I have days that I don’t like being a mom. Days I’m tired and I want to stay in bed past 7:00 am. Days I don’t feel like making lunch and dinner for anyone but me. Days I don’t want to go to the park or drive anyone around or play nice. Days I don’t want to share. Days I just want to say “NO” to everything. Days I’m a grouch and want to sit in front of the TV all day long eating chocolate cupcakes. On those days I have to step back and remember how lucky I am.
I have a friend who doesn’t have any children. She is physically unable to. One day I was complaining to her about how hard I had it, lugging three kids around, feeding them, putting up with their screaming and tearing up the house. She sat quietly and listened, not saying much, just nodding her head. Then she said, “But it’s good, right? It’s good to have them.” Like a punch to the gut, I realized how selfish I was being. How inconsiderate to complain about the very things my friend could never experience. I saw the pain in her eyes. I apologized immediately, but the damage had been done. She was hurt and I was a fool.
So the next time you are having a foolish day, a hard day, a day you don’t feel like hosting another stupid playdate or thawing chicken for five people or cleaning up spilled milk for the FOURTH time in an hour, remember how lucky you are to have little people to complain about. Then go find those little tots and hug them with all your might. There are many people in the world who would love to be in our place, to hold what we hold, to feel a tiny, warm hand in theirs.
I come back to this poem by Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (aka SARK) again and again. It helps me stay focused on the little things that mean the most and makes me feel a bit more forgiving when the milk gets spilled again.