Theo was sick today. Like throwing up every half hour, green to the gills, barely able to move kind of sick. It was certainly a shock for all our systems to see my normally wild and rambunctious little boy lying listless on the couch all day.
I’ve heard people say that you are “in the trenches” when you have a toddler and a baby. Oliver might be 18 months old, but I think we still fall squarely into that category. While Theo spent the day with a stomach bug, Oliver spent his day fussing and crying because he has been on a non-stop teething spree for the past few months. And then the pharmacy where I was supposed to have Theo’s nausea meds filled never received the script it from the doctor’s office. There was an hour of my life, gone forever, trying to track down what happened to it after my doctor’s office was already closed for the day. (Whatever, I’m over it.)
And today, it just felt like the trenches. It felt like I was digging a trench in the rain and every shovel full of dirt I threw out of the ditch slid down to doubly fill the hole I just worked to clear. Know what I mean? In between bouts of throwing up, Theo had a non-stop list of requests, demands and desires for his momma to fulfill. Immediately. On the opposite end of the spectrum were the million little requests that Oliver tried to communicate, but failed. One talks without ceasing, the other tries without success. The combined effort to please them both was a bit mind numbing.
But as I was running around changing sheets every half hour, throwing more laundry in the washer, refilling sippy cups and changing clothes (for all of us), I kind of hit my stride. Sure, it was madness. Sure there were lots of tears (mostly theirs, a few mine). Sure I would much rather have been doing, well, almost anything. But I also had a moment where I was like, “Hey. I’m really doing something here. Like something worthwhile.” Crazy, I know.
For as much as I loved working and as much as I (used) to miss it, nothing came close to the satisfaction that I felt today. I wasn’t just helping clients or managing tasks or trying to meet a deadline. I was taking care of people I love. Like, really, truly-madly-deeply love. I know some people think that staying home or taking care of kids in general is pretty unglamorous and I am not here to argue that point. It’s not glamorous. Today I was not glamorous. But I’ve found a lot of meaning and purpose in this crazy job I call “stay-at-home-mom.” No, I do not believe being a SAHM is my purpose in life. It’s what I’m supposed to be doing right now, but it’s not my capitol “P” purpose for why I’m here on earth. But I am where I’m supposed to be at, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and dangit, I’ve found some purpose and meaning in it all.
Today was not easy, but it was manageable. It wasn’t fun but it was satisfying. It felt good to take care of the people I care about the most. And somewhere in between the laundry, the sickness and the general chaos of the situation, I started to get hungry. Like I thought I was going to die kinda of hunger. So I indulged and made myself a simple but delicious cast iron skillet pizza. And I wish I could tell you I saved half of my 18 inch pizza for my husband. But I cannot. I ate the whole freakin thing. We could say I was stress eating but lets call it what it is; I just really wanted to eat it. (You can find my crust recipe here.)
But back to motherhood.
Being a mom, and heck, I’m just going to say it – being a stay at home mom is the most crazy, wild and wonderful job I’ve ever had. I mean, the pay is total crap and the hours would have Norma Ray standing on the dining room table organizing a Union in no time, but I don’t care. It really means something to me. Pizza, puke and all.