Oh my goodness! Thank you! Thank you so much for all of your helpful comments and emails about my last post regarding feeling a wee bit overwhelmed.
I called one of my best friends shortly after posting that - before any comments came in. I just needed some reassurance and who better to offer that than my friend is definitely the cleaner of the two of us. In fact, I am inspired by her love of vacuuming. She does it often. I'm not necessarily inspired to start vacuuming but I fully support her and am inspired by her willingness to vacuum her own house often. Someday, maybe she will rub off on me.
(Side note - years ago, we used to live 8 houses apart. And I made her promise that if I were to die suddenly or become hospitalized, she was to get to my house asap and clean it before anyone showed up to grieve for me. She's such a good friend that I'm holding her to that promise even though we now live a few hours apart. Now that I think about it, she never really asked me to do anything for her if she died. Hmmmmm.
J - do I have anything to offer this relationship?
I did, offer, once to send her baby breastmilk should she die suddenly. Thankfully, she never took me up on that. ("Thankfully" because I'm glad she isn't dead. If she were, I would have gladly shipped the milk.)
Back to my day.
I called Jennifer and she promptly assured me her house was a wreck. And even though I kind of doubt it was a "wreck" in the sense that I might define wreck, I also kind of believed her - because our kids are the same age and she promised that there were toys out and that her children needed extra supervision to clean up after themselves.
And I began to feel more normal.
Then, the comments poured in.
But first - the 20 minutes after I got home from picking up Will from school and before I got both kids down for naps:
Ellie "cleaned" off the coffee table of all the fall books I had lovingly stacked on it.
(But look! She's pulled up to the table!!! More coming on that asap!)
Sweet Will went to the craft table and accidentally knocked over a huge glass jar full of markers. The glass shattered on the brick floors.
One commenter mentioned doing a load of laundry daily (except days when she forgets- how I relate!)
My motto since having Ellie is: If the washing machine isn't running, it should be.
In that twenty minutes of time, I discovered that an entire load of laundry had apparently washed itself and been dried with black crayon.
Guess what happens when a black crayon gets hot enough to melt and then dries?
Black spots everywhere.
I goggled a recipe online and proceeded to wash my clothes two more times in the following ingredients:
(note to self - there are specific measurements for each of those ingredients. I hate to measure things when I cook and therefore really didn't expect myself to follow through in my laundry. I measured the first few and then just chunked the rest in. This worked just fine - after two washes. Says the girl who washed her clothes with a black crayon.)
Finally - naptime.
Where I discovered Ellie's mirror had fallen off her wall and broken a lamp in the process.
Y'all. That was all in twenty minutes. I texted Jennifer and noted that no wonder I am behind on everything else!
I also texted my husband who was out of town all week. Hmmm... he didn't seem to mention missing us or being in a hurry to return, now that I think about it.
Then I laughed. It was shaping up to be one of those days.
And then I finally read some comments. And remembered to give myself grace. Because my house might be a disaster - or my clothes might be spotted and there might be glass shards everywhere - but I played a game outside on the porch with Will, I took Ellie to the playground, I managed to feed my people, and I read an extra two chapters to Will in our book (we've FINALLY found a chapter book series that I like - we've been through some that have been so boring. The only problem is that I've created a book addict like me and together we hate putting the book down.)
There were some great tips - like doing dishes before bed. I am going to try that. Because it would make the morning go smoother.
And I changed up our morning routine and it has been awesome the last two mornings. Will has moved quicker and I haven't had to get so frustrated or rushed or even wake him up earlier.
There was some wisdom from moms further along in this journey - Susan reminded me that it's all about choices - I can choose to spend my day exercising (ha) or I can cook meals or I can play with my kids or I can clean or I can run errands or I can focus on the to do list. Somedays you have to do certain things and other days you can do other things. We can all make choices each day and we don't have to do it all - no one is doing it all. So good for me to read that. (Susan - I've been re-reading your email!)
She also said that part of mothering young children means toys are often where the mom is - because little ones want to play near their mama. And I love that. I needed that reminder - toys in the family room are there because it is the "family" room. And it's by the kitchen.
And Christie - that woman has some wisdom! She told me I wasn't normal. Not the affirmation I was going for originally. :) But she gets my life in a way that most people can't. Christie is also raising several children with differences/special needs. And really, I was feeling so rushed but I was forgetting some of the things she pointed out. She reminded me that putting on prosthetics (especially when they don't fit right & you have to do them repeatedly to get a decent fit) takes up extra time, buckling children in who can't yet buckle themselves takes extra time, taking off prosthetics at a red light to itch an ant bite and then pulling over at school, getting out of the car, racing around to put the zanco back on, then racing back around and pulling into the carpool lane so your child can get dropped off like everyone else takes extra time, working on homework together and trying to figure out how the heck you are going to help your child with bilateral hand differences learn to write when he can't really see his work due to his body blocking him takes time and emotional energy, responding to your daughter's cries for help because (Praise God!) she is finally pulling up but often needs help getting down takes time, pulling your car over at a random restaurant so that you can take notes when your child's endocrinologist calls you takes time (it also takes Mommy breaking the rules about dvds and allowing the kids to watch a dvd even though we weren't on a trip but mommy had to concentrate with the doctor), scheduling and rescheduling appointments takes time, answering insurance calls and going through paperwork when they finally return your call just as you are trying to finish up dinner takes time, helping your child ride his bike because that's what 5 year olds do even though it is a huge challenge for him takes effort, administering daily medications to your child that require injection adds considerable time to the bedtime routine, throw in some therapies weekly and frequent day trips to Dallas to go to doctors and hospitals and it can be a lot. I love our normal but I forget that maybe it's not this way for most other moms. Of course, we all have our extra stuff that drains us. Thanks, Christie, for affirming this for me - for reminding me that it's okay to let other stuff go and that some of this stuff is rather time consuming.
And mostly, there was lots of grace and reminders that we are all in this motherhood thing together. We get each other.
So thanks for those affirming words. Thanks for the tips and for bothering to read.
And for the record, today I exercised. And while doing so, I realized I was multitasking - walking the dog, exercising myself, washing my hair (not while I exercised but I knew I would have to do it and was forcing myself to do it sooner rather than later by sweating. This is how my brain works.), and even speech therapy exercises with Ellie. Yay! So much accomplished!
And then I remembered - this is nothing. This is normal life. Just wait til I have TWO KIDS IN CASTS in the winter.
Please, someone point me back to this post in January so I can have a good laugh at how NOT STRESSFUL this is compared to two kids in casts.
My friend, Claire, came in last weekend to visit. We had so much fun. Claire is kind of like almost a sister to me. If I had a sister - it would be her. My kids call her Aunt Claire.
While she was here, she kept saying how "refreshing" it was to be in our home. She did say it was definitely not "relaxing." :) But she kept saying it was refreshing.
One day, she mentioned that it was so tiring with kids all day but it was also so fun and a good kind of tired. I loved hearing that someone from outside our home thinks it is refreshing here. I loved that though she doesn't yet have kids of her own, Claire loves my kids and sees the purpose in the exhaustion. Because this is an exhausting season of life - but it is so purposeful. Somehow, it is refreshing - we laugh a lot with little kids and we learn to let things go and to be flexible and to appreciate sleep.
And cuddles. We cuddle a lot.
So I found myself coming back to my conversation with Claire. To remember the purpose even when it feels overwhelming. There is purpose in these days.
And just for laughs - I found these cool little drink coozies recently in some plastic race bag - maybe from last year's marathon? Or from R's bike race last spring? I don't know - they were givewaways.
I didn't pay any attention to the words because I don't know what MGD is.
Apparently it is advertising an alcoholic beverage. Which is fine.
Except not exactly what I care to take into kindergarten or the grocery store when running my morning errands with my Diet Coke.
Should you see me out and about on any given morning - I promise it is Diet Coke in my coozie. Please don't judge.
BIG NEWS COMING SOON!