This past Thursday I was at work and my cell phone lit up on my desk. It was William’s school. I immediately ignored the call, as I’m used to this happening every other week.
I knew they were calling to tell me that he had a “fever” and that he needed to go home. I knew that “by school policies” he couldn’t go back the next day either. I knew they’d call my husband next. I knew my husband would keep him at his office that day. I knew I’d have to arrange a babysitter for the next day. There were a million things that, as a mom, I knew. Without even thinking, I texted our “go to” babysitter.
Two minutes later, as expected, my husband called. And, yes, I had been right about everything. William had a low grade fever, my husband was busy trying to rearrange his day, but most likely his assistant would be watching William until I was done with work. Immediately the guilt set in. I should have taken the phone call. I should be watching my child when he’s sick. I should have looked into getting a full time nanny. The thoughts of a mother are endless.
Then our “go to” babysitter texted back (she’s a rockstar). But… she couldn’t watch him all day tomorrow, so I’d have to leave work early. The thoughts continued… I shouldn’t leave work early. Good God, what would my boss think? I didn’t want to be that employee.
On and on and on the self bashing went.
As soon as I got off work, I called my boss to let him know the situation. Thankfully, he understood. I ran to my husband’s office, scooped William up, and headed home to “be a good mom.” I walked in the door and all I could see were piles of laundry, dishes, and toys everywhere. In my head the mental checklist continued – I needed to grocery shop, I needed to write three blog articles, I had to find 5 pretty things to instagram for the rest of the week, I needed to call Ashley to have our 3pm chat, and I was supposed to wash our sheets. I mean let’s be real – I was supposed to wash our sheets three days ago – but hell… who has time for that? I thought to myself – What is wrong with me? What is going on around here? How have I let it get like this?
And then another thought popped into my head… this poem that I had seen a while back…
“The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”
And just like that I realized that none of my previous thoughts mattered. I was trying my best – at everything – and that is what mattered most. I realized that, even at my best, sometimes the house was going to be a mess, sometimes the dishes wouldn’t get done, sometimes the sheets would be left unwashed, sometimes blog posts would remain unfinished, and sometimes work would have to be left early. And you know what? It’s OK. Sometimes there are bigger things in life… like comforting your baby when he has a fever.
I hope this year, for Mother’s Day, you’ll join me because I’m giving myself a very important gift, and I think you should too.
Let’s give ourselves a break.
Let’s ignore all our self imposed, supposed shortcomings, and instead, celebrate our achievements. Let’s ignore all the dishes, the sheets, the toys, and instead, admire the lives we’ve built. Let’s ignore the things on our “To Do” lists, and instead, be present, right now, in this incredible moment. And, let’s give ourselves a little grace… Lord knows, we deserve it.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you Wonder Women out there. I applaud you.