He may be right. I tend to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of mom. When it comes to the small things, it looks like I put them off until the last minute and then attack before things become a full-blown crisis.
That means I’m not very good at remembering to thaw meat today for dinner tomorrow. I don’t have a week’s worth of clothes folded and laid out for my kids to wear. I don’t even plan my kids’ birthday parties on Pinterest.
The thing is, from MY perspective, I plan just fine.
In the entire 13 years of our marriage, we have NEVER run out of toilet paper. I’ve only run out of gas once, but I was pregnant at the time. For each of our many moves, I’ve managed to make sure the utilities were connected and the bathrooms were functional by the time the family arrived.
When it comes to the big important stuff, I plan.
I plan for the unusual. I make a packing list for big vacations. I have an elaborate planning list for hosting Christmas Dinner. I jot down a shopping list for all the back-to-school shopping.
But I don’t plan for the ordinary. Dinner happens every day, whether I plan it or not. My kids manage to get dressed every day, even though I haven’t planned it for them. I throw perfectly adequate birthday parties. My family never thinks about toilet paper because they can’t imagine EVER running out.
That last statement is probably the key to the whole thing.
When I do my job as a mom, it goes largely unseen. The stuff that I manage well becomes largely invisible. The only time my planning skills come into question is when I drop the ball. Particularly when I announce it to everyone. The problem is, any time I’m feeling frantic or have dropped the ball about something, I tend to tell people.
Am I a world champion at planning ahead? Probably not.
But honestly, I’m not sure how much good it would do me anyway. Motherhood isn’t neat and tidy. I can’t schedule a stomach bug and plan for it in advance. “Have a teachable moment” isn’t something I can check off the to-do list.
But what I can do is plan for the big moments of motherhood. I can plan for vacations and holidays. I can prepare for the inevitable winter cold. I can even keep obsessing about the toilet paper supply in my house.
After that, all I can do is create margin. I can live my life where there is extra space and time – like the blank spaces on the edge of the page. Instead of filling the pages of my calendar and to-do list until there isn’t room to write another thing, I can leave blank spots. I can leave space for the unplannable and create room for the spontaneous. I can let my kids doodle outrageously in the margins of my life, filling it with color and creativity and wonder.
And from that perspective, I’m doing an awesome job at planning for motherhood. I can almost always find space to sit on the front porch and listen to my children.
Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker writes at ThisHappyMom and has a passion for encouraging weary worn out moms to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination for eggs, socks, and books. She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family. She serves an amazing God. She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder.