Friday, February 9, 2018
I'm in a unique phase of life as a mother. I have three children at home, ages 5, 3, 1, and I have them all day long. 

Olivia missed the Kindergarten cut-off by 20 days, and as she was uninterested in going to a third year of preschool, and as our budget was uninterested in paying for a third year of preschool, we kept her home. The choice was a happy one, as I know full well that school schedules will soon run our lives, and each day that girl goes to school is another day that she flies farther from my nest. I have loved having her home. She is brilliant, wildly creative, and her unending "projects, Mom, these are my projects!" are proof.

Claire is a three-year-old. Beginning and end of story (psych ๐Ÿ˜œ, I can say more). Three is an awesome age and, emotionally, Claire is an easy three-year-old. But three-year-olds are messy with little-to-no-drive to tidy up as they mosey along. They leave trails of their day behind them wherever they go. Markers, clothes, puzzle pieces, baby dolls. You can walk into my house at any given moment, see where Claire once was (there on the ground is her third outfit of the day!), and follow her treasures to wherever she now is (there she is, putting on her fourth outfit of the day)!

Emmy is a nearly-one-year-old, and our newest "big girl" is into it all -- from the dishwasher to the art cupboard and every other organized, should-be-contained space in-between. She is climbing on it all. The chairs, the stairs, the couch. I'm on guard with her always, preventing falls and crashes, bumps and bruises. If I'm really watching and on guard with her -- sometimes I'm turned helping the other two (putting on that dress, or writing that new word), or heaven forbid, I'm turned to sweep the floor.
If you judge my life based off of what you can see, I am never ahead. While the laundry gets folded, the box of cheerios is dumped. While I vacuum up the cheerios, the laundry piles are demolished. In an effort to carve out time make dinner, they paint. After dinner is made, I scrub. Dishes and faces and floors. Between us being here all together, all the time, I live in a relentless mess. Per social norms, it doesn't look like I ever win.

A winner starts and finishes. They see their task, gear up, and run till they've arrived. And when they've arrived, they dust off their accomplished hands, proud as pie, because they have arrived! Students start and finish semesters. Musicians start and finish shows. Corporate attorneys start and finish deals. Business owners start and finish sales. From point A to point B, most professionals start, and becoming winners en route, they finish. 

Except for mothers. Our work is never done. I clean the gymnastics outfit, someone has an accident, I clean the gymnastics outfit. And yet

Was the outfit clean? Yes. A win. 
Did the outfit immediately get dirty? Yes. A loss. 
Was the outfit cleaned again? Yes. A win

I have found relief and joy by breaking out of society's box of success and viewing my work as a mother as circular, not linear. I live in perpetual motion, which is exactly where I dust off my accomplished hands, proud as pie: I am always moving. I start at the top, circle down, and circle up again. And each time I get up back up again, clean it all, and get ready to go, the circle rolls on. Forget the spilled milk on that freshly mopped floor, that floor was freshly mopped.
I'm off to clean the dishes. By 11:00 PM tonight the sink will be sparkling clean. Circle up. By 8:00 AM tomorrow, it will be stacked high with dishes. Circle down. There will be a pan that scrambled the eggs, five plates that served the meal, five forks that fed five mouths, and five cups that let us drink. Because, like every morning, my family will come to the table hungry. 

And, circle up, like every morning, my sweet family will leave that table full.


"Alma said, 'By small and simple things are great things brought to pass' (Alma 37:6). I couldn't possibly have understood this when I was young like I do now. When we look back on decades of life we see that the seemingly insignificant things we do over and over actually weave the pattern of our lives. And if those small and simple things are good, we will end up having lived a fulfilling life -- and that is a great thing!"

- Marjorie Hinckley, my hero


  1. I can't tell you how much I love this! That scripture has been on my mind a lot lately! You put a mother's life and progression into words so well! <3

    1. You're so sweet, Erica <3 (only because I KNOW that mother life so well, haha)! Thanks for stopping by to read, sweet friend. xoxo!!


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