ENCOURAGING WORDS from another mom

Two of the most encouraging words another mom ever said to me.

A while ago, I mentioned to a mom friend that I was hosting a sleepover. I told her I hardly ever let my daughters have sleepovers because I always get all worked up out about what the girls will do and where they’ll sleep and what they’ll eat and if, heaven help me, EVERYONE IS HAVING A GOOD TIME.

“Yeah, I don’t do them, either,” she told me.

Later that same day, I told another mom, my daughters were making dinner for our family—something they’d never done before in spite of being a tween and teen because I’m a control-freak, neat-freak mom who never cooked with her kids. Or wanted to.

I. Don't. Who knew two little words could be so freeing and uplifting? Click To Tweet

“I don’t cook with mine, either,” she told me.

I. Don’t.

Who knew two little words could be so freeing and uplifting?

Sometimes I feel like I’m surrounded by moms who do. They do spectacular birthday parties and they do homemade hummus in Bento Boxes for school lunches and they do cutesy craft projects every day of the week before 9 a.m. and they do…everything. With their kids and for their kids. Which is great for them if they love it and if it charges up their mom batteries. I don’t begrudge their doing them.

But I just…don’t.

I don’t do and haven’t done and won’t do so many things. And the other day, my friends showed me that I’m not the only mom who doesn’t. Which felt like a gift.

In case it feels like a gift to someone else, here are a few other things I don’t.

  • I don’t have it all together.
  • I don’t make my girls make their own lunches.
  • I don’t make my girls make their beds before school.
  • I don’t do Pinterest-inspired parties.
  • I don’t like everything that goes with being a mom.
  • I don’t know what I’m doing a lot of the time even though I’ve been at this a long time.
  • I don’t make my kids do enough chores.
  • I don’t limit desserts to “special occasions.”
  • I don’t switch my daughters’ schedules to “school time” while it’s still August just so they’ll be
  • used to getting up early when September rolls around.
  • I don’t have this all figured out.
  • I don’t…

But, here’s what I do.

  • I do adore my girls.
  • I do enjoy them.
  • I do delight in them.
  • I do cherish them.
  • I do love to spend time with them.
  • I do pray for them and with them.
  • I do talk to them.
  • I do listen to them.
  • I do treasure them.
  • I do want joy and satisfaction and contentment for them.

I love this quote from author and speaker Jill Briscoe: “There is an art of leaving things undone so that the greater thing can be done.”

What I don’t do–what I leave undone–frees up my time and energy and passion and enthusiasm for what I do do–the greater thing.  And the value of that is something I don’t have any doubts about. If you are a mom who sometimes doesn’t do, you’re not alone. I don’t, either.


Elizabeth Spencer is mom to one tween and one teen daughter. She’s got a degree in journalism, but, having moved with her family into a 100-year-old farmhouse in need of 100 years’ worth of work, wishes she’d gone into plumbing instead. She blogs about life as an imperfect, underachieving, perpetually sleep-deprived mom at Guilty Chocoholic Mama.

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