The Did-Do List

Before I had Sylvia, I read a great tip for new moms: Instead of making a To-Do list, keep Did-Do lists. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the neediness of a new baby, and the premise is to congratulate yourself on small tasks, rather than dwelling on the unwashed laundry, dishes, body, etc…

I kept a mental did-Do list in the early weeks and months. They usually went something like this:

1. Fed and clothed baby all day
2. Changed 8 diapers
3. Showered
4. Bathed baby
5. Set table for supper
6. Napped

Sometimes I included getting dressed, eating lunch, collecting the mail, and other mundane chores that actually take a whole lot of effort when there’s a baby permanently attached to your breast.

So on the eve of my return to work, I’ve decided to share a partial Did-Do list from the past 14 months I’ve been on leave. There’s lots I didn’t get done, like painting the stairs, organizing my boxes of photos, starting a compost or taking Sylvia camping. But, like the early days of new motherhood, I’m going to focus on all the things I did accomplish and not worry about all the things that didn’t get done.

Here goes.

While on maternity leave, I…

1. Fed and clothed baby for 12 months
2. Learned to breastfeed, breastfed exclusively for 6 months and continue to breastfeed
3. Ran 10 km
4. Learned how to bake bread
5. Made baguette, once, and learned not to spray water directly at the oven light bulb in the process
6. Perfected my Macaroni-and-cheese
7. Read a lot of books
8. Phoned Radio Noon Cross-talk three times
9. Travelled across the country, twice, with infant on my lap
10. Drove a pick up truck
11. Rode in an 18-wheeler
12. Picked 8 litres of blueberries
13. Developed my own delicious spaghetti sauce
14. Started (and kept!) a blog
15. Sent regular photos of Sylvia to relatives living away
16. Hung shelves in Sylvia’s room
17. Tried on all my clothes, donated ill-fitting items
18. Made baked mozza sticks
19. Did a lot of crosswords
20. Made lots of breakfasts, lunches, and suppers
21. Mastered avocado chocolate pudding
22. Got Sylvia to sleep through the night
23. Laundered countless loads of clothes, sheets, towels and diapers
24. Filed taxes twice
25. Organized all bank, insurance, mortgage, and utility correspondence in spare room/office
26. Re-arranged furniture in entire house, some rooms multiple times. Am now certain we are getting the most out of our furniture, storage and floor space (essential in a tiny house like ours)
27. Cleaned out the woodshed
28. Cleaned out the storage shed
29. Filled the woodshed full of wood
30. Filled the storage shed full of coolers, excess furniture, bikes and laundry machines

Many of my accomplishments took place in the kitchen or outside. No small wonder – they are my favourite places to be.

Today is a rainy day, which perfectly matches my mood. It’s calling for sun tomorrow, so at least I’ll have nice weather to welcome me back to work.

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2 responses to “The Did-Do List

  1. Well done!

    I want to hear more about avocado chocolate pudding.

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