Total confession. I am not an oily mom. Yes, I have heard of essential oils, and I am familiar with their benefits, but I am just not ready to get my brain around one more regimen…one more system. I sometimes feel like I must be the ONLY mom out there who hasn’t gotten into this. After all, everyone posts about it on Facebook, and they show their beautiful diffusers (even necklaces) that help keep their allergies at bay and ward off bad bacteria.
But I am wondering if any of you feel like me. Maybe it isn’t the oil thing. Maybe it’s something else.
So instead of this being an encouraging post by showing you what I DO with my life and things that make me and my family healthy and happy, I am going to bare it all and tell you what I don’t do.
I don’t do the 30-day freezer meal cooking thing. Yes, I have tried doing 3 or 4 meals at a time, but honestly, with the many teens we have at our house, the bags often would get pushed to the back of the freezer and get forgotten. I do double a meal once in a while when I cook it so I can put the second portion in the freezer for later. But I just cannot do a regular freezer thing. I wish I could…
I don’t make delicious, healthful smoothies every day for my family. Yes, I have done it before, and I still will make a smoothie once in a while, but keeping all those fresh fruits and veggies on hand is difficult (it’s the same get-pushed-to-the-back-of-the-shelf problem as in the freezer). So I buy protein powder and make one of those when I can, as I throw in a few frozen strawberries.
I don’t do regular 6AM workouts. First of all, I am NOT a morning person and find it difficult to speak a coherent sentence before 7 or 7:30, so I am definitely not trusting myself daily to drive to the gym. Yes, I DO run sometimes and I try to get to the gym at least a few times a week, but I just cannot get myself to do it every day before the sunrise. And when the kids were little…it was even more difficult.
I don’t grind my own wheat into flour and bake my own bread. Well, I USED to do that. That was when we had a child who just couldn’t eat meat protein, so one way to add complete proteins into his diet was to mill dried beans and rice into flour and make muffins with it (of course, I added chocolate chips!). I got into baking bread for a while after that, but as our children got older, my teenage boys just inhaled food faster than I could make it, so we went to store-bought bread more often.
I don’t make lovely photo albums with our photos. I USED to do that, too, but not as much as I felt I NEEDED to, so my kids have photo albums that are definitely unfinished. And like most of you, the oldest got the most pictures and captured moments, and the rest… well…they got less. You want to find a picture of your high school soccer game, honey? Well, try to remember what year and season that was…I think it will be filed on my computer with the rest of the pictures we took that year. It’s in there somewhere!
I don’t keep a journal. Unless you consider this blog my journal. I just don’t have time to write about everything I am thinking about and everything I am doing each day. I will let my Instagram history be my “journal.” What was I doing in December last year? One picture shows a pile of laundry and me wondering when the mountain will be gone. Another is of me having lunch with some family members. I guess my “journal” entry that day was: Frustrated with why there is always laundry, but at least I get to eat out today!
I don’t keep a huge garden every year. Some years, we planted beans, tomatoes, peppers, and the requisite other garden veggies, and we actually got some food to eat before the bugs came and destroyed it all. I just couldn’t keep up with the weeding, pruning, and organic pest control. I had kids to weed, prune, and keep bug-free, and I thought that was more important.
I don’t get regular manicures and pedicures, I don’t get to the dentist twice a year (more like every 10 months or so), I don’t regularly run a vinegar-cleaning cycle on my Kuerig. I don’t save 50% on my grocery bill with coupons, though I do get a deal once in a while.
Well, there’s a lot of other things I don’t do, and they tend to sit on my brain from time to time, making me feel inadequate and unproductive. I look at what everyone else is doing and feel like I must be spending my days sitting on the couch, watching soap operas and eating bonbons, because why don’t I have time to do what everyone else is doing?
You know the answer as well as I do, but we just don’t ever come out and say it. We all don’t do everything. And we shouldn’t expect to. We need to prayerfully consider what is important for us, for our marriages, for our children, and just do THAT. We may do some things religiously and beautifully, but other things we may never get to or when we do get to them, we just dabble a bit.
That’s OK. If you feel the pressure to do it all, then you will never do what is most important for YOU. Allow yourself to say, “That’s great for you, but I don’t think that is ideal for our family right now.” Allow yourself to think, “I am going to focus on the things that are good for me and not get caught up in something someone else is doing.” And then allow yourself to add a few things to your “DON’T” list.
It is a good thing to DO.