Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize oh hey, my mom was right all along? I have those pretty frequently, because my mom is awesome and usually right, and I’m usually hard-headed and stubborn enough to have to figure things out in the most difficult way possible.
For example, my mom has, for as long as I can remember, been a list person. She always has a list of something going on on various pieces of paper, like “clean out fridge, dust, pay bills” or “B12, oranges, kefir.” I don’t know if my mom has always been a list person, because by the time her lists made it into my conscious memories she’d already been a mom for like, 15 years at least, so maybe it’s one of those things she picked up from her mom after struggling through attempting to be productive with a little boy (my brother). But somehow, I doubt it. I think my mom has always been awesome.
So, on a lark, earlier this week, I decided to write out how Sam and I would spend the day, and what I needed to get done during his nap. And? Shockingly, I was amazingly productive. Well, by my standards anyway. I cleaned the kitchen. I folded clothes. I had dinner going in the crockpot. I got my Bible study done. All because I had a list and I stuck to it.
I also found I could be more intentional in my time with Sam when he was awake — because I had been productive during his naps I wasn’t scrambling to get things done while he was “helping” me underfoot. I could focus on just playing with him and enjoying him. (At some point I do want him to help me more so that he learns that everyone pitches in around here and it’s not magical gnomes that put his clothes away and pick up the house while he’s asleep. But for now, being productive during his naps is what works best).
I never really considered myself a list person, but I also found that crossing things off the list was satisfying. I struggle with what Sidetracked Home Executives calls “I’ve Got All Day” disease — meaning, I have a mental list of what I should do, but because I have no plan for actually carrying it out, and I figure that we’ll be home all day it’ll somehow get done. But more often than not Tim gets home from work and the house is a wreck and Sam and I are still in our pajamas and he’s like What did you DO all day? And I think…I don’t really know. The day just got away from me.
You all are probably thinking, uh, Alissa? Making a list is a pretty standard time management technique. But this was fairly revolutionary for me. I do better with a plan or schedule or some way to structure my time. I know this about myself, but for some reason it has taken me the 18 months I have been an exclusive “stay-at-home” mom/pregnant woman to figure out that I should schedule my day in order to be more productive.
Proving once again that my mom was right, after all.