As I sat there rocking my infant who was screaming and fighting his sleep, I stared at dried up splattered milk from a sippy cup that my toddler threw at me earlier in the day (spill proof, HA). I looked over to the chair next to me overflowing with laundry that will soon need its own zip code if I don’t stop piling it there. I looked directly in front of me to my rug that is filled with crumbs and sauce stains from eating dinner in front of the TV because #witchinghour (Google it if question marks are floating over your head). Something ugly swelled up inside of me. I began to feel angry and disgusted. Disgusted at myself that I did not get anything done today. I felt like I didn’t accomplish anything. Angry that my house is so dirty and looks like a hurricane blew through; it could pretty much qualify for FEMA disaster funds.
The only thought running through my head was – I got nothing “important” accomplished today!
While still attempting to put my very cranky infant to sleep, I scrolled through some screen shots on my phone of affirmations and quotes that I saved for rainy days like today. My phone has been acting weird lately – it’ll freeze for a few seconds then resume to whatever I was doing before. As I was scrolling, my phone froze on this quote and it shook me! It said, “Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to accomplish something big, that we fail to notice the little things that give life, its magic.”
I often feel so busy and overwhelmed at all the things to do but still don’t feel like I accomplish anything.
So I thought back on the morning I’d had…
I made a decent breakfast for everyone to eat.
I dressed 4 people, including myself.
I played nurse as I fished for bandaids for non existent boo boos on my daughter.
I strapped 3 kids in their car seat and drove my son to school on time.
I nursed my infant.
I placed the Scholastic Book order for my son’s school.
I took my daughter to story time at the library and returned books we’d borrowed the week before.
I made a meal plan and grocery list for next week.
I entertained my infant during tummy time which he hates.
I nursed my infant. Again.
I made lunch before I picked my son up from school so that when we got back home, he’d have lunch ready because I knew he’d be hungry.
I changed a soiled diaper and onesie. Which reminded me to put another load of laundry going and pile on to Mount Laundry.
I put dinner in the crockpot and prepped the sides so that everyone would have a cooked meal after karate class.
I got all this and probably more done by noon, so why is it that I still felt I got nothing done? Nothing “important” at least. Who even determines what is ‘small’ or ‘important?’ Why do I feel like if the entire house isn’t clean and laundry isn’t at least managed that I didn’t do anything at all? Why do we as mothers feel like the nurturing and caring we give to our families isn’t enough? Like we aren’t accomplishing anything? Like the ‘small’ things like just sitting on the floor watching my daughter spin over and over, doesn’t count? Is it because it doesn’t bring in money? Is it because our work isn’t always apparent? Or that we don’t have anything to ‘show’ for it?
While I do not have the answers to these questions roaming in my mind (and I’d imagine if you’re still reading, they roam in your mind too), I do have a little piece of information I can share that calms this storm for me. And that is this – maybe to you, each individual thing you do seems small and unimportant, but all together, they make up something big, something magical. Together they are what make us mothers, nurturers, and care givers. The smiles that my family display are enough payment for me, it shows that all my hard work pays – they are happy and cared for. And for me, there is nothing more I want to do with my life or my days than to love and care for those magical lives that we’ve created.