Stepping off the treadmill: when being a mother is stopping you from getting anything done

Don’t worry, this is not a post about exercise.  Sadly I stepped off THAT treadmill sometime around 2011 and haven’t set foot on one since ( I do still exercise but it almost always is accidental or for a secondary purpose,  i.e. exercising the dog, getting fresh air, or chasing the toddler around Aldi trying to pry the “Special Buy” barbecue tongs from his kung foo grip).

The treadmill I am referring to is that of everyday life with children:  the stupefying phenomenon that is working all day whilst seemingly achieving NOTHING.  No matter what, you never really reach your intended destination.

So what have you been striving for?

….A successful errands run perhaps. But the butcher was on a fag break, you left the letter you were supposed to post on the roof of the car, and despite spending 48 arduous minutes in the supermarket you forgot the milk which was the main reason for the outing in the first place. Fail.

….A clean house? Well we all know this never happens. Cleaning the house whilst there are children physically IN it is about as much good as going around Glastonbury festival with a dustpan and brush. Fail.

….A moment to yourself?  Unfortunately children have mummy-monitors. They alarm whenever mummy inhales deeply, chaos ensues. Fail.

At the end of the day, when your head hits the pillow and you step off the treadmill, there are two options. You can either exit via the “didn’t do” side, stewing over your shortcomings, or you can exit via the “did do” side.  The choice is entirely yours:

DIDN’T DO

DID DO

  • Laundry
  • Buy milk
  • Post letter
  • Loads of other semi-significant rubbish
  • Fed my children healthy meals to keep their brains and bodies strong
  • Did a very convincing cow impression which resulted in belly laughter, laughing is healthy.
  • Washed my hair. It made me feel nice.
  • Allowed the baby to help me feed the dog, which takes five times as long but teaches him responsibility and to care for others.
  • Did a good day’s work, bringing money in to support my family whilst demonstrating the value of work ethic and sacrifice.
  • Ensured that I was on time to pick up children from school/nursery, and greeted them with boundless love and excitement.
  • Spent quality time in conversation with my husband, keeping our marriage strong and our home a stable environment for our children.

 

(N.B. I am making great efforts to avoid saying “DO do” because still at 30 years of age I cannot hear this expression without thinking about “doodoo”…  so much so that I once bombed a job interview because the manager said “what we DO do at this company is…” and I couldn’t stop snickering. It’s a problem.)

When stepping off the treadmill, it is quite normal to have a little wobble. We all wish that there were a few more hours in the day, and a little less on the to-do list. But time is interminable and therefore it is our responsibility to choose wisely:  Will we focus on what we haven’t achieved? Or all that we have?

As insignificant and mundane each item in the “did do” list may seem whilst doing it, the overall effect of these things is gargantuan.  The domino effect of providing a healthy start to little lives is UNLIMITED, it will change the way their bones grow, enable them to achieve wonderful things, equip them to take on great challenges, be kind to others, and better their communities. Can a tidy home do that?

What DID you do today? Please share, and be proud. You’re doing so many amazing things. ♥

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