"I don't know how you do it. You're crazy. Cooking and baking. Taking care of 3 babies age 4 and under. Keeping your house clean. Blogging. Pilates... And painting your toe nails..."
This is my sister's reaction to my teasing her about her toe nails being unpainted. I wiggled my newly-painted toes at her, flashing my summer color of an electric hot-pink and asked her why hers weren't painted. She has a baby the same age as my littlest baby. But she just has one. Surely there's time for painting your toes, right??!!
This little conversation took place a month ago and recently, I've been thinking about my abilities, as they far surpass what I thought I was ever actually capable of as a person, let alone a mommy or "housewife." Not that I'm bragging but I might be patting myself on the back just a tiny bit here. Despite the chaos I so often write about, despite the storm swelling in my head most days (especially on days I don't get a chance to write), I sort of do have it all together...for the most part.
I am a domestic diva!!
But I'm not sure how that happened.
I remember that not too long ago, so much craziness and worry rattled my days as I settled into a completely new life with my husband and a new baby. A lot of the time, I could just do the bare minimum to keep us all alive and relatively healthy and our little condo in some sort of order... okay, we'll just say it was sort of an organized mess. I wasn't sure how to do this "mommy" thing or the "housewife" thing and at that point, I didn't ever think I could really be good at the "wife" thing. I was so young and so much baggage had followed me to this life.
But I started praying more and I started doing one thing at a time. I made charts and lists of things I would do on a certain day. Then I followed them for a week, maybe two. Then I threw them away. Then I would just decide to get at least one thing done each day and from there, things just sort of fell into place. Now, of course, almost 4 years and 2 more kids later, it's especially hard some days to get anything done, as I have written about in past posts. Some days I just make my bed. Other days, I don't even get that done but the kids are fed and happy so surely I must have done something.
And I am a different person than I was even 4 years ago. Things don't seem quite as hard as they did in the past. Adding on extra tasks doesn't scare me the way it used to. I've always loved cooking and baking but it often seemed like a chore I did because I felt I had to. Now, it's more of a calming thing as well as a loving service; baking goodies for my children and hubby just because.
I get up every morning, get the kids their breakfast and go in to the playroom to do a 10-minute Pilates work-out. Not only is it helping me get back into shape but it's time I spend by myself doing something just for me. It's only 10 minutes but I relish it. Writing time, those beautiful coveted moments in which I can have something resembling a little bit of quiet and peace in the house to get my thoughts out, is also something I appreciate. Last night my friend asked me how I really do find the time to write on top of everything else. In jest I asked "if I said that I just let my children run around on their own screaming and killing each other so that I can write, would I be a bad mother?" In reality, I write on borrowed time. I don't know where it comes from. Sometimes I think God makes my days 25 hours long instead of 24 just so I can get a few extra things done. And in those minutes that I have to do things like baking zucchini bread, writing on my blog or in my journal or even painting my toe nails, somehow, the kids oblige me my time and do their own thing...not always but often. And it's through these things that I have truly found parts of myself I did not know existed.
God has really shown me the depths to which I'm capable of extending to, the far reaches of my abilities, the person I truly am and the person He has always wanted me to be; all through my current status in life: Wife and mother. Who cares how it all came to be? Who cares that things weren't always so "perfect" and still are far from that now? All I want, all I need is to continue to follow the path He has laid out for me....which, at this point in my life, leads up my sidewalk through my front door, into a house with 3 children, a husband, work to do, goodies to bake, bills to pay, and yes, even toe nails to paint.