A new kind of list making


I made a list today, a different kind of list than I usually do. Not a to-do list, or a grocery list, or a list of errands to run, or a list in my gratitude journal that doesn’t exist because I have zero extra time in my day for that. It originated as a list in my mind of all things I didn’t get done. “I didn’t call the dentist.” “I didn’t finish the laundry.” “I didn’t start the story that I have due next week.” “I wasn’t as patient with Charlotte as I should have been.” The thoughts turned into a downward spiral of negativity which made me feel like such a grouch. Trying to track where my day went and perk myself up, I decided to think about what I did get done. I decided to write it all down, every little thing I could recall, things I did indeed do, the big things and the little things.

As soon as I started writing, my day began to look a little differently and more productive than I initially thought. I fed not one, but three little humans a slew of meals, some in breast milk form. I pumped at 5:30 am. I answered at least 5 emails and text messages. I did laundry and dishes. I played taxi to the previously mentioned little humans, brushed their teeth, bathed them and read ‘Bridget’s Beret’ about a dozen times. I had an actual conversation on the phone with my sister. I’m not sharing this to make myself seem like a martyr; my list might look longer or shorter than yours and that’s ok. It’s just as soon as I started writing it all down, I realized “ok I did a lot today.”

I’m sharing this because as moms, whether we work, are at home, or both, it can be easy for the days to pass and to feel like each day we haven’t done enough, and that we’re not enough. Let us remember that the work we’re doing as parents, the little tasks that we often take for granted, are important. Feeding our children is important. Taking them to and fro is important. Things like dishes, teeth brushing, laundry, conversations with our spouses-these things are important. Emily Dickinson was on to something when she wrote, “If you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves.” These little things that we do each day that often can seem like annoyances, that take up time play a part in the big picture of our lives. Moms, let’s not forget that. So here’s to a new sort of list making. When you’re feeling defeated at the end of the day, try making a different kind of list, starting with what you did do, and you might, as a result, see your day a little differently.

Addie xx


Comments (7)

September 10, 2019

Thank you so much, this made me tear up in gratitude. Thank you for sharing your talent with us, I love people who feel things and reflect and then express their thoughts so beautifully, bringing light to the rest of us!!!

Addie Ladner
September 11, 2019

Oh what I nice thing to say Lindsay! Thank you. I’m so glad it meant something to you. We all need a give ourselves a break sometimes and remember we do more than we realize! Xx

September 12, 2019

Oh, I believe this is what Gretchen Rubin calls the Ta-Dah! list (instead of a to-do list). I thought it was brilliant, but then quickly forgot about it! Thanks for your article – will try to do it!

Esther in Amsterdam
September 12, 2019

Ha! I love that! Ta Dah! 🙂

September 17, 2019

Love this exercise Addie! Such a great reminder that just because we might not get the things on our ‘to do’ list done doesn’t mean we haven’t been productive. Great mindset reset and switch

Addie Ladner
September 19, 2019

Exactly! You said it best 🙂

Silvia Meroni
September 19, 2019

Love this!
My four-year-old actually inspired me to do this a year ago when he asked me to tell him about my day when I put him to sleep at bedtime. And it has turned out to be a good time for him to tell me about all he’s done during his day. We round it up with the ritual of saying “and we have finished our day telling each other about our day!”.

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