A simple note posted to the Story of This Life's Facebook page has garnered 25,000 reactions, more than 1,000 shares, and hundreds of comments because it reminds us that no matter how much we have to do as parents in a given day, there really is only one thing that matters.
"Thanks for keeping our kids alive everyday," the note from Thad Anderson, to his wife Esther, reads. Esther, who blogs at Story of This Life, shared a picture of the freehand memo, along with this caption, "I woke up to find this note and it made me smile because some days that's all I feel like I do and it's crazy [sic] frustrating."
Oh, Esther, I so hear that. Today, I hope to workout, shower, do several loads of laundry, get out to CVS to buy Pull-Ups, do some online shopping for warmer clothes for the kids, make dinner, sign a few permission slips and school forms, send out several emails, and vacuum, among other to-do list items. And yet, by the time bedtime rolls around, I may only complete one or two of those tasks. And I'll feel like it's a wasted day.
But as Thad's note points out, if my kids are happy and healthy, I guess I've actually successfully completed the most important job there is. As Esther writes, "My husband's always reminding me that if I don't get to the dishes stacked 2 feet high or to the 7265282 loads of laundry or get to finish the project I'm *trying* to work on, I'm still spending time with my girls (and trying to keep them alive ) and that's infinitely more important than any other To-Do on my list."
She also told Parents.com: "As a parent of two littles, I find myself looking back at my to-do list for the day and realizing that I literally didn't check ANYthing off the list because I was so busy 'keeping the kids alive.' It's actually a thing, and sometimes we forget as parents that it's our most important job; pouring ourselves into them. My husband has to remind me of this all the time when I get crazy frustrated about it!"
Esther, thanks for sharing this simple yet powerful reminder that no day is wasted if we take special care to love and nurture our little ones. No matter how high the dirty dishes are stacked!
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.