I often scrutinize myself for lacking in the adulting and parenting departments. I forget to change the laundry, I let the dishes pile up, I forget doctor's appointment and field trip forms and am always rushing the kids to get them to school on time. I wonder how other parents manage to do these thing s without feeling completely overwhelmed most of the time like I do.
But then, something happens almost every day that reminds me that none of those things even matter. At least one of my kids will come up to me and announce that I am, "The best mom in the WORLD!" and suddenly it's all put into perspective again.
It's easy to forget sometimes the bigger picture when you're looking down the barrel of the daily grind wondering how you'll make it to bedtime in the midst of your exhaustion.
All week long I have the best of intention to step up my mom-game but as the days drag on and the homework and the clutter pile up I start to lose my energetic spark and find myself just existing. Trying to make it to the weekend or (more likely) to Monday when the kids are back in school and I can start fresh.
I'll pull out something to make for dinner and throw it back in the fridge two days in a row because I've opted for take-out and sanity over cooking. My kids are always excited when I announce we are going to roll through the McDonald's drive-thru on the way home even if it means they only eat a few bites and claim they are "full."
I vow to pull the sheets off the beds and wash them today because it's been almost a week since the last time I changed them. But then I find myself bargaining with my tired body that at least I've managed to bathe the kids every night this week so that deserves some kind of reward, doesn't it? And shouldn't that reward be LESS laundry?
It's midnight and I find myself still scrolling on Instagram knowing damn well that tomorrow morning is going to sneak up on me and I'll be wondering who's bright idea it was to stay up wayyyy later than I should have after complaining all day, but this has become the only "me time" I get in the day and I'm not ready to put that away for the night. Not yet.
My bed gets left unmade most days or I walk into the dumpster fire that is my kid's room and announce "tomorrow we are cleaning this MESS UP!" Until tomorrow comes and I decide, they are just going to pull all of this crap back out anyway, so what's the point, really?
I find myself making small (or big) excuses throughout the week to pass on tidying up, washing my hair, putting the laundry away, or unloading the dishwasher just because I'm utterly exhausted but then later I look back and feel like I have done everyone in this house a disserve because THIS. IS. MY. JOB. And I'm failing at it.
But when the sun goes down and we all cuddle up to watch a movie in our messy house, my kids snuggle in close to me and fight over who gets to be nearest. They ask me to rub their backs, stroke their hair, or sit literally on top of my body and I'm reminded that one day the very sight of me is going to be repulsive to my disdainful teens so I might as well soak it up while I can.
I put my kids to bed, kicking all of the crap on the floor out of the way making us a path of least resistance to their pillows and we pile in and read a story that my kids talk about after for days sometimes as a lesson they learned about love, happiness or family.
Some nights, after my Instagram scrolling "me-time" and right before I do finally turn in for the night, I sneak into my kids' rooms and curl up next to them in their beds and watch them sleep. They stir a little and wrap their tiny arms around my neck in comfort that I'm there, even if for just a minute. And those are the times that I'm reminded that nobody is looking at the kitchen sink right now. Nobody cares that I forgot to change the laundry or mixed up a doctor's appointment. Everyone is just happy to BE in this moment with me and with each other. And that is what it's really all about, folks.
I may not be the world's greatest mom. But to my kids I am the "best mom in the whole wide world." And to me, that's all that really matters.