I read an article on Babble called 11 Things I Never Do as a Mom (read it here) by Chaunie Brusie and it got me thinking about the things I don't do. There are plenty of them. Of course there are a great many more thing that I do DO but there's many things that I DON'T DO. I am totally fine with not doing things. In fact, I'm really good at it. Some may call it a gift at prioritizing others may call it selective laziness. I call it doing the things that matter to me!
In it she writes how people ask her "how she does it all" and she gives 11 things that she doesn't do which are:
1) Play with her kids
2) Cook dinner nightly
3) Iron. ever
4) Switch the laundry on time
5) Take regular dates with her husband
6) Volunteer at her kids’ school
7) Do her hair or make-up
8) Break up every fight
9) Drop everything for her kids
10) Always get up at night with her kids
11) Get out much
Now before you judge things like number 1, 6, 8, 9 or 10 read the article.
As a mom who has been asked how I do it all many times and had friends say they wish they had it together like I do I have to tell you... The moms that make it look easy are the ones who are stressed out or are finding ways to cheat (which isn't a bad thing).
I don't always tell people who remark on how tidy my home is that it's like that because I'm bipolar and OCD so when I am in a manic mode I'm like Mr. Clean on steroids. When I'm not manic the OCD is still there and I make my kids help. Yes, you heard me. My kids are expected to do chores. They have to do one household job a day in addition to cleaning their own rooms, picking up after themselves, taking care of the pets and doing the separating and putting away of their laundry. I know they work at school, have homework and activities but I do too and it teaches them responsibility and makes my life easier.
I don't get things done when I say I will. I try but I can't always do it. People ask how I am able to volunteer so much and I tell them it's because I completely neglect my work for it which causes me to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to get the work I neglected done. (It's surprising just how little sleep I have learned to function on since having kids). What I don't get done I have to just push back or try to squeeze in. That's why I work from my phone so much. Which brings me to something so many like to comment on...
I don't always put down my phone. I work from home, take my kids out and do a lot for them so yes, I am on my phone a lot. It allows me to be at the zoo instead of in my office. And yes, when I'm at the zoo I do keep a close eye on the kids but I don't hover and don't jump when they scream "look mom". It's the trade for being home with them.
I don't spend every moment of my life with my kids. I do go out. A lot if you ask me. I spend all my daylight (and much of my night) hours doing things for my family. Cleaning, cooking, driving, volunteering, playing so I go out at LEAST once a week. I don't get paid so I deserve time for me. If I do tend to overbook and go out more than twice in a week I may feel guilty but I know that I have earned time to myself.
I don't pack healthy lunches for my kids. I try but processed junk is so much easier. I also don't cook healthy. I either have bacon in each meal or use bacon grease to cook things in. I love fried foods and butter. My kids do to. Yes, I know it's bad and unhealthy but it tastes good and is convenient and with three kids that's what matters at this point in my life.
I LOVE being a mom. I love spending time with my kids and I love my work. So sometimes I have to skip things I want for my family AND myself. I want to watch a show so my kids may not get a bedtime story. I may feel like spending time cuddling with them so the laundry may not get done. Maybe the reason I'm generally so happy with my life is I do what I want on my terms. I don't let the opinions or expectations of others bother me.
So the way I look there may be things I don't do but there are reasons I don't do them. And for everything I don't do there are far more things I do. I'm not saying I don't feel guilty sometimes, I think all moms do. I am simply saying that I don't let the guilt get to me because I know I am doing the best I can with everything I do (and don't do). So the main thing I don't do...
I DON'T apologize for my choices and the things I don't do.