My Do-Not-Do List

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If you missed my obsession with Hoopla, check here for more details. And download it stat. It might change your life.

My current audio book loves are all of Shauna Niequist’s books. I probably should stop listening to them because they make me cry. Ugly tears sometimes. But I love her. and her writing. and she narrates them. Currently, I am in the middle of Bittersweet and she has a chapter in there on her “Do-Not-Do” List. At one point she was overwhelmed and trying to do it all (hello all my millennial mom friends) and received some wise advice which lead her to creating a list of things she doesn’t do. Things on the list are free from guilt and shame because by not doing those things, she has time to do the things she loves. This was what I needed to hear. After a month of fighting and losing the battle with a nasty cold and generally just feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and on the verge of a meltdown, this was the breath of fresh air I needed.

The world of social media makes mom-guilt a lot worse I think and I was struggling big time. So I enter for your enjoyment (and accountability or free pass) my personal Do-Not-Do (“DND”) list.  It’s a work in progress and subject to change. But the things on this list today are things which I refuse to have any guilt over. None. Nada. Because the things on this list mean I can do other things I love and enjoy and bring life and wholeness to me and my family.

Amanda’s DND LIST

1. Fold socks-sorry folks, mama ain’t got time to match all your socks. In our family, we go through a lot of socks in a given week. They will be placed in your sock drawer and it’s up to you to find a matching pair. Or don’t because I hear mis-matched socks are all the rage.

2. Halloween Costumes- This is timely as this week was Halloween. I made my list prior to the 31st and since this was on the list, I refused to let any guilt seep into the day. I have a full plate and making a costume was not a reality. And I refuse to spend money on something to be worn once. On top of that, I never celebrated Halloween as a kid and am undecided on what we will do as a family, but for now, it’s a no go.

3. Decorate for any holiday aside from Christmas- I LOVE Christmas. So much I won’t even deny I may become the person with a tree in every room. I love Christmas music, Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, Christmas cards. I think you get it. But only Christmas gets a free pass. Sorry to all the other noble holidays, my house will not reflect your presence. It’s just one more thing I have to clean up.

4. Grocery Shop at multiple stores- I know it would be more budget friendly, but time is money. And in my limited spare time, spending it driving to multiple stores to save a little money just loses out. So sorry Aldi, I will miss you so. But today I will enjoy my one-stop shopping trip that takes less than an hour.

5. Go to the gym- I hesitated to put this one on my list. At different points in my life, I have spent a lot of time at the gym. Early mornings, Saturdays, late nights-you name it. But right now, I have an active one-year old who demands all my attention and a gym membership and gym classes just don’t fit on the calendar or in the budget. They will again someday I am sure, but for now, this is on the list so I can stop feeling guilty about the fact that instead of going to the gym over my lunch I actually ate a meal sitting down without a toddler screaming at me.

That’s my short DND list. I am sure there are other things, but the things I put on the list have, over the past several months, caused me the most guilt so they went on the list. Life is too short and there are too many beautiful and lovely things to do so just know, if you ask me to a Halloween party there will be no costumes. 🙂

What’s on your DND list? Don’t have one? What are you feeling guilty about that might need to go on the list? Being a momma is hard and there just isn’t time for everything.

You Don’t Have To Be Supermom

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The next time you go to your local library, see if they have an account for Hoopla. It is my new favorite app. I can borrow music and audio books through my local library and listen to them while I am driving. Although, on the same note, I feel old for admitting my new favorite app is one that gives me the ability to listen to audio books. Regardless, I love it. With an almost one-year old,  I just do not have time to sit down with a book. But I do have time to listen to someone else read me one.

My current audio book is “The Best Yes” by Lysa TerKeurst. If you haven’t read (or listened) to it, I highly recommend it. The book came on the heels of another book I will write more about later, but has been the perfect narrative to my current position in life.  Our little family is about to go through some good, but tough changes. My sweet hubby took a new job with more hours and I have a growing non-profit, an almost toddler, and work full-time. Add to this a constant struggle with my calendar and the word “no”, this book has been a lifesaver in so many ways.  I could write about many things I am learning or many of the amazing things Lysa writes about, however, the downside to audio books is a lot of the exact details get lost.  I get the general gist and eventually will pick up the hard copy to fill in the more minute details. But one line has been playing over and over in my head  since I listened to a portion of the book on my way to a lunch meeting the other day. Lysa was talking about a comment a reader had posted on her blog and the line that stuck out to me was “You don’t have to be a supermom.”

Perhaps you don’t need to hear that today, but boy did I need to hear those words. In a world of social media, Pinterest, and an opinion about every-little-thing, those words were a lifesaver. They were a reminder to me as I walk into this next season, I don’t have to be a supermom.  Because the reality is, I can’t be one. I love H more than words can explain. But I am not supermom.  Some days I am frustrated mom. and tired mom. and overwhelmed mom. and don’t touch me one more time mom.  And some days I am Pinterest mom and do-it-all with grace mom and superb chef mom.

But regardless of the day, I want H to remember I was his mom. I want him to remember I wasn’t always distracted or running around trying to be supermom. That I was gracious with him and accepted the limits on my time, talent, and emotional capability. I want him to remember my strength came from my relationship with Jesus.  That I set the laundry aside to do a puzzle or play a game.  Am I good at this? No. Am I working on it? Yes.  I am slowly trying to let go of the to-do list and embrace a be list.  Just Be. Here. Now.

Today whatever season of life you are in, remember, you don’t have to be supermom.  You don’t have to have it all together. Because I bet, regardless of how you feel as a mom, your kiddos think you are super.