I have stopped folding my kids’ clean clothes before I put them away in their chest of drawers. There. I admit it. I just put them into piles — shirts, socks/underwear, pants, pajamas — shove them in the drawer and move on with my life.
I did fold Jack’s clothes when he was really little and when I was still a naïve, inexperienced mother. But after the millionth time of opening the drawer to a mess of onesies, I realized that Ben was not going to respect the order that I spent time creating with each load of laundry and that he didn’t care about my Suzy Homemaker flex, tucking those little pants and snap-bottom bodysuits into small squares and rectangles.
As he got older, Jack started pulling his clothes out of the drawer and putting them in a pile on the floor for fun. It must be genetic, because Ellie and Gus have started the same practice.
I finally just gave up. Now all three of the kids’ clothes are in one chest of drawers.
“Do more, be more” is what I have always heard. The more you take on, the more you become. I think there is some truth to this in that the more you do, the more you learn and experience leading you to becoming more.
But there is a difference between doing more and taking on more. Am I doing more park days with the kids? Or am I taking on more to be a the perfect mom/wife/advocate/writer/etc. and forgetting that perfect is a mirage?
My husband has been on me for a while to do less. He says it will allow me to be more. More present, more focused, more relaxed, more happy.
I admit that I get frustrated when the Great Bedtime Race is on each night and I am on my feet folding the 30th load of laundry for the day while preparing backpacks and he is in the recliner, covered in kids and reading bedtime stories. In the moment, I think, “If he would do more, then I could do less.”
After reflection, I realize that I have most likely set some really high achievement bars during the day that have me tired, annoyed and no better off than if I would have settled for an average performance rather than pretending that I am in the running for Mom of the Year.
I have to ask myself: Who is doing more in those moments before bedtime?