Today my house is a mess. It's been messy for a while. I need to do some serious deep cleaning/organizing around here. Once I get started, I know it'll feel great scrubbing, dusting, throwing stuff out, sanitizing, and organizing. I struggle with the whole getting started thing. Where to start? How to start? Sigh. I just need to start.
Today Hunter had to go pee while we were at the grocery store checking out. Then he had to pee at the library. . .twice! There's no "holding it" for this kid, when he has to go, he HAS TO GO! So, I ran him to the bathroom like a mad woman all three times, even when I was in the middle of checking out at the grocery store (sorry lady behind me, it was either take my two-year-old to the bathroom, or risk having him puddle up the floor where you were about to push your cart of groceries through).
Today I took the kids to the library. The librarian told me I have a CD that's been overdue for a while now. I'm 98% sure I returned it. While talking with the librarian my sweet angels (said with just a shovel full of sarcasm) were running amok. I tried to corral them, but off they ran like crazy people. Whenever they came across someone new Hunter would yell, "HI!" at the top of his lungs until the person would acknowledge him in someway. Once Hunter got a response, Tralee followed up with a complement. I heard her say, "I like your mustache," "Your shirt is pretty," and "cool shoes!" among other random commendations. While the librarian agreed to override the hold on my account, so I could check out some books, I glanced at my kids and saw Tralee striking up a conversation with yet another stranger, while Hunter swung from a hand rail nearby. I watched as he swung too hard, lost his grip, and fell onto his back. Tralee stopped chatting-up her latest stranger-of-choice, turned and yelled in my general direction, "Hunter's hurt!" as another lady, a lady who gave me a you-need-to-teach-your-kids-proper-library-decorum-stare two seconds earlier, helped Hunter up and dusted him off before I could make my way over.
Today I left the library balancing a handful of books in one arm, Hunter crying in the other with a big wet stain on the front of his pants from a semi-unsuccessful potty attempt, and Tralee trailing behind-- mad at me about something I can't remember. I was cranky about how my kids behaved, I was ticked off I had a dirty house to return to, and I was about ready loose it when a man came up from behind me and said, "Good job, Mom!" I turned, wondering if this compliment was legit, or even meant for me. He must have seen the look of disbelief on my face, because he continued speaking while pointing to the 14ish children's books balanced on my arm, "You know, I just read a study that showed that kids whose parents are involved in their lives, you know, parents that read to them and take them to the library, those kids are interested in learning their whole lives. So, good job, Mom!" If my arms weren't full of a pee-stained-two-year-old and a week's worth of new reading material, I just might have hugged him.
Today I started out feeling like a failure in the homemaking/mothering department, but after that kind man's compliment, I felt uplifted. Somebody noticed that I'm trying my best, even if my best is (most likely) someone else's mediocre. I'm trying to do a "good job" at a job that gets the better of me nine times out of 10 -- this mothering stuff isn't easy. I need to start celebrating the one thing I get right each day (today it was going to the library), pat myself on the back, and tell myself, "Good job, Mom!" Then I need to forgive myself for the other nine things that went haywire. As long as I'm trying, I should celebrate the little victories and stop stressing over the messes and mishaps. 'Cause most likely, what went right today will probably go wrong tomorrow, and what I messed up today, I'll have a chance to make right with the new sunrise. So, thank you stranger! You probably don't realize what your "Good job, Mom" comment did for my whole day, but you turned it all around.
Today started off kind of crappy.
Today ended with me reading my kids their library books as they drifted off to sleep, while the words, "Good job, Mom!" repeated in my head.