She’s makin’ a list, she’s checkin’ it twice
In my former life — a.k.a. Before Baby, a.k.a. When I Had A Job — I used to be obsessed with to-do lists.
I had a running list on my BlackBerry of “personal” to-dos (errands, etc.) and a series of very elaborate “professional” lists in our office’s project management software.
I loved putting virtually every task on a to-do list, so that I got the insane pleasure of checking it off when I was done. Sometimes I would even add an item to the list after it was done, and then check it off immediately, just so I could see more “completed” items. Yes, it’s a sickness.
I didn’t stop the lists when I went on maternity leave back in May. I continued to use my BlackBerry to note all of the things I wanted to accomplish before Baby Boy arrived. I came up with a LOT of random tasks to do to prepare for his arrival. If you’re reading this while you’re waiting (impatiently) for your baby to arrive, check out the list. Lots of good time-killers on there.
Things changed dramatically after Baby Boy arrived — as things often do when an entirely new human being consumes your world with their deliciousness. I picked up my BlackBerry in the hospital and laughed at the inane tasks that were still stored there. Bake more muffins? Clean out kitchen drawers? HOLY HELL, my priorities were very different than they had been a few days before.
I deleted them all.
When Baby Boy was about two weeks old, I began to use my to-do list again. Even though I was constantly doing something, I missed the feeling of seeing it all spelled out — ready to be checked off. I began to enter tasks like, “Shower,” and “Fold laundry.” Stuff that used to seem like a non-event was now a real, honest-to-God accomplishment.
Seriously — it takes having a baby to truly understand that having a shower can be a big deal. It means you managed to calm the baby, settle them in their carseat, and get through your shower before they start squawking again. Victory!
Baby Boy is seven weeks today (SEVEN WEEKS already, OMIGOD), and I am still going strong with my to-do lists. I’ve branched out to include our plans (“Go to dinner at in-laws’,” “Go for a walk”), the steps it takes to get out of the house (“Bath baby,” “Dress baby,” “Shower,” “Pack diaper bag”), my chores (“Wash diapers,” “Empty dishwasher”), and my organize-y projects (“Clean closet,” “Pack up old clothes for charity”). I even add little items that are fun “me-time” projects, like crafts I want to make, or sewing projects.
The tasks may no longer be “Give presentation,” or “Write copy for client,” but at the end of the day, it still gives me a REALLY good feeling to see things checked off my list!