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Productive Mom Day! (A Peek Behind-The-Scenes)

This behind-the-scenes peek at a productive mom day is good reminder for all moms!

I had the most productive day ever recently. (Well, it wasn’t really that recent. It was back in late November. Sometimes it takes me a looooong time to get my blog posts out of my brain and onto the screen. Still…) It was amazing. I felt like super woman, but then… Well, we’ll get to that, but first rejoice with me.

stuffing letters

The day started with me stuffing letters with a friend. The mailing was for friends of ours that are doing international missions. Letters for missionaries! Just wait. It gets better.

riding the elevator

I took the kids on a walk up town to see the big Christmas tree that was just put up. (Remember. This was November.) On the way home we stopped at the town hall to pick up some bags for our leaves. The kids asked to ride in the elevator and took turns pushing the buttons. I was trying to be a fun mom and it was working!

leaf pile

We took advantage of the nice weather and raked leaves before naptime. The kids were adorable. Why does Grace look so old in this picture?!

silly kids

Oh these sweet, silly kids. Love them.

While the kids played, I cleared off the deck and put all the outside toys in the basement. I also “winterized” the sandbox by removing the toys and making sure the tarp was extra secure.

leaf bags

I filled 6 bags with leaves all on my own! It was the last beautiful, warm day before snow was going to hit later that week. I ended up sore from all the raking and bending, which is kind of pathetic.


I also did a load of laundry, which included washing Noah’s frog. He uses this like a pillow when he sleeps. It was a miracle that I was able to wash it without him fussing for it at naptime!

Save take out containers for baby meals so they don't have to worry about returning dishes.

At supper time I rushed over to a friend’s house and delivered a meal in honor of her new baby. I like to save takeout containers for this purpose so people don’t have to worry about returning my dishes. Looking back, I am still amazed I was able to make a baby meal along with all the other things I had going on that day.


Just before I left to drop off the meal, I sent Nate this text message. My day had been amazing, but the house… Oh my word the house…


Every surface in the kitchen was covered.

living room


The living room didn’t look much better.


Who wants to play “How Many Leaves Do You See?”

 Let’s take a moment to recap my awesome productivity.

  • stuff a mailing for missionaries
  • went on a walk with Grace & Noah
  • had an elevator adventure
  • washed a load of special laundry items (frog, bath mat, winter coat, etc)
  • raked 6 bags of leaves
  • winterized the deck & sandbox
  • made & delivered a baby meal

I felt like I had conquered the world! Yet my house was trashed.

The first moral of this story is:

Mama, you simply can’t be amazing at all things at all times. There are going to be times in your life when you do a fantastic job creating fun memories with your kids, but your laundry pile is catastrophic. Perhaps your house is the cleanest it has ever been, but you are so exhausted that you order take-out for supper.

My mother, a nurse, used to say, “I can’t be Florence Nightingale, Betty Crocker, and Martha Stewart all at the same time.”  And to that I say, “Amen!”

The second moral of this story is:

Be careful when you compare yourself to others. It is easy to look at what someone is presenting to the world when they are out of the house or on social media, but do you know what is really happening behind the scenes? In 2011 I wrote about my theory that Always-Put-Together Moms are actually a lot like my kitchen. On the surface everything looks great, but we all have some dirt lingering around somewhere.

Be easy on yourselves today. When you look at the chaos around you, remember that you are not alone. Mamas all over the world are battling their own chaos right along with you. Recognize the accomplishments and let go of the guilt.

Despite the state of my house, I still felt like Super Woman at the end of day.

And I think that title was well earned. Don’t you?

Tell me about your productive mom days! Do they feel balanced or are you left with a bit of chaos?



  1. What a fantastic post. I needed to hear this! Balancing life and having realistic expectations for myself is something I’m working on now that I’m a stay at home mom.

    1. It is really hard to find balance. Some days productivity looks like this day when I accomplished a ton. Other days productivity looks like pouring into my children while my to do list is neglected. Best of luck to you!

  2. Just found your site after listening to the “How they Blog” with Kat. Love this article! It is so true. Every time I have a successful work day, my house is trashed. A successful kid day, my house is trashed. A successful house day, my kids are crazy and my work does not get done. There is no such thing as the perfect mom day 😉 But with a lot of hard work, we may be able to achieve the perfect week….right?!? I think I could get the balance right over the course of a week that I fail to achieve in a day….just a thought.

    1. I love that perspective, Sarah! Aim for a balanced week rather than a balanced day. So wise!

      I love Kat’s podcast. I hope she releases more soon. Thanks for listening and for taking the time to look me up!

  3. Pingback: Weekend Links - Intentional By Grace
  4. Rebekah, I love your honesty and your pictures of your messy house, because mine looks just like that half the time and I feel terrible about it (I am a perfectionist with completely unrealistic expectations!). Thank you for sharing this encouraging post. (BTW, I love the quote from your mom. I should frame it!)

    1. I could probably use some your perfectionism in my life. It usually doesn’t bother me too much to let things slide, but my husband cares a lot more.

      I love the comment from another reader that having a balanced week is probably a better goal than a balanced day.

  5. I was just thinking yesterday about the Proverbs 31 woman. Maybe I need to read it over again, but I don’t remember anything about “her house is spotless”! What I do remember is the verse emphasizing that her children and husband bless her, she gardens, shops for the family, makes (and sells!) things, and cooks. I wonder what her house looked like?! =)

  6. I love this post! See, recently I decided to take care of Mt. Paperwork in my house. It was mostly filing with a little bit of to-do thrown in. It took me ALL AFTERNOON!!! It went from filing, to gathering the income tax return forms, to taking care of the to-do paperwork which turned into making the phone calls that we Household CEO’s sometimes have to do. I ended up with a cleaner workspace around the computer, but the laundry and dishes didn’t get done. To accomplish a great task (or have a productive day), some things have to be sacrificed! And good job throwing in some “fun mom” stuff!

  7. You may have been late in writing and posting, but I am super, duper late to actually read this, but it is an encouraging post no matter the day! I totally identify with the fact that not all things can be done perfectly all the time. Thank you for writing such an honest, but fun post! And congrats on a productive day!

    1. I love, love, LOVE getting comments on old posts. So thank you! I’m glad you can relate to my crazy day.

  8. Great post, and congrats on an amazing day!! And I’m totally stealing your mom’s quote! (I may have to modify it a bit, though, since I’m not a nurse…)

  9. Hello, good day! Can I humbly ask for permission to use the photo of your kids inside the elevator?
    I am doing a poster with the title “Experiencing Undefined Slope” as an Instructional Material for our school. By the way, I am a Grade 8 public high school teacher here in the Philippines.
    I am planning to post the material in the corridor near our school stair. I will print it in two copies, one for my bulletin board inside my classroom.

    I will wait for your reply the soonest possible. Hope you consider my request positively. Your kids are adorable. May God bless you more!
    Charito Ferrer

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