Make It Count

Little ones breathe deep beneath their blankets. The day is over. My feet didn’t stop running from morning until now, but I can’t point to one thing I did today! Laundry and dishes remain in piles, the ‘to-do’ list seems endless … what did I do today?!

I notice when I’m discouraged about parenting, it’s usually because I’m not counting what we do. For some inexplicable reason I have this bizarre expectation that a ‘good mom’ (whatever that is) will sit on the floor and play with her children most of each day. She speaks gently to them, smiling always. She entertains them and loves all children at all times. She basks in peace and joy every waking minute. Oh – and her house would be organized and spotless by the way.

Who can live up to that?!?! Like I said ...  unrealistic.

So, craziness aside, I’ve decided to count what I do as part of my being a ‘good mom’. (whatever that is). After all – there are no pay raises, no annual reviews, no grades or check marks. I have to decide what counts, and then count it.

So, I’ve decided that ‘it counts’ (as ‘good momming’) when …
  • we’re  in the same room and occasionally interact in a peaceful and pleasant way. (if I’m folding laundry while they talk, it counts)
  • I’m frustrated but speak gently
  • I encourage, smile at, tickle, laugh with or chase my children.
  • we run errands together 
  • we stop to look at a flower
  • I remember to connect an everyday event or fact to a truth of the Bible
  • I pray with them
  • they’re fed and dressed
  • I can see the floor of their rooms
  • they’re around during group Bible study
  • they hear me encourage others, see me share or speak gently to others
  • I share with my children – my room, my couch, my computer, my hat …
  • I play toys and imaginary games with them, (and jumping on the trampoline …)
  • I stop what I’m doing to listen to them
  • I answer their questions patiently – bonus points for humorous answers… 
Suddenly the list seems endless! Wonderful! Hopefully the next time I’m discouraged about ‘bad momming’, I can remember that those little things count. Actually, they probably count way more than the bad times. I yell and lose my cool far less than I do all the things in that list, so I figure I’m okay. … which probably means they’ll be more-or-less okay.

Thanks for letting me ramble about that. Hopefully it helps you to remember that those ‘little’ things you do with your kids aren’t really little at all. They totally count!


V said...

"if I’m folding laundry while they talk, it counts" -- too true and IT DOES!!!!! I like that you point that our to mummies!!
the little things are never LITTLE at all. I remember dancing with my mom when i was small, I REMEMBER THAT! It's never little for your child!!!
This (i don't have kids just by the way) is such a fantastic post!!! ramble it may be BUT INSIGHTFUL!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

A good reminder for us all. I find also when I am at my most discouraged as a mom and homeschooler that it is because I have believed the lie that I am not "doing" enough, not with them, not for them, not for others, I am just a big selfish person. Praise God for grace :) Once received it is so much easier to pass on, to my kids, to my husband, to others. I definitely have to remember to count all the things I do so that I don't forget that we are making forward progress as a family.


Sab said...

I so needed to read that. Thank you!

Sherri said...

Great! Thanks!