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the motherhood curator

I was just making some cheesy popcorn tonight in preparation for tomorrow’s choir rehearsal–it’s my turn for mom snack duty. {It is an easy and delicious recipe; just follow my dad’s basic popcorn recipe, then as you’re drizzling butter, also sprinkle garlic salt and grated parmesan/romano cheese.} As I was stuffing the finished product into ten snack-sized baggies, I began pondering my week ahead.

Vivi has two big goings-on this week, the church play (if you ever want a laugh, watch a bunch of kindergartners try to sing lines fromĀ The Mikado) and the school rummage sale. I am volunteering for both, partly out of requirement but mostly out of pressure. I got emails for both events that basically came right out and said “ALL the moms are doing it, and we look at parental support as a necessary component of the success of XYZ fundraising.” Oh all right, twist my arm.

So I’m doing them! Which involves not only getting together a costume and snack (for the play) and rummaging for salable items (for the school sale), but also being present before, during, and after said events to wrangle children and things from here to there.

It’s not like I have lots of other tasks to do, nor do these events take a lot of brain cells. But as a person who doesn’t like to have many things on my to-do list or calendar for each day, it causes me to insert some extra facial twitching and general grumping around the house into my daily routine.

…Did I mention the costume must be black leggings, a black long-sleeve shirt, and black ballet shoes that no one can seem to locate at Target or any local dance shop?…


Taking part in these proceedings is bringing to mind a line from Minimalist Parenting, my latest favorite pep talk in book form. Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest, the authors of the fantastic quick read, say that moms should look at ourselves as curators of the flow of activities and stuff into our homes. I love this notion because it gives me permission to say no to some of the things I can’t or don’t want to do (not to mention the stuff I don’t want…which is going to the rummage sale!). So yes, I agreed to do motherhood’s version of monkey tricks this time, but I have been saying no more often than before.

How different is this post from the perky post of nearly a year ago in which I was conditioning myself to say yes? Um, yeah, about that. I think when it comes to risk and adventure, I should say yes more. But when it comes to busy work, cutesy celebrations for every teeny weensy milestone, and other running-around shenanigans, I will practice just saying no.