Our school mornings can be a little on the “hairy” side. It doesn’t matter how happy we get up, how quickly the girls eat breakfast, how efficiently I finish my workout something happens to the “extra 5 minutes” I’ve built into our mornings and they vanish – leaving us in this mad dash rush to get to school.
Many mornings, as we drive out of the driveway I’m mentally running through the list of must haves “Backpacks? Check. Wallet? Check. B’s glasses, Audrey’s jacket? Check. Check. Am I wearing underwear? Ummmm – check.”
I don’t like to rush, it leaves me feeling frazzled and often times a little short tempered with the girls. (Who are significantly less frazzled because in the land of children nobody cares if you’re late). I like being late for things even less.
Anyways, often times the 3 minute walk from the van can be filled with me repeatedly asking them to please “hurry up”, “walk fast”, “STOP PICKING UP ROCKS!” – it’s crazy and not at all how I want B to start her days.
The other day, after a rather hurried morning I decided that we needed to keep the walk light, to put on my “fun mommy” hat rather than my “I hate being late so hurry and RUN” hat.
As we walked through an area that had been roped off (it was safe, they guys weren’t working)(I totally know these things I’m a “contractor’s kid) Bethany and I had the following conversation:
B – “Moooom! Don’t you see they still have the rope up, we’re not supposed to be here”
M – “You’re right, but the guys aren’t working right now and I’m here it’s ok. Besides I’m the boss of the world I say let’s go!”
B- giggling “Ya right Mom, you’re not the boss of the world”
M- “I TOTALLY am! You know that, I’m the boss of everything. My other name is Mommy Queen of Everything”
B- laughing “It is not Mom.”
M- “Ya, I am. It would be totally awesome if everyone did what I said”
B– “You’re not the boss of GOD Mom!”
M– “True enough. You’re right I’m not the boss of God. I wouldn’t really want to be Queen of Everything, that’s God’s job and I don’t want to have His job”
B- “Ya, and God doesn’t want to do housework either”
She was serious and I could hardly contain my laughter. It spilled out and while our walk had become the silly thing I’d planned it to be, it also opened up the door for a really great teaching opportunity.
As we walked the rest of the way to school I got the chance to share with Bethany and Audrey what I really think of housework.
M- “Bethy, do you hear me complaining about the housework I do?”
B- “No, not really.”
M- “Here’s why…
I’m thankful for every dirty dish, load of laundry and dusty shelf – they are proof of the wonderful people living in our home.
Dirty dishes mean we had food to eat. There are people scattered around the planet who would love to have dirty dishes as a result of a belly warming meal to wash – and they don’t. Not only did we have one meal that dirtied those dishes but many before them and many to come, I’ll happily fill the sink with soapy water (or load the dishwasher) and wash those dishes, grateful.
Each load of laundry I fold, toilet I scrub and toy I pick up means I have a house full of people to love. They mean that God gave me the thing I desired most in this life by allowing me to be a mother and wife. The clothes mean our children are warm, clean & dry (albeit clean generally only lasts about 15 minutes but that’s not the point…), the toilets mean we have a roof over our heads and the toys are signs of life & laughter. They are the daily reminder to not only be thankful for the ones I love but to pray for them, their days, their safety, our future.
Oh, my dusty shelves…dust truly is the bane of my existence. It is the one thing that could drive me the most mad, but I refuse to let it. Some days the extra dust on a shelf isn’t the sign of laziness but rather of life. Those shelves are proof that sometimes (not often enough) I’ve put down the cleaning cloth and picked up a book to read to the girls. They’re a sign that I too have a job to go to, one that while it keeps me out of my house, allows me to take my home, my heart – our children with me each day. They hold the photos of the memories we’ve made, the creations of our girls and mugs of tea (am I the only one who finds they put things in the weirdest places) that keep me sane.
As we finished the walk to school, I looked at my two precious girls, at the beautiful fall sunshine and felt the gratitude sinking in just a little deeper.
It’s so easy to grumble, and let’s face it sometimes I do grumble about the dishes on the counter or the toys on the floor but more often than not I aim to be thankful.
This is the life I wanted, packing school lunches, making my husband dinner, cleaning our home, loving our children – searching daily for how to be the wife & mother I’m supposed to be. It’s harder than I imagined, every Mama can testify to that, but it’s also filled with so much more love, joy & laughter than I knew possible.
I’m thankful I’m not the Queen of Everything, that’s God’s job (I don’t have the right credentials or any of the patience required) and selfishly I’m glad that “He doesn’t want to do housework, either” that’s my job and I waited a long time for that privilege.