The day was going fairly smoothly. Ella started to get a little crabby mid-morning so my plan (ha! there's the problem..) was to get her down for a nap, then have Charlie help me scrub the floor. I thought we could make it fun and possibly get something done at the same time-a win-win! It took longer than I anticipated to get Ella down for a nap and by the time I laid her down it was almost lunch time. And I had 2 loads of wet laundry that needed to be hung on the clothesline. And the bunny hadn't been fed. And Charlie hadn't gotten any special attention. *sigh..
So I decided we would tackle those things first. I would get Charlie lunch and off to a rest and my plan (ah~ there it is again..) was for Ella to sleep this whole time, through the afternoon, allowing me to get the kitchen floor scrubbed.
Except when we came in the house 10 minutes later, Ella was already awake. Bright eyed and bushy tailed.. Ready for lunch and more than ready to play for few more hours. I wanted to cry.
My first reaction was anger. Oh I know you can't really be angry at a 1 year old, but the frustration was definitely setting in. My house is a mess and I have begun to realize that I have been in a vicious cycle of not getting anything done around here. Ella can be pretty *ahem clingy. So basically the only thing I can do all morning is either A. haul her around like a sack of 'taters on my hip, including but not limited to, her hanging upside down, sideways, and grabbing her toes from every angle, B. lay on the floor next to her and hold steady her push toy for hours on end so she doesn't face-plant it into the rug, or C. attempt to get up for a brief moment to *gasp! use the bathroom, only to listen to her cry and throw a fit full of soon-to-come gassy goodness.. So needless to say, all morning I lay here next to her, seeing the millions of things I should be doing/cleaning/making/picking up and think to myself "I'll do it when she takes a nap." Except then I lay her down for a nap and I realize that doing most of those things will wake her up. ie. vacuuming, hanging a picture, putting her clothes away, dropping a pin... And so I accomplish seemingly nothing during nap time, thinking "I'll be able to do those things when she wakes up." Annnnnd we go round and round...
So today, I really wanted to make an effort to overcome that vicious cycle... And when it didn't work out? I wanted to be angry. I wanted to sulk about how my "plans" were ruined.. I just wanted to scrub that darn floor!!
But when I looked up from my pity party, this is what I saw
A little girl who loves and adores me. Who wants to spend every moment with me merely because of who I am, her Mommy, not because of what I did or didn't get done that day. Right then and there I made the conscious decision to enjoy this afternoon, even if it didn't go the way I planned. Even if I wasn't happy about it. Even if the kitchen floor was still dirty.
And I did my best to focus to what I did do that day instead of the hundreds of millions of things I felt like I didn't do. And I forced myself to realize that no matter how small the things I did do, they mattered.
Fed my children breakfast? It mattered.
Drove Nolan to school so he could sleep an extra hour? It mattered.
Washed and hung out 2 loads of laundry that will be dirty again tomorrow? It mattered.
Helped Charlie feed Mr. Fluffernutter (our bunny)? It mattered.
Pushed him on the swing (Charlie.. not Mr. Fluffernutter)? It mattered.
Kissed an owie to make it feel better? It mattered.
Rocked Ella to sleep? It mattered.
Made sure she got her medicine? It mattered.
Pushed her hippo toy across the living room five thousand times to help her learn to walk? It mattered.
Babbled back to her when she made noise to encourage speech? It mattered.
Took the (sometimes discouraging) time to enforce her signs? It mattered.
Frosted a cake for the School Carnival? It mattered.
Honestly? It was still hard to focus on those things. It took very intentional effort. But I'm glad I did. Because Ella and I had a great time playing and you know what? My husband ended up coming home from work early and took Charlie out to "help" him move his tree stand, Ella took another nap soon after, and I DID get that floor and cabinets scrubbed (I'm talking old toothbrush in the crevices scrubbed..) AND the fridge. (THANK YOU cleaning gods!!!!)
Today's society puts such pressure on mothers to to perform to a certain standard. We're supposed to have weekly date nights with our husbands, scheduled girls nights out, work out 3x a week and fit back into our "skinny" jeans immediately after giving birth.. We're supposed to be our children's best advocates (which is further exemplified when you have a child with a rare genetic syndrome in which you often know more than your doctors about..), research the side effects of vaccines and determine the best route for our individual families, feed our children fresh, organic meals, grow and can our own vegetables, sew homemade garments, use eco-friendly cloth diapers, have picture-perfect Pinterest worlds..
When in reality sometimes you stay in your pajamas all day and eat cereal for supper. Some days are just like that.
And even on those days, especially on those days, when you don't think anything you did mattered?
As for me? I'm about to side step my way through the minefield of toys strewn across our house to enjoy my sparkly clean kitchen floor. Because I'm sure it won't last the day... *
*editor's note: I was right. Clean floor is gone. Post to follow...