19 Things to Take Off Mom’s To-Do List

by Julie Rains on 8 May 2010 2 comments
Photo: liquene

It's Mother’s Day. Forget breakfast in bed. Instead, take some things off of mom’s ever-growing, never-ending to-do list.

1. Plan an entire week’s menu (including snacks for the constantly growing children). Do all the shopping at your local market, warehouse store, or roadside stand. Put away all items, making sure to clean out the refrigerator beforehand or immediately afterward.

2. Run non-urgent yet long undone errands: buy replacement batteries for flashlights, smoke alarms, and handheld gaming systems; replace the windshield wipers; take dry clean only clothes to the dry cleaner; mend or hem clothes.

3. Get the recycling ready. Put away boxes that might be used for storage or shipping products sold on eBay and break down the remaining boxes according to recycling rules.

4. Post books (the ones set aside to get rid of) on Paperbackswap.com, take them to the used book store for trade, or sell them on online.

5. Solve technical glitches that require research, analysis, and action.

6. Take bags of discarded items to Goodwill or other local store that takes and resells older items for charity.

7. Clean and prepare nicer, stashed away items for the consignment store.

8. Sort, label, and store digital pictures from last year’s (and the year's before) vacation or stay-near-home outings.

9. Find sources for handyperson projects that are out of your league; arrange for cost estimates on your time.

10. File the insurance claims for the last visit to the dentist and orthodontist.

11. Get rid of out-of-date over-the-counter medicines, sunscreen, canned goods, and cereals, and replace whatever is necessary.  (Hint: most households can always use Benadryl or its generic equivalent.)

12. Tackle the socks-with-no-matches pile. Don’t just relocate them but find the missing ones (under beds, behind washing machines, etc.) and repurpose extra ones.

13. Create email filters to direct messages from coaches, teachers, scout leaders, band directors, etc. to both parents so that important emails don’t go just to the person who signed up for them at the beginning of the year or season.

14. Sign the permission slips, dispense field trip monies, and get forms completed, etc. so that there are no early-morning rushes surrounding documents for eagerly awaited events.

15. Put together a budget and start making arrangements for your next big trip.

16. Set up Google alerts to notify the family of children's product recalls, or add Parenting Squad to your parenting resources (including CPSC alerts).

17. Call the insurance company to get rid of collision on auto insurance, raise deductibles, or whatever needs to be done to protect your assets without overspending on insurance.

18. Take all of the notes about appointments and schedules (including the most significant pinned to the bulletin board as well as those non-strategically situated on the kitchen table) and place them on the calendar. Make a mental note to check the calendar weekly.

19. Create a shared Google document listing the addresses and significant dates associated with your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, best friends, etc. (such as your sister's birthday and dates for family reunions like the one that is always held on the third Sunday in April even on Easter); note that the second Sunday in May is Mother's Day (USA).

If you need ideas other than tackling the to-do list (and besides preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner), consider gifts for the person who has everything, making a donation to her favorite charity (perhaps one that supports moms and their children), or giving her whatever she has mentioned she'd like; then add flowers.

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Guest's picture

Great stuff--and its true.

I find that taking care of the more menial computer jobs seem to go over the best. My mother is very computer literate, she just doesn't know how to fully utilize her computer to make her life more organized and streamlined.

Guest's picture

my mom?well busy taking care of us, our living....I can't remember when was the last time we go out, chill as family..Single mom sometimes forgot themselves just to cater our needs ...happy mothers day mom nita:)I love you