se7en

The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en is NOT Doing Nothing and a New To-Do List…

February 3rd, 2010 · 27 Comments

How many times have I been asked what on earth do I do all day, stuck at home with my kids. All that free time. I must be so bored!!! In a world that is task orientated, where success is measured by ticking things off your to do list or worse by what you are earning. Even though these are not my measures they are pervasive in our thinking.

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I have a list a mile long of things I need to be doing!!! Really I do!!! I need to be thinking about school especially. Summer unfortunately doesn’t last forever!!! I need to box up last years work and sort and shuffle and clear space and no this is not part of my usual routine.

So my to do list is lurking at the back of my mind and nothing is getting ticked off the list. Day after day the father person comes home and asks me: “How was your day?” and day after day I say: “I have done nothing.” I feel like I have done nothing and it looks like I have done nothing. The house basically looks the same as when he left in the morning…

That in and of itself demonstrates that I am not doing a whole lot of nothing … because if I was doing nothing the house would look like a bomb went off!!!

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I didn’t do nothing: I made a number of meals, I did a mountain of laundry, I taught someone how to tie their own laces, I read a heap of story books, I took the kids swimming for ages and I listened to a million tales of wonder – that is probably the biggest thing I did… listened and listened as little people gave me the running commentary on their life. And at the end of it all they are happily tucked up in bed and fast asleep. The kitchen is clean and tidy and ready for tomorrow… and just at this moment the bathroom is clean as well. Todays tasks are done.

I should be thrilled, but like most moms there is a little nagging voice at the back of my mind reminding me that I am doing nothing… because on my ever growing to do list nothing got ticked. Actually I managed to mend some books and begin sorting through our school dresser. And yesterday the Hoods and I spring cleaned all the kitchen cupboards – unpacked everything, wiped the cupboards clean and put everything back.

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That to-do list is not tick-free but I think when we look back on our day and we didn’t do more on the list. In fact not even half of the list was even considered… it is frustrating. It is frustrating to spend the afternoon nursing and reading stories on the couch… when I have so much to do… But I need to change what I am thinking… A chubby cheeked baby and chilled out kids who want to spend the afternoon reading isn’t on my to-do list. I should be changing what is going on to my to-do list, because I am certainly not doing nothing!!!

This Post was hammered out as part of The Thirty Minute Mom’s Challenge at Steady Mom. The photographs were taken from my flickr pool, so didn’t need load up time.

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Tags: Home Truths · Stuff About Us...

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nina // Feb 3, 2010 at 4:24 am

    I get SO frustrated sometimes that it.never.ends. cleaning, laundry, cooking etc…its always going to be happening. the other day I told my son it was go naked day as I was tired of doing laundry. then I laughed and laughed and got over myself. I just have to remind myself…its faster to do it than complain about it and if I can’t/don’t get it done…it’ll be okay. I think having your kitchen clean everynight is a great accomplishment. good for you.

  • 2 Victoria // Feb 3, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Better yet, just get rid of that dat-gum to do list!!!
    Just go with the flow.
    I so understand what you mean, se7en.
    I am guilty of getting nothing done yet at the end of the day I don’t know which way is up.
    Deep breaths!

  • 3 Stina // Feb 3, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Oh goodness! If you feel you’ve done nothing with 8…I really REALLY have done nothing with 2! lol. Does that annoy you to no end, though? People assuming we do nothing all day? I have had days where I really did nothing and my house WAS trashed! It takes lots of work and lots of love to do just the basic stuff with the kiddos and maintaining the house…let alone marking off the extra stuff. That is one thing that makes me nervous about homeschooling (which I’m giving a try this fall)…how will I get everything done? I might have to be satisfied with not having as much time or as tidy of a house…and I know it will be worth it.

  • 4 se7en // Feb 3, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Hay N, You are right, eventually the jobs do get done regardless of ourselves!!! Luckily I haven’t resorted to “go naked days”; “go hungry days”… I could go on!!! Have a great week!!!

  • 5 se7en // Feb 3, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Hay V – Now there’s an idea!!! No list!!! I have to confess I have spent days of my life getting nothing done and being totally exhausted from the effort of it!!! Moving on!!! Have a great week!!!

  • 6 se7en // Feb 3, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Hay S, I will tell you a secret!!! This is our 8th of homeschooling coming up and I can never ever imagine how we have time for it, when we are on holiday… but somehow we do, every time, somehow the busier you are the more you get done!!! You will be fine just keep chipping at it and like house hold stuff school some how gets done too!!! Have a great week!!!

  • 7 S // Feb 3, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I personally think you are a miracle worker – mother of 8, wife, friend, blogger, home exec, teacher ……. my list carries forward from month to month and I only have two children! Keep up the good work!

  • 8 se7en // Feb 3, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Hi S, That’s sweet… thanks for the heads up!!! I think I should toss the old list and start a fresh one with just the really important things on it!!! Like extra hugs in the morning and kicking a soccer ball at bed-time!!! Have a great day you!!!

  • 9 Olivia // Feb 3, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I love this:

    “The house basically looks the same as when he left in the morning…

    That in and of itself demonstrates that I am not doing a whole lot of nothing … because if I was doing nothing the house would look like a bomb went off!!!”

    Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…
    That’s what I sing to myself when it seems nothing is getting done.

  • 10 Olivia // Feb 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Oh, and the running commentaries- I didn’t know listening could be so exhausting!

  • 11 Christine // Feb 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    There is one massive problem with the to-do list.

    Well, two. . .

    the first is that the thing is always being added to.

    the second is that it tends, by default to be prioritized into daily, short-term and long-term. And those latter two take FOREVER to go away!

  • 12 Susan // Feb 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    “That in and of itself demonstrates that I am not doing a whole lot of nothing … because if I was doing nothing the house would look like a bomb went off!!!” I laughed at this, so true.

    If I could just convince everyone not to require food I’d have a whole lot of extra time (and money) . The whole 3 meals a day x 9 people plus snacks takes a huge chunk out of my day:)

  • 13 se7en // Feb 3, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Hay O, Nice to hear from you!!! Yup, swimming away!!! Myself I am astonished at how much work it is to really listen rather than just hearing!!! Have a great day!!!

  • 14 Kelly Glik // Feb 3, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    It’s so true “the busier you are the more you get done” – when Im NOT busy (if that ever happens) I find the smallest thing SO HARD to do, but when there is a lot and not much time, wow… its amazing what can be done!
    And enlisting the team to help works wonders! Im blessed with an amazing 14 year old who gets my kitchen sparkling every night and my 11 year old helps me bath the littlies, tidy up etc. It is so much easier when all hands help.

  • 15 se7en // Feb 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Hay S, We were in a restaurant a couple of weeks ago and the waitress was clearly not coping with the “table for 10.” Finally after everyone had their drink, their ketchup, their cutlery… she turned to me and said how do you do this everyday … um feed the rabble more than once a day!!! You are right, food is huge… on maintenance survival days all I do is lurch from meal to meal!!! Thirty meals a day is certainly training me for a career in catering!!! You have a fun day!!!

  • 16 se7en // Feb 3, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    HI KG, You sound like you have such fabulous kids!!! I am trying to teach a couple of mine how to produce an entire meal from start, right through to clean-up… You can guess where I am going with this, can’t you? !!!! You are so right the madder the rush the more gets done!!! Happens all the time like that with us!!! Hope you have a great day!!!

  • 17 Carin T // Feb 4, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you for this mail it made my day.

  • 18 CA // Feb 4, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Yo se7en – i got to download my e-mail – at last! and found this link – yeah! I smiled to myself when I read your article and posts – my to do list is so long that it does not warrant writing out – I try everyone now and then but lose the paper! so I have resorted to writing the most important thing on my hand … and up my arm etc. If someone knows they are on my arm – they know they have more chance of being sorted 🙂 but then come the end of the day – some of the info has sweated off – ha ha ha – but as you say – the really important things are the things we do not write down – and which the father person just does not usually “get”… onward Christian soldiers – do it all unto the Lord and keep breathing 🙂

  • 19 katherinemarie // Feb 4, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    “A chubby cheeked baby and chilled out kids who want to spend the afternoon reading isn’t on my to-do list.” ohhhhh that’s not on your list, but as you’ve so beautifully stated— THAT’S the REAL DEAL. That’s the GOOD stuff. And when we look back those are the moments that will make our heart burst with sheer delight! Maybe we should have fun/special to-do and a not so fun to-d0???

  • 20 se7en // Feb 4, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Hi CT, So glad to make your day!!! I hope it gets better and better!!!

  • 21 se7en // Feb 4, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Hi CA, So Glad to give you a smile!!! Have a great day and keep on breathing!!!

  • 22 se7en // Feb 5, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Hi KM, So good to hear from you!!! I am starting to think that to do lists are for day-to-day things, but nothing can predict the moment to moment!!! I totally love your beautiful “Vintage birthday” post. Happy birthday to that young man of yours!!! Have a fun week!!!

  • 23 Kelly // Feb 5, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Great post! My sweet husband always says “Even the days you do nothing are days you do everything that matters…feed them, clothe them, read to them, play with them…if nothing else gets done, everything has been done.” At times frustrating because that pesky list is in my face, but so wise his words and I do well to listen to him.

  • 24 se7en // Feb 5, 2010 at 1:12 am

    HI K, Thanks for stopping by!!! I love that: “if nothing else gets done, everything has been done.” Too true!!! Hope you have a lovely day!!!

  • 25 Jennifer // Feb 6, 2010 at 2:15 am

    When you said your house looked the same as when hubby left, I though the same thing that you wrote next, lol! My house is the same way. I have 4 kids, and up to 6 foster kids, depending on the day. A bomb does go off every day, and a tornado hits as well, and if the house looks like it did when he left, then I did a darn good job of keeping it picked up :o)
    Love your blog :o)

  • 26 se7en // Feb 6, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Hi J, Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!! Tell me about keeping things “the same” !!! Have a fun weekend!!!

  • 27 Saturday Spot : The To-Do List… | se7en // Feb 8, 2010 at 11:27 am

    […] done. I envisioned huge amounts of house hold tasks being done. HUGE I say. By day one my mental To-Do list was totally out of […]

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