Friday, August 7, 2009

What will you accomplish today?

When I got up yesterday, I grabbed an old receipt and flipped it over, jotting down a to-do list for the day. The list of things I wanted to get done around the house was pretty long, but it wasn't more than I could do in one day, if I really buckled down and got to it.
But by the end of the day, only one thing was scratched off the list: make dinner.
Unhappily, I looked at the remaining items and grumbled to myself, "I got absolutely nothing accomplished today."
It was late. I was tired. I hadn't spent any time just sitting and watching TV or reading all day. But still, I hadn't accomplished anything.
Or had I?
I mentally reviewed my day. In the morning, I wrote a blog update and quickly read through the few others I enjoy reading. This was done while I enjoyed my morning coffee.
Then, the boys got up, so I set about the business of getting them fed, cleaned up and dressed. My older son looked out the window and said "It sure looks like it would be a great day to go to the park, Mom." I agreed, and said we could go. After all, we did need to get outside for some fresh air and sunshine.
The baby took an abbreivated morning nap, and then the three of us headed out. We picked up some Subway for lunch and parked at the old train station. We walked a mile or so to a playground, where we had our lunch, then had some playground time, then walked back to the car. Logan and I shared an ice cream treat, and we came home. The baby was fussy because he hadn't had a proper nap, and possibly also because of his teeth, so I had to hold him pretty much constantly, so I was bouncing him around, making up goofy songs about him and his brother, making him laugh. BOY those baby laughs are contagious!
Then, my cousin, whom I adore, called and said she was in town, and would we mind if she stopped by for a few. I was thrilled, so she came to visit for a while and we had a nice chat.
I made skewers for dinner and homemade sweet potato baby food for Jordan. Hubby came home from work, we ate dinner and took the kids outside to the swing set. I went to the gym for my half hour of me time on the stair-stepper, stretched a little and came home. Hubby was reading to Logan and putting him to bed, I took the fussy baby and put him to bed, and took a shower and did the dishes so I wouldn't have to look at them in the morning. I also buzzed through to the end of the So You Think You Can Dance finale on my DVR to see who had won. Jeanine! Yay!
That's when I looked at my stupid list and realized I had accomplished "nothing."
I can fall into a trap when I am trying to keep a clean house clean. I can easily spend the day picking things up religiously, wiping every drip, straightening the couch cushions sixty-five times an hour, and yeah, at the end of the day, my house will be immaculate, but I will have pushed my kids to the back burner all day and that's just not cool.
I have to remind myself that they're not only part of my job, they're the main part of my job. The house is secondary. Kids grow up just as fast as dust bunnies do. It takes a couple minutes to vacuum up those dust bunnies, but you can never get the days with your kids back.
Today, I probably won't scratch much off my to-do list either. I have a play date with my best friend and her kids. There aren't many weeks left before school starts and play dates will likely become less frequent.
So, when I get home tonight, there will still be dust and that load of darks will still be waiting to be washed, but I swear, I won't say I accomplished nothing today, because I will have spent the day with my children, the most precious "To-dos" of all.