This is what dreams are made of…

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First off, did anyone else go through a Hilary Duff phase? I’m going to guess no, since I was way too old to actually be a fan of hers. But man, in high school (and in college. shhhh) it was the best.thing.ever. to pop in my CD, roll down my windows on a warm day and BLAST “This is What Dreams Are Made Of.” In case you weren’t aware, that song is from the Lizzie McGuire movie, which I saw in theaters. On opening day. My senior year of high school. Coolest girl you know? That’s right. I am.

Anyways, the reason this song comes to mind is that today was IT. Today was the day that was the culmination of all the things I dreamed of doing when I was a part-time working mama. Today, we had friends over and made pretty Valentine’s out of glitter and fingerpaint. We played with toys and ate too many cookies. We went to the park and we had an adorable photo shoot with friends. We went to Chick-Fil-A and Daddy got off in time to do the chicken dance with us and we all got free dinner. The kiddos went to bed without a peep, and we had a whole day with almost no whining, no meltdowns, and tons of happiness.

And I could write a whole blog post about it. I could tell you all the hilarious things that Sam said, or I could post all the pictures I took (except as you can see, there was a giant smudge on my lens, so of course I don’t have hardly any good pictures.) But mostly today I found myself thinking a lot–I was thinking of how insanely grateful I am for days like this, and how disappointed I am in myself that these days don’t happen more often. But I think that maybe I’m being a little too hard on myself.

I have found in the past few years that moms are mean. Moms are hard on each other, and too opinionated, and give too much unsolicited advice. It actually starts before the kids are even born–we fight about epidurals and we fight about cosleeping and we fight about formula and breastfeeding and we fight about scheduling and on demand feeding and we fight about cry-it-out and we fight about discipline and we fight about where our kids should go to school. The toughest of all the fights for me though, have been that of the battle between working mom versus stay-at-home mom. I feel like as a part time working mom, I sort of exist in both worlds now, which is hard in its own way. I don’t work enough to really be part of the working mom club–but I work too much to actually be part of the stay at home club. I had these ideas in my brain of what life would be like when I stayed home more. I’d be less tired, and less grumpy. I’d have more clean laundry, and a more organized house. I’d spend less time on my phone playing and have more energy to be on the floor with my kids. We’d do more crafts and watch less tv.

And in many ways, this is completely true. I am less tired. I’m WAY less grumpy. I still don’t like laundry, and I’m still not that organized. I still play WordsWithFriends a lot, today is one of the first days we’ve done crafts, and Elmo’s World still makes a regular appearance here. And in some ways, that disappoints me. I had so many pictures in my mind of all the things I could do when I worked less, and even though many of them are happening, many still aren’t. But I think what I’m learning is that who I am as a mom isn’t decided by the number of hours that I work. Who I am as a mom is decided by who I actually am, and who I am putting effort into becoming. And some things just don’t come easy for me. I could quit my job tomorrow, and my house still won’t be as beautiful as one of my dear friends who works 40+ hours per week. I could never go in for another day and we still might have hot dogs and macaroni and cheese from a box. Homemaking is work for me–some parts that I enjoy, but many that I don’t. And I think it will always be a struggle for me to maintain my home and my family.

One thing though, that I will say, is that the days I am home are still easier than the days I work. I am still thankful for each day that I am with my kids, and each moment that I am able to put into the work of caring for my home and family. I love this life that we’re living, and I wouldn’t trade the time I have at home with them for anything–I wouldn’t even trade them to have my house back.

So maybe my pictures are going to be blurry. And maybe there will be dust bunnies under my couch. And maybe when you come to visit me, I’ll have to close my eyes while you pee because there still isn’t a door on my bathroom, even though I’ve lived here for a month. But ya know what? I love my kids. We have fun. We giggle, and they think I’m pretty and funny and they like that I give them fruit snacks. And maybe that matters more than everything else.

Today was the day that I dreamed about. But so are all the other ones. Finding the beauty–even in the blurriness.

 

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9 responses »

  1. Yes. Yes. Yes. You are so right about moms… what a hard group we are. I think so much of it stems from our own insecurities and we some how feel better about our choices or validated by our choices if we put down others. It’s ugly and I hate it too.

    I am so so so glad you had such a wonderful day. I love it when that happens! When you can look around and say, “Yes, these are the days.”

    Such a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂 (BTW I am pretty sure you took my order in the drive through the other day… but when I got to the window it wasn’t you who gave me my coffee, though I thought I saw you grabbing my blueberry scone… wish I could have said hello).

  2. So true!! I love your honesty and I love you!! This is a wonderful post and it makes my heart happy! also, I miss you and must see you soon!

  3. What a great day you had! Congrats, Mama 🙂 I needed to hear another person say all of that to remind me 🙂 Aren’t we blessed to know that God isn’t measuring us with the harsh eye that other mothers do? I’m always reminding myself that I am who God put into my children’s lives, and He knows what he’s doing. My house has nice colors and some developing style, but if you look closely on any given day, you will definitely find remnants of food on the wall and/or nearby furniture around the table, there are fingerprints all over any glass on toddler-level (ALL the time, even if I clean them, it takes about 5 minutes for them to come see what I’m cleaning and put their hands all over it again), and I almost always ‘need to vacuum’. The 18 month old still doesn’t sleep in the room with her brother because of their light-sleeping, which makes me feel bad that she doesn’t have a ‘real’ room. I worry about working too much some days, then when I don’t have much on the schedule, I worry about all the things I should have done to make my home cleaner/better/homier/etc. But I’ve been learning too that it’s WHO I am that makes the difference. God is not put off by my imperfections, thankfully. I’m trying, but will never be perfect, and I think that’s a good thing — if I were perfect, I wouldn’t need Jesus, and I doubt I’d appreciate the sweetness in the messy days of having young children at home 🙂 Love your honest, open thoughts.

  4. I have that Hillary Duff CD…I love that one song, You make me feel like a star oh baby you say stay baby stay just the way you are… haha!!
    First of all you have the cutest happiest kids so right there you’re already an awesome mom =) Something I like to remember is that the our perfect Proverbs 31 woman/wife/mother, was a working mom! Keep up the good work friend =)

  5. its easy to romanticize either way, isn’t it? I do that all the time– “if only I… then I would be all…” I too am learning that I will still be myself no matter what the circumstances. I’m also learning that none of those choices I made/make as a mother actually MAKE me a good mother–who I AM and how I love makes me a good mother. and that’s true of every mom, no matter what.

    I am sorry if I ever made you feel judged or was ever “mean” to you–I love and admire you greatly and have no judgement or criticism in my heart for you(or most moms). I’m a big fan of you, and this blog, and your children will always have a special place in my heart. I’ll never forget visiting with unborn sam when you were on your babymoon and that beautiful phone call when you found out piper was on her way 🙂 anyway, I’m very sorry if I ever lacked grace with you. I like to help other mothers, but have come to realize over the years that I can come across too strong(at best) or just critical or judgmental, at worst. I’m sorry if that was ever with you.

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