So it's family movie night with dinner. Selected feature is Mom's Night Out.
I first watched this movie on opening night with a group of mommy friends... you know, it was Mom's Night Out! We laughed together, but we didn't discuss the movie afterward. No chitter chatter about our favorite parts and so forth. Yes, it was funny. But so much truth in it...that we, mommies, may find it hard to admit to ourselves much less to other mothers! The movie...it was made to be light because it is so heavy... this mommy thing. I mean... healing booboos with 'just' a kiss!!!! Knowing when to let them pick themselves up rather than scoop them up before they have a chance to cry. Meals, oh the meals! First determining how and what you want to feed them and the research behind the decisions~ all to do just what is 'best' for your little ones. This mommy thing..... can be overwhelming.
Food and feeding. We choose to either grow food in our garden, purchase from a local farmer or buy as much organic as available. And to pinpoint specifics about our food plan: no gluten, no dairy, and no refined sugar and flour. We aren't super pushy about what food decisions are best for you and yours (well, except when it comes to soda/diet soda and then I'm just about begging for you to throw it away. ha!). But your food choices are yours.
Preparation. There is planning all those meals. There is shopping for all those meals. Preparing all those meals and cleaning up after all those meals. And speaking of cleaning.....
Wow, little people make such big messes...crumbs, food on the table and in the chair, under the chair and even in their hair (catch that rhyme?)! And toys~ big toys! The smaller the child, the larger the toys. The larger the child, the smaller the toys! Can anyone attest to the pain (agony) of stepping on a lego?
Ok, so that is just a few of the daily tasks of mommydom (my word. I love my words.). And yes, we choose mommydom. We know the tasks before us and we choose it. And we know our choices come with a large to do list and an even larger reward list!
All those tasks mentioned may not seem like 'much', but add together all the other stuff each and every day, day after day, and a mommy can see the laundry that DID get folded (she threw a small party in her mind! Like an imaginary fist bump to the others on team mommy!), but then notices that they didn't get put away. Party crasher. The dishes that actually made it off the table and into the dishwasher. WIN! ..but those that remain in the sink. LOSE. The front door glass got cleaned. YES! ...but what about all those windows? Ugh. We have a tendency to see, to focus on those BUTs. That comes from many sources -- ourselves, others and even the sources that aren't even real! We create an expectation for ourselves: how did mama do it? My friend, Cathy Cleaner...her house always looks great and so on. And then, there is your spouse. He, of course, has his own expectations and well, many times, he can let you know when you're already aware and have seen the failure of your day and truly it wasn't necessary to point it out again. SLAM. That's what mommy feels. It's not how Mr. Spouse meant to send the message. It was his observation. And more than likely...truth. Yes, the laundry is on the bed and not folded or yes, the dishes are piled in the sink. Way to go! Your eye sight is great! *don't say that out loud* ;). See, a mommy sees more failures than what is even pointed out by a spouse, mom, friend, etc. We stack our failures. Yes, we mound them up like mountains, yet for some reason, we seem to forget to stack our accomplishments. Those happy kids...they are fed, clean, loved, entertained, etc.
I have five beautiful children~ beautiful little creations growing right before my eyes. And while battling with the failure mountain during a rough emotional time of my life (the loss of my father and birth of my fourth treasure the day after, all while building and moving into our 'forever' home), a real and unforgiving mountain fell on my family and many other families...that tornado. We survived. Many did not. We rose from the mangled mess never to be the same. Attitude--having the right attitude about the situation can help you get over or through the mountain. And our (MY) attitude changed that day. I can MOVE a mountain just as easily as can a tornado!
See, moving into my new home hurriedly just days after losing my dad and birthing a baby actually created a mountain of work for me. And it kept growing and growing. Add another baby and wow! Cue the overwhelming feelings! Now, my kids were happy, fed, clean and loved and loved life, but mommy was being swallowed by the failure mountain, and desperately wanting to peel back the coverings from her eyes to see what was REAL--the accomplishments! They were r i g h t t h e r e. Right there all along. Kind of reminds me of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz when Glenda, the good witch, tells Dorothy that she had the ability (to go home) this whole time. Funny, all she had to do was triple click those red heels! But, Noooooo. She weathered a tornado AND a witch, just to realize what was great---right there where she'd been the whole time!
And so, through a tornado tragedy of my own, I, too, saw all that was great right where I'd been. I had seen it all along, but my measuring stick was way bent and all out of whack! The earthly 'stuff' we go through, it isn't eternal!! I AM. THEY ARE. Are my floors swept? Yes, and sometimes twice per day. And, yes, 99% of the time, my dishes are out of the sink and cleaned every night. And laundry: washed (3 loads/day) and dried daily. Ummm...folded..well, that may take an extra day.
That tornado was a blessing in a sense (all about attitude, right?!). It took away the mountain I had created in that house. I was able to breathe and love LIVING because we were all ALIVE. And then came reality---the insurance project it created. 2011 was rough through the April 27 event. Emotionally and physically for a bit longer. But the fall of 2011 was such great peace...like a relaxing, great big long sigh! REST.
And then came 2012~ real life was back. It was January, I had to get busy with the insurance and in the midst of getting started, my beautiful mother, my very best friend, my greatest supporter was diagnosed with cancer. The worst year of my entire life. The worst, but I can tell you this -- 2012 was not long enough, because it held some of the best days of my life, too. Moments with my mother that I will cherish for the rest of my days. Could I please have a few more days of 2012?... could we double it? Extend it? I'd take a few (many!!!) more days of laughing and cuddling with my mama. I'd feel those overwhelming, being swallowed by the tasks of the day/the to do list again. Just for another conversation. Hug. An I love you moment.
My children were troopers during this year. They were perfect--like supernaturally perfect. So very understanding of me and my tears. Of course, I talk to my kids a lot---deeply. I'm not sheltering them from reality. I mean, come on, they survived a tornado while piled up on top of one another by a creek bank surrounded by falling trees! They understood my illustrations of 'picture mommy in a pool and the water is up to here (raising my hand about six inches above my head). I'm drowning in things to do and emotions. Please be patient with me'. They got it. And they loved me through it all. Supported me and each other.
So, back to the movie, right?!!! A light hearted comedy about a 'moment' every mother experiences. True overwhelming life full of chaos and emotions running rampant all over that failure mountain.
The movie pretty much opens with a mommy exploring her unexplained lack of contentment. That's when my dear 'emotionally observant' son breaks the silence by asking a very dreaded question, "Mom, do you ever feel that way?" (And see, we don't live in the past. We live in the now, so that drowning they were aware of, well, that was then and this is now. No obvious trials or trauma, just the everyday dailies). But, oh that question! How very caring and concerned my little guy was for me.
I want to be honest with my kids and always answer them truthfully (even when it hurts). After the question came a chuckle ... from Dad! He was really interested as to how I'd answer that question. Carefully protecting their hearts, but also being open.
And so I said.... "Yes. Yes, I do. But every mother who cares for her children has felt and will continue to feel, on occasion, those overwhelming feelings and that it isn't about the children or the caring of and for them. It's that 'life' stuff piles up on us. Like a mountain! Fortunately, we can and do see the reward of it all in you~ you guys build a mountain of accomplishment and mommies need to focus on that mountain more!"
And see Mommy...your job, well, yes, it is hard. Of course it is. It's an all day job. Every day and every night. Emotionally. Spiritually. Mentally. Physically. On the clock and on call twenty four hours every day, no matter where you are....constant. We can't turn that off. So, Mommy, yes, your job is hard, but even more important to note is that your job.. I t i s i m p o r t a n t. YOU are important.
Now, sing with me.... These are the best days of my li -i -ife. My li-i-i-i-i-ife......
.............go enjoy a Mom's Night Out!