When I was in college I was a nanny for the most amazing family. I’ll never forget, one morning, when I was bringing the boys to school, I saw another mom dropping off her daughter. I saw her a lot. But on this morning, something just struck a chord with me. She was in…well, let’s be nice and call it “activewear”, but I’m pretty sure it was just full-on pajamas. Her hair was a mess, no makeup on, coffee in hand. She had obviously walked from her house to the school for drop off, and had her youngest babe in a wagon, wearing footie pjs, eating puffs out of a little cup. And this mom, she was so dang HAPPY- hugging her biggest babe, telling her to have a great day, and smiling at her littlest babe in the wagon- just loving life. I remember I went home that day and told my best friend/roommate about it. I said, “I just want that. I can’t wait for that.” I’m pretty sure she thought I was absolutely insane.
Fast forward waaaaaay too many years, a marriage to the same guy I was dating at the time I saw that sweet hot mess of a mom, a move across the country, years of struggling with infertility, new houses, new friends, and then, finally…babies. Three babies! It’s been six years since I became a mommy. SIX years of love and pure bliss, but also exhaustion and work and mayhem and just- life. The days fly by and most days I’m struggling to get it all done. And although sometimes, through the joys of social media, it LOOKS like I get it all done, like I have my shit together- really, I don’t.
I try- but I don’t.
If I’m throwing Cubby an elaborate birthday celebration, you don’t the see the shambles that my house is in: boxes and helium tanks and tissue paper and hot glue guns still sitting on the counter from crafting party favors. When we take an amazing trip you don’t see the piles and piles and (ok- mountains!) of laundry that sit and sit- sometimes for weeks, waiting to get done. When it looks like I’ve got this “mom thing” down pat, you don’t see the notebooks full of lists of all the collaborations and projects and posts and photos and emails that all need to get written and edited and answered. It’s a lot- as I’m sure you ALL know; a juggling act 100%- this motherhood thing. And sometimes we can get lost in that mountain of laundry, in that enormous looming to-do list. We get buried and can feel like we are just in “survival mode” each and every day- with the end goal being to just get through another day. To get ALLTHETHINGS done.
But today, I got Ardyn all dressed for school in the new sparkle unicorn headband a friend gave her for her birthday that she just HAD to wear, I grabbed her school tote, her coat, my coffee, and Max and headed out the door. I could hear Ardyn singing as she was getting herself buckled in the car and I started singing along with her. She rudely told me to stop because I was ruining the song and I started laughing so hard. That girl freaking cracks me up! And then I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of the window. A messy nest of hair that hasn’t been washed in days, no makeup, my pajama top paired with yoga pants, coffee in one hand, my baby in the other, his chubby dimpled hand gripping my arm, and a huge smile on my face. And all I could see was her. That mom. And it hit me-I am her. I’m the happy hot mess of a mom that I wanted SO desperately to be all those years ago.
And I’ve rambled for so long and I’m just now realizing that I don’t really have a point…. so I’ll just end by saying this:
Sometimes, we just need a reminder- a reminder that there was a time when all we ever wanted was what we currently have. Today I got that reminder. Screw the laundry and the lists. There will be a day when the house will be quiet, when I’ll have all the time in the world for those things, when my house will be impeccable with not one Peppa Pig figurine on the floor…and life will be filled with other, different exciting things. But today is not that day. And I’m insanely happy about that.