I am the first to admit that I live a very busy life. I have said over and over again how both my husband and I both work full time, we have 3 kids, friends, family, church and the never ending list of house chores and laundry that never seem to go away. The list goes on and on. I can’t seem to find a balance and I always feel behind in everything I do. It’s exhausting.
Last weekend, Monkey had an impromptu sleepover when one of his friends stayed the night. We’ll nickname him R. After dinner, I could not get Nugget to sleep for the life of me. I mean, I was trying everything and nothing was working. (Darn baby teeth!) So I decided to take Monkey and R to the local video store down the street and take Nugget with us for the walk, hoping the fresh air would help him fall asleep. Well we got to the video store, the boys rented a game and Nugget was still awake. Like fully awake. Ugh, the struggle is so real. Well since my plan did not work, off to get some custard, because who doesn’t like custard? On the way there, Nugget finally fell asleep so we got our custard and walked home.
On our way home, Monkey and R walked behind me and I spent the time listening to their conversation while saying nothing. They were talking about video games (which I know and understand nothing about) and then Monkey said this:
Monkey: My dad plays video games with me, if he has the time. My mom works a lot too and when she comes home, she always has other things to do.
And yeah, I’m surprised he didn’t hear the break of my heart at that moment because my heart shattered into a million pieces. He didn’t say what he said maliciously. He just said it factually and it hurt. It hurt to hear him talk as if spending time with him was not a priority for myself. And you know what the truth it? It’s not. I don’t make spending time with any of my children a priority. I get so lost in the day to day tasks and most days, trying to survive the days, that I lose all focus on actually spending genuine time with them. And I hated myself in that moment for him to feel that way.
Hubby had to work 4th of July and being I work in the finance industry, I was blessed to be off. So against everything in me that wanted to stay home and clean, I left the piles of laundry baskets and dirty dishes in the sink, packed up all 3 kids and headed to the aquarium about an hour from our home. I honestly had no idea what I was in for being I have never attempted anything of the sort by myself with all the kids, but I figured, why not?
Do you know what happened? We had an amazing time. Boogie was in absolute awe of every creature and exhibit. Monkey was such a huge help, which eased my anxiety of being in such a big place by myself with the kids. I’ll admit, in the back of my mind I kept thinking about the mess I was going to go home to but I fought it so hard and kept telling myself to enjoy the moments in front of me because whether I worry or not, the laundry and dishes are not going anywhere.
I know it’s difficult to get lost in the sea of day to day tasks and I am not saying that I have decided to neglect my home, because I guess it’s important for my family to have clean clothes 😉 Hubby, Monkey and I also have asthma so keeping up on the dusting and vacuuming is important for us as well. But what I want to stress is, that we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. We’re not even guaranteed this evening or the next 5 minutes, so mom to mom, give yourself grace. Lots and lots of grace. That it is okay to leave a sink full of dirty dishes and 6 baskets of laundry needing to be folded to play a board game with your kids or go for a walk. And hug your kids, hang out with them, talk to them. Even if it’s for 10-15 minutes at a time. Ask them how their day is going, what they’re watching, how they slept the night before.
At the end of the day, I want my kids to know they are more important to me than my work. Because being a mom is the most important job I will ever have. <3