Making A List and Checking It (More Than) Twice

Happy December, Readers! Too often this month can become a frantic checklist of holiday planning, last minute shopping (or crafting), readying the house for guests, packing for travel, stressful eating and general busyness. Let's be honest, that is not a recipe for a calm and happy parent. This month we asked our writers to share some of their holiday plans, their reflections on the past year and their thoughts and goals for 2013. As 2012 closes, we are so thankful for the wonderful things that have happened at The Motherhood Collective over the past months. We wish you all a very happy and fulfilling end to your year. ~TMC-- To Do List I'm an organized person. I like to make lists. Not only does it help me to see what needs to be done, I get intense satisfaction out of crossing items off. As a mom, I'm always balancing multiple projects, covering all areas of both my life and that of my family. Right now, I'm mentally reviewing home improvement projects, housecleaning chores, travel plans, book reviews I need to write for my blog, and a myriad of birthday parties, church social events, and meetings that all take place in the next month.

Apart from the whole getting-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-to-take-care-of-the-kids-thing, this is why most mom's lack enough sleep.

But the thing is, my lists are never completely done. As soon as I cross something off, three more items are added. I know you're nodding. I'm not alone here.

And yet, as I look forward to 2013, I'm starting a new list.

Why would I do this, when I'm alright buried under lists? I'm so glad you asked.

This year, I'm making a to-do list that's about ME. Some of the items are pretty vain -- I want to find a skin care regimen that will help repair the damage of 5 hours of sleep per night that my son insisted upon for TEN MONTHS. I also wouldn't mind losing those last 10 pounds, now that my son is a year old. Others on the list are emotional -- I want to find a middle ground with my 3.5 year old daughter who is smart, witty...and stubborn. And some are personal -- a new project that could go somewhere (or not), but that forces me outside of my comfort zone in a way that so far has been scary and exhilirating at the same time.

So if you're a list-maker like me, I encourage you to write one more list. This one doesn't need to hang on the fridge or the bulletin board for all the world to see (mine certainly won't), but keep it tucked somewhere accessible, and make a point to check in once a month to see how you're doing. All those other lists--for home, work, family--are important, but little will be accomplished if you're not also taking care of yourself (and yes, I'll keep reminding myself of that, too.)

Here's to 2013, mamas!

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too”

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho