The did list

Do you operate from a to-do list? I admit I’m very easily distracted. Have you read the poem If You Give a Mom a Muffin by Beth Brubaker? That woman is in my head. And possibly in my house. But I do feel more productive when I have a neat little list of things to manually check off, to remind me to do those pesky things like “clean the bathrooms,” “call the vet,” and “feed the kids.”


Several weeks ago I went to a launch party for a local author’s new children’s book.* With a all of us being writers and most of us being moms, the most obvious question was “How do you do it?” How did she write a book, care for 4 kids, deal with her husband traveling for work a lot, and still not lose sight of her dream to publish this book?


The author wasn’t a fan of the to do list. With everything that comes with writing and publishing a book — they chose to go the indie route for several reasons — she was too easily overwhelmed by a list of things she needed to do. So she started listing things that she had already done.


She created a Did List.


Friends, if you are ever in a state of a slump and feeling like you have gotten nothing done, get a pen and a piece of paper and make yourself a Did List. I sometimes go through an entire day feeling like I got nothing accomplished, and as far as my long term goals go, maybe I didn’t. But so much of my life takes place in the here and now, especially with three kids home for the summer.


I present to you my Did List for the other day. I should have written down the date for posterity reasons, but meh. Honestly, this could be any day around here.


Woke up too early
Put a stop to Rachel giving the toilet paper roll a bubble bath in the sink
Cooked eggs for 3 hungry kids
Fed most of thsoe eggs to the SamDog
Went for a run (hooray!)
Showered (double hooray!)
Cleaned the kitchen
Drank coffee
Baked cookies (it’s still not even 9:30 am at this point, mind you)
Burned cookies
Baked more cookies
Cleaned the kitchen again from the cookie debacle
Served fruit
Made lunch
Played an impromptu game of Hide & Seek
Pulled a 4 year old out of bed
Discovered what “that smell” was in the fridge
Served cookies to 2 year old in lieu of lunch that she didn’t eat
Reassembled piece after piece of cuttable food for Zoe

Melissa and Doug cuttable food

Outsourced food assembly to Claire
Joined in a tea party with Twilight Sparkle and Apple Jack
Dozed through 4 episodes of Shaun the Sheep
Drank more coffee
Took 3 kids to the pool
Took 3 kids to the potty 5 times in 2 hours
Consoled 3 kids with, “It’s okay, we can come back another day,” 87 times on the way home from the pool.
Faked dinner with a rotisserie chicken from the store and frozen vegetables
Intentionally skipped bath night
May have also intentionally skipped story time
Fell asleep in the rocker with Zoe
Haphazardly picked up the living room toy disaster
May have also skipped the dishes
Started laundry I was supposed to start like 3 hours ago
Brushed teeth
OMG my bed feels amazing
Made my move in 8 Word with Friends games


Wow. See? Even on days where I really have nothing going on…I have a lot going on. I even spared you the mundane details, like checking email, brushing my teeth (I think I did, at least), and wiping a ridiculous amount of butts. You’re welcome.


Do you abide by a to-do list? Have you ever made a DID list? i admit, I’m an old fashioned pen and paper girl. I haven’t fully converted to the digital world yet in that respect.


*Local gal Amanda Evans just finished and published her first children’s book, Sadie the Paper Crown Princess, an adorable tale of a little girl who finds out that she really does have a royal heart. My girls call it their “princess book.” Hop on over and check it out and learn more about Sadie, Amanda, and their causes.

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    1. Wow! The big girls liked it, but it was always hard bc they always wanted to play with it at the same time. Much less stressful when there’s only one of them playing with it.

  1. I LOVE this idea and LOVE that you had a local author outing!

    {Can I use an all uppercase LOVE more often? It kind of rocks, yes? LOVE! :)}

  2. Well, I thrive with to do lists, so making a DID list would be something I would write on the to do list, then when it came time to check off the DID list, I’d have to write it on the DID list to and THEN I’m trapped in an infinite list loop.

    And that’s why the dishes aren’t done, honey. 🙂

    1. But all that checking off of things would make me feel mighty accomplished. I need to get back in the to do list habit. Otherwise I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

  3. It’s a deeply therapeutic technique that all three of us using it can vouch for! Love your list and your blog, Leigh Ann. 🙂

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