A while ago, I told a mom friend I was hosting a sleepover. I confessed to her I rarely let my daughters have them because I always get all worked up about what the girls will do and where they’ll sleep and if, heaven help me, EVERYONE IS HAVING A GOOD TIME.
“I don’t do them, either,” she told me.
Shortly after that confession, I told another mom my daughters were making dinner that night– something they’d never done before in spite of being teenagers, because I’m a control-freak, neat-freak mom who never cooked with her kids.
“I don’t cook with mine, either,” she told me.
Who knew two little words could be so freeing and uplifting?
Sometimes I feel like I’m surrounded by moms who do. They do spectacular birthday parties and they do homemade hummus in Bento Boxes for school lunches and they do craft projects every day of the week and they do…everything. With their kids and for their kids. Which is great for them if they love it and if it charges up their mom spirits. I do not in any way begrudge them their doing.
But I just…don’t.
I don’t do and haven’t done and won’t do so many things. And when I shared what I don’t do with my friends, they showed me I’m not the only mom who doesn’t. Which felt like a gift.
In case it feels like a gift to someone else, here are a few other things I don’t.
I don’t have it all together.
I don’t make my girls pack their own lunches.
I don’t like everything that goes with being a mom.
I don’t make my girls make their beds before school.
I don’t take pictures of every major and minor life event.
I don’t do Pinterest-inspired parties.
I don’t know what I’m doing a lot of the time even though I’ve been at this a long time.
I don’t make my kids do enough chores.
I don’t limit desserts to “special occasions.”
I don’t switch my daughters’ schedules to “school time” while it’s still August just so they’ll be used to getting up early when September rolls around.
I don’t have this all figured out.
But, here’s what I do.
I do love, love, love my children.
I do enjoy them.
I do delight in them.
I do cherish them.
I do check in with them.
I do laugh with them.
I do cheer them on.
I do love spending time with them.
I do pray for them and with them.
I do talk to them.
I do listen to them.
I do treasure them.
I do want so much joy and satisfaction for them.
One of my all-time favorite quotes is this one from Jill Briscoe: “There is an art of leaving things undone so that the greater thing can be done.”
What I don’t do–what I leave undone–frees up my time and energy and passion and enthusiasm for what I do do–the greater thing.
And the value of that is something I don’t have any doubts about.
If you are a mom who sometimes doesn’t do, know that you are not alone. I don’t, either.
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Um, this is spot on."This is my time, and I cherish every moment of it. There are no children pulling at the hem of my shirt, asking for yet another snack. No noise, no chaos, just me and my thoughts."