I start giggling when I see my bulletin board and the myriad
of lists I have dutifully thumb tacked into the neat brown board.
It is the middle of August, and I’ll tell you how many items
off these lists I have completed. Precisely half of one. I didn’t get anything
else done. Nada. My lists hang there taunting me to recall the first days of
summer when I thought all these projects would be mine.
The weird part is that I don’t care.
would be upset at myself. Frustrated. Disappointed. Would even have irrational
failure thoughts like, “another mom would be able to do all this” or wonder what
was wrong with me for not crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s.
Each item remains uncrossed, unchecked, unfinished. Not even unfinished—not yet begun.
And I don’t care.
Which is truly odd for me, a voracious do-er of things.
This summer has taught me an important lesson in mothering. Doing “nothing” is doing enough. More than enough.
My kids aren’t get-up-and-go kinds of people. They prefer
moving slowly and wandering aimlessly for a while. Honestly, so do I. I tend to
forget that about myself when we are scheduled, and ironically, I go ahead and
fill my life with more plans than necessary.
This summer was mostly unscheduled. There wasn’t much of an
agenda. I learned to let go even more, to trust the process, to trust the
timing of my life, and to allow things to fall into place instead of pushing
toward my goals.
This summer reminded me not to get attached to plans. Because the day you have blocked off for
“catch up on office work” you may find yourself sitting in two separate emergency rooms with your daughter, trying to find the best solution for a tiny
broken arm. And, you may find you rather enjoyed that one-on-one time snuggling and having nowhere to be except right there with her.
Plans. I’m trying not to get attached. When I decided to release
expectations and let our household relax a bit I noticed something. The basics—the simple things—food, clothing, enjoying life—it’s not always simple. Or
easy. It can take incredible amounts of time, patience, and consideration. It’s
more than enough, just taking care of the basics of a household. I didn’t allow myself to know that before now.
I learned this summer that I’m not the best me when I’m running on lists, when I’m scattered in too many directions.
In that state of
mind, my brain keeps reminding me of all I haven’t accomplished yet, whispering
that I’m not doing enough, and chipping away at my peace until I become a
cranky mother. This summer while being a fun
mom, I realized I don’t want to look back and remember these years as cranky mom. I want to tell my inner
refrain of not doing enough to shut
up. So I’m letting go.
This summer showed me my truth. I don’t need to be doing any
more than I already am. This was the one summer I will ever have a 5 year old
and a 3 and a half year old. We played a lot. We explored. We walked slowly.
That’s enough. Really, more than enough.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Matchbox car race to watch,
while my young daughter paints my “foots” with a large paintbrush. I’ve got
some things to do.