Last night I was picking my kids up from daycare. Usually I drop off and Dad picks up, but that night Dad was stuck at work and I rescued the little tykes myself. One of the teachers that I have an especially good relationship with, who does not have her own kids, commented on seeing me morning and night. And then, with good intentions, she said "I don't know how you do it, you must be exhausted! After working all day now you have to go home and be a Mom and a wife...I don't know how you do it!" I acknowledged my day is busy. It's a constant race to beat the clock and get everything done and still fit in quality time with the kids. But then I answered the only thing I could think of, "I LIKE being a wife and Mom, so it's not a job."
I said it. Out loud. I admitted that I actually LIKE this job.
Today, we're supposed to sit and cry about how hard our lives are. We work outside the home, and we're constantly on duty at home. Rushing home from work, making dinner, giving baths, bedtime stories, tuck ins. Then cleaning the kitchen, showering, packing necessities for self and kids for the next day before collapsing, exhausted, into bed until the youngest cries for Mommy in the middle of the night, always at the point you are in your deepest sleep. Naturally. And while it's true it is busy, that doesn't make it bad.
First of all, I signed on to this adventure ride. I knowingly tried to get pregnant. I was 29, married for nearly 4 years. I've babysat. I'm an Aunt who fearlessly took my sister's brood for weekends to give Mom a break when I was 20. I knew what I was getting into, at least as much as anyone who is not yet a Mom can know. I had my eyes open. And I've never looked back.
I like that I am the one who gets to meet their needs. I like knowing they are sleeping in clean rooms, with soft sheets and pj's. I like being the one to put healthy foods in front of them and then play the mind games to actually get them to eat the veggies, too. I like wiping off the crazy messy face of the toddler who refuses any help at feeding, and so makes the biggest mess you can imagine. I love bathtime. I love hearing about their days while I chase them around the tub to get them clean. I like listening to my boys play and laugh and splash together while I sneak in a bathroom cleaning while they do so. I love bedtime, with the bedtime stories and snuggles. I love that when they bump their heads or stub their toes, my kiss and rub makes it magically better. I love the earnest expression in my oldest son's eyes when he's making up a story for me. I love the hugs, smiles, and most of all, I love the big sloppy kisses.
I like that I can lay out breakfast for my husband. I like when the house is clean, however rarely that actually may happen, and I know I provided that to my family. I like cooking for my husband and taking care of him that way, as there are so many other ways he takes care of me. I like meeting his eye to share a private moment when the kids are being so funny. I like that instead of meeting our friends at the bar for a irresponsible night of socializing we now meet at Chuck E Cheese, or for playdates. And I love snuggling up to him at night, when it's finally peaceful and quiet, and we just lay there, quiet, in the dark, together.
Am I tired? You betcha! Do I enjoy the brief moments of peace and solitude I am granted from this crazy life? Unbelievably! I savor those moments, and appreciate them so much more than ever before. But after a few hours...bring on the chaos.
I know today we're supposed to put on a brave face, and act harried. But I wouldn't trade my crazy, busy, work laden days for anything. I like my job as wife and Mom. I love my family. And I love what I bring to the family that no one else can.
I am Mom, and I love it!
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