Things I Don’t Do

Sometimes life is going along and it reminds you that there are more important things to do than keep a perfect house. I am enjoying tons of amazing quality time with my family lately. Time I wouldn’t trade for the world. Time that has honestly made me think, “Jesus you just need to come back now because life can’t get any better than this.”  You know what I am NOT spending my time doing? Any of these things. Originally posted in a slightly longer form last November.

We can’t be it all, do it all, perfect it all. And even if we know that, that doesn’t stop us from trying to appear to those around us like we can. The “Things I Don’t Do” list is a line in the sand. It is my way of saying, hey, it is great that you construct elaborate crafts that illustrate the message of salvation using only pipe cleaners and paper clips, but I don’t “do” crafts. But you know what, I bake a mean loaf of bread. And you don’t have to. You can buy your bread at the store and you are not less of a mom  than I am. Doesn’t that feel good to say? Doesn’t it feel good to hear?

So here are my Top Ten Things I Don’t Do:

  1. Garden: Yes, I am stealing her first thing she doesn’t do. But it would not take you too long to walk around the perimeter of my house to see that I don’t do this. I inherited a house where clearly someone used to do this, but that poor woman’s efforts were in vain. I don’t know what I am doing, I don’t have time or the inclination to learn. Hostas are my friend.
  2. Shop Thrift Stores: I am always amazed when I hear from people that they get great clothes at Goodwill. I can shop a garage sale like nobody’s business. I can score a bargain at 75% off with a 20% coupon at a department store. I can even get drug stores to pay me to shop there. But I can’t find a single thing that is worth buying at Goodwill and don’t really want to spend my time looking through piles of nasty crap to find a treasure.
  3. Scrapbook: My oldest has a baby book. But for the record it has about 3 pages filled out and not a single picture. The second to have nothing. I rarely even take pictures. Will I regret this someday? Possibly. But if I can’t be bothered to take a picture do you really think I am going to be bothered to lay them out in a book with cute little cut out sayings and a coordinating background?
  4. Dust: I try and keep a tidy house. But once you have picked up the same room 637 times in a three hour time span only to have the room next to it destroyed while you are cleaning, dusting somehow falls to the bottom of the priority list. I try and make sure you can’t write your name in the dust layers, but it definitely is not happening on any sort of regular basis.
  5. Decorate: I think if you came to my house you would find it all matches and looks pretty decent, but beyond the large pieces of furniture, I can’t seem to figure out what else to do. Artwork, knickknacks, curtains and such are not my forte. So those things are a bit sparse and haphazard and random. I love a good decorating magazine or blog, but I can’t seem to translate that into my house. Someday I hope to have gobs of money so I can hire someone to do that stuff for me.
  6. Anything before the hour of 7 am: I really, really, really would like to be an early morning person. Someone that gets up before everyone else and has her exercise and morning devotional done by 6:30. Then spends the next hour baking breakfast and packing lunches. The truth is I roll out of bed at 7, throw on an old sweatshirt, stick some toast in the toaster, slap together a sandwich and a few side dishes and rush out the door at 7:30 to get Lily to school. It ain’t pretty, but it is how we roll.
  7. Crafts: I have a sewing machine that has sat in its box for 3 years. I have pages I have torn from magazines about quick, easy things you can make for your home. I have an inner Martha that is dying to come out, I just know it. But for right now, she is stuffed inside because I just don’t have the energy. And crafting with my children makes me want to gouge my eyes out. Although I do enjoy a good, hardcore coloring session. With a coloring book though, actually creating a picture takes too much mental energy.
  8. Shaving in the winter: I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but I’m not saying it happens near enough. My apologies to my hubby, but uninterrupted shower time is a rare commodity and I am lucky if I remember to wash the conditioner out of my hair, let alone do any sort of personal grooming.
  9. Baking with my kids: I actually really enjoy baking. But I don’t like having the food around cause I just eat it (which is really bad, see #10). And I have no patience to deal with the spilling and the inaccurate measuring and the fingers in the batter thing. Occasionally “fun mom” will come out and we will bake something together, but really I get so agitated during the whole process I end up yelling and how is that quality time. So baking is mostly left to Grandma.
  10. Exercise with any sort of regularity: Ok so this isn’t so much a declaration of “Things I Don’t Do” as just a sad state of affairs. With Silas taking 2 naps combined with the whole non-functioning before 7 am thing, I just haven’t found a good spot to work this in. I also detest exercise of any form so that is working against me. I used to semi-enjoy classes at the gym, but then we dropped our membership and I just can’t find anything I enjoy doing. So this one really needs to not be on my list, I know, I know, I know……

So what would be on your list of “Things You Don’t Do?” Write one. It is quite liberating. Of course then you also fill in what is on your “must do” list. Nurturing my marriage. Dancing, singing and reading with my children. Cooking really good and healthy food for my family. Connecting with friends who build me up and make me laugh. Attending and investing in my church community. And, although I never would have guessed it 10 years ago, writing. It feeds my soul and allows me to express myself and even provides a tiny bit of income to waste on visits to Target. For now, that is where I am focusing my time and my energy and I am not feeling the least bit bad or guilty about it.

This post is submitted to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda who does it ALL and makes the rest of us look bad.


  1. You and me both. There are a lot of things on the other side of my line in the sand

  2. I’m so glad i’m not the only one who doesn’t scrapbook. My mom makes me feel bad for not making crafty stuff for my firstborn. We have a Mac. I can take photos, push buttons, and let the Apple people be crafty for me. :)

  3. Oh my list of things I don’t do would be much, much longer than that.
    Micha recently posted…Favorite Girl NamesMy Profile

  4. i could have written these things and keep going for more. ;) I don’t cook and stay in the kitchen often. i know – bad!
    Caroline Calvelo recently posted…Turknoy- The Top Ten Magical Differences in the Turknoy FamilyMy Profile

  5. Hmmm, what’s on my list…

    I don’t floss. Yep, I’m the wife of a dentist and I DON’T FLOSS. Shameful! (but cavity free – THANK YOU GENETICS)

    Daily devotions. I TRY to get em done, can do a week or two with daily reading/quiet time, but it has always been a struggle for me. Just keeping it real.

    Cleanse, Exfoliate, apply Toner, Eye Cream, anti-aging and then Moisturize. I’m lucky if I remember to splash some water on my face before falling face first into my bed.

    There, that’s a pretty good list so far :)

  6. Nikki says:

    Beyond gardening…I don’t do ANY yard work. I am not crafty either. My daughter is extremely crafty and I force myself to be involved with her. lol Now, I can go to a thrift store but not Goodwill. I have never found anything at Goodwill. At a regular Thrift Store you can find some things, it just takes patience and the right Store.
    Nikki recently posted…Grocery Store Random Why’sMy Profile

  7. Thanks for this post! I made a list! http://teachinauntie.blogspot.com/2011/05/top-ten-tuesday-10-things-i-dont-do.html
    Stephanie Goetsch recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday! 10 Things I Dont DoMy Profile

  8. Thanks for this… How refreshing to have a mom admit that she can’t/doesn’t want to do everything. I especially love #9. I’d love my kids to learn to cook and help in the kitchen but that causes me so much stress I almost never do it.

  9. I feel so much better after reading this! lol Glad to know I’m not alone… I may have to make my own list. :)
    Mariposa recently posted…Baby Bump- A Vlog PostMy Profile

  10. I’m curious about the garden now. More weeds I think?

    You surely not into crafts and artworks.

  11. Visiting from Top Ten Tuesdays at Oh Amanda, and this is a great list. I never thought to make a list of things I don’t do and actually use it as something to display rather than something to keep secret. But I can see how it would be really liberating. Maybe I’ll try this!

  12. I know you exercise with regularity now. Don’t you try to pull that one on us. ;)
    Vanderbilt Wife recently posted…Sauteed Swiss Chard with Stems RecipeMy Profile

  13. Jeannette says:

    I don’t *DO* anything before 7 am either. Certainly not exercise! Hubby and I had to come to an understanding that there was simply no way we could exercise together (pre-multiple children) before breakfast.
    We just moved house after 3 years in one spot. I think it was pretty obvious that for the most part I don’t dust either.
    Great list!

  14. I am in pretty much the same sad state of affairs boat, although I have been forcing myself to the gym to rid myself of this infernal sciatica. Oh, and possibly some of the extra pounds on my behind.
    Joules recently posted…The Musacks – AkonMy Profile

  15. ummm….this is freaking me out. my list would be the exact same! we are twinsies!!
    Jenny from Mommin’ It Up recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday- Books I Want to ReadMy Profile

  16. I can relate to #8! haha
    Great list!

  17. Absolutely loved this list! I might try to make my list of things I don’t do. I think you’re right, it will be quite liberating! Thanks for your sense of humor. It made me smile tonight. :)
    Leigh Ann recently posted…Blogging with a Vision – Part 2My Profile

  18. Oh, my gosh what a relief to read your list of things you don’t do. I always wonder why it is that I just can’t get everything done when other moms seem to be on top of everything. Thanks so much for sharing this list, what a great load off of my shoulders. It is also such a reminder to look at these small things with a sense of humor.
    Victoria recently posted…How To Treat A Sunburn And Ease The PainMy Profile

  19. Love it! What a great idea!

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