Sometimes it is hard to find the positive attributes of what seems like overwhelming chores of motherhood. But as I look deeper and with a more appreciative attitude, I can start to unveil the countless ways I am LUCKY - buried beneath the laundry, dishes and diapers.
I am LUCKY to have Baby Food on my Shoulder.
A messy face is inevitable of a novice eater and though a chocolate pudding face is cute for a memorable picture bearing two front teeth and a wrinkled nose, that same chocolate pudding is not so cute smeared across my T-shirt. I will admit that is an extreme example, but even more subtle colored baby food wiped on my shoulder - noticed only while getting out of the car to get groceries or while answering the door or after chatting with a neighbor - is not quite the trendy style I am going for. Not to mention the extra laundry that accumulates as a result for all parties involved.
However, when I think about how those unwanted remains got there, I know it is because a little darling - say, about 11 months old- was so excited when I picked her up from her highchair that she could not help but nuzzle her little, un-wiped face into my shoulder. I am sure that in return, I held her closer on our way to the sink to wash up. So if a little food is the price I have to pay for a precious snuggle, then I will take it. Chocolate pudding and all.
I am LUCKY to have Toys in every corner of my House.
It does not seem to matter how many times I pick up toys, organize them and put them away, they always seem to find them selves scattered across the entire house. I once decided that picking them up was a waste of my time and that I would just leave them. The kids get them out anyway, play with them across the house and so what was the difference? Backfire! Somehow the same amount of toys seemed to magically double their mess making ability and my house was beyond disaster. Lesson learned.
While I do sometimes get discouraged at the mess toys inevitably make, I am reminded that there are some hidden blessings when I think about why this occurs. My kids were both born healthy little beings. They are energetic, full of life and sometimes rambunctious. And it is because of this healthy and energetic existence that they can freely peruse the toy selection, decide they would like them in the living room instead, carry them into the kitchen to show me and then hide them in their dad's shoes for his toes to find while in a hurry out the door. And so I am lucky to have healthy little kids, even if it means they have extra energy to shove as many toys as they can in the couch.
I am LUCKY to Wear Mom Clothes.
After working a professional job and dressing the part for more than five years before staying at home with my kids, it has been a little struggle - a Self Image Dilemma - if you will as I have had to come to terms with the fact that flowy, sheer tops cannot withstand the brutal demands of motherhood. Wearing jeans and a T-shirt everyday instead of a corduroy skirt with tall boots and a layered jacket blouse combo, not to mention coordinating dangley earrings and a long necklace has caused the majority of my closet to go dormient, awaiting the time when sticky, grabby fingers are outgrown. In the mean time, for the majority of the time, jeans and a T-shirt it is.
I can't even begin to tell you the challenge it is to feel like I have settled, what a minute, I can: The Self Image Dilemma when it comes to what I wear. But when I think about chasing my kids in heels as they giggle with delight down the hall, or taking a tickle tumble to the living room floor in a skirt as we exchange zooburts, or exploring the trail of a dirty worm in white pants on my hands and knees, the truth is it just isn't realistic. And since those are my priorities and leisure activities in a day, the new dress code that never gets in the way or holds me back, you guessed it, is jeans and a T-shirt.
I am LUCKY to know all the Songs on our Kids CDs because it means my kids are breaking a sweat dancing. And I am LUCKY to have Extra Laundry because it means that my little boy is at least trying to use the potty. And I am LUCKY to have my days filled with "Mom" Work because it means I am at home with my kids, where I want to be. And I am LUCKY to have all these examples that might seem like chores at first glance instead of blessings.
But blessings they are ... even if I have to dig through a pile of laundry to find them.