There’s this quote I’ve seen on Pinterest over and over again over the past few years. Something about good moms having crumbs on the floor and sticky…whatever. I always used to roll my eyes when I saw it and told myself that’s just what messy people say to make themselves feel better. You can be a good mom and have a clean house (Reality: You can, but not every day).
Enter 2013 – the year that I found myself unexpectedly single. I’m still a mom and that will always be my #1 job. But now I’m the one who is responsible for financial stability, mows the lawn, puts the trash out, cleans the garage and basement, does ALL of the housework, yard work, errands and handyman tasks around the house. The one who youtubes how to fix the washing machine that wasn’t draining properly…and then fixes it.
I’m not complaining. I’m not saying I’m incapable of doing these things and doing them well. But I’ve gained some perspective during this year of single parenting.
I hate the messes. But I love my kids more. And now I totally get it. Those moms with crumbs and sticky messes aren’t lazy or incapable. They’re me. Busy moms who have too much to do. Moms who might not have anyone to share the load with. They do what’s most important first – being mom – and do what they can with the time that is left.
I shake my head and laugh at the end of the day when I realize that the kitchen table is covered in crumbs and sticky messes, rivaled only by the kitchen floor that gets mopped less frequently than it used to. Sometimes I clean up the mess. Other times I choose to go in another room and pretend that the mess doesn’t exist until the next day.
There are clean house days and disaster house days. There are days when the left over time is spent doing something more enjoyable, like reading or watching tv because all moms need a break from life. I may curse the messes and the seemingly endless to-do lists (yes, lists. As in plural), but I’ll never exchange them for being my kids’ mom.
I have sticky floors, too much laundry and crumbs everywhere. I hate it, but I’ve learned to accept it. Because I know what it means.
What legacy do you hope to leave to your children?