Several months ago, my friend E. and I spent a few days calling each other to report how many times we cursed in front of our children. “I made it all the way to 10:30 AM before I let out a goddammit,” I’d report, a little proudly. It was a measure of how nuts we felt we were going.
And then we started listed the few things we did right in a day. We congratulated each other for accomplishments as minor as brushing our hair. (All day with the kids can be brutal. Now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure this was back in the summer.)
I told her I wanted to try keeping a record of the little victories I have during the day, because I see so many failures in myself that it gets depressing. The times I lose my cool. The times I give up and let the boys watch too much TV. The days I don’t get enough housework done.
I’ve been thinking about that plan a lot more lately, maybe because I’ve been sick, and the holidays were upon us, and there was little energy or time to be as intentional with my parenting and wifing as I want to be.
And I’ve been up late at night, too, unable to sleep, which isn’t like me. So my head spins. I catalogue the events of the day. I remember more good things.
My intention, then, is to record them here when I can, so that I can look back and remind myself that it’s not all bad. I mean, I brushed my teeth AND my hair today. Score!
Today’s Little Victories:
Went to church
Surprised kids with Golden Grahams for breakfast, which they loved
Matched up 10 pairs of separated pajamas in Brady’s laundry
Wrote 2 overdue product reviews
Talked to my Aunt Jeannie on the phone
Stayed off the computer until after 2pm
Ate a tangerine
Got Stewart fix our bed frame and our vacuum cleaner
Vacuumed the snowdrifts of dust on the stairs
Took a walk around the neighborhood as a family
Made delicious margaritas for me and Stewart
Remembered to hang dry Stewart’s coach jersey instead of destroying the polyester garment in the dryer
Finished washing the inside of the refrigerator
Washed and changed all the sheets on all the beds
Did some research for my book
Read an article that my mom sent me that I’d been saving
Snuggled with Brady on the couch
Listened to Kyle talk about a video game without interrupting or checking my phone while he talked (this totally counts and if you have a kid who loves, say, Minecraft, you understand)
This exercise feels good. I’m going to do it again, especially on a day when I really feel like a shitty mom or a lazy writer or a terrible housekeeper or a bad wife. If you try it too I’d love to hear your little victories.