Making a Little List

It’s been a pretty full on week. First I ate that bad burger and it a little bit wrote off the weekend. It also meant I was pretty wrecked from the get go. During and following that episode I’ve had a tantrum-happy toddler with the sniffles who’s not keen to sleep on my hands and a rapidly growing baby who is uncomfortable in basically every position. Well, except being held upright and carried around by me that is.

Meanwhile being indoors all the time and not having much to occupy my mind outside of housework is turning my brain to mush. Basically I end up not getting much done, feeling guilty about it but still wind up pretty bored.

I’m being a bummer I know. It’s been a flat few days.

I realise that my desire to push time along a bit at the moment is of course temporary and based primarily on the relatively tiring circumstances we’re in.

So I’m trying to lighten up. I’ve been practicing appreciating what I have. In particular I’ve been making a little list in my head of all the things I HAVE achieved in the day rather than stressing about the crap I haven’t yet gotten to. It’s a reassuring strategy since I’m ready to savour this time again. And I really don’t want to feel that I’ve been wasting this precious time by not enjoying it while my babies are little.

Despite how useless I’ve been feeling and how easy it is to check off the negatives- there’s actually quite a lot of things on that mental list.

So here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • I let my husband sleep in.
  • I fed the baby early and she also got to sleep in.
  • I made my big girl porridge for breakfast and then pushed her on the swing for half an hour in my PJ’s.
  • I actually managed to eat some toast and drink my coffee whilst in the backyard.
  • The house remained in largely the same condition it started in across the day (good news for the house inspection tomorrow).
  • The nappies got washed and put away.
  • I got started on the design for my business cards.
  • I read a story to my baby and sang a few songs.
  • I got to watch an episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and most of last night’s Four Corners.
  • Baby got the bulk of her naps in and played with a big chunk of banana at dinner time.
  • The toddler used some potato stamps and did a finger painting and managed not to cover the house in paint.
  • We made no-bake cookies.
  • I painted my big girl’s fingers and toes for the first time ever and she was super excited.
  • The girls and I all sat up at the table together for dinner and the toddler ate almost all her quiche.
  • I drank some water.
  • I got the potty cleaned like 12 times.
  • Both children got bathed and put to bed.
  • I cuddled and reassured the big girl 7-8 times to help her get to sleep.
  • I also gave her a massage and did my very best to help her not feel scared of bed time.
  • I considered the needs of both of my babies before acting or speaking most of the time.
  • I set boundaries and showed kindness when I needed to.
  • We read lots of stories at bedtime and had some wonderful talks.
  • I actively thought to myself- ‘don’t rush this, enjoy it.’
  • I reached out to Mumma friends and maintained those important connections.
  • I made dinner for my husband and I and it included no chips at all.
  • I made the lunches for tomorrow as well.
  • The TV went on at 2.30 and off at 5.30pm. And the big girl was happy because she got to watch Minions AND Peppa.
  • I sympathised with my poor overworked hubby and gave him time for a nap.
  • I kissed and cuddled my babies a million times and told them how lovely and clever they are as often as I could. Because they are.

Trust me, for every point there- there is potential for a negative slant on things. I’m tired and I’ve got a cold coming on and there’s plenty of things to freak out about. But still, I achieved so much in just one day. I raised little people today. Perfect, incredible, kind hearted, real little people who I cannot express my love for adequately with words. So I’m choosing to focus on that. I’m choosing to focus on the fact that in a decade or two… or three… or however many- those achievements will be what the girls and I remember. So they’re truly what I want to also savour in the right now.

If you should happen to be in some fairly similar sized shoes to me on this topic at the moment- I think you should give this approach a go. It’s not easy. It’s easy to see the piles of crazy and mess and unfulfilled tasks in one’s life. We don’t live in a culture that encourages self-congratulation (especially amongst women). So nope, not easy, but I think worth it. It’s worth it to step back and notice the good bits and the overall success of your day or week in your little corner of the world. Maybe it’s not always earthshattering stuff, but we are still raising the next generation one day at a time after all. And I know that in itself can be shit scary. But give yourselves credit where credit is due my friends. Be kind to yourselves. Emphasise the positive. Concentrate on what you enjoy in parenthood and on how much you adore your little people. And I can say I’ll be giving it my best too.

Positivity can be easier said than done in the face of monotony or exhaustion that’s true. But tomorrow is a new day and I’m hoping to really love as much of each day from now on as I can. There’s so much there that’s worth celebrating.

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