On her blog, The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin has been talking about pigeons of discontent...those things that are not real big problems but those little pet peeves that we have. We try to find a solution for them but we just can't seem to find it. For me one of these pigeons of discontent is making a grocery list. When I was a kid, my mom always had a pad and pen under the phone in the kitchen. If we ran out of something, I would write it on the list. It was always there. Seems like a very easy thing to do. Well, for years now, I have tried to do this in my own house and it just doesn't happen. I've had pads in the kitchen, one of us will start a list but then someone else will need a piece of paper, rip the list off the pad and then the list gets swallowed up by that pile of papers on the counter to be lost forever. Then someone else will start a new list but not know what was on the first list and so there will always be something missing on the new list. Then there are those times when the whole pad just disappears and a person by the name of "It Wasn't Me" has put it in a place where no one can find it.
It's such a simple concept...have a pad in the kitchen and when we need something, write it on the list...too hard for us Nealons. Then I saw this idea on Pinterest. Someone painted the inside of one of her kitchen cabinets with chalkboard paint so that she can make a list. I liked this idea but really wasn't sure if I wanted to paint the inside of my cabinet. Then I remembered I had some leftover contact paper that I bought for the kitchen drawers. I remember that the wrapping said that you could write on it with dry erase markers. An "AH HA" moment for me. I picked the cabinet with all the snacks, a cabinet that everyone is in everyday and placed the contact paper on the inside. I wrote in the middle,"If we need something, please write it down."
At dinner that night I explained to everyone what I wanted them to do. Just two days before, Shannon had written on the container of milk in the refrigerator, "Not A Lot Left." I told her that does not count anymore as writing it down and that she needs to write things like "milk" on the list.
As moms we are constantly trying to find things that work for our families so that things will run more smoothly. It is all about trial and error. There are many things that I have read in parenting magazines that sounded like great ideas but just didn't work for us and that's okay. So would my new idea work??? Well, a few days in and this is what I have on my list:
another date night
a good night sleep
toothbrush for RyRy
and a *snow day*
This is why I love these people, because when I am consumed with trying to get all the "work" done that is involved with being a mom: the laundry, changing the sheets, making doctor appointment and dentist appointments, doing homework, chauffeuring kids all over town, making meals and shopping for the food for those meals, they give me these small little pearls of reminders to slow down and remember what's really important and what we really need. Yes, I will go to the Giant and get yellow gatorade, ice cream, waffles, and a toothbrush for RyRy but I will also make sure that we all get enough sleep, and give out more hugs and have more date nights with my guy because that is what we really need.
And if we get a snow day this year, I will stop for a moment from doing all the "work" of a mom and take some time to do something fun with the kids, maybe play cards, draw a picture, or make some cookies, because that is what we need.
You never know how something will enhance your life. Who would of thought that I would find enhancement on the inside of a kitchen cabinet door?