I pushed my hair up out of my face, wishing I could find that elusive pony tail holder, and wandered into the kitchen getting ready to make that first cup of brain clearing wake up now coffee. It was just after six, and my Elijah was already awake as I think he wakes up at the very first sign of light. He’s the one that decides that when he gets up that everyone should be up. He’ll start talking loudly and wandering around making noise – he doesn’t know about the move like a ninja trick that us moms know about in the wee hours of the morning. The dishes were behind again (I think I need two dishwashers), the prospect of snow in the forecast, and I was already getting bombarded with the mom cries.
Mom. Mom. Mom. MOM.
Brew coffee, brew. That was my cry.
That three minute Keurig Coffee Maker was feeling like it was taking about twenty minutes. As I stared at that red mini machine that I purchased for a deal after Christmas at Kohl’s several years ago I thought about the list of everything to do on my list today. Laundry. Math. Taking the recycling out (yeah, it’s on the list). Reading. Really, everyday, ordinary things that I’ve got on the list. And then there was the other stuff. Coffee date. Write two thousand words for my book. Finally move the bag of donate clothes from the door by the garage to the pile in the garage and actually call to have someone pick it up. That last step is often the hardest.
Mom. Mom. MOM.
I am literally a foot away from Elijah. I’m talking he’s so close to me that I could start to count the hairs on that cute little head of his that often doesn’t look as cute at 6:11 am. Sweet, early to rise, boy.
MOM. Can I play the ipod?
Here we go. Big pre-coffee sigh from me.
No, Elijah, it’s morning right now and we don’t play media in the morning.
And with that he crumpled to the floor and the day began. Before that three minute coffee was even brewed and my creamer added.
It’s not too glamorous at times.
The ordinary beauty days are often covered under layers of to-do lists, mom cries, wiping up of spilled milks, expectations, not met expectations, and the desperate quest to find a pony tail to get that unruly hair back. Or, maybe that’s just me. But, I don’t think so. In fact, as I’ve been working on writing my book I’ve come to the realization that often times we feel very much alone in the motherhood journey and yet sometimes we don’t really talk about the tough parts.
Like getting really frustrated when they keep asking for an orange and you’ve said no a dozen times and all of a sudden you have a child throwing a tantrum in the kitchen. Over an orange. Or how sometimes you secretly wish for just 36 seconds where you don’t have any noise at all. Or that sometimes, and I love doing this, instead of putting the clothes in the dryer because you missed the time to switch it, you simply run the wash load again to buy yourself just a bit more time before the folding and putting away begins.
Motherhood is hard in the midst of the beautiful.
Actually, let’s reverse that – motherhood is beautiful in the midst of the hard.
We still have to work – we work at home, we work away from home, we work in the home. And we still have to deal with crumpling to the floor five year olds over not getting an orange or playing the ipod. And we still have all the things that we love to do and it’s this balance of trying to accomplish it all within a world full of expecations, measure ups, and make sure you do this as well.
Sometimes I feel like I want to crumple to the floor too.
And sometimes I feel like I want to pin that superhero motherhood cape on my back and run down the street to the park and scream that today was an awesome and amazing day. Because those happen as well. But most days, most days are just those kind of days where we’re dealing with the dominoes falling and people upset about oranges, and kids fighting over who had the red lego with the flame on the side first, and tantrums on the floor, and knock knock jokes repeated, and no one wanting to do math facts, and you waiting for your coffee (or tea) to brew.
And then every once in a while you get a glimpse of how extraordinary what you are doing when you count to ten and wait for the coffee to brew and peel the 321nd orange in your motherhood days truly is. You get that moment of stepping back and seeing you, seeing you give of your heart – bit by bit by bit – to these little people whose lives will forever be changed by you. Someday you’ll remember how you sat on the couch and helped with a crossword and tried to figure out the words with your nine year old for cashews and almonds without giving the answer. You’ll remember how you sat up at 2 am and rocked your three year old back to sleep after they had a bad dream. You’ll remember.
But you might not see it now. You might not see the extraordinary in the ordinary that you do everyday. And that is normal. That is okay. You and I are in the midst of the journey. In the part of motherhood that is very much the hardest – where the finish line (which sometimes we wish wouldn’t come so fast) isn’t visible and there are a bunch of roads to climb and it’s work and we’re having to herd many along with us.
It’s amazing what mothers do. It’s amazing what you do.
So today, today I lift my cup of three minutes brewed coffee from my Keurig and I toast you, the amazing mother. I celebrate motherhood and in celebrating it I celebrate you.
Don’t tell me all the times you didn’t answer right, do it right, or where you wish you had done it different. I have those as well. But those don’t define the extraordinary. Those are just bumps, bends in the road. It’s the journey put together, the days woven together with tantrums over oranges and sweet moments of holding hands while walking that make a life.
Coffee mugs in the air. To motherhood and all of the beauty in the midst of ordinary.
Now, I’m off to peel another orange…and remember that cheer.
I wish I had read all this when my kids were “littles”! Love reading your posts!!
Beautiful and well-said!
Yes, yes, yes. Love this. I can never get enough of real, uplifting, “this is hard but we can do it” words from mother to mother. Recently discovered your blog and my tea cup raises this morning to toast you in thanks for the gift of your words.
Rachel, thank you for cheering on moms, and helping us to remember how to keep what’s most important in perspective. Your kindness and encouragement really makes a difference 🙂
Rachel, you so get it. All of it. Your words are a reminder that as mothers, we are not alone. You share with warmth and admiration and understanding. I cannot thank you enough — and look forward to the book!
I second that cheer! Thanks Rachel.
PS. I laughed out loud at the quiet for 36 seconds part.
Lol at the running the washer again to buy more time before folding the laundry….I am so guilty of that!! I have even done that twice on the same load sometimes…thank you for the needed laughs and the uplifting words…so appreciated. I read your posts every morning and they help set the tone for my days. Beautiful reminders.
Thanks again<3! Needed this really bad after a week with one kid after another throwing up and keeping me up at night…
I love reading your posts!
Åsa in Sweden
thank you for this post
الموسوعة الشاملة | ازياء | برامج مجانية | صور | تحميل البرامج
Love this post! Rally around the Keurig! So very TRUE! 🙂
Sweet. We all need to be reminded that what we do is important….redundant, but important! My kids are all grown, but I remember those years well. I now help my folks, 89 and 93, and I feel some of the same things. The caregiving, the same stuff daily, the fatigue. Loving the people in our life is HARD, but significant. it’s what we’re here to do.
from The Dugout
Did this really happen to you? Or were you on my kitchen yesterday morning? Seriously. I have the red mini keurig. And while I waited on the coffee, my 5 year old threw himself on the floor because I wouldn’t let him watch Netflix on my iPod. And I was already frustrated, because it was “laundry-palooza” day and I had to start with re-washing the load that I should have finished a couple of days ago. Thanks for the laughs, the encouragement, and what often feels like insight into my soul!!
I think that main pic of Samuel is the best one ever!
Keep your eyes on the Lord! Praying for you right now!
2 Samuel 22:2-3, 7 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. (7) In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.
I love your blog! It’s like you are peeking inside the windows of my home and my heart and writing MY story. I’m not good with words, but yours always ring so absolutely true with me. It’s always a bright spot in my day when I see Finding Joy in my blog reader. I will be on high alert waiting for your book…I have no doubt it will be wonderful and be such a comfort to mom’s all around the world!
Thanks for making a difference in our lives, one post at a time!!
My coffee mug is in the air toasting you right now. Thank you! Please tell us more about your book and ebook. Very excited to hear the details 🙂
I take it you were looking for bugs in the bottom two pics? My husband does that with the grands all the time…well…they have to be here and it has to not be raining…so maybe not all the time at all.
2 Samuel 22:29-33 For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God? God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.
My email address
I’m a little late to the party but your words go straight to my heart. These are the things my inner voice tries to tell me and so it is wonderful to see them written and felt by someone else. And the description of your morning… my life to the tea (or coffee)! I seriously kept LOL’ing.
The lists, the laundry, clothes for donation at the door, the yelling from an inch away from you! We are living in parallel universes. Good on you for finding and using your words lol. As unlike for me that is constantly reminding my 5 year old to, my sleep deprived, low on memory brain does not allow me to remember what I had for breakfast, leave alone write such a beautifully expressed piece.