My three-year-old is at this “adorable” stage (and when I say adorable I do mean extremely irritating part of his life), where after every statement I make he follows it with “but mommy, why?” And yes….I’ve done the typical “because I say so!” Sure, it’s a phase he’s going through and most kids his age go through it, but I do admire his curiosity for life and as he continues to grow up, I would like him to continue to question the things around him and to not just accept something as is. And if I want that for him – why don’t I do it as an adult? So, lately, I’ve taken a cue from my Pre-Schooler. I’ve started asking myself “why” for things that I “feel” like I need to do.
It’s no secret that I’m busy, as most of us are. I have a job that requires a far commute, so I start my day at 5am. Between taking my son to school, commuting, working, school pick up, dinner, soccer practice, finding time to workout, and getting ready for the following day – I don’t finally get to relax until 8-9pm. And by then, there are tons of other things I need to do: household chores, PTA work, school items, more work, and…oh – sleep! So, I decided to start asking myself why?
By the time I’m home at 6:30pm, I would have a list of things I needed to do that evening before bed, with no time for myself. And guess what? Most of them wouldn’t get done due to lack of time and that would just add to my stress levels which would trickle over to the following day, which would bring additional things to do and so on and so on. It was an on going cycle. So now, once I’m ready to do my to-do list, I just ask myself why after every task I list for myself:
- I have a pile of laundry to do. . . but why? Because we might not have clothes or essentials for the next day. Then, ok – that needs to get done.
- I need to do the dishes . . . but why? Well, they are dirty – although I have plenty of clean dishes. So what will happen if they don’t get done? Well…nothing. Then, its not a priority! Next….!
- I should fold laundry….but why? Well, they will be wrinkly. Is that the end of the world? Will an iron not do the trick? Well, no – the world won’t end. Then, it’s not a priority! Next….!
- I need to bake cupcakes for my son’s school . . . by why? Well, I committed to brining dessert for his event. So what, I can’t buy cupcakes in the morning? Hmm – I guess so. Great. then, it’s not a priority! Next….!
- And so on . . .
Trust me, I get it. There’s so many dirty dishes that you can keep in the sink before you are eating with your hands and believe it or not, my house isn’t a total mess (I actually consider myself pretty Type A) – but
the point of asking why is to realize what is a priority THAT day and what’s not.
Yes, its a lot of self talk but, just simply questioning myself on why I feel something needs to get done and what will happen if it doesn’t has really lighten the weight I feel on my shoulders every day. It has given me the opportunity to spend more time doing the important things, taking time to spend with my son after school, using up my weekends to the fullest and taking time to just relax a bit and let my mind rest – which has changed my attitude completly.
I don’t feel on edge as much. I don’t feel stressed and disappointed with myself when I don’t finish my list. I live more in the moment than thinking about what needs to get done in a few hours and overall, I just feel more present and more at peace than before.
So mamas – whether you’re a single-mom, stay-at-home-mom, working-mom, or if your a dad or just someone who is just busy . . . whatever your status is, we are all bombarded with things to do every single day. So step back for a minute, and just think – “WHY do I have to pick up all the toys right now? WHAT will happen if you don’t do it now and maybe do it tomorrow? Ah ha! nothing right?
Well then, put your feet up during nap time instead of during chores and just relax – you deserve it!