01 August 2011

The Never-Ending Summer List

These words from Melissa at All Buttoned Up resonated with me today.

"I like to work hard and I do not like to hear myself complaining. These days, though, I'm tired and have very little to show for it. You know-- no big things are getting knocked off the list. In fact, I think the list is lost. I have never been a mother bustling with energy or boundless optimism-- I was never that person! But, I often forget that parenting young children is a stage and that it will pass. I might not get any less tired, but I'm certainly going to stop worrying that somebody is peeing where they shouldn't or where that weird smell is coming from (unrelated) or why they want to scratch each others eyes out over using that one, specific spoon. Right? Right. I have a great life. I have been taking great comfort in being absolutely sure on several points: I am not alone. Parenting is hard and nobody has ever said otherwise (and if they have, then they either suck at it or have never done it). So get over myself already. My children are healthy and generally happy and want for nothing.This world is full of dark and danger and I have the great and undeserved privilege of raising my children away from most of it."

As I've mentioned before on this blog, I have an on-going list in my head of All The Projects I Will Do This Summer. I work for a school district so I have summers off, but when I look at the calendar I see the weeks of summer rapidly running out. We're down to about 3 weeks. That's not a lot. Not nearly long enough for my to-do list. I often feel like I'm not even making a dent into all of the things I wanted to accomplish. And, like Melissa, I'm tired at the end of every day.

This year instead of documenting my to-do list, I think I'm going to record what actually Gets Done. Maybe I will never get to sewing or decorating or painting, but I am doing a lot of important stuff. Here's what's been done so far:

-One very dirty car washed and detailed
-One very dirty kitchen cleaned--cupboards wiped down, floor mopped, some reorganization
-One toddler's potty training is about 75% complete
-Three overgrown shrubs on front of house pruned back
-Five garden beds are producing and look great. Wups, I just looked again--it needs to be tended to.
-Many strawberries and blueberries picked and frozen.
-Three afternoons spent in the backyard with the Sprout in the sun and wading pool. Yay, sunshine in Portland!
-Two story hours at the library.
-Four playdates with friends.
-One date with the Wise and Bearded One to the Werner Herzog movie about the caves.

I'm trying not to pay attention to the slightly-panicked voice in my head that summer is flying by. I'm trying not to focus on all the things I should be doing.

I'm raising a beautiful, strong-willed, fierce girl-child. I'm going at her speed. I'm remembering to play and to give thanks for this privileged life.



Here's a question for other mamas out there: There are still some things I'd really like to get done this summer. How do you DO when there are little ones around? Any tips?

1 comment:

Stephanie Breuner said...

I don't do, I just live. I used to think that I was just lazy for not getting to the projects I thought would be cool to do, but then I realized, maybe I am lazy, but I also don't need to be as "productive" as it seems other people might be when I know that I spent most of the day hanging out with my kids maintaining a home and creating an environment where they can thrive. That takes a lot of time and energy. I will never be the woman who spends the bulk of her free time on the sewing machine or other artistic pursuits, but I will spend SOME time and go through spurts of creativity.