We all have those amazing days where the stars align, we shine, and we go to bed feeling amazing. Today was not one of those days. I woke up after a hard night of running to the toilet every few hours with the stomach flu, to a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old. My two-year-old, who recently bounced back from the flu with astonishing resilience, has absolutely no concept of wiping the snot off of her face. The four-year-old, whose idea of cleaning up his mess is laying a towel or blanket over it, has now taken to sticking his boogers on mom as a fun game. It is not a mystery how I got the flu. What is a question is where my son gets these ideas about cleaning.
My husband was there also, as it was his day to watch the kids so I could work. The difference is that when he works there is no distraction from screaming kids or toddler meltdowns, and that half the time the kids don’t “visit him” while he is working. Despite all of this, we agree that he works Mon-Fri and I watch the kids, and I work Sat-Sun, and he watches the kids. However, I was informed on Saturday that he had to work all day Sunday, essentially taking half of my time to accomplish an extensive list of tasks, during my busiest season of the year. I love my husband, but days like this I want to strangle him. I am also looking ahead to a week of the kids staying home, so we don’t spread the flu. A 900 sq ft house with a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old equates to me being unable to work.
As I work on my laptop late into the night, and my husband sleeps next to me, I hear my two-year-old wake-up and cry out for me. I quietly descended the stairs only to realize that I have to choose between responding to my child’s cry or making it to the bathroom on time. Motherhood is not glamorous. Catching vomit in your hand is not elegant. Wiping snot from another person’s face is not chic. It is in the trenches cleaning up vomit while your stomach threatens to unleash its worst on you, or rocking a crying baby to sleep for what feels like the hundredth time that night, while your measly few hours of sleep slip away to nothing but a fantasy.
Never underestimate a mother. They can work for a tyrant 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, with no appreciation, while also cleaning the house, making sure everyone gets fed, and doing whatever side hustle she can to contribute financially to her family. If you don’t think someone like that can achieve anything they want then think again. Men have built empires on far less. So the next time you underestimate yourself, remember what you do day in and day out, and realize you are a superhero!
So drink a lot of fluids, drag your hot mess to bed, and hopefully catch a few hours sleep. Tomorrow is another day, and if all goes well, it will not involve as many trips to the bathroom.