So this year is an experiment in adding little habits each month to see what I stumble upon that is life-giving and useful.

Last month, I picked rambling pages as my thing to do. Here’s what I learned:

It’s still useful.

Five minutes was doable (I did it 4 to 5 days per week on average) but most days, if I wasn’t super pressed, I would do 10 or 15, because there is WAY more than five minutes’ worth of crazy.

The inside of my head is sometimes a dismal place. Frequently, the rambles would turn into me dumping insecurities and frustrations out on the page. This was a little depressing, but also allowed me a chance to see and examine some of the negative things I think regularly and examine them in light of Truth… and realize that nobody thinks about me as much as I seem to believe they do.

The less sense they make at the beginning, the more likely I am to learn something at the end. I have no idea why this is true. But if they start out saying, “Let’s see… what happened today… I don’t really know. The kids were normal. I need to start making some meals for the freezer soon, I wonder what I have planned tomorrow…” there might be some sort of epiphany at the end, if I push through the random.

That was all great… until about a week ago, when I stopped being able to adult.

Suddenly, real life is just a lot.

Maybe it’s not sudden. Maybe I just fought it for a while.

Whatever happened, when I think about a minigoal for July, the only phrase that comes to mind is…


Because the last month of pregnancy is not a joke. I know this, of course. But knowing it and experiencing it yet again are different, and here we are. There are a great many things that I’m obligated to do throughout my day that, ordinarily, are not a big deal, but currently rate somewhere on the spectrum that goes from annoying to unpleasant to unbelievably painful. Things including (but in no way limited to): breathing, lying down, getting up, trying to be asleep, trying to be awake, and eating.

It sounds like whining. (Sorry.)  I am unbelievably grateful I get to do all of these things, and overwhelmingly grateful that the reason they’re hard is a living child in my body who will be coming out shortly.

And also, that gratitude doesn’t change the physical (and hormonal) difficulty level.

So I’m opting out for the month.

Well, not actually.

My goal for July is to give myself a little bit of grace.

Or, you know, a lot.

I’m not supermom. Not superwife. Not super anything, except super rotund.

My goal is to be kind to myself like I’d be kind to a friend.

To remember that I’m keeping a lot of little people alive, and sometimes that is enough.

To get by in survival mode without getting grouchy with myself about the things I’m letting go.

To find things that are life-giving right now and do them. (This is why I write, take pictures, sing, and read for fun. It’s why I play with my kids and why I don’t bake with them.)

To slow down and be okay with not being productive.

To let the girls have screen time so I can doze (or just not be a grown-up) for a while without fretting over long-term damage and what a crappy mom I’m being.

July is about taking things off my daily list.

Here’s my daily list, updated for the month. (Probably at least through August, if we’re being realistic.)

  • Get out of bed.
  • Read the Bible and write down a thing or two that I’m thankful for.
  • Get a load of laundry through
  • Wash dishes
  • Make sure all living things in my house eat something.

(This is down from about 20 items. Some of the other 15 will get done some  the days, but only these are on the “really try and do it every day” list.)

This month, I’m connecting with my people. More importantly, I’m going to try to keep my heart and body in a place where connecting is an option. I’m doing the things I must, and I’m letting the rest slide. Without guilt.

I’d love to hear what you think. What are your survival mode tricks? And the big question: how do you let the rest go without making yourself crazy?

Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a part-time writer, editor, and birth photographer and a full-time imperfect mama, wife, Jesus follower, and normalizer of failure. She’s trying hard to learn how to do this motherhood thing in a way that doesn’t land the whole family in intensive therapy. She has a heart for helping other mamas buried in the little years with hope, humor, and solidarity. You can find her hiding out in the bathroom with an iced dirty chai, writing and editing and making spreadsheets for where she is a cheerleader for mamas, or online looking for grace in her mundane and weird life. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her four delightful (crazy) kids—some homeschooled, some public schooled, some too young for school at all—and her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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