Sitting at a table, teaching my toddler to read and write while eating a snack, drinking some milk and singing songs…all while nursing the baby in real clothes with hair and makeup done and shoes on. The laundry is tumbling in the dryer and will shortly be folded and put away, the kitchen is clean, dishes are done, vacuuming is complete and the house smells amazing from dinner already cooking. The toddler is not screaming or hitting or peeing on the floor or smelling funny…the baby is in the cleanest, driest diaper and not smelling funny. We are waiting at home for the husband so we can eat a hot, home-cooked meal together, as a family. I clean up, he relaxes, kids go to bed without whining or crying and then he and I have a wonderful night together.
Sitting on the carpet, trying to engage my toddler with songs and his abcs while he spills his milk and wipes his fingers on my shirt…the baby is laughing to herself on the floor next to us and while overdue for a feeding and a change, she is still in good spirits. The toddler decides today he is boycotting potty training and is secretly laughing at me every chance he gets. The laundry in the dryer is being “fluffed” for another cycle and the dishes are in the dishwasher but the kitchen is no where near presentable. Dinner may get made or it may be cereal. I doubt the toddler will get a bath before bed tonight because, well, some nights it just isn’t worth the fight. The husband gets home and while I always have good intentions of looking nice and meeting him at the door, I can count on one hand how many times that has happened.
Not the dream. Don’t get me wrong – I love my life, but my life is not this dream. Not this false reality so many of us have in our minds when we get married and start a family. Here is the deal. Life is hard.
Let me say it again, life is hard. But you know what makes it worth it? The marriage and the kids. So what if my kitchen isn’t clean. So what if my kids’s clothes are a bit wrinkled right now. I’m at a point in life where what happens with my kids and husband today is more important than if my house is picked up. Life is about moments. Life is about taking the hard and making it worth the fight. Life is about the small hands around your neck and whisper of “I wub you, Mommy”, the look up while nursing – knowing you are the only one that can give her what she needs, the touch of your partner after a long day for you both – connecting two exhausted hearts.
I am working towards a balanced life…scratch that. I am fighting towards it. I am fighting to be able to balance wife, mom, small-business owner, housekeeper, chef, etc. I see a vision of myself that I cannot wait to have as my reality. Each day I get closer and closer (although today I feel like I took 12 steps backwards). I will be my best me and my family will be better for the work and sacrifice I put in for it. We will all benefit, we will all be our best…we will all be potty trained.
be a fighter.