I like to-do lists. I am NOT always great at them, but when I am they are sooo helpful. Making them and then checking them off…a visible sign of productivity. (plus they keep my mommy-brain from forgetting things!) Trying to get better at this in this season!! But He has been speaking some things to me about these to-do's, and about what is in front of me right now...
Each thing on those lists takes time to do.
It ALL takes time, even those little things we do as mothers.
My baby started eating a lot more recently, and I forgot how long it takes and the patience it requires, to give spoonful after spoonful ever so slowly and carefully, so as to not have butternut squash sprayed all over you by flailing baby arms.
The other day as I fed him, I was also being shouted at to come upstairs to see the “doctor’s office” my girls had built. In that same moment, my eyes caught that long to-do list stuck to my fridge, and the basket of unfolded laundry sitting at my feet.
My mind wandered to “Oh my goodness, feeding a baby takes sooo long! I have so much to do.” And I felt myself start to get impatient with the process and feeling this inner anxiety that I should be doing something different, accomplishing something more.
But then his eyes caught mine again.
And I realized this IS my more.
In that moment, spoon in hand, bib in place, and squash on his nose…HE was my to-do.
And that was right where I needed to be.
While there IS a time and a place for accomplishing other things, whether it is work (outside or inside the home), chores, attending to all the children, working on the budget, etc., I think I sometimes get caught up in the need to “get it all done” and be productive and check the boxes off, when really, the most productive thing I am called to do in that particular moment is to feed my baby.
All of our days look different and require different amounts of focus for the various things God has called us to put our hands to. We need to be diligent and wise with those things.
But while you may not be checking off a list for each diaper you change or each time you sit down to nurse, or every time-out you have to enforce…those are important, productive things. For me, it is so easy to not count mothering as the “productive” accomplishments in my days.
But I want to change that thinking. I want to see each mothering moment as the most important thing I am checking off my invisible, grace-seeking, mommy-heart list that day. I want to really breathe in the moments that seem to take too long (or are frustrating because they maybe could’ve been avoided, like cleaning spills or taking children back to their beds for the millionth time). Taking the time to spoon feed my baby is important. Taking the time to read to my kindergartner is important. Taking the time to just SIT and talk with them is important.
If I look at the bigger picture, every single mothering moment is truly vital. I need to remember that more.
So, mamas, be ready to cross some things off, look back tonight and think to yourself “Wow, I was super productive today!” And while no one may ever see this “list” and pat you on the back for all the things you got done…the things you accomplished as a mother today were more important than you realize.