Motivational business articles often suggest that the most successful people are those that keep to-do lists. I agree there is gratification in the simple act of crossing something off a list, enough so that I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t make one for the summer, which has now officially ended. Apparently, crossing items off a mental list just doesn’t have the same effect.
Here are a few items I wish I had included on a written to-do list:
1. Landscape the front and sides of the house. I get credit for partial completion here. I made solid progress early on, clearing out the front and one side of the house and planting, mulching, etc. Somehow, the knock-out rose bush that I won at a festival survived the winter in the garage and has blossomed better than expected. Unfortunately, I was hindered by 1) injuring my back while digging out the grass and 2) discovering a snake that made its home in the grass running along the foundation. (Side note: the joy of mowing just isn’t the same after a snake jumps out of the grass and onto your mower after you pass over it.) The project stalled out after that.
2. Continue work on my novel. Failing grade here. I had made such good progress in late spring that I convinced myself I could be done with a first draft by the end of summer. Didn’t happen. Other than small spurts of progress, little was made overall. I’d like to think I could still get this done before January. I’ll leave it at that for now.
3. Maintain this blog. Total failure there given that this is my first post since school was last in session. Having to entertain four kids nearly each and every day for the past three months may have had something to do with it.
Today was officially the first day of school for three of the four kids. For Grayson, it was his first “first day of school” ever. The older two were less than enthused this morning, but Grayson was genuinely excited. Clare (the youngest) was feeling left out.
But, not to worry. She found ways to entertain herself in their absence.
I never have to worry about a bad report from her dentist!
Now that the school year has started, I switch roles from entertainer to chauffeur. Not that I’m complaining. I can actually get things done in and around the house without constantly hearing, “dad, I’m bored,” or “dad, the internet isn’t working again,” or “dad, will you play Minecraft with me?” Not to mention that the wife can be more than a passing stranger living in a shared space. Enforced 9:00 bedtimes are a wonderful (if they work).
Stay-at-home parents – do you keep a to-do list for the summer? Year round? Do you have any success at sticking with it? How do you manage it with more kids at home when school is out?
Until next time – Chris