Re-Thinking The To-Do List

As each fresh day arrives, I’m faced with countless to-dos. A long list of adult responsibilities start to punctuate the air. Clean this. Organize that. Go faster. Do more. The list of to-do’s for moms is never ending, and you know what? I’m done. I don’t want to start my day doing and expecting the impossible.

From now on, I’m ditching the to-do list for a to-don’t list…

I won’t oversleep and miss my quiet time when I sit with coffee, a journal and a pen near the window.

I won’t rush my girls through anything unless it’s an actual emergency.

I won’t say hurry up even once.

I won’t mindlessly scour Facebook for meaningless updates by people I hardly know.

I won’t lose my cool with anyone or let anyone ruin my day.

I won’t waste precious energy thinking negative thoughts about other human beings.

I won’t worry about the cleaning when I could be laying in the grass watching the birds fly through the sky or digging in the garden.

I won’t criticize my husband no matter how late he gets home or how many times he falls asleep on the couch.

I won’t devalue myself and my worth by comparing myself to others or worrying about what they think of me.

I won’t feel guilty for what I didn’t accomplish.

I won’t let a good book slip by unread.

I won’t say no to a friend when she asks me for a favor.

I won’t question what my child chooses — or doesn’t — choose to eat.

I won’t worry if my daughter goes without a coat.

I won’t fret over how long the bedtime routine stretches out each night this week.

I won’t take a second to think about how many veggies we didn’t eat this week.

I won’t be a clock-watcher keeping track of the agenda.

I won’t say no to a playful moment because those are the best ones of all.

I won’t strive for perfection…

And I won’t expect others to strive for perfection, either.

If I’m lucky, I might actually cross everything off of a list, once and for all.

Here goes.

About the writer

Shawn Fink is the author of The Playful Family and founder of The Abundant Mama Project, a community helping you find peace in the chaos of motherhood. You can also follow the Abundant Mama Project on Facebook.


sammie 2 years ago

Great post!!

Shelly 2 years ago


Mikki 2 years ago

I <3 this 😀

QA 2 years ago

i was the queen of lists and then realized they were making me feel like shit because i could never “complete” any of them! Just kept adding more tasks.

Now I make “done” lists at end of (some) productive days. No need to list things that just always need to be done or are going to be finished eventually. Helps me feel productive :)

K 2 years ago

A to-do list doesn’t have to be like that. I have a chronic illness and 4 children and mine helps me keep on top of things by working steadily through the essentials. I don’t have a never-ending list, I put on it what is in my routine that day of the week and there are windows for “extra” jobs as I call them. If it’s not on the list, forget it!

Roshni 2 years ago

Somehow, I don’t find this list very realistic either! 😀


Enjoying this? Then like us on Facebook