My Journey as a Mother

Top 10 Lists I Learned to Make only as a Parent

Sitting to write is half work done. I started this blogspace to share my thoughts and experiences as a parent. Even as I get enough of them everyday, I do not make the time to sit and write them in a journal or in this online space. As often as I would like myself to sit and write about life as it is, in my quest to write big, I don’t write at all.

Often the most memorable things are the most simple things that happen as life happens. It slips out of mind easily in the busyness of life. Hence, I miss to capture those moments that I think a lot about one day, but forget the next.

Today as I lay awake after having slept enough, I was enjoying my thought process after a long time. Since having a good time with myself I only ponder upon, I decided to write them in a journal. After pouring my mind with a black pen on paper, I moved for a break.

Now, I am just typing it happily. I have long forgotten the feeling of writing down long essays, long texts in the instant reply time. That’s exactly how lists became close to my everyday life as a parent. They make me think through every sector of my life, especially those I have deep trouble with.

Lists Scared Me

A journal with stickers for the week for top 10 lists I started to make as a parent on onehappyamma.

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As an individual, lists scared me. I was comfortable with doing things spontaneously. Earlier, I committed to a lot, forgot some, did some in a jiffy and life just happened.

Personally, I did not have a lot to think about in terms of daily survival. I was blessed with good food, clothing and a roof over my head. I had people to do almost everything that I did not move as much as my finger for daily things.

Even though my parents insisted that I do my own things, I did little, not much. This is one of the primary reasons I found many everyday things difficult at the beginning of my marriage. There was too much chaos than clarity as to how it has to be done over what has to be done.

Now, I am learning management on every level on a daily basis. From home management, time management, managing relationships to child management, I feel that as a parent these lists have helped me feel better organized and prepared.

Earlier, when I read about lists or viewed about it, it was really too much for me. It never struck a chord with me. I can follow someone’s list, but I can never make a personal list. It never had a calming effect on me.

Thanks to my fading memory, as I juggle multiple roles, I often forget simple everyday things. As a mother, I feel often lost at the slightest of screams. I just become blank. This is my primary reason I started to make lists as a parent. These 10 lists has helped me a great deal these past 2 years.

10 Lists as a Parent

Grocery List

I know just from the name, you know how useful this list is. I found it difficult to even curate this. Don’t scorn at me. I never managed a kitchen nor a home alone until I moved here. Though I purchased stuff, brought them home and arranged it, I was always an ardent follower of someone’s list, but never a creator of one.

It took me a lot of practice even after watching 100’s of YouTube videos. I read a lot about it that at one point it was really tiring before I had the Eureka Moment. For someone like me, a step-by-step procedure is required to do something as big as this.

I started to make a Master Grocery list only as a parent, then added things every now and then when I remembered. It took me around a week to finalize it. Then I bought a cute To-Do list pad with a magnet for £1 to stick to my refrigerator. The moment something is about to get over or if I am using that last bit, I write it down on the pad. I attached a pen right on the paper or with a Blu-tack next to it.

Ta-da, I make the lists this way. I take them to the grocery store and sometimes I buy a few extra things too, but I don’t pick everything from every aisle. I have learned to skip some too. Once I come home, I add the bill and the list to a folder.

Meal Plan

My goal is to equip myself to make a weekly meal plan in 2022. At the moment, I plan only for a day or two. All I think now is to put the food on the table everyday. This is a big achievement. I have not realized the importance of this for a long time, not until I turned 33.

Planning even 1 meal ahead makes me feel relaxed and quick to finish. I learned that when it comes to food, it is always about deciding the menu, more than the process of cooking or cleaning. Once the menu is on, I find the complete cooking process as therapeutic.

I never realized that I would enjoy making lists as a parent. I am late to this process, but better late than never, isn’t it?

Boring Everyday Stuff

To put everything in its place all the time is really a boring thing to do. However boring it is, I realized the importance of it as a mother. Something as simple as washing clothes, drying, folding, and arranging them back on the shelves is a big process for me. Sometimes I do it in batches or break it down, but either way, I do it.

When you have someone looking at you and want to become you, I want them to only become the best version of me. Our daughter has her eyes set on us while we do our chores. My husband has an OCD, but I used to have a cleaning disorder. I preferred chaos over clean because of my laziness. Neither did I like to move around much nor did I move things around me much.

I could say sometimes I try the fake it till you make it, but often falter. Still, I try again, I have learned to never give up on myself. I improve slowly, but I really see the difference in me and I personally like it. As a parent, I feel making lists make me feel accomplished.

Be it arranging clothes, toys, books, bed, kitchen or bathroom, I know what we do will be captured as a memory in her mind forever. I want it to be a better one. I figured when I put something in a place for a while, for example, the laundry bag, she is able to stick to it as routine. That is a big motivation for me to keep going.

If I change it, she often finds it confusing. It takes her a while to grasp the new place. We must learn to adapt, but an ever changing environment is confusing. So, I learn to put things in place, but when they require change, I let her know.

Monthly Bills and Commitments

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Even as most monthly payments go on auto-debit, making a note of the amount, date, month and year gives me a better idea. By knowing what goes where helps me to just view things even though I am not able to change much about it. Getting a picture on a monthly basis helps me get an overall idea about how we spend our money.

When I started this last year, our entire expenditure was alarming. Now after a year, I am a little bit used to these alarming facts. Now, working on it would help us better.

An Elegant Aura and Other Stuff

As a proud online reseller for almost 2.5 years now, I have started writing down every sale I make. My online boutique, An Elegant Aura, has helped me find many new friends. It is only with the support of friends and family that my business still runs as I stay here.

I also support a few local businesses run by friends and all that makes an entry into my journal. Even a one-time service makes an entry. From Online English Classes, SEO Tips, Customizing Cards, Tarot Reading to Kung-Fu Classes, I enjoy the services that I get from people I know.

Small savings is usually a comforting journey when done with friends. To have a few friends with whom I can share my thoughts about money is a fantastic opportunity. Some friends have been kind enough to offer tips to save money and we all work on our little goals through it.

Child Milestones

I have started to note down my daughter’s height, weight and Head Circumference, every month. I have done it in the past, left it mid-way, but started it again this year. Mostly, I check my weight everyday. I am not obsessive about it, but I am used to it, so I do it.

My daughter fell off the weight chart even before her first birthday. I wasn’t aware of many things as a new mother. Doctors and nurses were kind and helpful than family. It used to be frustrating and still, at times, I feel uncomfortable to discuss her weight.

I understood that weight and height are important factors in a child growth, but every child has their own curve. A child who is tall and weights per the chart might talk late, and vice-versa. Never compare your child with someone else. One must keep an eye on milestones, but before that keep an eye on the environment in which they grow. That will help them grow better.

Also, it is not right to reduce food for a child who prefers to eat more just as one cannot make a child who eats small portion to eat more. I have learned to avoid people who complaint about my inability to make my girl a Complan girl. So be it.

My daughter is active, smart and eats her fill just like every other child. She is growing wonderfully in front of us. That is all that matters to me. The milestone charts I make are for changes that I need to make in her everyday. I started it as a personal validation, but it goes beyond it.

The Books We Read

I read around 10-12 books in a year. I know it it not going to be a hard thing to remember this, but I like to write it down. It makes me feel closer to the book and the story. I think about it as I write it down. The title of the book, the author, the month I read it and personal rating and review.

Here, I mostly pick books from the library, so when I return it, I mostly lose memory about it. So writing down about it gives me a feeling like making a mark, “Jay read this!”

I love my daughter’s books. I spend so much time reading them that I am now more fond of children’s books and young adult fiction. Early years is an amazing phase to learn about so many things. From facts, feelings, expressing emotions, learning acceptance, school, play to habits, there’s a book for everything. I wish I had read these as a kid.

I am happy to read books to my daughter, even though most of the times it is about reading the same book, in the same tone, for a minimum of 10 times before her nap time or during her breakfast or after school. Earlier it was tough, but now I understand that repetition is memory, so I read.

Personal Goals for the Year

It is about 3 or 5 or 10 things that I want to achieve in a particular year. At the beginning of the pandemic, it was about enrolling for an online course, baking and exercise. This year it is as simple as registering at my local library, cooking consistently, learning to drive a car, etc., It is about learning any skill that helps me personally and makes me a little more dependent on myself.

This year it is about landing in a job, and I have begun my search. I know it is a long process to return to work. Still, I am glad I am not just sitting on my couch and daydreaming about it.

Topics I want to Write About

Though I never run out of topics to write about, I often do not know how to relate them together. Also, linking them with keywords and SEO was a confusing and lengthy process for me. Often, I love to write about one topic, but never have the idea that I could consolidate them into one post, just like this one. I could never see the big picture unless I make a list.

Now with my mind scattered to a million things, I like to note down just about anything. I note down everything and then slowly they all come together like this one. Making lists as a parent makes me feel relaxed, prepared and less anxious.

My Personal Love for People

I always love to gift people. Mostly it is small things that catches my eye and makes me thing about the person. I usually plan a lot about the gift, but forget when the time comes. Then I regret for not sending it on time.

So, I note the occasions ahead and write the names of the people I want to gift this year. Then work on it, the budget, the gift and time. Usually it is more about supporting local business. This is one of my goals I started only in 2021, so I have a long way to go.

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That’s one long post. These are the top 10 lists I started to make as a parent. As the year is coming to an end, are you looking forward to start 2022 with brand new lists?

In general, What are your favourite lists to make? Are there any specific lists that you like to make as a parent? I would like to know and also try a few of them.

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