Real Life Mama: Making checklists eases busy mom’s mind


By Sarah Shrader - Guest columnist



Making sure that I have time to love on my girls is something that, in my head or written on the fridge, will always be on my list.

Making sure that I have time to love on my girls is something that, in my head or written on the fridge, will always be on my list.


Do you ever feel like there is just never enough time in the day or week to get everything done? It’s like we run run run all week long so the only time to really get anything done at all is on the weekend. And forget anything extra, by the time I just get my house back to normal from the craziness of the week, I have either run out of time to do anything else or am just plain exhausted.

This has been my pattern for so long – I have had this extensive list of things in my head that I would like to get done, but when it comes down to it, I end up getting just enough done to get by and survive another week. Not only that, but I am known for starting one task and then seeing that another needs done as well. So, then I will start working on that one and find another. The pattern continues and all of a sudden I have 8 tasks started and not one finished.

And right, wrong or indifferent, I am an accomplishment girl. I struggle sometimes in seeing the progress. I don’t want it started, I want it completed. Who cares if I spent 5 hours starting 8 different tasks today, if I didn’t finish one of them, then I find myself not feeling accomplished at all.

So, I started doing this thing – it’s something I do at work already and didn’t even think about bringing it home. Instead of keeping this list of items I want cleared out, cleaned, fixed or straightened up in my head, I started making an actual checklist. It’s not hard and it’s not pretty. In fact, for me I put it in a place that I can’t help but look at a couple of times a day: on my fridge.

Sidenote, did you know that most fridges are dry erase boards? My mind was blown when I found that out! Definitely try it in a place that is not seen very well first if you are wondering if yours is.

Anyway, so yes, I started throwing everything I wanted done on my fridge with a dry erase marker. Beside each item, I make a little box to check off when I complete it. And guys, do you know how good it feels to look at a bunch of checked boxes at the end of the day/week? It’s rewarding in and of itself. That feeling of accomplishment literally drives me to work towards checking off another box.

On top of that, I have found that when I am in the middle of something and find 7 other small jobs that need done that I would normally start and never finish, I can instead just throw them on that list and complete the task I was working on. It is almost calming to know that those other jobs will not be forgotten, because they are now on the list. Once I complete other tasks, I will get to them.

Look, I didn’t make this my New Year’s Resolution or anything. But, I mean, I have been doing it for like a solid 7 days so it’s clearly going to stick. Ha!

What I do know is that it has actually both eased my anxiety of all I have to do, helped me feel like I have more time to do it and raised my appreciation for what I have completed.

While I realize that no one probably cares about my stupid checklists, I am also all about learning how other moms seem to make things work so flawlessly when it comes to getting everything done. So, I thought, why not share what has been inspiring me this week.

Heck, I am thinking about making lists for the girls on the fridge as well — maybe see if their little brains get the same dose of happiness from checking off boxes as mine does. It is definitely worth a shot.

Or who knows, by February my checklist theory could be taken over by all the chaos of the month and the actual list may be slowly erased from normal fridge activity. I may just go back to that anxious list in my head. But, I am going to at least attempt to keep this momentum as long as I can.

Because time, as a mother, is something I am always fighting for – and anything that makes me feel like my time is well spent and I have a little extra time to spend with my babies, that is definitely something that I am interested in keeping around. And making sure that I have time to love on my girls is something that, in my head or written on the fridge, will always be on my list.

https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/01/web1_Shrader-Sarah-CMYK-1.jpg
Making sure that I have time to love on my girls is something that, in my head or written on the fridge, will always be on my list.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/01/web1_IMG_7814.jpgMaking sure that I have time to love on my girls is something that, in my head or written on the fridge, will always be on my list.

By Sarah Shrader

Guest columnist

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.

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