Katie Katie Parsons is the creator of Mumbling Mommy and is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She works from her home office on the east coast of Florida. Most often she writes about life in a combined family of five children and what it's like being a full time work-from-home parent. Feel free to pitch guest post ideas or just drop her a line at katie@mumblingmommy.com.

We’ve all heard of the popular concept of creating a “bucket list” of items that you want to accomplish in your life before “kicking the bucket” at the end. I’ve never actually composed one of these lists, mainly because I fully expect to live a long, long time and have plenty of time to accomplish all the planned and unplanned things on my rolling to-do list. The things that I do not get around to doing will inevitably be replaced by more meaningful ways that I decided to spend my time — ways that may not have made a priority list when I was a senior in high school.


Diaper Dekor, via Target.com

While I haven’t made a bucket list, during my first pregnancy and now during my second I have made a few mental to-do lists on a nine-month timer. I call these things my “diaper pail” list. Some couples make lists of what to do before conceiving that may include exotic trips that are best enjoyed without toting a diaper bag, or buying a home that is suitable for a family of three or four or more. My diaper pail list isn’t that kind of list. My list is more of a life check, a gut check, a “what can I improve” check  before this baby arrives in my life.

To make my diaper pail list this time around, I first asked myself about the relationships in my life. I thought about estranged ones, tense ones and the ones that I’m so blessed to have. In regards to the people who were once vital and are now distant, I asked myself “why”? In general, my answer was that though I had thought about reaching out in the past, I had never found the time to do it. This baffled me. How long, really, does it take to send an email?
A text message? Or (scariest) pick up the phone and call? So I made a note of people to reach out to… and I’m working on it. For the tense ones, I’ve given some thought as to what my problem may be in that regard and have tried harder to relax a bit. As for my support system, I’m trying to do a better job of telling the people who I couldn’t live without that I feel that way. It’s never safe to assume that people know how you feel so I’m trying my best to show my gratitude.

Then there are the more tangible parts of my list — the items that are measurable and are now on a deadline. The first one for me is to be consistent in trying to sell the memoir I’ve written about my first pregnancy. This doesn’t mean that I’m putting pressure on myself to have it in production or an e-book format by my due date but simply means that I’m stepping up my efforts to make it happen someday. This means continued writing, improvement on what I already have and sending out query letters to book agencies. I have a master list of agencies that accept nonfiction works and have highlighted the ones that specialize in memoirs and women’s issues. My diaper pail bullet point is to send out five query letters per week. I’ll just keep doing this until I hear from someone who wants to see more and read about the time in my life when I was single and pregnant, and then I’ll give my manuscript a thorough edit before sending it off.

And that’s not all. I plan to start publishing parts of the memoir here, on this blog. I’m going to call it “Memoir Monday.” This is the part where you come in. I hope to see comments and suggestions from all of you readers. Some of the sections can get a bit heavy or personal, so if you are uncomfortable commenting publicly, feel free to send me an email or call me. I appreciate (in advance) you all letting me do this exercise for the betterment of my future book.

My husband and I have some measurable “to-do” items with our kids too. To potty train one (and have a little diaper break), to get another comfortable sleeping alone and to break the thumb sucking habit of another one. Again, this is not to say that my husband and I will be failures if all three of these things aren’t accomplished once my contractions start, but we are stepping up our efforts to make life just a little bit simpler (and better for our kids) before it gets more complicated with a newborn.

There are a few more minor things but for the most part, I have filled you in my diaper pail list. Now I’d love to hear from all of you. What things were on your diaper pail list, consciously or subconsciously? Were there things like taking trips? Redecorating? Accomplishing a career goal? Repairing a relationship?

If you are pregnant now, what things do you hope to accomplish physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially before your water breaks? Who knows? Maybe your goals will even inspire me to add a few more items to my diaper pail list.

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Category: Pregnancy

Tags: accomplishments