Whether you’re a Momma or a proud Aunt or Grandparent, even a friend to a Momma with Littles, you’ll be able to relate to what I’m saying here….
I once heard one of my fave Christian comedians of the day, Mark Lowry, do a bit on what toes are for, “finding furniture in the dark!” I’d like to propose an alternate: “toes are for finding TOYS, no matter the time of day!” Oh. my. gosh! They are everywhere, toys that is, not toes!!! Why just now, I injured my entire left foot stepping on a racetrack set up in the middle of our floor! Now, you might say, how in the world did you not miss stepping on a racetrack?! Well, I’m glad you asked. I was on a mission to take care of something across the room amidst the other toys in the floor when my foot found the end of an elaborate racetrack set up. It hurt like the dickens from the baby toe all the way down the center of my foot to the heel. OUCH! It’s a wonder I haven’t broken a toe. I’m not even kidding!
Lest you think I’m being overly dramatic in my ‘toys-on-the-floor’ rant, it has become a perpetual problem in my house. No matter that I have organizational boxes upstairs and downstairs for all those little demon pieces; Littles don’t want to put them away, at least not my boy. I’ve heard plenty of Moms proclaim their toddler daughters are motivated to put their toys away once they have a home to store them in. Well, that’s just fine and great for them, but my Little isn’t motivated in the least. Get the picture I’m painting here?
Before you pass on my post, writing me off as an unorganized, slob-of-a-Mom, hang on! I’ve stepped off my tower-high soapbox and am turning a corner. You see, even though my foot is worse for the wear causing me to hobble just about everywhere I go from the pain endured (my husband calls me “Quasimodo“), I am trying to wrap my brain around the fact that these are the things memories are made of. What, you ask? I know, I thought it was a funny notion too, UNTIL I started perusing Facebook the past week or so seeing all the back-to-school photos. You know, the posts displaying a group of photos from toddler to kindergardner to grade school child? Seeing these photos made me realize that I’m enjoying having my Little at home even though……(you fill in the blank) my house is a disaster, floors are dirty, carpets need vacuuming, bathrooms need bombing, dishes need washing, laundry needs folding (hey! at least they’re washed!), calls need to be returned, windows need cleaning, groceries need to be bought (sometimes even the Wal-Mart grocery pick-up isn’t as fabulous as I’ve made it out to be if you can’t drive yourself there!)
You see, I came to the conclusion that an immaculate home without toys, mess, even dirt, would be pretty stale living when you have Littles. Why, I wouldn’t have anything to write about (LOL!) Really though, unless I’m up til midnight every night, cleaning and scrubbing and being a “Army sergeant” to my boy for cleaning up all the time, our life would be pretty dull, not to mention sleepless. Heaven knows we Mommas need our sleep! I don’t want my son growing up remembering his Momma was more concerned about having a clean house or a toyless floor than having fun and playing with those toys. Something clicked for me as I perused these pictures of school-aged children who are now out of the house for 8+ hours at school. While the Mommas are probably relishing a little time to themselves, they are also sadly missing the memories made of days gone by, as proven in their posts.
So, I’ve by no means arrived, but I am trying to see these little frustrations through a pair of rose-colored glasses. I want to enjoy the days, for they are few. Expectations are dangerous. They can get us in a lot of trouble and drive us to places we didn’t intend to go. What’s worse is we Mommas place these oftentimes unattainable expectations upon ourselves. What? That’s messed up! Yes, I know. I’m trying to undo some of the damage I’ve done, swallowing the pills of perfection. No, I’m not saying I’m a perfectionist by any stretch, but, like many of you, because I desire to be perfect, I struggle because I can’t get there and probably will never arrive to the state of perfection. It’s just not in the cards for me. Sure, I can always do better but placing unrealistic expectations upon myself is just driving this Momma to the state of Crazy.
I want to remember these days of being a SAHM (stay-at-home-Mom) with a fondness and a smile rather than a bad memory of constant frustration because I couldn’t keep my home up to a standard that’s not even characteristic of me, much less the Momma of a Little. I hope you’ll try, as I aspire to, exhale and allow yourself to enjoy this road trip with our Littles and not be distracted by the images we conjure up in our minds of having a Southern Living Magazine home. Let. It. Go. Relax and enjoy the journey. Soon enough, the destination will be reached but at that point, it will be too late to tweak our expectations of what might have been.
My prescription: “It is what it is”. Yep! I even have it posted in a very visible place in our living room so that I’m sure to see it every day. I’m laughing as I’m typing this because this very saying decoratively painted on a piece of wood, used to adorn a prominent shelf within my office when I was a working girl. Yes, I had to remind myself there, too!