I know I’ve said it before, but some days are so hard to get out of the house. So hard to break routine. Hard to interrupt or bypass naps. Hard to pack up everything I’ll need for the kids. Hard to get myself ready. Hard to get the kiddos ready. Hard to get everyone fed. By the time we get out of the house and close the door, sometimes I feel like turning right around and walking back through the front door; Sometimes merely crossing that threshold feels like a feat all on its own.
I wonder if other moms feel this way too. Part of me thinks that’s a dumb question because I know, logically, that I cannot be alone in feeling this way. And yet, I peek in on other’s lives, cyber-stalking through the blogsphere or instagram or what-have-you and see normal people, just like me, with small children doing things e v e r y d a y.
I know it’s dangerous to compare. And being a “blogger” myself, I know that one beautiful picture does not share the whole story. Sometimes pictures are a down-right lie.
I had a slew of days off in a row from work. Working as an RN part-time has some nice perks like that. I’ve had nice chunks off like this in the past and sometimes I walk out of work thinking, “holy shit, I have ten days off” only to walk back in those doors ten days later saying to myself, “My ten days are up already?”. And I replay the last ten days in my head over and over and my conclusion is always the same: I wish we would have done more.
Ten days off makes the possibilities seem so endless; I daydream of all the places we can go, all the things we can do. And then life gets in the way. Clothes pile up. Dishes pile up. The food in the fridge disappears. And I find that entire days are spent getting the house back in order, getting things restocked.
Trying to feel accomplished after finishing only a few things on a long ever-growing to-do list has been one of the biggest adjustments, for me, in becoming a mom.
What I have found is this: It’s always better to get out… to let the mess pile up and worry about it later.
I took the kids to the zoo the other day. The zoo is usually off-limits over summer because the heat will make you want to peel off your own skin and sit under a shaded tree a pile of bones. Really, it’s debilitating. But it was oddly overcast and even rained the night before so I woke up determined to make it to the zoo.
I put both boys’ down for their morning naps. I played whack-a-mole with Hooper who lately has decided that he doesn’t want to nap at all or goes down for a nap but wakes up thirty minutes later with poop in his pull-up or goes down and wakes up three and a half hours later. It’s so random and so hit or miss. This day was a miss.
One hurdle after another; Some days it feels like I’m playing hop-scotch blind-folded through fire, wind, and rain.
It seemed fitting that in my rush to get everyone out of the door, my phone rang. It was my doctor’s office who called to see if I had any questions following my appointment (Oh ya, I have to have back surgery in the Fall). The woman on the other end proceeded to tell me that for the first few weeks I should expect to feel like I have been run over by a truck. And if that wasn’t enough, she went on to say that the same truck reverses and runs over me again. She was telling me all this while my phone sat precariously cushioned between my shoulder and ear, Van sat on his four wheeler at my feet honking his little pretend horn, Hooper was running around in circles, and I was trying to put their lunch in a tupperware container so we could actually cross that aforementioned threshold.
We got out the door, I strapped the kids in their seats, and as I pulled out the driveway all I could think about was being run over by a truck… twice.
We got to the zoo two hours before they closed and despite the cloudy skies, I was sweating. I immediately regretted the decision to wear pants and felt a bit guilty as I pulled Hoop out of his car seat in his long pants and sweaty hair. It was humid and sticky, by California standards anyway. And in the back of my mind, I kept thinking of that truck reversing over me.
And you know what turned it all around for me? Watching my boys enjoy themselves; watching their excitement and genuine awe, their enthusiasm, the sense of wonder that spread across their little faces. And the kettle corn. If freshly popped kettle corn can’t take your mind off a dirty house and the impact of being run over by a truck, then I don’t know what can. And even with the hassle of getting out the door, I drove into the driveway thinking that was well worth it. All for their enjoyment.
And that’s the beauty of being a mom… Seeing the world how you once saw it, long ago, through the eyes of your child. It’s a beautiful thing and it takes all the hassle and all the pain away.