Life’s Not A Checklist


Life’s Not A ChecklistOver the last few months, I have had to come face to face with my shortcomings. It hasn’t been a pleasant journey, but it has been much needed. I tend to get caught up in my lists and schedules, and forget that these lists and schedules are all for the little people and big people in my life. They have feelings, needs, wants and desires too. It’s honestly easy to forget when you are so focused on the bullet points. My week consists of schedules, appointments, and to-do lists. I mark things off as I get them done and stress over the things that I don’t complete, but sometimes it’s important to remember that tasks are more than something to check off my list.

We don’t have a traditional home life; by that I mean that we aren’t your typical family.

I take on a lot as a mom and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We homeschool, I make all of our meals from scratch (not because I want to, but because we are a family of six and half of us have celiac, so it is necessary). Yes, it’s true that I could buy much of our food pre-made but it would cost a fortune and wouldn’t be as good, so I choose to make it. I also bake sweets and treats to sell to make some extra cash and because I know that getting food that is gluten free and tasty is hard to come by sometimes, so I like to make it for people. I teach at the kids’ homeschool co-op. I love it. The kids love it, so it makes sense. I volunteer to do things, bake things, or help with things often; sometimes I am stretched thin, but I am a people-pleaser and I hate to say no. I have four kids all with different strengths and challenges. Life can be hectic.

All of this to say that — with four kids, baking, teaching, and appointments — things can start to feel like one giant checklist and I forget that life is so much more than that.

One day last week, it hit me: I have to stop looking at my week as a list of things to complete and rather start living in the moment. I still have to get things done, but I can make it fun, I can get the kids to help bake and let them do things. I can be a fun mom as well as an efficient mom. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. I can take time to do an art project with the kids and put off folding the laundry for a little while. I can play a video game with the kids and then have them do their chores sometimes. Yes, they need to work on their multiplication facts but we can also go to the park.

Life doesn’t have to be all work and no play. I guess I get so wrapped up in the things I have to get done, that I forget that there are also things to just do because they bring us enjoyment!

So yes, you can be the authoritative parent and also have fun; it is possible. It honestly doesn’t come easy to me and I hate to admit that, but it’s true. I’m slowly learning to sometimes just forget the schedule and have fun. It’s harder than it sounds some days, especially when my mind just wants to focus on the list of things I need to get done, but it’s helping me to be a better mom, and at the end of the day, that is my goal: to be the best mom I can be for my kids.

How do you balance it all? Drop a comment below to let us know!