just keep swimming.

The last few weeks have been busy. I've gone back to work part time, which has been really great in so many ways. Writing on a regular basis, adult conversations, even just brushing my teeth and getting dressed in the morning — it all sounds pretty simple but, as you know, it's the simple things that matter the most. The things that really make us happy.

But along with this welcome change in routine has come, well, just that: a serious change in routine. I used to spend every moment of my days watching Bob the Builder, switching countless loads of laundry, wrangling tiny humans before they could launch themselves down a of flight stairs, making chocolate milk, finding any excuse not to clean my bathroom shower and — you guessed it — playing with FAST CARS! FAST TRUCKS!

Seriously, this was stimulating stuff, people.

But now, a lot of that time that I used to spend flexing my Domestic Goddess skills has gone by the wayside. I'm sorry to say that my living room floor is currently littered with puzzle pieces ... and shoes ... and bottles that may or may not have been there since yesterday afternoon. The same load of laundry has been in the dryer since last Friday. And — shock of all shocks — my shower is getting grosser by the minute. (I would say "don't judge," but judge away, people. It's gross. I've officially crossed over into the world of living like a 19-year-old boy, including the beer belly, but minus the actual beer.)


Anyway ... it's not even the undeniable filth that's really bothering me. Who am I kidding, really? For those of you who have ever lived with me (hey, Mom!), you know that I'm not exactly the picture of perfection and cleanliness. No — instead what's really bothering me is the lack of kid time. Of baby goodness time. Because now, those hours that I used to spend reading with Sam, cuddling with Audie, going for walks and being right there physically and mentally ... well, they feel like they're few and far between. Lots of at-home time is now spent checking emails, interviewing people over the phone and slamming my head into the kitchen table while I try to think of something intelligent to write while I'm covered in syrup and jelly and have a bald baby girl gnawing on the back of my leg.

So, it's different. And it's kind of hard. And it's easy to feel like you're getting it all wrong and your kids are never going to recover or forgive you for those hours that you put them in front of the TV to watch Finding Nemo for the 137th time so you could try to get it all done. And then your husband gets home and you kind of unload on him in a big hot mess of "I'm the worst mother ever. It's official that I'm scarring our children for life. Tomorrow, when I'm at the office, please promise that you'll take the kids to do something great. Something amazing. I completely understand that they're not old enough to remember any of this and I know I'm currently living up to my reputation of straight-up crazy person. But humor me. Please. Oh — and whatever you do, send me pictures."

And then, sure enough, it's the next day. And things already seem better because, let's be honest, things always seem better the next day. But then you get a picture like the one above — a picture of Sam playing with his brand new tee ball set that Anson bought for him that morning. And you remember that, just like you, it's all about the simple things with your kids. And they're okay. And happy. Oh, and kind of awesome at tee ball.

And even though you're still figuring it all out, everything's going to be okay.

Just keep going.

Just keep working at it.

Just keep swimming.

(Thanks, Dori.)


Janet Scott said...

I fondly remember laying in the sun on the dining room floor one cold winter day when it was too cold to go outside for any reason, let alone to play. The bright sunshine caught the face of my watch and created a Tinkerbell-like light that danced up and down the walls and across the ceiling - much to your delight and your brothers' total amazement. (Apparently it was pretty easy to pull one over on the Scott boys even then!) That "magic ball" entertained us, kept us together, stimulated some kind of imagination, and was a lot of fun to boot. It doesn't have to be ooh-la-la to be good mothering. You've got it. Keep swimming! xo

Newly Nalevanko said...

Funny - my laundry also lives in the dryer for days at a time. Your rockstar mothering skills and familiar blog posts keep me going, Sar!

Clare said...

I'm pretty sure my house is messier than yours, and I don't even have kids. I read a quote in the Oprah magazine a while ago, and decided to make it my personal philosophy: "A well-kept house is a sign of a poorly lived life."