To Don’t or Not To Don’t


So I’ve been feeling really unproductive lately. Maybe because of last week’s sudden onset of heat and humidity? Or perhaps this week’s temperature drop and perpetual gray skies? Regardless, I am feeling soooo tired and lethargic and I’d really like something to blame. Other than the fact that I’m lazy, that is.

Part of the problem is the never-ending To Do list. We all have one. (Mine might be slightly longer than other people’s because I put things on mine like “Try and be awesome today” just so that I’ll have something to check off at the end of the day.) I don’t know anyone that can say, “Nope, I’ve got nothing to do! I accomplished everything on my list last week and my schedule is now completely free and clear!” (If, by chance, YOU are this person… please know that I hate you. We will never be friends.)

The problem is, there’s no “slow time” in the business of parenting. No “off season” or “down cycle.” It’s always something. Right now, it’s the crazy end-of-school/summer-prep stuff that’s keeping us all crazy. End-of-the-year celebrations, Field Days, teacher gifts, baseball, awards ceremonies, camp medical forms, beach days, birthday parties, softball games, etc. OH and of course, the f***ing daily sunblock application process has officially begun.

Side note: The fact that we now have to cover our kids with lotion EVERY SINGLE DAY really pisses me off. It’s just one more thing our parents never had to deal with… those lucky bastards. We have to slather our squirming kids with greasy lotion like three times a day and all they ever did was yell, “Hey, take it easy with that baby oil!”

Sure, our parents didn’t have vibrating swings (woah, woah, woah, I mean for the NEWBORNS… easy there) or video monitors (I repeat: to watch. the. babies.) but they didn’t have to deal with a lot of other parenting nonsense either.

For instance:

  • Now: We’re forbidden from drinking during pregnancy.
  • Then: “I heard martinis really help with the morning sickness! If not, cigarettes will definitely take the edge off.
  • Now: We have to spend fifteen minutes harnessing our kids into various car seats and seat belt contraptions.
  • Then: “Hop in, kids! Sure we can fit six more!”
  • Now: We feel pressure to have healthy meals and snacks constantly available for our kids.
  • Then: “Do you want the TV dinner with the apple cobbler or the cherry pie?”
  • Now: We have to actually interact with and engage our kids. ALL THE TIME.
  • Then: “It’s 8:00am? Time to go outside! Be home for dinner!”
  • Now: We worry about kidnappers and predators and sex offenders.
  • Then:  “Don’t talk to strangers. Now go outside and be home in nine hours for dinner.”
  • Now: We have to manage our kids’ crazy extracurricular activities schedule with soccer, baseball, Daisies, gym classes, art classes, martial arts, ballet, gymnastics, softball, horseback riding, swim lessons, the therapy they need because they’re so over-extended…
  • Then: “Now go outside and be home… “ (You get the point.)

ANYWAY, that was a long side note. But NOT because I’m bitter. Just because.

Back to my unproductivity. Yesterday, I got tired of feeling like such a miserable slacker failure so I decided to try a different tactic. I came up with a 100% fool-proof exercise for feeling accomplished. Ready?

Here you go:

To Don’t List for Today

  1. Have every member of the house wear clean clothes at the same time
  2. Make a quilt using all the kids’ baby clothes (highlight the vomit stains with a contrasting thread color)
  3. Read a chemistry textbook
  4. Read the newspaper
  5. Get a dog
  6. Get a frog
  7. Get plastic surgery
  8. Do a facial scrub.
  9. Lose my temper  (PUH-lease)
  10. Lose my temper more than nine times
  11. Learn how to multiply fractions
  12. Learn how to calculate percentages
  13. Organize all the books on my bookshelf by color
  14. Quit loving Margaritas
  15. Watch too many DVR’ed episodes of “Revenge”  (OOPS)
  16. Train for a marathon
  17. Train for a 10k
  18. Train for a 5k
  19. Train for 50 yard dash
  20. Prepare three balanced, nutritional meals that nobody under the age of six will eat
  21. Call my kids bad names  (TOO AMBITIOUS)
  22. Call my kids bad names to their faces
  23. Make baby books for all of the kids (include hospital bracelets and first haircut hairs)
  24. Use an iron
  25. Use a hair dryer
  26. Use the washing machine
  27. Eat a ½ sleeve of Oreos
  28. Eat a full sleeve of Oreos
  29. Eat an entire box of Oreos (VICTORY!)

GOD, I feel so much better now!!! I only didn’t NOT do five of the above 29 things! That’s an 82.7% success rate!* Better than I’ve seen in months.

Now with this confidence boost, I can motivate to get going on that laundry pile. Or maybe just eat more Oreos.

Try it!


*Yes, I had to ask my brother to figure that out for me. But didn’t you see “Learn how to calculate percentages” on the list? Duh.

I must have this.














4 responses »

  1. You are soooo funny. The do’s and don’t’s of motherhood can be frustrating but also rewarding. You wouldn’t want it any other way!!

  2. Well. thank you, you have just conjured up a “to-do” list for my retirement….and I was worried I’d be bored!/!?

  3. Ditto on reply from june 5 2012. At my age it seems like the first time I read it. (senior brain) You are adorable! Love ya!

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