As I walk quickly through the kitchen I ask you to grab your back pack and throw the lunch in it that I had just made you, so you would be completely ready to go. I tell you that I just have to get myself ready really quick and then we’ll load up. A few minutes later you skip into my bathroom and go “wow, mom! You get ready so fast!” Without even realizing it my mind instantly replays the entire morning. It replays getting you ready and combing your hair, getting your lunch made, answering some work e-mails, changing diapers, getting the boy’s room picked up and both of them dressed and then making my way back across the house quickly to go throw clothes on myself. I replay grabbing the easiest dress and sandals I can find and throwing them on. I replay looking in the mirror and realizing I don’t have the time to fix my hair so I just grab the head wrap I had on the day before and put it on again. Then throw some deodorant on and accept that I am as ready as it’s going to get. When you came skipping in I had just glanced at my two day old make-up and pasty face and thought about the days I used to leave for work every morning completely put together. The days I used to shower on a daily basis, do my make up on a daily basis, and actually feel attractive on a regular basis. But as I replay all these thoughts I realize it is part of the beauty of motherhood. As challenging as it is at times, you learn to rid yourself of selfishness and give yourself fully to others. Your family’s needs become your highest priority and you learn to manage your own needs around theirs. If I’ve learned anything over the past 5 years, it’s that there is no room for selfishness in parenting or in marriage for that fact. I know the time will come that there will be time for “me” again, but for now, accepting, and even enjoying, this stage in life keeps me going. It’s definitely a learning process that I’m sure continues through all your parenting years.
You’re not supposed to understand any of this yet. I looked down in your innocent eyes and felt a moment of sadness, because as quickly as this world turns, it won’t be long before YOU will be the one with little ones around your feet, and YOUR weary eyes will be the ones in front of the mirror looking at two day old makeup, wild hair, and throwing on deodorant to try to mask the fact you haven’t showered. I hope and pray you learn the art of shedding your selfishness in parenting, because it is what will get you through, and it is not an easy task.
As you look at me waiting for a reply, I wink, and with a smirk say “I’m just that good. I’ve had lots of years of practice.” You let out a giggle and then we head to the garage to start the process of loading up.