Today I took my 3-year-old and my 1-year-old into a public bathroom, not because I wanted to, but because I weighed the options and public bathroom won out over let’s roll the dice and see if we can make it home.
Ironically, because I was so valiant in my effort to keep them from touching every surface within reach, my little girl tripped over my foot and belly-flopped onto the floor of the bathroom stall. Her face may have actually made contact with the tile … it’s unclear because I have already stricken the details from memory.
While I worked to lift her upright and mentally checked into my safe place, my son busied himself with touching every single part of the toilet. Apparently he saw the opportunity to send me over the edge and ran with it.
After almost four years of being a full-time stay-at-home-mom, I’m tired. My nerves are raw. I feel frayed, just like the green blanket that my child has rubbed and loved on until there is nothing left but a mangled, nubby wad of material. A friend told me when I first quit working that there would be a honeymoon period, followed by an adjustment period and settling in. And then, I would either love it or I would hate it.
I feel like maybe I’m in a transitional time where I’m not sure how I feel about it. I do know that I need to do a better job of being grateful for the privilege of being home. At the beginning of all this, I told Robbie on a daily basis how grateful I was to him for working so hard and allowing me to focus solely on raising our children. Somehow, over time, that has shifted to bitterness. Four years of cooking, shopping, and cleaning — all things that I used to enjoy — changed me.
I have allowed myself to get bogged down in responsibilities, and I have lost sight of the reasons why I wanted to do this job in the first place. And remembering WHY I AM DOING THIS is where I find my peace and my joy.
So, you know what? Screw bitterness. I’m going to make bitterness my bitch.
I am grateful that I am the one who gets to wrangle my children in bathrooms outside of our home … because no one else could scrub their little hands as thoroughly, and with as much love.
I am grateful that I am the one who wipes their noses a million times a day, because someone else might not notice, or worse — let it run freely (shudder).
I am grateful that I oversee everything that happens in this house, because while that may be an exhausting endeavor, I know things are done well here. No one will get Salmonella on my watch.
I am grateful. I am grateful. I am grateful.
When I take the time to think those words, roll them over in my mind, and write them, I realize they are true. I really am grateful. I just don’t take the time to say it enough.