One October, when life was feeling happy and we were in the midst of living up the family traditions, I signed up to bring a crock pot of chili to a local Halloween celebration my family was planning to attend. I have a great chili recipe, and I was happy to offer my services when the organizers sent out an email asking for extra help. But when the day of the party came, I was a tired, irritable mess.
Not wanting to back out on my promise, I spent the morning marching between the stove and sink, chopping onions and browning meat while scowling at my children and husband. I didn’t start with a big enough container to cook the double-batch I’d prepared, so I ended up spilling tons of beans and tomato juice onto my white bathrobe while trying to transfer everything to a larger pot. My display of frustration was nothing short of embarrassing. (The children still remember it vividly.)
I remember my husband saying, “Why don’t you just not make chili? I think the Halloween party will survive.”
But I’d made a commitment. I was going to follow through.
When we finally showed up at the event–with costumes, candy, and our contribution to the dinner–we realized that a miscommunication had resulted in pretty much everyone bringing a crock pot of chili. They didn’t even need mine. The other moms were laughing about how we were all going to eat chili the next night for dinner. But all I could think was, “What have I done?”
If I’d only known then how to renegotiate with myself, I could have saved my whole family a lot of angst. Who said I had to double the batch? Was there any rule that prevented me from heating up cans of pre-made chili? Could I have stopped at Wendy’s on the way and used their yummy chili instead?
I’m all for keeping commitments and doing what I say I’m going to do, but far too often, we, as mothers, set up unrealistic expectations in our minds, make lists that are way too long, or get overly-optimistic about how much can be accomplished in one day. We set ourselves up for failure. And we get upset with our families who “get in the way.”
So today, let’s talk about how to renegotiate with ourselves–how to re-evaluate our lists and expectations so we don’t drive ourselves (and everyone around us) insane.
I’ll share some of my ideas, and then you share yours in the comments below, okay? (I’m still working on perfecting this skill and could definitely use some help.)
We need to recognize when our expectations are bordering on ridiculous.
One weekend, I hosted a Mind Organization for Moms workshop at my home,
and this is what I wanted to accomplish during the two days prior to the event:
- Weekly menu planned, groceries purchased, fridge scoured, veggies chopped and stored, items in pantry put into air-tight containers
- Laundry totally done, folded, put away upstairs
- Office cleaned out and organized
- Carpets steam-cleaned with the machine we have up in the attic
- Car washed and vacuumed as a family
- Dying plants on the front porch replaced
- Downstairs bathroom redecorated
- House scoured top to bottom
- Planner organized
- Print-outs made for workshop, all details handled
I need to stop making lists like this to begin with. I’m a busy mother of four children, and I need to sleep and eat. A list like this will kill me.
I met a mom one time who had a very strict cleaning list that designated a specific time for each household task. She said, “I’m supposed to mop on Thursdays at 4, so whether the floor needs it or not, and whether I feel like doing it or not, I’m going to mop. And if I’m in a bad mood, I’m going to mop angry.” After we talked for awhile, she admitted that her list didn’t need to dictate her life. It’s simply not necessary.
Now that we’re getting close to the holidays, I’m willing to bet that ridiculous lists like this are cropping up all over the world. When we realize we’re over-committing again, we need to stop it.
Relationships have to come before lists.
In my chili-scenario from above, I put a crock pot of food before my family. I had all kinds of justifications as to why that was necessary, but really . . . was it?
Below are some ways I learned to put relationships first–even when I was trying to accomplish that mammoth “ridiculous” list from above.
Grace had a lingering fever throughout the week and needed to stay home from school for a few days. She needed time with me. The laundry folding could wait.
Alia and Ethan had lots of homework, and they wanted me to sit by them to review algebra principles and “the twelves” in multiplication. So much more important than cleaning out my office.
Then we had a chance to have my mom over for a night, and I had to jump at the opportunity. My heart has been hurting for her lately. I don’t write about it much because the stories are too painful and my loyalty is to her, but when the choice is between steam-cleaned carpets and time with my mom, there’s just no contest. It’s the relationships that matter.
We renegotiate our commitments to ourselves by simplifying, eliminating, delegating, or delaying.
When we put relationships (and sanity) first, our lists don’t disappear. But having these lists at the back of our minds causes lots of stress–stress that isn’t necessary. That’s why we renegotiate.
Here’s how I renegotiated my list last week:
- Take my mom to the store with me and just buy enough to get us through the weekend. Take two minutes to wipe down the fridge and buy pre-cut veggies.
- Do as much laundry as I can, put the baskets upstairs, and let the children be in charge of all the folding.
- The office can wait.
- Spot-clean the worst part of the carpet and steam-clean next month.
- Drive the car through the $6 car wash at the gas station and have the kids throw all the trash away. Get slushies while we’re there.
- Trim the dying plants a bit, and then stop worrying about them. My workshop attendees aren’t coming for a gardening lesson, and they’ll forgive me.
- Clean the downstairs bathroom, but don’t try to redecorate. (I don’t even know how to decorate. Why did I add this to my list in the first place?)
- Clean the areas of the house where people will be. Involve the kids and turn on fun music. BREATHE.
- Give myself 25 minutes to clean out my planner. It’s fine.
- Spend one hour on the workshop print-outs. The most important part of the workshop is the discussion. No stress necessary.
See how easy that was? And the workshop turned out great. No one even looked in my van. No one complained that my carpets hadn’t been steam-cleaned. I got a good night’s rest, and since I got all the “must-dos” done, I actually had a little more energy to devote to some of those “like-to-dos.”
Every single day, we have the opportunity to renegotiate. I’m not talking about “aiming low,” being mediocre” or giving-up-all-our-dreams-because-life-happens.
I’m talking about easing up on our expectations so we can organize our time well and live our lives the way they’re meant to be lived. This year, I might sign up to bring chili again, but you can be sure I’m going to remember my previous experience, and no matter what, the focus is going to be on my family.
QUESTION: How have you learned to renegotiate your commitments? Have you had a recent experience that you can share?
CHALLENGE: The next time your list starts to feel ridiculous, sit down and renegotiate with yourself. What can you simplify? Eliminate? Delegate? Delay? Be smart with your decisions and decide to put relationships first.
Images submitted by author.
Originally published on October 15, 2013.
You’re so right. It’s true that some of my to do lists, both in writing and mental, border on the ridiculous. Why do I stress myself out when there is no need to? I’ll try to renegotiate with myself from now on. Thanks for pointing that out. As you said, family (and sanity)come first.
[email protected] says
Wow! I must say I resemble your comments completely. I become a raving maniac when my list is not getting done and my family has to listen to me. This article was very timely and has me rethinking my crazy to do lists. Those people we live with are much more important then chili (or what every is keeping us from being the best we can be.) Thanks for your comments. I love your website and find my life is richer because of all the ladies who write articles and show us how real moms live.
I can’t even begin to say how much I related to this. I literally had the exact same scenario this spring for my son’s preschool spring concert and panicking about how I had signed up to bring cookies and then hadn’t made homemade cookie. And then panicking about how we were going to be late to the event because we had to go buy these cookies, and my husband said the same exact words to me about cookies…and that no one would even notice. And just like your event, there were about 100 trays of cookies there!! I put crazy, unrealistic expectations on myself way too often when I write to-do lists just like yours above. The one thing I am trying to do recently is to delegate what I can, like hiring a painter to complete some needed projects instead of overworking my 7 month pregnant self to the bone. It will tighten the budget a bit, but I think my sanity and my family’s happiness will be worth the sacrifice. Thanks for this 🙂 ~gina
April Perry says
LOVE your thoughts here, Gina. That’s so funny that you had the same experience. Isn’t it so great that we’re learning?? 🙂
Thank you for sharing that piece. It’s always a good reminder that we have to stop and rethink what’s important.
By the way, any chance you’re willing to share your chili recipe?? Been looking for a good one recently. 🙂
Rachel Nielson says
EXCELLENT post, as always April. The chili story made me laugh aloud because I have definitely been there.
Thank you for the example of how you “modified” your list. So many good reminders there.
April, your essays always strike a chord with me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences this way.
Been there. Done that! Asking “what’s the goal?” before starting can help me with this. Making chili wasn’t the purpose of the Halloween party – having fun with family and friends was the purpose. If I make a special dinner for my family, my goal is to express love in a tangible way. Getting stressed and crabby takes me away from that goal. That feeling is a signal to simplify somehow.
I LOVE the asking “what’s the goal?” Especially when it comes to trying to do something special for my family! Thank you for the added phrase to remind me to keep on the RIGHT track!
Anna Jenkins says
I totally agree April! I make the same kind of lists and am always coming up short. M.O.M. to the rescue!
Great post as usual, April. I have just discovered your bog and it is my new favorite. You have such a great approach to motherhood and life–very refreshing! Your writing is great, too.
I love this particular topic because just today, as I’ve been trying to get organized, serve in my calling, take care of the kids and house, do more writing myself, I realized that I did not have to be on the PTA board–which I didn’t really want to do anyway (our particular PTA has plenty of help.)
Sounds dorky, but it felt so liberating to let that one little thing go. It can be a meaningful experience for someone else this year; my time will be more meaningfully spent elsewhere. I want to do a few things well, not a million things half-heartedly. Thanks for your great insights!
This was great! Thank you for helping me reign in my to-do list. This comes at an appropriate time for me- I am in thick of the Jewish Holidays.
Thanks for a great article, April! I SO hear ya and have had similar experiences.
I had an epiphany today as I was watering my plants and thinking about margins and limitations. I am hosting a meeting for women (which includes our Learning Circle) next week at my home, and it will begin right about dinner time. I had a thought: turn all dinner and evening homework, bathing, etc. over to my husband for the night….. and he often ends up having to go out of town for work on the same night as our meeting, so I could easily be mad and resentful. OR I could bathe the kids early, order pizza, rent a DVD, and let them have a read-a-thon with pizza, followed by the DVD upstairs in their PJ’s, while I host the meeting downstairs. It’s all about realistic expectations, and boy I am still learning all about those!
Another thing that helps a lot is the JUST SAY NO principle. I had my 9th baby this last winter and truthfully, mothering and managing the home has taken all I’ve had to give. I have given myself at least a one-year hiatus from saying yes to bringing cookies, chili, dinners, helping at school functions, class parties, etc. I say yes to things like buying a package of hand sanitizer and sending it with my child to school. Things that are easy to add in to my already-planned grocery trip, etc. I’m willing to wager that most of the moms bringing the chili, the cookies, etc. are not moms in my situation. My time to help will come, but right now is not my season for that. It’s taken quite awhile to admit it, and come to terms with it (i.e.: LET GO OF THE GUILT!), but I feel so much better about how I care for our family since I’ve figured this out! Everyone’s seasons are different and will take juggling an re-negotiating, but a few minutes spent in thought and prayer, and honesty, can help immensely!
Thank you! It’s so hard to just say NO. It’s a weird compulsion…must do all things and be superhuman no matter what. This last weekend I was alone with the two little ones while the others were on a boy scout backpacking trip. It wasn’t that long ago I would have seen the mess my stay-at-home husband left after the work week and neglected those poor little ones to spend the whole weekend cleaning and cooking. Instead? I ordered pizza and left the house exactly how I found it. We baked cookies, read books, slept in late, visited neighbors, played in the mud. It was the best weekend I’ve had in a long time!
Alysia Humphries says
I love this post. I have the same tendencies and it is so easy to get caught up in the productive day I envision that I miss the sweet moments that actually make memories and make life worthwhile. It helped me a lot recently to start making my to do lists differently – I don’t remember exactly where I learned it from, but now I do my lists with post it notes, writing one item on every note, then sticking each note under ‘Urgent’ ‘Important’ or ‘Not Today.’ I am getting a lot better at putting things under ‘Not today.’ At the beginning it felt like everything on my mind was urgent and it was hard to recognize what could really wait. It’s the constant choice between good, better, and best, that all moms struggle with. Great reminder.
I was on Pinterest last night and I left it feeling lame because I didn’t know when to “do” any of those projects/ideas/recipes that there are thousands of there. I thought, “gosh, I have a hard time keeping up with the laundry, when am I going to shop for, sand and repaint a dresser for my boy’s room?” From now on, I am only going on THIS site at night! I feel so much better and am glad for the reminder that in order to put our relationships first, we need to SIMPLIFY our lists and expectations of ourselves. Thanks for the great article!
Michelle R says
Wow I do this all the time! So validating to see that this article strikes a chord with many women. I end up renegotiating my lists at the last minute and feeling unsatisfied with the result, after stressing about things all day/week, so this has made me aware that I need to renegotiate sooner in the process to save myself and my family from the stress meltdown. Ha ha!! Thanks again for a meaningful, practical, and immediately useful article for my mothering skillz!
my husband is forever telling me I need to make a list of things I need to do so I can cross them off when done. ugh. I, too, have 4 children. 2 are in college now. But every day the list would have been the same… Make food, do some dishes, do some laundry, pick up some mess some kid made… start over at the top, repete!
then I tried to make a schedule… posted on the fridge, who had to be where and when, so hubby would not be able to say “no one told me you were going to be out of the house…” I, too, had a time for a particular task.. I would do laundry for an hour while watching a favorite morning talk show. Husband saw that and promptly teased me for being too specific… seems I just could not win.
so, he still makes lists… often with more than he can really get done… I think I need to make him a new list:
1. read this article / post.
2. chill out.
think it will work?
me neither 😉
April Perry says
It’s definitely a work in progress to get both parents on the same page. My husband teases me, as well, sometimes, but we try to brainstorm together and respectfully consider each other’s ideas. From what I’ve seen, husbands usually have great intentions. They want us to feel accomplished and organized and happy. It’s just that applying principles to family life is much different than applying them to the typical corporate environment. That’s why we, as moms need each other so much. We can help each other with the applications–which will benefit our entire families. Good luck, Tanya! Thanks for your comment.
I love the idea of this, April! And thanks everyone who commented as well.
After just returning to teach elementary school and As a first time mom of a 3 month old, I feel like everything in my life is a renegotiation.
Does it ever get to where I can get more of that list accomplished? Or should I settle in to never getting things fully done again?
I have an especially hard time with this because I always feel so good when I actually finish the things I set out to do. I just don’t know if THAT goal is the unrealistic one.
How do you avoid feeling guilty for all the things your haven’t done?
April Perry says
Congratulations on your new baby, Emma! And YES–there will definitely be time for you to get everything completely done–but it’s a process, and sometimes it won’t happen all at once. For me, I get rid of the guilt by looking at the bigger picture. Right now we are totally low on groceries, and I have lots of work piling up, but it’s because I made a choice to spend a lot of time in other areas this week that were simply more important. But then we’ll get things back together, and we’ll stock up on groceries and clean out the fridge, and the house will look clean and happy again. It’s a skill to learn how to balance, but if the happiness of the whole family comes first, it’s totally possible. All the best to you! So glad to have you at The Power of Moms.
Connie J Hall says
My daughter shared this on facebook. I could sympathize, been there done that. When my bookclub comes over I have the same long list in my head. Speaking of insane, my therapist suggested that I make a Done List instead of a To Do List. Everything on that list always gets done. You get a fulfilled sense of accomplishment and never fall apart at the end of the day because you are still on number 2. Works for me. If I have to write a list, this is the only one I allow myself to write.
So, like everyone else, I love the article, but I always have a lot of ‘buts’ in my adventure of trying to figure out how to get it all together. So here are a few of my buts:
– what if you had gotten to the church and hadn’t made your chili and there were only two other pots there because of a *different* miscommunication? I mean, you got lucky that time, but I always think about the what ifs…
– you’re still going to have to go to the grocery store again later, taking more time away from fun things…
– what happens when something else super important comes up next month when its time to steam clean the carpets again and your house ends up looking like mine (haha)?
– what if I don’t want to keep looking at dying plants because they make me sad every time I see them?
– what if I want to re-decorate the bathroom because it makes me happy to have a beautiful home?
I keep telling myself that spending time with my family is more important than cleaning but at what point it is too messy to have any kind of Spirit there? I feel like ours is always that messy, so I’m always cleaning and feel bad doing things with my kids because the Spirit can’t be in my home with it looking the way it does…
Please, please, please don’t think I’m being critical – I love EVERYTHING you ever have to say – I’m just going through what goes through my mind when I try to renegotiate with myself and the obstacles in my way. Thanks for your insights!
April Perry says
Oh, you made me laugh. I can completely understand what you’re saying here. Let’s try to figure this out together. (Anyone reading these comments . . . help us out!)
(1) I wasn’t considering “not” making chili (that was my husband’s idea). I suggested heating up canned chili or just making one batch or going to Wendy’s. (We had a chili cook off a few years ago and WENDY’S chili won. Everyone was laughing.) You’re right. I hate the thought of leaving someone hanging, but there are tons of ways to simplify.
(2) It takes me 2 1/2 hours, start to finish, to do a full grocery shopping trip (because I drive 20 minutes to get to a store where I can save a lot of money and bag my own groceries). So a quick trip to a local store to buy a few things only took me 35 minutes, and then I had a lot of staples and didn’t need to buy quite as much when I went to the store again a few days later. That little detour was worth the sanity on a busy weekend.
(3) I haven’t steam-cleaned my carpets in a full year. But we just had the carpet put in a year ago, and we got the kind that doesn’t show any dirt, so yes, it’s probably kind of dirty, but I don’t have any babies crawling on it, and I vaccuum every day, and it feels generally clean. When the dirt gets bad enough that it really affects my mood or the health of my family, I make it a priority. (That being said, I do try to keep my home clean and happy, and we clean together as a family every day. I’m all about de-junking and cleaning regularly so the house feels great. It’s just a balance.)
(4) The plants? That’s why I have no living plants inside my entire house. I can’t keep them alive, so fake ones make me feel better. 🙂 We have live plants outside, and I do need to replace the front ones, but again, it’s not as high of a priority to me right now, and I can’t help it if people judge me based on my plants, right?
(5) And I totally do want to decorate the bathroom. And the family room. And my girls’ rooms. And we will. I just can’t expect to do that the same week I’m doing everything else.
And honestly, the best thing I know of to keep the house clean and to spend time with the kids is to clean together. I’ve written tons of posts on the subject. It seems like too many times, we think it’s “be with the kids” or “clean the house,” but many times it’s “be with the kids and clean” or “be with the kids and do something else” and then (go soak in a hot tub and take a break). For me, it’s been learning how to discern in the moment which task/activity is most important. There has never been a time my house has had to be totally neglected–it’s just that sometimes I have to delay some things or be okay with everything not being “perfect.”
I’d love to hear any additional thoughts on this. I know it seems kind of silly, but these kinds of thought processes happen inside every mom’s head, and if we can help each other think through them in a healthy, positive way, I think we’ll be doing a great service.
Angie P says
I just wanted to share an experience. A few years ago, I was at a friend’s house for some reason. Two of our kids were in a Mom Pre-school together and she often let me hang out in her basement so I could feed my infant while she taught my older kids. She had two older kids who were in elementary school and she is a mom I look up to because she obviously had family as a priority. As I was sitting in her basement, I looked around. One side of the basement was the family TV area and the other side was obviously the kid’s play area. Although there were shelves and bins for everything, not everything was put away, and those things that were put away were sloppily put away…obviously done by a rushed child. It wasn’t completely messy but it also wasn’t very tidy. As I sat there, I thought about what a loving mother she is. Instead of a not-quite-clean home, I saw evidence that she encouraged her kids’ creativity. That she allowed them to have fun and make messes. And in that not-quite-clean room, I felt the love she has for her children because she allowed them to be children. When I went upstairs, I shared that thought with her. She laughed at my comment and wondered how I could feel that in her messy basement, but I assured her that I could. (And btw, she had her children help with chores and daily cleaning, but that day she didn’t put a clean house ahead of prepping or teaching the Pre-school class.)
Since then, I sometimes think of that experience. Often my house doesn’t get completely clean. The chores don’t get completely done. But sometimes it’s more important to join my children in that game they want to play, have them help make those cookies or cake, look at the lizard they just caught in the backyard, or get on the floor with my baby for tummy time. And when we are happy together, we feel the Spirit together. We feel a stronger love for each other. Then, ideally, after we spend a few happy minutes together, we can get back to our work or help each other to clean things up again. Or they will become interested in their own game and not need me. Then I can return to finishing those dishes that I left in the sink.
Oh, also, I recently read Simply Sane and it was amazing – you CAN’T be all things to all people! And sometimes, good enough, is good enough. (I’m just trying to figure out when that is though. 🙂 )
I like the idea of only accomplishing the daily necessities (clean up, get yourself ready, pick up kids, get dinner together) and then dedicate 15 minutes a day to something that drives you crazy, such as washing the windshield on your car, filling a hole in the dry wall, washing the sliding glass door, weeding an area of the garden, wiping down cobwebs or dust from a ceiling fan, replying to emails…etc. etc.etc …it’s amazing how many things take under 20 minutes to accomplish!
Thanks especially for the demonstration of revising your to-do list. You didn’t just forget everything, but you found ways to make your expectations realistic. What mom doesn’t need this skill?
One of my personal challenges is balancing control vs responsibility. I had a therapist who helped me see that when I feel I have more responsibility than control (control or resources) I melt down, and little gets done. So in an effort to set myself up for success, I’m constantly ‘renegotiating with myself’ as you put it (great phrase there!). Today, I had a long to-do list. Many things on it haven’t gotten done and probably won’t get done today, or this week, or this month even. A few others got done, but not exactly as originally planned, or ‘behind schedule.’ But I stayed calm and kind, so I had success.
I think a “could do” list might be more successful for me. It’s not a contract, it’s a proposal, which will change as needed.
And to C, I think to know what is good enough is a process but the first step is understanding what your core values are. Did you adhere to them today? If you had some failures, did you recover, learn, make an effort to be better? As I read through your lists of ‘but what if’ I thought, failing to accomplish any of those things wouldn’t matter in one or five or ten years. It’s good to be a woman of your word, but I can’t see a scenario where failing to bring a pot of chili would make a huge difference anyway. If 2 won’t feed the crowd, but 3 would, the difference in portion size is not a big deal. And if 2 were all there was for a crowd of hundreds, your pot wouldn’t make enough of a difference to count. But making my children feel insecure around me because I had a total meltdown could conceivably matter in the short and long run.
April Perry says
I am definitely taking to heart what your article says. I am a full-time working mom who feels the need to over-commit herself constantly. When my husband and kids ask me why I feel the need to be on every committee under the sun my response is always, I want to have a say in what goes on. I’ve learned in life that you can’t sit back and complain about things if you’ve put no effort into making those “things” better. Yet now I find myself on the cub scout committee, a school board member for one child, a PTG member for another child, this fundriaising committee, that sporting committee….when is enough enough?? Why must I always offer to “bring the chili” or make the flyer? I can honestly say I’ve put these committments before my relationships at times. Which is sad because I’m going into it with the “I’m just trying to make your experience the best it can be” attitutude for my kids. As I read this article I’m thinking…that “chili” might just taste all the sweeter if we were eating it all together at our own kitchen table! Thanks for your article as always. I am definitely going to spend some time “renegotiating” this week.
April Perry says
I can SO relate. Thank you Jen! I think we all start with great intentions, but we get derailed from our ultimate purposes sometimes. Sounds like you are definitely on the right track with your renegotiations. All the best!
Kristine Jones says
I’m laughing at myself right now because I sent canned chili to a Boy Scout Court of Honor potluck last night so I could take a nap with my newborn instead. I had all the ingredients laid out on the counter for “real” chili when this article came to mind. Sleep was a much better choice. Thanks! (Oh, and here is a tip for anyone else attempting the same. The canned chili looked more like homemade chili when I added canned diced stewed tomatoes. And guess what? It was all eaten!)
April Perry says
This does my heart good, Kristine. So glad you had a great nap!
Melody Harrison Bergman says
WOW! I really really really needed to read this today. Thank you so much for posting right in time for the holidays. 🙂
Baby Bump to Kids says
I think the big thing for me in my lists, is to have my planner out every time I do them. I also make my lists on Sunday and try to separate them out evenly throughout the week. But, sometimes I still over book myself and I just get my planner out and move it to the next week.
I love this article! Thanks!
Sarah Monson says
This post is a gem! I’m glad it got reposted because I missed it last year. Thank you for your wisdom, April!
As a mother with 4 children I felt so on the ball, and then my baby boy turned 2! Toddlerhood is a whole new era of cleanliness in my home, and it drives me nuts at the best of time. I love the poem “so quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep, I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep”! As I’m laying in his bed putting him down for a nap, and letting my mind race with the never ending laundry, dishes and such–this poem helps me to reevaluate my priorities!
Wow, I really needed this! Negotiating with myself sometimes feels like negotiating with a terrorist, so I appreciate the specific tips (simplify, eliminate, delegate, delay). Great insights.
Great advice, April! We have a Halloween party Saturday and need to bring 2 pies. I have been sick all week so I think it is time to simplify my expectations and maybe even delegate the job to my husband or teens 🙂 I really enjoy your writing and have so much in common with you. It really helps to have your perspective.
Thank you! This is perfect, simple and brilliant. I have done this a little here and there, sometimes by accident. But now I hope I can recognize that my list/commitments are too much and too stressful, and then get into the habit of consciously renegotiating. I LOVE Power of Moms and everything about it 🙂