Right now, the girls are asleep, the dishwasher is running, and sheets are in the dryer. The house is quiet and somewhat clean. Just hours ago, I wouldn't have believed that this day would turn out this way. I woke up feeling sore from the workout that I made myself do at the gym yesterday. I had already snoozed two times and knew it was time to get up, walk up the stairs and retrieve the girls for breakfast. The night before, Adeline struggled with falling asleep and when she finally did, I laid her in her own crib instead of sharing with Maralee. Thank goodness I did that because when I walked into their room this morning, Maralee's bed was covered in poop and throw-up. The smell was awful and she was covered in what looked to be some form of sweet potatoes. I immediately felt bad about waiting so long to go get them - I knew I should have gotten up when my first alarm went off. Gingerly picking her up, I quickly undressed her and put a fresh diaper on her. I had already planned for this morning to be bath day so I figured we could get a bath after breakfast. Before heading downstairs, I changed the sheets and bumper pads and left them, along with her dirty clothes, in a pile by the stairs. I had to get some food in them before I did anything else.
After breakfast, we headed back upstairs to get started on the bath. The girls' room is the first room at the top of the stairs and immediately I saw where one of the dogs tee-teed all over their door and a wet spot had already formed on my ugly khaki carpet. Frustrated, I set the girls down trying to figure out what kind of rag I would use to clean up this mess. All of my "dirty" rags (the really old ones that I keep for these kind of reasons) were downstairs. Maralee's nasty sheets were right there and so were their bath towels but I hated using that to clean up the dog's mess. Saying something unpleasant, I decided that I needed to go downstairs to retrieve a rag to clean up. Scrubbing the door, I could see Obi staring at me and I declared that he would indeed be going to Dothan; that I really was done fooling with this mess. Standing up, I went into the girls room. In my total disbelief, he had taken the dirty diaper (I told y'all he did this) and completely tore it to shreds on the rug I bought for the girls' room for $100.
It was everywhere. I lost it.
Shaking my head back and forth I got on the floor, crying, trying to figure out the best way to clean this up. I didn't want to touch it with my bare hands. Gross. My plastic gloves were (of course) downstairs. I vaguely remembered my mom telling me once not to scrub because it would only make the mess go deeper in the white rug with pink polka dots....but how in the world was I to get this up? Meanwhile, Maralee still smelled like vomit and Adeline had picked up my dirty rag and was trying to clean the rug herself. Through my tears, I did my best to be the adult, taking the rag out of her hand and making them go in the hallway.
My tears were out of frustration at first but then all of these other emotions began pouring out. I kept saying "I can't do this anymore." I didn't realize that being a mom dealt so much with poop on a daily basis. But, this was no ordinary poop...it was extreme poop (so sorry if I'm totally disgusting some of you out and delaying your child-bearing years). In my years of envisioning motherhood, it didn't involve me sitting on the floor in a stinky room trying to figure out how to get a stain out of a rug. I guess I always thought that job was for someone else. Why again can't I have a maid? Oh, yeah, maids cost money and that title now falls under "mom". Now, I was no longer crying. I was sobbing to the point of hysterical. The girls looked at me kinda funny and then trotted off to find another toy to play with. Trying to get it together, I went downstairs and called my husband. Poor fellow, as if he didn't have enough going on at work and now his wife is calling him like a crazy woman. I couldn't even talk, I just said "Poop...everywhere" in between sobs. He said he would be home soon.
I thought those words would reassure me but it almost made me feel worse. Why did I have to call my husband - who is busy working at a job that supports our family - and ask him to come home to the job that I couldn't do? I took a deep breathe and went upstairs to start the bath. At least I could do that, right? Looking into the tub, I saw a wet washcloth that he accidentally left in the tub the other night, along with some of the girls' toys. This made me once again start crying. Now, I was to the point of making myself sick and I kept thinking that if I threw up that would just be another mess to clean up. Sobbing over the bathroom tub, I felt a strong hand grasp my shoulder. I couldn't even look at him I was so upset. I was howling - it was really quite a pitiful site I'm sure.
Over the next thirty minutes, I could hear my husband cleaning up the mess in the girls room as I sat crouched in the corner of the bathroom. My crying had slowed to a tear-stricken face as I took deep breaths to calm myself down. I felt like a failure. I wanted this to be different. When did being a stay-at-home mom get so hard? I was defeated and totally felt like throwing in the towel. After a bit of time had passed, my husband/cleaning crew sat on the toilet and looked at me gently. I could barely meet his gaze I was so upset at myself. He said, "I'll finish taking care of this but you've got to get yourself together." He wasn't saying it mean...I think he just physically couldn't hold a sobbing wife, two dirty babies, and vacuum the floor all at the same time.
As he left me alone to collect myself, I wished that someone could come take care of me. I was in no shape to take care of myself or my children for that matter. I kept telling myself to grow up and stop getting my panties in a wad but....I just couldn't do it. I wasn't okay. I was tired. Tired of cleaning up all the time. Tired of taking care of everyone else. Tired of looking at my bare pantry wondering what in the world we were going to eat tonight.
I was tired of responsibility.
At one point in my life, I remember I told people in job interviews that I was indeed, very responsible. I could multi-task, organize, and plan like I was the daughter of Martha Stewart. Now, I can barely get through a morning without feeling irresponsible. Before I had kids, I would hear other moms complaining about their schedules, homes, and children. Instead of having sympathy for them, deep down I pitied them. Somewhere inside my unrealistic brain I thought, "I can handle it. I'll be a better mother than them. I won't have those kind of problems."
All of this leads to Truth #6: I struggle with being a mom. Some days are really, really tough. I love my family and I truly wouldn't change where I am in life but on days like today I really do wonder how my life got to be this way. I don't like cleaning up poop. As I mentioned before, my house is constantly a wreck and my laundry is totally piled up. I get stir-crazy being at home sometimes and wonder what life would be like if I was working outside the home. I'm sure I would have just as dirty of a house and I would still struggle as a mom.
After sweet husband did my dirty work, he left and it was just me and the girls. Desperately needing some sunshine, I took them on a walk around the block. As I was walking, my mind began to process what had just happened. I believe that every occasion (no matter how unpleasant and poopy) can be an opportunity for growth.
I realized that it was okay that I struggle as a mom.
Having these melt-downs actually makes me normal. At the beginning of this 31 day journey, I stated that I wanted to be more truthful with y'all. This experience is part of who I am and I'm sure many of you can relate. This week, I am really throwing caution to the wind and letting y'all in on matters that I would normally keep to myself.
I think that the beginning of being truthful starts this way.
Over the next 31 days, I want this journey to be about the highs and lows of life and love and an opportunity for us to seek out the One whose truth is truly uncontainable. I want us all to realize that when life gets tough and the truth is unbearable, that we have a Counselor that will kneel down beside us. We can lay our burdens at his feet. Just like the woman in Luke 7:38, "Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them." This tender act of humility on our part allows us to receive such amazing amounts of love and grace that keeps us going every day.
***Side note: I will be guest blogging next Wednesday on a subject similar to this at a lovely website called InCourage. I encourage (get it!) you to check it out :)
Also, please don't forget to vote for us on Parents.com's Best-Blog Awards. We need more votes and it ends soon so hurry on over and vote. Tell your friends too!
Till next time, let your light shine!
Truth #1 – The Truth
Truth #2 – I hate laundry
Truth #3 – I’m bad at memorization
Truth #4 – My dogs drive me crazy
Truth #5 - I'm scared at getting in trouble