I don’t grow my own food, can my own fruit, or make my own granola, jam, or pickles.
I don’t weed my yard, water my flowers, trim my hedge, or mow my lawn.
I don’t clean my bathroom every day (and with six people using it, I really, really should).
I don’t mop my floors, wash my windows, or iron.
I don’t clip coupons or shop for deals. I don’t shop, period, unless the kids have nothing to wear that fits, and even then it might take me a few weeks to get to it.
I don’t sew. I don’t knit. I don’t crochet or embroider or paint or draw.
I don’t read magazines. I don’t do home improvement projects. I don’t host dinner parties.
I don’t blog every day. I don’t read blogs every day. I don’t leave comments on other blogs every day.
I don’t use cloth diapers, let alone wash them myself. I don’t sign with my babies. I don’t even play with them much.
I don’t read the newspaper or listen to NPR.
I don’t belong to or participate in a mom’s group, PEPS group, or mothers-of-multiples group. I don’t volunteer at civic organizations or even my church.
I don’t enroll my kids in extracurricular activities. I don’t arrange playdates.
There are lots of other things I don’t do (like watch TV or movies), but I don’t much care that I don’t do them. The things on this list are the things I either wish I did or feel vaguely (and sometimes acutely) guilty for not doing.
The thing is, there are only 24 hours in a day, and I have to sleep for eight of them, and I don’t have time or energy for all the good things out there that I could – or even ought to – do.
I have to choose what’s most important, what best aligns with our family’s values and vision. Sometimes I miss the mark, and I choose to do something I really don’t have time or energy for (like writing a guest post for someone else’s blog), or I choose not to do something (like reach out to a friend or family member or neighbor) that I really need to do.
It’s a growing edge, this whole learning-my-limits thing.
It’s humbling, too, especially when I look out my dining room window and see the vine whose name I don’t know growing over my screen and the blackberry sending its thorny fingers into my fig tree – and even more humbling when I look past all that into my neighbor’s yard, which looks like it came straight out of Mayfield or Martha Stewart Living.
These are the times I have to take a deep breath and say, Okay, so my yard looks like the set for Little Shop of Horrors, but hey, my kids have great vocabularies.