A beautiful mess

You had one of “those days.” I get it. We all have them. But, when we are the one having them we feel like we are the only ones in the world. Everyone else’s life is so much more “together” than ours. After all, all of your friends’ Facebook posts talk about how #blessed they are and the only hashtag you could come up with for your day is #itwasamess.

Mama, we all have “those days.” I had one today. I actually found myself saying to 3.5 year-old Magoo, “Honey, just play with your friends right now, OK? Mommy has to get this work done.” Then I stopped and asked myself how many times I’ve said that to my little girl in the past month. Do I feel bad that I pushed her off to play with her friends when she was coming to me for something? Absolutely. Do I wish I could go back to earlier in the day and have a re-do? You betcha. Am I being too hard on myself? More than likely. See, I didn’t say this to Magoo because I was disinterested in her or because I didn’t want to engage with her. In fact, engaging with her and Birdie is what brings joy to my life. It’s what I was created to do; the reason I was put on this earth. The problem isn’t that I don’t want to engage, the problem is that I’ve been stretched so thin for months now that I can’t always engage when she wants me to. We are in the process of purchasing a home and it has been a humdinger of a process. Countless lengthy phone calls with the loan processor, our agent, our insurance company; gathering paperwork, faxing documents, responding to e-mails; then you add working from home part-time and starting a blog. Oh, and did I mention that we have all been sick for over a month?

How many nights, after your little loves are sleeping soundly, do you sit back and wish you could have a re-do? How often to you replay words that you said or opportunities that you missed because there were other responsibilities and tasks at hand? What if, instead of thinking about what we would do over, we started thinking about the things that we did right for our children in this day? I danced with Magoo. She asked if she could take a shower with me and I said, “Yes,” and once we were in the shower she asked me to “sit down, Mommy, and play with me.” So I did, and we did. I, a full-grown woman with a list of things I needed to get done today, sat down on the shower floor and played with my 3.5 year-old daughter. She had a brush and wanted to brush my hair. She was an excellent pretend hairstylist and said things such as, “So…how’s your kids?” and “How you like your hair?” I took her to get an actual hair cut today and she had fun browsing the makeup aisles with me at the retail store that we shopped at this afternoon. When we had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner this evening she not only ate some out of her own bowl, but she shared some off of my plate, too. Oh, and how many times did I cuddle her today? We cuddled first thing in the morning, then cuddled after dinner while she watched a little bit of Cars 2, and we cuddled at bedtime.

One of the highlights of my beautiful, messy day.

One of the highlights of my beautiful, messy day.

We celebrated together and embraced when she was proud of how well she did tracing her name and the words “Mommy” and “Daddy.” We lived. We enjoyed each other’s company. The things that don’t seem like much as we go through the motions of our day are the things that turn into memories. They are what shape our children and let our children know we love them. We are not the mistakes we make. We are not the one time we have to tell our child to go play with their friends while we finish up some work. We are the warm embraces, the smiles, the “are you okays?” when they trip while twirling around the living room like a princess… We are their mothers. Their mothers that love them more than we could ever put into words. Friends, the beautiful thing about this is, they know. As infants, as toddlers, as preschoolers, and onward throughout life, they know. In their heart of hearts they know. They may become angry when you deny them that extra cookie before bedtime and they may yell, “My not your Mom!” as Magoo did to me recently (a 3.5 year-old’s honest attempt at telling me that I’m not her Mom), but when the rubber meets the road they come back to home base. They come back to us. When the boo-boo needs kissed, or when they get scared, or when they are sleepy and want to cuddle…they come back to Mama…because they know that they are loved.

So, when you think your day can be summed up with #itwasamess, stop and really look back over your day. I think once you do you will realize that it’s better summed up with #itwasaBEAUTIFULmess.