I reached down to pick up the same Legos I have put back in that basket twenty times this week. Next to it was the scattered pile of post-it notes with stick figures with wild hair in pencil on every one. The muffin crumbles for the snack I asked not to be eaten away from the table were next to the sword I asked not to be brought up from the basement again this week.
Then I headed upstairs to my teenager’s room, where hangers for clothes that were finally chosen and partially coordinated outfits that were rejected for today’s attire lay on the floor, right in the doorway. Nobody knows how to make a bed without leaving at least one pillow on the floor and toothpaste remnants lay sticky on the rim of each of their bathroom sinks. I must be a complete genius for being the only member of my family capable of replacing the toilet paper roll and for understanding the correlation between hanging up one’s wet towel and not having a putrid towel the next time it is used. But I’ll be the first one called (or texted) when the math assignment is left on the dresser, the braces bands snap during chorus or the zombie nightmare happens again. It’s wonderful and exhausting.
Does any of this sound familiar? Mom of the tornado-like little one, clothes horse high-schooler or the absent-minded middle-schooler, do you ever look around and all you see is work to do? My precious grandmother, mother of 13 used to say, “Life is so daily”. I never truly understood until I had my own home and she was not just whistling Dixie! If the little messes of everyday life feel like they are snowballing and you are about to explode, you are not alone. You need a breather.
Yesterday, I took just that. I left dishes in the sink and laundry in the machines. I made a list of some of my favorite places to shop and I just went! I didn’t buy anything at two of the stores and only a couple of items at TJMaxx, but I had no idea how refreshing it could be just walking around and looking at the “pretty things”, as my grandma used to say. There was no pressure of a particular gift to buy. Just time on my hands and aisles of colorful things to peruse.
When I came back, the work was still there, but somehow it all looked different. I got a pep in my step about an easy dinner idea thanks to Facebook and it didn’t take any time to rally the troops and get things back in shape around here. There was nothing magical about my 2 hours out except that it was just that- out. Sometimes it helps to step away from something to gain a little perspective. Let me give you a little gem. You can give yourself that little gift. This thing called motherhood doesn’t have to mean give to others all the time at the expense of our sanity. Sometimes we need to regroup so that we are the best version of ourselves and that is a gift to everyone we love.
Make a lunch date with a girlfriend. Paint your nails. Grab a cup of coffee and pick up that devotional. But do something today that refreshes you. And for goodness sake, pick up those Legos…again. Those things hurt when you step on them!