I was laying on the floor the other day letting the 9-month old craw all over me, thinking about everything I wanted to accomplish before my other two boys woke up from their nap. I wanted to vacuum and mop, as well as pull the fridge out and hunt for the lizard we failed to catch. He hid behind the fridge days ago, and I am afraid he’s dying back there.
Instead of giving the baby some snacks and toys, I just laid there with him. I could’ve occupied him with all sorts of interesting things and a cracker in his mouth, so he wouldn’t notice that I was busy. I feel extra mom guilt for the third little guy because he ends up crawling after us, trying to keep up with the whirl wind of activity around him. He’s so good and happy just watching, but I wanted to just lay there and look right at him.
I got nothing done. I laid there until I couldn’t lay on the hard floor anymore. I had baby drool all over my face, my hair was sticking out all over from being grabbed and pulled, and my cheeks were sore from smiling so big. The floor was still a mess, the lizard was still behind the fridge, and my list was still miles long. But then I realized something very very important.
I did everything in those moments. Let me say this again to you mamas, who might need to hear this, when you are feeling like you don’t do enough. In the moments I didn’t do anything, I did everything.
You are everything. Your hugs, kisses, acknowledgements and smiles are everything. The more you smile and look at your child, the more you are doing. The to-do list is always there, like another child pulling on your arm, but your children won’t be.
I see that you are consistently walking on a tight rope of taking care of your home, helping with the finances and raising small humans. I’m walking it with you. Sometimes I fall off to the side of “let’s get all the things done while the kids watch a movie,” while other times I let it all go to hell, live in what looks like a giant fraternity house after a weekend-long binge party. I get my party pants on and attempt to roll with it while I remind myself I’m working hard on creating emotionally and socially balanced and healthy children. That counts as doing something doesn’t it? Seriously, sometimes the bills, messes, church needs, social obligations all seem to be so important, but we as moms play a huge role in developing functioning, giving, kind and successful adults. We need more of those in world don’t we?
As I got up from the floor, I realized that item #52 on my 50338457575 long list could wait just a bit longer. It’s not like the list ever gets smaller, but the children get bigger, and they get bigger fast. So much of what’s important isn’t seen, and can’t be quantified by a checklist, so it is easy to feel like you are doing nothing. You are doing everything.