My husband came home today and saw me sitting on the couch, toddler on one knee, and baby nursing on the opposite breast. I was trying to turn the pages of a book with the hand not attached to the infant, while listening to the sound of the stove buzzer, which would indicate that tonight's pork chops were at the stage between "well done" and "the dog gets tonight's entree".
My husband looked at me innocently and asked "So, did you do anything today?"
It's a good thing that most of my appendages were otherwise engaged, as I was unable to jump up and throttle him to death. This was probably for the best, as I assume that asking a stupid question is not grounds for murder in this country.
Let me back up a bit and explain what led me to this point in my life. I was not always bordering on the brink of insanity. On the contrary, a mere four years ago, I had a good job, steady income, and a vehicle that could not seat a professional sports team and me comfortably. I watched television shows that were not hosted by singing puppets. I went to bed later than nine o'clock at night. I laughed at those people who drove halfway across the country hauling a tent trailer, three screaming kids, and a drooling dog and called it a holiday. Now I have become one of them!
What happened? The stick turned blue. I have traded in my Victoria's Secrets lingerie for cotton briefs and a firm support nursing bra. Good Bye Garth Brooks, Hello Barney and Big Bird. My idea of privacy is getting to use the bathroom without a 2 yr. old banging on the door and the baby spinning the toilet paper roll from my lap. And I finally understand that the term "Stay at home Mom" does not refer to a parent who no longer works outside the house, but rather to one who never seems to get out of the front door.
So, here I sit, children in hand, wondering, how to answer my beloved
husband. DID I DO ANYTHING TODAY? Well, I think I did, although not much seems to have gotten accomplished. I shared breakfast in bed with a hand some young man. Of course the breakfast consisted of a bowl of porridge and leftover cookie crumbs found between the sheets. The handsome young man is about 34 inches tall and only gets excited at the sight of purple dinosaurs, toy trucks and French fries. I got to take a relaxing stroll in the woods. Of course I had to look for frogs and lizards, and had to stop and smell the dandelions along the way.
I successfully washed one load of laundry, moved the load that was in the washer into the dryer, and the dryer load into the basket. The load that was in the basket is now spread out on the bed, awaiting my bedtime decision to actually put the clothes away or merely move them to the top of the dresser.
I read two or three classics. Of course Dickens and Shakespeare cannot take credit for these works, as we have moved on to the works of Seuss and Munsch. I don't think I will be making any trips to the adult section of my local library anytime soon.
In between I dusted wiped organized and rearranged. I kissed away the owies and washed away the tears. I scolded, praised, hugged, and tested my patience, all before noon.
Did I do anything today?? You betcha! I will now understand what people mean when they say that parenting is the hardest job they will ever have. In my LBD (life before diapers) I was able to teach young minds how to divide fractions, write complex sentences, but I am unable to teach a strong willed 2 yr. old how to use the toilet. I was once able to navigate urban streets while talking on the car phone and looking for a decent radio station, but now I can't get the wheels on my stroller to all go in the same direction. I've graduated from a university, written newspaper articles, and won awards, but can't figure out how to get carrot stains out of the carpet. I used to debate with my friends about politics, but now we discuss the merits of cloth versus disposable. And when did I stop talking in sentences that had more than 5 words?
So in response to my husbands inquiry, yes I did do something today. In fact, I am one step closer to one of life's greatest accomplishments. No, I did not find a cure for cancer or forge world peace, but I did hold a miracle in my arms. Two in fact. My children are my greatest accomplishment and the opportunity to raise them is my greatest challenge. I don't know if my children will grow up to be great leaders or world class brain surgeons. Frankly, I don't care, as long as they grow up to be good people. They are my greatest joys, even though I sometimes cry myself to sleep at night in frustration. The point is that today I got to watch my children take another step on the great journey of life, and I even got to point out some of the sites along the way.
As challenging as parenthood is, it is also equally rewarding because we are using all our wisdom, our talent and skills to help forge a new person. It is this person, these people, who in turn will use their gifts to create our future.
So every nursery rhyme I recite, every swing I push, every little hand I hold is something. And I did it today!
Please pass this along to who you think needs to hear how valuable raising
children REALLY is.........