If I’m going to say “I do” to the things that really matter to me as a mom, I’m going to have to say “I don’t” to a few things, too. It’s what I don’t do that makes me the best mom I can be.
Awhile back, I told a mom friend I was hosting a sleepover. I confessed to her that 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.
Later that same day, I told another mom my daughters were making dinner that night–something they’d never done before in spite of being a tween and teen 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 don’t begrudge them their doing at all.
But I just…don’t.
I don’t do and haven’t done and won’t do so many things. And that day, my friends showed me that 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 do Pinterest-worthy parties.
I don’t like everything that goes with being a mom.
I don’t make my kids do enough chores.
I don’t love school class 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 let my girls do every extra-curricular thing they want to do.
I don’t limit desserts to “special occasions.”
I don’t care if my girls make their beds before school.
I don’t switch my kids’ schedules to “school time” while it’s still August so they’ll be used to getting up early when September rolls around.
I don’t serve enough vegetables.
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 try to encourage them with my words.
I do tell them I love them many times every day.
I do look for small ways to let them know I’m thinking of them.
I do look forward to being with them.
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.
It’s what I don’t do that allows me to be the best mom I can possibly be
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.
If you liked this post you might also enjoy…
- Confessions of an Unbalanced Mom
- Not a Perfect Mom, But an Enough Mom
- How to Stop Letting Perfectionism Ruin Your Motherhood
- Stop Looking for Perfect and Embrace What Is