“Keep it together, woman!”
That’s where I often find my internal dialogue going. When the laundry is piling up and my to-do list keeps growing, and I find myself literally juggling a baby in one arm and the kids’ lunches in the other.
“You told him (husband) he could go surfing today. He needs a break, too, you know. You got this. Keep it together, woman!”
And that I do.
That I do.
You see, today I deserved a gold star at the end of the day, and I have a feeling so do you, mama.
Today I did two loads of laundry, washed two sink-fulls of dishes, cleaned the entire house, and even whipped up a platter of protein pancakes, all while watching after two energetic grade-schoolers and tending to a sick baby. In fact, at one moment, baby was so fussy I couldn’t cook unless she was in the Ergo, so I fed her a bottle with one hand while I cooked with the other.
Today I kept my $#@* together and even took the time to make my middle child feel special and my oldest child feel appreciated.
Today I put the me on all those other days to shame.
But this isn’t about accomplishment. Not really. Yes, I feel good and proud about what I did today. And yes, so should you. But who’s keeping tabs anyway? The kids? Our spouses? The neighbor’s dog? Nah. Let’s be honest. It makes us feel good, and we want to feel good. We want to have something to show for today, right?
I want to suggest that we want something deeper. We want to feel we are capable of taking on anything, strong enough to rise to the challenge of unexpectedly sick kids and broken iPhones. Brave enough to face our fears of the unknowns of parenting, killing mysterious brown spiders in bedrooms, and how to answer your kid’s question about where babies come from. We want to grow. We want to thrive. We want to take on life’s challenges, and win. And let’s face it, people, sometimes this involves losing our $#@*.
Even if you manage to rock the hell out of this parenting thing today, there’s no guarantee you’ll have it all figured out tomorrow, because life circumstances and family dynamics are constantly growing and changing. We have to be willing to learn and adapt to our kids’ changing emotional needs, social curiosities, new dislike of PB&Js, random fear of dust bunnies, and (insert long list of things your kid surprises you with daily).
So if today was your day, your gold medal in the Mom Olympics day, enjoy it. Celebrate it. Eat some chocolate. Or some more pancakes. After the kids go to sleep, take that confidence into the bedroom (along with your spouse) and make another baby.
Remember what this day was like, but don’t think ANY less of yourself when your day isn’t quite so #winning and #nailedit. Even if your day is–as one of my kids puts it–cray cray Thursday (or Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…etc;), take the time to pause and appreciate the moment. Your spouse and kids don’t expect you to keep it together 100% of the time.
But they do expect you to give them an extra serving of pancakes when they ask for it.