On the more challenging days of being a stay at home parent it is easy to lament about the things you used to have before you reproduced. These things include the freedom to close the door when using the bathroom, the ability to go grocery shopping in under half an hour, the dozen eggs that used to last 2 weeks in the fridge.
My chiropractor asks me why I’m not doing my back stretches. I try to explain that my toddler sees stretching as an opportunity to gleefully jump on my back and so I come out of the situation worse for wear. He asks if there is a way I can prevent that. I just laugh and laugh.
At lunch today I noticed that the wall next to my baby’s highchair has the remains of at least a half dozen meals on it. Speckles of dried blueberries, beef stew, and zucchini paint a vibrant landscape. Instead of finding this alarming I consider adding Food Art to our weekly activity list and I leave the food where it is. Like you, I am concerned when I read that last sentence but I’m also realistic. It is unlikely that I will spent the precious moments of this elusive double nap scrubbing food off of yet another surface. Double naps are for pondering the changes brought on by two tiny tots in less than 2 years. For remembering what was and appreciating what is. For taking a few moments for stillness. And gratitude.
I kind of love that last week’s food is drying on my walls. I love that my glasses are forever crooked thanks to my head-bonking toddler and my exploratory baby. When I find plastic kitchen implements stuffed into my back pockets I know they were put there with love by a little girl who wanted me to feel included.
Does my bathroom always smell like poop? Yes. Do we manage to use 10,000 tiny bowls over the course of the day? Yes. Do I have more of a relationship with my baby food maker than I do with my husband at the moment? Possibly. Am I ok with this? You bet.
I had my time for me. I had it all through my twenties and it was AMAZING. In my thirties now I have no trouble acknowledging that my “me” time is on hold. It’s what happens, it’s the next chapter. The chapter where my family joins in my adventures. Where we have battles over potties and sleepless nights with sick children, and
carpets full of crunchy Puffs that get stepped on and ground in like sand. We also
have sock wars, family music night, mornings full of laughter, evenings that find us practicing our bird calls, and moment after moment of sheer delight.
With all the sweetness in my toothy boy’s smile and all the shine in my daughter’s hair and all the generosity that pours off my husband like water, we are a family. And sometimes families smell like poop.