Sometimes the day speeds by in such a blur. Of sippy cups and soggy diapers and multi-step word problems. I'm grabbing toys off the floor as I pass through rooms on the way to find out why so-and-so is shrieking only to be side-tracked by stepping into a mysterious puddle of something I pray, pray, pray is lemonade despite the disconcerting fact that we have no lemonade in the house.
There's cooking and cleaning and sorting and refereeing. Nursing an infant and wrangling a toddler. Pre-teen meltdowns and an inbox full of must-be-answered emails.
And after all that, I sit down at the end of the day, kick off my paint-splattered Dansko clogs and sigh. Deeply. And I say to myself "Why am I so tired? I didn't even do anything today!"
Do anything. A thing.
This crippling idea that unless I do at least one "thing" every day, something special and different...something EXTRA, that I can point to and say "look! this is interesting!", I don't deserve to feel tired or take a few moments to relax, is an absolute joy-suck.
Can I tell you what I've done so far today?
Awake with toddler-breakfast-4 kids dressed-self dressed-changed infant-7 kids (mine and 2 others) loaded into a van- 9 a.m. dance class- fire alarm- freaking out toddler-a few minutes on the playgound- dance class over-drive back home-7 kids into my house-fun and frolic- bye friends!- feed infant- change infant-"do your school work!" - load of laundry- load of dishes- listen to memorized poem- make lunch- start loaf of bread- hang wet laundry on line-"hey, did you finish your math?"- change kids out of pants into shorts-clear table-finally shower-feed infant- change infant-"yes, it sure is time for chores"-round up clothes and toys strewn willy-nilly-sweep kitchen floor-brew pot of coffee...
Yes. All before starting this post. And before the day is through I will have hauled the laundry off the line and back into the house, taken all the kids to church for evening CCD, brought them back home, put an infant and a toddler into bed and then, only then, will I start my work-work: a bit of social media management, some SEO optimized page descriptions for my employer, and a bit of whatever else I've been asked to do. And all the while managing and mediating and answering the phone and letting the dogs in and out and in and out and wondering if it would be worth it to have our carpets professionally shampooed.
But no. I will not have done anything.
Friends, I am done with the tyranny of "something extra". The things I have to do (all this mothering business) and the things I want to do (this blog, that writing work)...those are real things! They take time and energy and effort. They are good and helpful. And just because I haven't managed to take people on a tour of a local dairy farm or sewn valances for my kitchen windows doesn't mean I'm not worthy of a little rest at the end of my day.
These regular things...they can be enough.
If I can do them, I've done enough.