As I sit and write this from a local Starbucks, I began staring at the yellow legal pad that I brought with me to write down my to-do list for today. I am old school because I still like to write things down. To-do lists are important for me as working mom. My head is swarming with so many things that need to get done. If I don’t write it down, I’m afraid it will be left undone. And that will often lead to the emotions of inadequacy, dissatisfaction and a case of the “I should have’s…” So, I begin to scribble down my daily obligations on those blue-green lines that cross the page. It helps to give me a plan of action for the day or even week. And while sad, its true…I get a small sense of satisfaction crossing off each thing that I accomplish on this list.

If you think about it, our children are like that yellow legal pad. Their lives are filled with so many possibilities and the blue lines with all those good things that we want for them. A blank canvas of life long impressions of those things that only we as moms can help them accomplish. But, if I’m not careful, I can allow those blue green lines to easily turn into counterproductive guilt and pressure to do things perfectly. Because if I don’t…”I will mess them up forever, and it will be my fault.” Whew! Too much pressure!

As moms, we can become our own biggest critic while trying to become their greatest cheerleader. How ironic that within one breath we tell them how great they are doing, but often the very next one we tell ourselves that “we should be doing more.” Let’s tear out the pages filled with negativity, crumple it tightly and discard in the circular file. No mommy’s perfect. Before us is this brand new yellow pad of possibilities and we can fill it with good things for both ourselves and our kids.

What’s on your yellow legal pad?