are!
Let the list go; stop expecting mountain-moving every day; be kind and patient with yourself; smile and love those treasures!