During the holidays, I realized that I was allowing my to-do list to take priority over actually enjoying the holidays and making them magical for my son. Instead of making Christmas cookies with my little boy, I was running around trying to get things done while he watched a cartoon. I mean, at least it was a Christmas cartoon, right? ;) The only problem is he'd already watched it a million times this year...because I was filling my plate with too many things and wasn't taking the time to stop and enjoy the moment. So I decided to shift my focus just a bit and stop making my never-ending to-do list my focus.
But, as I'm sure you know, this is easier said than done! It's easy to say that spending time with people is more important than your to-do list. But those people you love also need to have clean clothes, and healthy meals, and a ride to preschool. Because even though there seems to be a lot of debate about the pros and cons of free-range parenting, I'm pretty sure everyone would agree that my four-year-old isn't quite
ready to ride off to preschool on his bike. I mentioned before
that my husband and I aren't extremely strict about keeping our little boy on a schedule. We made this decision years ago based on our own schedules—my husband rarely gets home before 7:00 p.m., so we decided to let our son stay up a little bit later so he could actually spend some time with Daddy. We also decided to avoid sticking to a strict schedule because of our son's personality. He loves (and even needs) to know what is next on the agenda, and we often talk about our plans for each day as we snuggle each morning. "What are we doing today, Mommy?" is a question I'm asked every morning, and I love holding him as we plan our day! But even though he needs to know what's planned, he also hates being forced to stick to a schedule and needs some flexibility. He has always been really good at getting sleep when he needs it, and if he just isn't tired yet, he doesn't want to go to bed at 8:00 p.m. He definitely gets this from my husband, because I LOVE having a to-do list, schedule, and plan for the day. I'm totally fine with throwing that out the window if something more important (or more fun) comes up, but without some structure, I start to feel more than a little bit lost. This is one of those situations where I've realized that opposites attract for a reason, as my husband and son have helped me learn that there will always be chores to do and errands to run, but sometimes we just have to set the to-do list aside and take the time to enjoy the moment and make memories! So during the holidays, I tried really hard to do just that and it made them so much more magical! In my last post, I explained how magical (and rare) it is for it to snow here in the Pacific Northwest, and how we have to run outside immediately to play in it before it disappears! So you can imagine how excited we were to wake up to a white Christmas! After opening presents and eating breakfast, I looked out the window and realized our snow was starting to melt. So instead of going upstairs to shower and get ready for family pictures with my side of the family, my little family threw snow clothes
on over our pajamas
and went outside to make a snowman! And I'm so glad we did! When we look back at our family pictures, I won't notice the fact that we look a little bit disheveled, I'll remember a magical white Christmas spent with the ones I love! Now that the holidays are over and a new year has begun, I've made a few resolutions and I'm definitely not the only one! Today, when I walked into the grocery store, I was greeted by a long line of vitamins and supplements followed by stacks of containers for organizing anything and everything you could imagine! It looks like we're not the only ones who ate a few too many treats this holiday season, and we're not the only ones who overspent this Christmas and bought a few too many new toys!
;) It also looks like I'm not the only one who is trying to be healthier and more organized this year.
But as important as my new goals are to my health and happiness, and my family's, I also want to remember the lessons I learned this holiday season. The to-do list can wait and will always be there waiting for me...unfortunately! But the opportunities to have fun and make memories with my family in this stage of our lives, and while my son is so young, won't last forever...unfortunately! And I would much rather have an armful of happy memories than a handful of completed to-do lists!