You Did A Lot Today, Mama.
The other day I decided I was going to make my husband a play by play of my day at home with the kids so he could really see what I do all day. Maybe we are the only ones that struggle with this, but there is this crazy assumption that since I am home with the kids all day that I should have my crap together and the house should be spotless upon his arrival home from work and there should be a delicious home cooked meal sitting on the table. Toys should be put neatly back in their bins and all of the dvd’s that our toddler strung all over the living should be put back together and back on the shelf. Right. Honestly, some days I am doing good if I can put deodorant on before he walks in the door. There have been many days where my one and only goal was to get a shower in before he walked in and Lord only knows that just about never happens. What are showers? I seem to have forgotten.
Between pumping + diaper changes + getting meals ready for the baby, toddler, middle schooler, and myself + trying to keep everyone sane and alive I barely have time to drink my coffee while it is still pushing the definition of lukewarm. Let’s face it. By now it is just downright cold and the cream is starting to form a layer on the top. Needless to say, I’ve gotten used to drinking cold coffee out of a coffee mug. If I can barely keep those things operating somewhat smoothly you better believe the rest of the house isn’t exactly up to par. Or is it parr? Whatever, you get what I am saying. Right now as I write this there are army guys all over the living room floor, toys everywhere, my kitchen rugs are in a giant wad in the middle of the hallway because apparently my toddler doesn’t like where I put them, there are dishes to be done, laundry to be done, x-box controllers laying on the couch, and pajamas from last night laying in the middle of the floor because who gets dressed in their rooms anymore. Not to mention appointments to be scheduled, the dog needs to be let outside, and meals to be prepped. It is a little exhausting and a lot overwhelming.
I originally wrote this list for the sole purpose of sending it off to my husband as a, “Ha! See, this is why you come home to a disaster half of the time! I am actually doing more than just sitting in the recliner hiding my phone behind my blanket streaming Shameless on Netflix while the kids watch Sofia the First for the millionth time.” Not like I have ever done that, of course. But the more I got to thinking about it, I think I really made this list for me. I needed to show myself that I am actually doing something productive + meaningful because so many days are a freaking blur and before I know it I am doing baths and tucking my babes into bed wondering what the h I did that day. I am by far my worst critic & I think that other moms can definitely relate. Actually, pretty sure any woman can relate – mom or not. So many days I look around my house and think what the heck, Jess. I used to kind of have my crap together and now there are so many days where I feel like I just can’t. Keep. Up. I feel like I am so busy running around making sure that everyone else is taken care of that I haven’t quite figured out a way to keep the rest of the household up to speed, too. I know it comes with time. I know we are in the middle of a c-r-a-z-y adjustment period between having another baby only 6 months ago + also uprooting our family of 6 (gotta count the dog, people). But that doesn’t mean that somedays I don’t sit back and feel like one giant failure of a wife + mom when all I see is the mess. What I’ve realized is that the mess comes with this season of life that we are in. I mean, come on. We have a two year old and baby after all. Why do we feel the pressure to snap back into this perfect routine 3 months postpartum? Yeah right. It is a whirlwind. Absolutely no point in picking up every single toy the toddler got out the second she puts it down. I would literally be picking toys up all day. Our baby requires a lot of time, love, and attention. That is why daycare costs for infants are so freaking high (and exactly why we decided to not do daycare anymore). So even though I may not have done all of the things that I wanted to during the day, I need to realize that I did all of the important things. My kids were loved and cared for and the rest can wait until later. There is no reason why we should feel like we have to have everything looking spotless by dinner. Take that pressure away and as one of my friends would say throw that off the freaking ferris wheel. Somedays I truly long for when our last child is asleep and I can pick up from the day and get everything back in its place just so it can come undone the next day. There is no sweeter sound than the hum of the dishwasher at bedtime. You’ve got this, mamas. Don’t ever feel bad for not having your house looking the way you want by the time your husband walks in the door. It’s going to be just fine. You are going to be just fine. You did amazing things today and the rest can wait. Now, go re-heat your coffee.
ps. I think this photo is pretty on point. Scribbles from my toddler + a coffee stain.