Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Life Comes At You Fast

It's easy to become wrapped up in the insignificant details of life.  Everyone does it, or else there wouldn't be Idioms like chill out.  But sometimes it's hard to realize that's what's happening when you're in the middle of one of life's many mini dramas.  Sometimes it's hard to notice the precious toddler singing songs to her doll as she gently rocks it in her arms when you're trying to clean vomit off the floor before someone steps in it.  And you're doing this while the fridge is beeping to remind you that you left the door open and there's a puddle of water spilled across the counter top because someone overfilled the Brita pitcher.  And then the phone rings and it's your Husband who wants to discuss at length the three page list of upgrades he's planning on doing to his mountain bike, half of which you don't even understand.  And while you're talking (er listening) to him you happen to look in the mirror and realize that OH CRAP your roots are like five inches long, when did that happen?  And all the while the precious toddler is passing her time feeding and diapering her little baby doll while singing Hey Jude.

Just two prison inmates doing their best to make MEAN faces and intimidate the warden

Sometimes I have to stop and say to myself, can't it wait?  And often times it can.  One of the hardest things about being a Mother is learning to juggle the responsibilities of taking care of your family and the home while managing to find time for yourself.  It's never easy.  But I have found some things that have helped me along the way.  Being organized is a huge help in keeping your sanity.  I have designated days of the week for laundry and cleaning the house as well as free days specifically geared towards fun with Elsbeth.  But I still have to be flexible.  So far this pregnancy hasn't been very easy and I've felt sick alot and this means I've been forsaking my normal domestic routine.  I tend to turn into Mommy Dearest when this happens.  I blame my own Mother for setting the bar so stinking high.  No one has ever seen her eat, but we've all seen her endlessly busy herself around her home which always looks and smells wonderful.  

Lately, I've been beating myself up mentally over the fact that my house didn't look like a Martha Stewart photo shoot.  And then I heard a quote and that quote was, No on ever sat on their death bed and wished they had ever cleaned their house more.  That struck home for me and I decided to cut myself some slack.  The next few months will be the last time that Ellie is an only child and I've made it a point to spend alot of time with her, talking, playing, reading, and imagining.  Because even if there wasn't another baby on the way, she will never be two again and I don't want to lay on my death bed and wish I had played with her more.  Does that mean that she gets a free pass on helping clean up?  No, teaching those kind of responsibilities is good parenting, but I have chosen to no longer let those details run my life.  If the dishes sit in the sink and extra twenty minutes while we dance to some music on the radio, so be it.  They'll still be there when we're through.

She danced with Elmo for a long time  before he began to laugh and ruin her fun.  She would try to straighten him out while yelling, ELMO CUT IT OUT!  To which Elmo would giggle and say, Give Elmo a break PLEASE!

These small moments, when I stop to really let them sink in to my soul, are the fulfillment of dreams I've had since I was a little girl.  Here we are, standing in my home, with my husband, my one point five kids and two dogs.  When did I grow up? Because on the inside I still feel like a sixteen year old.  Ahhhh, if only my butt felt that way.  Don't let the moments pass without your notice and your involvement,  because before you know it, they'll be gone.

Here she comes, running full speed
Annnnnd she's intercepted with a big hug from Mommy
Now I'll teach her the ancient art of finding four leaf clovers.  If I can before she manages to rip all the grass out of the Earth.


Amanda said...

Your mom set the bar? I think you've set the bar for me! My mom is one of the best moms ever and is such an inspiration to me, but of course I can only really remember her momming me from probably high school and beyond. You are my inspiration for the early years. Keep it up Jill.

Jillian said...

Uhhhhh, gee thanks. You have rendered me a bit misty eyed AND speechless, which is a nearly impossible task for a human to achieve. Thank God my fingers can still type.