15 February 2007

Stuck in one place


Have you ever felt like you finished exactly where you started? Like you ran in place all day? The minute you get one thing done, something else needs your attention (usually not 2 feet away). And when you've finished with that, something else comes along. With two little boys in the house, this is a common scenario for me. Case in point... this afternoon I fed the boys pasta with their lunch. I served Drew first. I turned around after dipping up Jonah's plate to find that Drew had tossed all his pasta onto the floor. I told him "no-no" and bent over to pick it up while he ran his buttery fingers through my hair and giggled at me. I told him "no-no" again (this time with a little disgust in my voice) and dashed upstairs to clean myself up real quick. I came back dowstairs to find that Drew had then tossed all of Jonah's pasta onto the floor. I told him "no-no" and proceeded to pick it up and get Jonah a fresh plate. Then I cleaned off one of Drew's hands with a wet cloth. I moved to the next hand while he put the clean hand back onto his messy plate. After I recleaned both hands and carelessly decided to just let him go with a cup of cheerios, I turned around to make my own lunch. I quickly got it prepared and checked on Drew who was playing in the next room and found that he'd tossed all of his cheerios - all together now - onto the floor. We picked them up together, he merrily singing the clean up song, and I - not affected by his sweet little carefree outlook - took them away... because obviously anything that can scatter in all directions is not safe in the hands of this little stinker.

Some days I feel like the unamused lunch lady who says "Next." all day long. I just move from one little task to another and have nothing much to show for it at the end of the day. I am lucky to have a husband that understands days like these. I've made sure he's experienced a few for himself! He never asks me, "What have you done all day long?" because he knows how easily you can get stuck in one place. I think of a funny email that got forwarded to me this week. A man comes home to a house that looks like it's been robbed: furniture is overturned, there are dishes all over the floor, clothing and shoes are strewn about in all the bedrooms. He moves from room to room, his jaw dropping, until he reaches his bedroom where his wife is peacefully napping. "What on earth happened?", he asks. "Well, you know how you've asked me what I do all day?" she replies. "Today I didn't do it."

My advice on days like mine is don't sweat the small stuff. I almost feel like a hypocrite saying that because it has taken me 8 years of parenting to put it into practice. But here I am at 4 in the afternoon - toys strewn about, my lunch still on the counter - testifying that it really is not going to help you to run faster than you have strength. A few years ago I did not understand the mom who said, "Hey, as long as my kids are fed, clothed and happy, that's all that matters to me!" But now I know that that alone could make for a full day's work!

17 comments:

scribbit said...

Hey is that Annie Lennox playing or do my ears deceive me?

And yes, I know what you mean. I've been gone all day and have very little to show for it.

Lei said...

Your ears do not decieve - it is Annie - in all her amazingness!

An Ordinary Mom said...

Amen to that post! "Next" can easily translate into "no" or "please don't" or "stop" ... you get the point. Often times I feel like a broken record, day in and day out. Miraculously, though, I wouldn't change it for anything ... not that I wouldn't like a break or a nice long nap :) !!

Now that I have my second and it is a little man who loves mischief, I really am learning to let things go and to be more flexible with life. I am trying to remember to love people and use things, rather than to love things and use people.

Morning Glory said...

Oh, the days of trying not to trip on toys!! Oh, the days of just trying. Oh, the trying days!!

I can only say it gets easier as they get older.

Tracey said...

DITTO DITTO DITTO. "Next" all day long....

QueenMeadow said...

I felt like I had gotten into a grove with my kids, since they are a bit older now, until this week. Everything has been thrown out of whack by all sorts of stuff and I feel like a hamster on a running wheel. Not so fun.

Char said...

I've been having a lot of those days lately.

:o)

Sunny said...

I understand this post! I think you've put into words what most of us feel during the days of parenting :)

I saw a sign at the craft store the other day. It said "A spotless house is a sign of a bored woman." Once in a while I wouldn't mind being that bored woman!

utmommy said...

So true, so true! I know those days all to well.

Linds said...

The wonderful thing about motherhood is that you will read this one day years from now and just grin.It does get easier!

The Lazy Organizer said...

I don't know how I made it through those years with my first two little ones. They're older now and we've added a third but the demands don't stop for 2 minutes in a row!

Maine Mom said...

I hear ya! I've read that e-mail before and I think of it often. When I got home from the hospital last week, I noticed that I had been missed. I think it's just a fact that a woman keeps a cleaner/neater home than a man...even with young ones making a bunch of messes :-)
My husband as well is very understanding of my not so productive days that really are productive, but in a different way.

FrogLegs said...

Sunday is my/our day to "not do it." Besides church- we do nothing. No cooking (left overs, or self serve), dishes before bed, and we're lazy. It's FABULOUS! :)

Ivey Elizabeth Sirmans said...

This is one of my favorite. I like the what the woman says to the man. I will file that one away for future reference!!! You are awesome!

Shelah said...

no joke-- I have one exactly the same age as Drew, and I could spend all day trailing him, picking up his messes. I don't think my dh understood until I left for three days and when I came home, he kept marveling at what kinds of messes a 2yo can make.

meta said...

my sanity is knowing that everyday is a new day....but it is so hard to let the little things go and simplify.

Tigersue said...

I feel like I have had a year or more of just letting go!