Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Just Five Things

In the throes of PPD, mothering or just any Tuesday it can seem impossible to get even one thing done. How do I tackle the mountain of laundry when the baby simply won't stop pooping? How can I blog when the phone won't stop ringing reminding me of Doctor's appointments and playdates I scheduled and have since forgotten? How can I shower after jazzercise when the baby looks far, far, far from ready for an afternoon nap?

The following is a bit of wisdom gleaned from our support group facilitator Anne. Her sister, the mother/goddess of five children shared it with her. I offer it now to you.

I offer it to you, beleaguered and overwhelmed mother of less than five. I offer it to you, the mom who is sitting now in an office and wondering what her little miracles are doing at this moment in day care. I offer it to you, the woman who is wondering how she will get even one thing done.

There are Just Five Things to be done everyday.

#1: Shower
(Can be replaced on particularly 'cloudy' days by any combination of at least two of the following-brushing teeth, brushing hair, washing face and/or putting on earrings)

#2: Feed Them Dinner
(Cereal works for breakfast and lunch and sometimes dinner, however, when the children think that Lucky Charms and Trix are part of the food pyramid, it's time to break out the pots and pans.)

#3: Play with a Child
(Play, one on one, eye to eye, butt on the floor or on the bike...whatever they pick. No education allowed. Simply play. Trust me, it's harder than you think.)

#4: Read to a Child
(Some education allowed. Mostly listen in between reading. I learned that my 4 1/2 yr. old is obsessed with his guts. I learned this when I read him a story while waiting at the doctor's office. To be honest, the harried business man impatiently waiting across the room enjoyed my adaptation of the story too. Another honesty moment, I have read aloud from Entertainment magazine to my infant...it isn't so much the plot as the voice he loves. )

#5: YOU GET TO PICK
(I like this one best. The only rule for #5 it can ONLY be used in the care and feeding of YOU. I have only begun to learn that a healthy, happy, rested, fed and encouraged Mommy is a Mommy everyone can live with.)

Can't manage five? Pick one. Do that one thing and know that you did the best you could. Do two the next day (week, month, whatever) and know you did the best that you could.

Notice what isn't on the list? Housecleaning. Bill paying. Laundry. Those daily and weekly chores always seeming to slip by anyway. When you can nail down the five, you'll be surprised when you can sneak in something else. I have been able to add exercise just this week. Dusting may have to wait until next week.

Remember, just five things.

To close here are Just Five Things I Appreciate About You:

#1: You read this often meandering blog and don't leave mean comments.
#2: You have taken the time to read when I know there are far more than 5 things on your own "to do" list.
#3: You smile a bit after reading about the dog's newest favorite treat.
#4: You are a mothering warrior, with her own battle armor, her own scars and her own victories.
#5: I get to blog about this mothering thing. I have more to learn and I'm glad to figure it out with you.

Thanks. J.C.

1 comment:

  1. dearest memorable mama-

    michael is a friend of mine. i got pregnant at a very trying time in my life and was worried that i would be at high-risk for PPD. he gave me the gift of a link to this website. a year ago, i read these words. my son is now nearly 7 months old, and i told michael tonight that i think you saved me from PPD. after my son's birth, i remembered this list and would tell myself to at least brush my teeth. or put in earrings. but not to worry about cleaning the house. and we made it through just fine. and i am so grateful. thank you so much for sharing your experiences here - the wisdom and the humor.

    -melissa

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