It's all about the little things when you're a mom, isn't it? Our days are full of small activities and chores- all the little things that our kids need. We're not curing cancer or finding a cleaner way to power our cars, just reading a book to our kids, or kissing a hurt knee or changing a diaper or making our 5th meal of the day. And those little things are the things that matter most to our kids, those are the things that make them feel secure and loved.
But there are days when it's hard to remember about the good little things. Because motherhood is so full of so many other little things that just chip away at our patience and our energy. Today was probably the roughest day that I've had since Vivian was born. Not because of anyone being sick or any major crisis, it was just a morning full of those little annoyances. The condo was a disaster zone by 8:15 AM. Ethan ate one bite of breakfast and then smeared his messy hands in his clean hair. Every statement or suggestion or look in his direction from me resulted in a gigantic meltdown from him, and eventually a minor meltdown from me as well. Vivian responded to all of this with her own crying, and the cats went and hid in the other room. I did not go check and see if they wet on the bed (again). I just don't want to know. And I had to get myself dressed and my hair combed with two crying children yelling at me in the background while I whimpered to my reflection about just needing three minutes, that's all, just three minutes.
Most of the time I can get through my days okay. We've fallen into some sort of routine and the days are starting to pass pretty quickly. But today I had plans to meet a friend at the park, so I needed the car, which means Daniel has to take the bus to and from work. And taking the bus means that he leaves at 7 AM and doesn't get home until after 7 PM. It's hard to be willing to let him out the door on those days. When I surveyed the messy living room and the piles of dishes in the kitchen this morning and thought about just how many hours I had left on my own with the kids, I just felt like I couldn't cope. AND THERE IS NO CHOCOLATE IN THE HOUSE!!! HOW DO I KEEP LETTING THIS HAPPEN!!! And why do I keep being surprised that I'm not losing weight when I keep buying comfort chocolate and then eating it all!
But we're getting through today too. We made it to the park and had fun in the wading pool and made it home (although I did discover when I got back that I'd been driving around with the trunk partly open, since I don't actually know how to put the double stroller in the car in the one way that it will fit with the door closed). And even though Ethan isn't napping and didn't eat more than a couple of lunch (how does he not get hungry?), he's also not crying, so I'll just ignore the lack of sleeping going on right now.
And I know that my afternoon will be full of those other little things of motherhood- Vivian practicing her newfound ability to smile, Ethan giving me hugs when I get him out of his crib, and the sight of Ethan running over to Vivian's swing to say "hi baby!" and giving her kisses with the stuffed animals. Those little things are such gifts from God- and some days definitely the only things that keep us going.