The children are all tucked in bed, and I’ve been sitting on my bathroom floor for two hours and counting.
Not trusting they were asleep for the night, but hopeful, I contemplated as the minutes passed…
I could read.
I could get my body moving yet tonight however most fulfills me.
I might even treat myself to a bath, a lavender epsom salt soak!
I’ll start my chores in the kitchen. I never did finish cleaning up after dinner.
I’ll do one final sweep of the living room.
Maybe I’ll get a jump on laundry before we fill the basket again tomorrow.
I’m not quite prepared to meet any more needs just yet. It’s quiet here.
I know, logically, it’s quiet in the house too, but as the work to be done fills my brain like noise, I can’t quite convince my body to move past one small thing to the next.
I’ll sit here for just a minute. I haven’t had this space to myself yet today.
I’ll check in with social media while I’m at it.
I know the time is passing, but I finally don’t have anywhere else to be.
One hopeful reel and the next, and I’m well aware I’ve surrendered far more time to this than I intended.
I’ll sit here one minute more. And another.
The tears fall as I sit one minute more, none of which were truly a minute.
And I’m tired, but it’s not the tired any amount of sleep will cure.
Or would it? I don’t know.
I can count on my hands how many full night’s sleep I’ve had in our years of parenting.
I’ve wanted to wait to write until I could collect myself, but there are a lot of days I don’t remember what that looks like.
So I started writing, right here.
I knew I wasn’t truly alone, not in life, and not in my experience.
I thought you might understand too, Momma.
If you do, I’m glad I’ve reached you.
You’re not alone.
It’s okay if the house waits.
It’s okay if you take the shortcut to feed the kids or pass the time, or if you didn’t hear the story they shared for the ten thousandth time.
It’s okay if you needed to apologize today, Momma.
It’s okay if you didn’t apologize yet.
The sun rises again, and you’ll teach in action that we learn and try again together in love.
I know you feel how very short the years of your children’s lives are.
On that same note, those hours that you might have lost this week- be it to scrolling like me or wherever they’ve gone to- they’re not so very long after all.
And we can take them back.
We can be kind to ourselves in this moment.
Practice being present in the moments we want to be in, one moment at a time.
Take a better look at all that we accomplish in a day, really look at it, and cheer ourselves on like the victors we are next time we finish that “one small thing.”
Listen to ourselves and respond with the respect we want to meet our families with.
What “one small thing” makes us feel loved?
Let’s take an honest and intentional look at where we can give it to ourselves in our lives.
Next time I have that quiet set aside, I’m taking the bath, with book in hand.
Tomorrow, amidst the chaos the children bring, I’m going to get my body moving just for me, somewhere in our day.
I’m going to make space for one thing I enjoy after they’re in bed.
I’m going to be honest with myself about my emotions, and a trusted friend, too.
It’s not going to turn life around- these small steps- but then again, neither will a hard day turn the world on its head, truly.
They’re small steps in the right direction.
And there isn’t any hard day we can’t turn around from…