Sunday, March 1, 2015

When You Ask Me What I Did Today

It’s the same routine day after day. You call me when your work day is done and ask me “How was your day?” “What did you all do today?”

I always answer the same, in a way that makes absolutely no sense. It doesn’t matter if it was an errand, a play date, trip to the playground, MOPS or school, I always mention whatever activity we did out of the house first. Then I follow it up with something like “we just spent the rest of the day at home, you know, a normal day”. 

If we didn’t leave the house at all I usually say something like: “We just stayed home today; we didn’t have anything going on.” Or, “It was raining all day so we stayed inside.”

 What is wrong with me? Why I respond in this way bewilders me. These sorts of responses that I give completely undermine what I really did all day, and give you no information about what really happened during the day. 

Me telling you that we went to the grocery store, and then stayed inside the rest of the day because it was raining is like you telling me that you used your windshield wipers in your car on your way to work and then ate lunch. 

I have been telling you the least important aspects of our day. 

Here is the truth: the real, juicy, fruit producing work that happens in my job as a stay at home mom occurs during the 12 plus hours that we spend interacting with each other during the day. That is when the hard, challenging, rewarding, and exhausting work is done.

So husband, I want to change my answer. Do you want to know what I did today?

·         I taught our son life skills. We spent 45 minutes getting ready for the day because he is learning how to brush his teeth, use the potty, pull up his pants, brush his hair and put dirty clothes in the hamper. 

·         I fed him healthy meals. I entertained him by playing hide and go seek with Elmo, while eating my breakfast and making him breakfast.

·         I played the same, boring, mundane game over and over again (you know the one). I did it with a smile and used my imagination to spice it up and make it even more fun for him.

·         I was challenged mentally and emotionally as I stood, facing the kitchen sink, pretending to ignore his temper tantrum. I prayed and reminded myself that it was the best thing for me to do as a parent, all while being tugged at the heart strings and second guessing myself.

·         I cried. My heart felt heavy and my eyes filled up as I watch our sweet one wipe the last tear from his check and decide on his own he was done with the tantrum. I pretended to go to the bathroom so he wouldn’t see me cry.

·         I was a teacher: We read books-lots of books, counted numbers, drew pictures, problem solved, and explored.I spent time preparing educational activities.

·         I hugged, kissed, cuddled and showed him as much affection as he could stand.

·         I made our home safe, warm and loving. It’s my job to make sure he isn’t exposed to anything inappropriate, scary, or harmful. This means that I refrained from turning on the TV or listening to anything other than Christian, classical, or children’s music.

·         I responded to e-mails and texted with my sister while playing with play dough. I then once again felt guilty for not giving him 100% of my attention (it’s a constant battle).

·         Most importantly, I had another day with our son to teach him about Jesus. I had another day, here on earth with our little miracle, using every tool in my box to make sure someday we see him in heaven. I spent my devotional time, my shower time, and my washing dishes time praying for our son, our marriage, and for you. I prayed for your safety, and for our son’s future wife. I prayed for your happiness, and for our son’s health. I prayed for my parents, I prayed for your parents. I spent our son’s nap time writing articles that would inspire women to know God and then spent 45 minutes folding laundry, eating lunch, meal planning, and cleaning toilets. 

Maybe that is why I answer so simply and shortly.  How can I possibly put into words all that I did? I did so much and half of it is too detailed and complicated to explain after a long day. 

I know you value, appreciate and know how hard I work at my job. Seriously, I could not ask for a better cheerleader than you. You thank me all the time for what I do at home and I appreciate that. Sometimes though, I need to remind myself, that my day was so much more than going to the playground for an hour and getting our dog’s heart worm medicine on the way home. 

Some days, for whatever reason, I might give you a short response. Now you know, those were probably the hardest days where my heart and mind were heavy and I can't wait to see and kiss... you.

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