“I just cleaned this house!”
I sigh as I walk out of my bedroom and find a living room floor covered in toys AGAIN!
NO! No No No! I’m not cleaning this mess again today. I’m not doing it! I’m not going to spend all day sorting through these toys to get them put away nicely only to have you DUMP THEM BACK OUT ONTO THE FLOOR! These shoes go in this bucket. These socks go into this hamper. These books are not being read. Why are they on the floor? We just bought them. We need to treat them nicely and not WALK on them. Cups stay in the kitchen so that they do not… spill! Who brought their chocolate milk into the living room, and WHO spilled it?! That’s it! Nothing else is going to happen until we clean up this mess!
Four wide eyes stare blankly back at me as if I have just addressed them in a foreign language.
I sighed one of those “from the depths of my soul” sighs. And I try again.
“Guys. I’m going to need you to help mommy pick up this mess. Can we do this together?”
They nod their little heads up and down and scramble to find something to put away before Mom does whatever that was again.
Some days, it feels like I am just spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere. I pick up the same toys and the same shoes and fold the same laundry. I wash the same dishes and hang up the same wet towels, and I make the same beds.
Day after day after day after…
And some days, I just need to vent about it. I need to know that I’m not the only person who feels overwhelmed, or exhausted, or stressed.
But I have heard recently that moms who complain are givin’ other moms a bad rap… or rep… I guess I never had to write out that phrase… anyway, whatever that phrase is… they’re doing it.
And I realized this.
Motherhood is the only profession where you never get a day off, are on call 24/7, are often required to show up both days and nights, the work is never done but rarely ever seen, and even though you are stressed, sleep deprived, and downright exhausted… you must be happy and full of joy always or you might get a negative peer performance review.
Well, not here, ladies!
I don’t care if you are a stay at home mom, work at home mom, or work as a full-time employee and a full-time mommy – YOU and ME are in this together.
Yup. That’s right. Together. Because while the order of my days isn’t the same as yours – the ache to get it all right – to feel like we are making the best choices and not letting anyone down – yup, that’s the same or both of us. The desire to love fully and still have some strength left at the end of the day – yup, that’s the same for both of us too.
And some days, it’s hard not to complain – because some days are hard.
Real hard. Hard like, “here pick up this house and move it five feet to the left” hard. SO hard they seem impossible.
But YOU – you in the wonderful chaos that is sometimes difficult to celebrate – You aren’t hurting me by your frustration. You aren’t giving me a bad name with your moments of honesty.
You are real. Your life is real. And sometimes, it is not easy to find the joy in all of it.
But if I can just take a second. If I can encourage you for a minute.
Because, while there are moments in motherhood that seem to be barely survived let alone celebrated, you and I both know that there is also great joy.
Simple moments of over the top, fill my heart with gladness, makes all the madness worthwhile – joy.
The baby’s face when you come into the room after naptime.
The tiny arms around your neck at bedtime.
The giggles that only you can inspire by the silly sounds and playfulness during bathtime.
And the whispered, “I love you, Mommy,” just because.
We all need to feel like we can be honest with our feelings about motherhood. And honestly – all the grumbling in the world doesn’t make you a bad mom – or me a bad mom either. It just might mean that you need someone to tell you that you’re going to be okay and beyond that you’re doing a great job!
So, here’s to you. The employee of the month! If I had an office, I’d hang your picture in it! I would put your face on display as one of the best around so that everyone would know that YOU are a success.
Because you are.
Even on the days that you complain.
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