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Getting things 'done' vs. spending time with children
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I saw a picture on Instagram of my friend holding her brand-new twin baby boys with a caption that read, I havent gotten a single thing done today. ... Im holding my babies and babies dont keep. - photo by Carmen Rasmusen Herbert
My beautiful friend recently posted a photo on Instagram of her sitting on the couch, holding her brand-new twin baby boys, with a caption that read, I havent gotten a single thing done today. And Im perfectly fine with it. Im holding my babies and babies dont keep.

I commented on her picture: Define done.

She responded, Haha! Well, I literally did not get off my couch unless it was to eat, use the restroom, or get bottles for the babies. I didnt brush my teeth, change out of my PJs, fix my bed head, or anything else anyone would consider productive. I just keep reassuring myself its a phase we can do it, right?!

I hope so!

But what is it exactly? What are we trying to do?

Sometimes I feel like I need to give a report to my husband when he walks in the house after a long day at work.

Ive had a really busy day! Ill start, anxiously looking around at the little messes in every room. Then Ill start to list everything that happened, trying to convince him although he couldnt care less that I have gotten a lot done.

I dont know why I feel this need to prove Ive been productive. Maybe because so much of the time I feel like Im a hamster running on a wheel. Im racing, racing, racing, but I dont ever get anywhere. The house stays messy. The laundry piles up again. There are always more dishes. There are always more crumbs. There is always another Briggsident (Briggs accident/incident), such as flour on the floor, chewy granola bar crumbs smashed into the carpet, broken glass from a candle he was trying to light, toilet paper unrolled, etc., forever.

I am always on my knees a little longer in the morning, praying for help. For patience. For a happy attitude, even if nothing else gets done other than just making my boys smile.

I want to be a good mom. Thats what I want more than anything.

A few days ago, I spent the morning on my to-do list. I did some laundry, wiped down the walls, cleaned the bathrooms and took out the garbage. After a few hours, I decided my kids could probably use some attention, so I put the baby down for a nap and got out the play dough.

My mom told me the best way to make sure my kids feel loved and cared for is to try and spend at least 15 minutes with each one, giving them my undivided attention.

I peeled myself away from the crumbs on the floor and sat down next to my middle two boys. And I have to admit something: I had a great time. I hate to say it, but sometimes just sitting and playing is hard for me. I cant stop looking around and thinking about everything that needs to get done. But that day, I just let myself enjoy my little boys because, as my friend so wisely stated, I know that little boys wont stay little for long. We made birds nests, pizzas and worms from colorful dough and giggled about silly things. It was one of the more pleasant afternoons I can remember in a long time. And bonus: My boys didnt fight the entire time.

After about an hour, I stood up to go back to getting things done. I ran to the grocery store. I sorted through bags of old clothes and bagged them for charity. I popped popcorn and got out dried cranberries and taught my boys how to make little decorative garlands for our home. I made chicken noodle soup. I planned a wonderful family home evening where we talked about what gifts we would give the Savior as we drove around Thanksgiving Point to see the holiday lights. The younger two fell asleep, and we had the sweetest time with our older boys, giving them some much needed one-on-one time.

After the lights, I asked my husband if we could redeem our coupons for hot cocoa, and after mildly protesting about the hour and inconvenience, he came back with hot steamy cups and frosted candy-cane doughnuts.

As I sat sipping the chocolatey goodness in our warm car with Christmas music softly playing on the radio, I thought how, despite some ups and downs of the day, I had managed to make some great memories with my kids. It didnt matter that I still had a few things on my list that didnt get done I did other things instead, much more important things that I hoped would have a lasting positive impact.

I was getting ready to give myself a huge pat on the back for a job well done when my oldest boy reached up, cupped his sticky hands around my husbands ear and whispered:

Youre the best dad ever.