It’s nap time, but nobody wants to take a nap…except for me.
It’s time to get in the car and go to the park, and nobody can find their shoes…except for me.
Dinner time! Everybody is hungry and famished, but nobody wants to eat the well-balanced, nutritious meal….except for me.
It’s time to take a bath…”but I want a shower.” “I want to take it by myself.” “I don’t WANT a bath.” “I’m not dirty mom.” They have so many excuses… and here I am, looking for any and every excuse to just rinse off before the day begins-knowing full well the feeling of clean won’t last long.
Kids are playing quietly, miraculously getting along. Then nature calls and I casually go to the bathroom without anyone noticing. It will take just 2 minutes. Just 2 minutes of privacy to do the most private thing my body requires of me. Then the silent siren goes off. “MOM, where are you?” “MOM!” they scream. It’s like they know, “If Mom goes to the bathroom, do something that requires her attention.” A fight will erupt, the sink will overflow, somebody will decide it’s art time with markers. It works every time.
Let’s be real, generally kids have very little to complain about. They get plenty of sleep, someone prepares their meals for them, does their laundry, makes sure they are taking their vitamins. They don’t have to work or worry about who is paying the bills. They don’t even understand how money works. Yet somehow, they find ample complaints. “She touched me.” “I don’t like those socks.” “My hair hurts.” The littlest thing turns into a complete meltdown and before you know it, you are knee deep into explaining why the sky is blue….BECAUSE IT JUST IS.
Toddler’s and preschoolers are incredibly adept at expressing their feelings, and they have a lot of feelings. One minute they can be screaming their head off, then the next minute laughing hysterically. Their ability to transform on a dime should be considered a wonder of the world. Mom’s on the other hand, don’t have that luxury. The feelings of failure, loneliness, anxiety, and worry often nag our emotional well-being. Life is too busy to stop and figure out what it is we are feeling or why we are feeling it. Just keep going. Make one snack at a time, fold one more load of laundry, arrange one more doctor’s appointment….just one at a time. No wonder we feel like we aren’t really productive. Between 3 meals, 2 snacks, and who knows how many sippy cups, it’s an accomplishment if the kitchen is clean at the end of the day.
Being a mother isn’t about being productive though. It’s not about being the most organized or the most balanced. The moment these tiny little babies came into our lives, all sense of privacy, restful sleep, and control left. The truth is we would wash 1000 sippy cups a day if it meant our kids were getting the nourishment they needed. We would eat leftover chicken nuggets and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch everyday if it meant that our kids bellies were full. We would spend countless of hours researching if it meant one of our kids was getting the best physician they needed. We put up with the endless lost shoes and the meltdowns because it’s what we do. The feelings we have are part of being a mom. We worry about this and that. We are afraid that we aren’t doing enough or maybe we are doing too much? How do we even know how we are doing? Do we have straight A’s or are we barely passing?
Then there is the glimpse. It doesn’t come in the form of a report card or an evaluation. It doesn’t even come in a “Mom you are the best” card. It comes the moment we see our child be their best. When my daughter gets out on the ice skating rink even though I can see the fear and timidity in her eyes, it’s a glimpse. Every night my son asks me, “Mom what was the high part of your day?” I know he is asking because he cares. When my 3 year old walks out with his pants on backwards and his shoes on the wrong feet, it’s a glimpse. When my daughter asks to do another lemonade stand for the kids in Africa without water, it’s a glimpse.
Sometimes their best isn’t what we hope it is. But honestly our best isn’t exactly what we hope it would be either. The beauty of being a mom is realizing that the heart of what we are doing is what truly matters–not what we are actually doing on a day-to-day basis. You can’t measure heart, but you sure can see it in the little glimpses of your life when you are looking for it.
What glimpses have you seen in your own children recently? What helps you to ‘just keep going’?