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Challenge: Gratitude & Giving

Dear Magic Wand: Do the laundry, clean the dishes and make me hot and rich (pretty please?)

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If I gave you a magic wand, mama, what would you change?

Would you use that foot-long sucker, aim it at your growing tower of smelly laundry and zap that shiitake into cleanly folded piles?

Or, would you bippity-boppity-boo your post-kids body back to when you had perky nonleaky breasts and a fit(ish) mid-section?

Maybe you would point it in the direction of your husband and avow that it make him more agreeable and helpful, or perhaps you would point it at your overcrowded, overanalyzing brain and abracadabra yourself to a more "woozahh" state of mind.

If any of us had the chance to fix something about ourselves, our lives, our homes, or our loved ones, what would we choose?

As I went to make my bed -- which typically remains unmade because, well, kids, and the fact that who the hell cares if I make my bed -- out from under the comforter fell my child's wizard wand.

And, for a hot second, I thought, what in the world would I use this for if it really worked?

If I could actually "fix" something about my steadily chaotic, messy, stressful and exhausting life, what would I choose?

Immediately, I started mentally listing the things I would use it for:




And, oh yeah, make me hot again and rich.

Rich would be good.

But, sadly, I knew that the wand had no power and that I once I finished making the bed, the real-life, unmagical, hot-mess-of-a-mom me would have to tend to the rest of the looming household tasks, while looking ragged and feeling guilty for spending $4.77 earlier in the morning on an Iced Latte.

I also reconciled myself to the sad reality that me being hot again, well, that will likely only occur when I sit in the blazing Florida sun later this afternoon as I watch my kids play at the park, or if I wait about 10-15 years for those inevitable "flashes" to take over my being.

So, I finished making the bed and then started folding clothes, and as I placed my family's clothing in their respective piles, a wave of gratitude came over me.

How lucky -- AND NOT BURDENED -- am I to have a home full of stuff, people and animals, whom I love unconditionally, and who love me back in the very same manner?

On a far too regular basis, I, and so many other mothers feel swamped by our responsibilities.

We feel buried beneath pressure and judgment, and we dig inside of ourselves for the strength to yank our poor-attitude beings from the depressive and thankless quicksand that's seemingly engulfing us.

Sometimes we cry.

Sometimes we scream.

Sometimes we get deeper and deeper, very slowly and very quietly.

Other times, we plead for help and reach out to anyone that is nearby.

If only you had a real magic wand to pull yourself out from under the weight that is the "mental load" of motherhood.

But, guess what?

We don't need a dumb wand to repair us or our lives.

There is nothing "wrong" with a life that feels a bit haywire and person improvising their way through it.

Life with children -- the bigs or the littles -- it's pretty much always going to be confusing and challenging.

Life next to a partner who also feels bogged down by actually business and the busyness of home life, it's going to get messy -- literally and figuratively.

But, this is where we grow, mamas.

Right here, where we are standing -- smack in the middle of our toy-cluttered, dog-hair covered living room thinking that we need more money, more help and more time to make our lives better.

What you (and I) really need is for someone -- ideally, one of the love nuggets we birthed -- to aim that wand in our direction for the sole purpose of enlightening us to the blessings, like them, that surround us.

Nothing about being rich or hot would improve the relationships I have with my husband and children.

Nothing about having the laundry done all the time, or the sink forever lacking dirty dishes is going to awaken my family and bring us some 'holy grail' of happiness like we've never known before.

So, here's what I did.

I beckoned my dressed-as-Elsa toddler to the living room and asked her to "ZAP" me.

She "ZAPPED" me over and over again and I thanked her for using her powers to help me "let it go."

What did I let go of?

The idiotic thinking that a clean home, a great body, ironed clothes, lots of money and less kid-curated "stuff" could ever bring me the same or more joy than the authentic, albeit crazymaking, full life that I'm already living.

All any of us's not a magic's perspective.

And, I'm delighted to have found some, even if it was hidden (for God knows how long) under the definitely-needs-a-good-wash-cause-it-smells-like-toddler-pee comforter on my bed.

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