I took the kids to an extended family birthday party last night. It was a good night to let them all run, because all my kids had brought their crazy to Friday.
So, us adults are standing around watching the kids run, when one family member asks me what I’ve been up to. **Now, let me stop to say, there is really nothing wrong with asking that. This is meant as an attempt at levity, to make fun of myself and the plight of other stay at home moms. This is not meant to be a serious blog post. So laugh along, or move along. 😉 **
Back to where I was. I was asked a question. The gears are churning. What do I do…what have I been doing? The first thing that always comes to mind is “Nothing”. But, I don’t do nothing. I do dishes, laundry, wipe butts….”I wipe too many butts.” “No, seriously, after I’ve wiped one kids butt 3 times in on day, I tell him I’ve reached my max on wiping his butt for one day and he needs to learn how to do it.” …and then I did a senior photo shoot with my niece, and made pizza rolls with the kids, I hosted a Pampered Chef party that went well… But, none of that comes to my mouth, just poop.
Might I suggest that a better question for a stay at home mom might be: “What are you excited about?” And, and then be ready for poop. Because getting that one toilet resistant kid potty trained is something to shout about! Really, just be ready for something gross or weird, because that’s our life right now: gross and weird.
This reminds me of recently after my uncle’s sudden passing. On the way out to visit with the family, I explained to my 7 year old that no one is okay, so don’t ask them if they are okay. Offer them a hug, tell them you love them, ask them if they need anything. The first thing that all the other adults asked me when I saw them? “Are you okay?” Knowing the right question is hard, nearly impossible in some circumstances, but showing you care is easy, and sometimes comes out in the “wrong” question. So we give each other grace in these moments and listen past the words to hear the love being expressed.
What is my point in writing this? To laugh. To share my awkwardness, and to maybe help another stay at home mom feel a little less isolated, because, let’s face it, we all feel pretty isolated, surrounded by throngs of little people always shouting our name, and when some other adult finally talks to us, it’s hard to think of much past: “Do you like your sandwich cut across or standard in half? Do you want crunchy or creamy peanut butter?” And when people ask me what I’m doing, the voice in my head says things like: “Scream at small people” or “Nothing” or “Everything” or “Wipe butts”, and then I see the look in people’s face like they finally realized that they are talking to a slightly insane person who looks fairly normal, a bit disheveled, but normal. And then I realize the almost 2 year old is escaping out the side door and I run after him. And we are both relieved that the awkward exchange is over.
Sooooo: What are you excited about?