I am the blessed mama to three little people, ages 4 (almost 5), 3, and 3 months. Our home is overflowing with toys, kids clothes, books, diapers, other miscellaneous kid stuff, and of course, a whole lot of love.
Life with these little ones can be completely crazy at times, and as strangers like to point out to me in the grocery store, I have my hands full. (I always reply that it is the best kind of full.) And some days are definitely crazier than others.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when my hubs comes home from work and the house is messy, there’s no real plan for dinner, the kids are acting wild, and I’m stressed and overwhelmed, and he has the nerve to ask me, What did you do all day?
As if taking care of three children, one of which is attached to my breast every two hours, isn’t enough in and of itself. Thank.you.very.much.
But, then there are the days where I wake up early in the morning before the rest of the family, and sit in the calm and quiet of a new day with my coffee, laptop and planner and envision what a good and productive day I am going to have.
The fun activity I will do with my son while my daughter is at school, the blog posts I will write, the mountain of laundry I will tackle, the floors I will mop, the Pinterest craft I will make, and the yummy, from-scratch dinner I will prepare. I plan it all out and I know I can do it all. If I just work hard enough.
And then the kids and husband get up, and the day starts moving, but it’s moving in all of the wrong directions.
My daughter throws a fit and doesn’t want to go to school. The fun activity of scooping and playing with beans get thrown and spilled across the whole floor. The baby only naps for 20 minutes, instead of her usual hour and a half. The older kids fight and bicker, and resist taking their naps. I’m missing a key ingredient for dinner. And there sits the growing laundry pile, neglected another day.
When I finally collapse, exhausted at the end of the day, I think back to the quiet of the morning, which seems like days ago instead of just hours, and all of my wonderful and well-laid plans. And I have to think to myself, What DID I do today?
It can be so frustrating. To feel like I’m not getting anything done. To look at my To-Do List at the end of the day and realize I can’t check anything off the list. To realize that tomorrow will likely be very much like today.
But here’s the thing. Life with little ones pretty much never fits into the neat little boxes we form in our minds. When you have little kids around the only thing you can pretty much plan on, is that things will not go according to plan.
And even though those plans I make are all good things, I cannot forget that the best things are what I get to do every day.
Kiss little foreheads. Hug tightly, and be hugged in return. Say, “I love you”, as often as I want to. Sit and read books even though the floor is covered with toys. Watch the baby laugh at her big brother and sister. Nuzzle my nose in sweet smelling, freshly bathed hair. Snuggle in bed and listen while the talking seems like it will never end. Pray over my babes as they drift away to dreamland. That is what I GET to do. All day. Every day.
And I wouldn’t trade it for all the productive days in the world.
More on Toddler Times: