“Hello, I’m a stay-at-home Mom who did nothing today.
I mean, I got my oldest up, showered, dressed, and fed, packed his lunch and got him to school on time, but I do that every day, so that doesn’t count.
I took my youngest shopping at the dollar store. He picked out his own toy, and paid for it with his own birthday money out of his very own wallet that I got him for his birthday. It was a great first experience learning about money, and he was so proud of himself, but that wasn’t on my to-do list so it doesn’t count.
I also took him to the library. He picked out a book, we brought it home and read it together, but that’s just what moms are supposed to do, so that doesn’t count.
I fed my son lunch, packed his snack, changed his shirt and took him to preschool, but again, every day routine, who counts that?
I took a video call from a friend with an infant. I remember how lonely I was when I was home with an infant. I even made ridiculous sound effects to entertain Baby while her mom snuck to the bathroom for a minute. It was an interruption to my plans; can’t count that.
I washed, dried, folded and put away a load of laundry while the kids were both at school. But I should have done more than one, so that’s a failure. I’m too embarrassed to count that.
I spent some time making calls and sending emails about a charity fundraiser coming up. I’m really passionate about the cause, and help wherever I can. That’s just a silly housewife hobby though. It’s not a real job, so I can’t count that.
I made a few more calls, setting up dentist appointments for us all… But it’s not like we actually went to the appointments or anything… Seems silly to count that.
I picked up my kids from school, checked for notes in their backpacks, praised the timed math drill that came back with a great score, intercepted the uneaten food from their lunchboxes before if found its way into a room it shouldn’t be in, talked to my kids about their day, and cuddled between them on the couch as they did their nightly reading homework, but again, just routine.
I made supper for the family, but it was just reheated from the meal prep freezer meals I had done earlier, so that’s not a big deal.
I did dishes and cleaned up the kitchen, but that’s just the bare minimum expectation. Can’t count that.
I didn’t do anything at all in the evening. Time just disappeared as I chatted with my husband, played a game with one child, listened to a story by the other, prepared bubble baths, and tucked little ones into bed with clean jammies. How is it that I didn’t complete a single chore?
Sometimes I remember life before marriage. Before kids. Before.
Before: when I was out in the world doing things that count.
Sometimes I miss being a person who counts.”
Above was a little something that I wrote over a year ago in a notebook. Sometimes I like to show myself how silly I’m being as a way of changing my mindset. A sort of self-therapy.
The truth is, I really did think that way A LOT as a stay-at-home parent. And now, as a parent who is starting to work outside the home again, I still catch myself thinking this way.
More often than I’d like to admit.
Even though I know better.
And I know I’m not the only one.
Could you do something for me?
Before clicking the next article on your newsfeed, take a minute to call your mom and thank her. Call your daughter or niece who is a mom and encourage her. Do something nice for the young mother with a baby that you see in church or at daycare drop-off.
Because chances are, she has forgotten how much she counts.
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