I didn’t get anything done today. I didn’t mop the floors, I didn’t clean the bathrooms, I didn’t even make a dent in the ever-growing laundry pile. The house is a mess and the lawn hasn’t been watered.

The day didn’t go at all as I had planned.

I meant to get up first thing and finish doing last night’s dishes. But I was woken up at 5 a.m. by a little boy who wanted to cuddle with his mama. So I spent the first hour of the morning curled up in bed with him, talking and giggling and telling silly stories.

Then I was going to start a load of laundry and scrub the bathtub. But a 1-year-old toddled over to me with a box of crayons and the single-word question, “Color?” So we sat on the floor and made pictures of trees and rainbows and our family. She gave me kisses when she especially liked what I drew.

Later I was going to reorganize the pantry. But it was so nice outside, and my kids were staring wistfully out the windows, so we went for a walk instead. We picked up rocks and imitated birds and smelled dozens of flowers. My toddler learned a new word: pinecone. My 7-year-old learned a new trick on his bike, “Look, Mom, no hands!”

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When we returned from our walk, I was going to prep some meals for the week. But my sister called and asked if we wanted to come play with her and her kids. So we drove over and spent time with them. My kids ran crazy with their cousins. They built a pillow fort and started a basketball league and had a how-high-can-you-jump contest. I sat with my sister and watched them and drank coffee and chatted about our lives.

In the afternoon I was supposed to get the car’s oil changed. But when we got home from my sister’s house, my husband mentioned the new movie we’d all been wanting to see was streaming. So we piled onto the couch with popcorn and candy and watched. My son laid his head in my lap and asked me to rub his back. My daughter danced to the soundtrack, and we laughed and cheered her on. 

After the movie, I decided to clean up the house. But my son brought me a board game, and my daughter clapped in delight. So we played, and talked, and laughed. My daughter made the game pieces race around the board, and my son learned to be a good sport when he drew a bad card.

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I was going to make a big, complicated dinner. But my kids wanted to help. So we made spaghetti because it’s OK if they dump too much oregano into the sauce. We danced in the kitchen while we waited for the water to boil.

Bedtime was supposed to be quick because I still had so much to do. But my son is really into the book we’re reading and kept asking for one more chapter. So we sat and read for over an hour, working together to solve the book’s mystery and waiting with bated breath to find out the hero’s fate.

When I finally tucked him into bed, my son told me, “This was the best day ever.”

After the kids were both in bed, I was going to do all of the things I hadn’t done today. But my husband wanted to sit with me and watch a show. So we cuddled on the couch, just the two of us, and talked and laughed and held hands. All the way up until I fell asleep on the couch, exhausted from my long day of getting nothing done.

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I had thousands of things on my to-do list today. The list is still there with no checkmarks showing what’s been accomplished. Looking around the house, I have nothing to show for my day. Instead, I have the sound of my daughter’s laughter and the warmth of my son’s hugs still radiating through me.

My kids don’t care that there are dishes in the sink and crumbs on the tablethey care that today they got to spend all day with mommy. And even though I didn’t get anything done, I got to spend all day making memories with my family.

This book is a serious game-changer for motherhood. We can’t put it down! Don’t have time to sit and read? Listen to it here, on Audible.

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Kayci Villarreal

Kayci is a working mom of two hilarious kids living in Southern California. Her hobbies include reading in two-minute increments and sneaking cookies when her kids aren't looking.