Mother of the Year?

3 Feb

The most dreaded sound in the world has to be the dull clink a pacifier makes through a baby monitor as it flies out of the crib and lands on the floor. This sound is usually always followed by crying. That is what woke me at 5:46 this morning. Hearing running water in the shower made me realize that this early morning baby situation was all me, Ryan was unavailable. I rolled out of bed and stumbled down the dark hall tripping, of course, over the vacuum cleaner that was still lying around from the day before. Not wanting to give Abigail any hint that it was anywhere near a reasonable time to wake up I left the light off and began my usual routine of getting down on my hands and knees and running my hand along the carpet next to her crib, hunting for the missing paci. When it became clear that the pacifier hadn’t hit the floor I looked up from my all fours position and saw it resting in the crib. Abigail stood watching me as she gnawed on the top rail of her crib, one part hamster, two parts cuddly baby. I reached through the crib slats and grabbed the pacifier. Success! I had found it quickly enough that I knew Abigail would soon be drifting back to dreamland – and so would I. But, my arm was stuck. Yes, my friends, I had managed to stick my entire arm, including elbow, through the slats in the crib which was a ridiculously stupid idea. Why didn’t I just stand up and reach down into the crib like a normal person. I’ll tell you why. Because getting my arm stuck would solve this problem so much faster! Calmly I tried to pull my arm out by moving it it up or down the slat, but what do you know the slats are spaced evenly apart. I then tried to contort my arm into an assortment of odd angles to pry it out. That didn’t work either. Time was ticking. I had to get this arm out and fast because this is the kind of thing you don’t live down if your husband sees it. So I gave my arm a good final yank and out it popped sending me tumbling backwards. It did not feel good. But I sucked up the pain, handed Abigail her pacifier, laid her back down, and made a beeline to my bed. I held my breath and waited for the crying to start pouring out of the monitor, but it didn’t. YES! I was just about to fall back asleep when I heard the drawers in the guest room dresser opening and shutting frantically. (The guest room is down the hall and just happens to back up to Abigail’s room.) I had time to ask myself what in the world Ryan was doing making all of that commotion when the crying spilled out of the monitor again. Darn it! “Hello awakey-pants!” NOOOOOOOOOO! Ryan walked back into the bedroom holding Abigail and I immediately asked. “What was with all of the racket in the guest room? You woke up the baby!” “I had to pick out a t-shirt because I don’t have any clean white undershirts.” Oops. “Well, you DO have clean white undershirts they just aren’t DRY* yet.” (*For the record. I had washed the shirts but I’m still training them how to put themselves in the dryer.)

At this point, I should have just gotten up and started our day. I know that and I wanted to. I really did. Just the previous week I had been on the verge of a mommy meltdown. It felt like all of the chores and obligations in my life were piling up into Mt. Impossible. I didn’t even know where to begin. Piles of laundry and long lists of everything that needed cleaning, plus a baby who wasn’t napping much at all just was too much. It took a trip to the grocery store by myself one evening and the biggest bear hug Abigail could manage when I returned for the stress in my life to wash away. That little hug changed my attitude in a big way. I knew that as a mom I was doing just fine. My child was loved and she knew it. And isn’t that what it is all about anyway? So I decided to start appreciating the chaos that seemed to be my life. There would be time for long showers and a tidy living room later. I knew that this mess was something to celebrate. I took inspiration from my sister-in-law who documented just that – she made a book of all of the special moments both big and small that she shared with her family for a whole year. I wanted to do that, too.

So I ordered a “Project Life” kit off the internet and called my sister in law. She was going to do one, too, and together we would motivate each other to stick with it. Immediately she started sharing some blogs that had some really good ideas. One happened to be called “Super Organiser Mum.” I casually started reading about her approach to tackling the project and then drifted over into other sections of her blog. Each section more perfect seeming than the last with ideas and photographs to match. I had to get off the site. Each posting made me feel more and more inadequate with questions swirling in my mind about how she manages to make homemade candies and have perfectly coordinating everything and keep her khaki living room spotless all while blogging about it.

So you can imagine that I was definitely thinking of “Super Organiser Mum” when I hurridly changed Abigail’s diaper and slipped her back to bed just as Ryan left for work. I knew “Super Organiser Mum” was up writing her acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, but I just needed a few more minutes. When I finally did get up at 7:00 I knew I had some major catching up to do. I fed Abigail and put her in the pack-n-play while I cleaned the downstairs bathroom, vacuumed and mopped the floors, and folded a load of laundry. Take that “Super Organiser Mum!” I was feeling pretty great. I took Abigail out of the pack-n-play and she was off and crawling around. Before I knew it she had gotten over to her high chair and pulled herself up. She’s so awesome, I thought. Oh, and did she just eat a leftover banana from breakfast off of the high chair seat that I had forgotten to wipe down? Why yes, yes she did. And although I knew “Super Organiser Mum” would never have forgotten to wipe down her kids’ highchairs I didn’t care. Because I’m happy with just being “Mum.”

7 Responses to “Mother of the Year?”

  1. Carole Calle February 3, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    We love this. Ed wants a copy of your book when it comes out. We love you and miss you. Sorry we didn’t get to see you when you were here.

  2. Becky Williams February 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Sarah you are on awesome “Mum” and you already know what is really important and clean floors and wiped down high chairs are not the most important things to be a good mother and wife. It will make Ryan happy to have a clean undershirt in his drawer though(lol)but I’m still working on this one and I’ve been married almost 28 years! Keep doing what you are doing! Love you!

  3. Heather Knapp February 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    Ok. Here is the thing. Is she really that perfect or does she kill herself to get her house perfect before she snaps a picture and while she is scrambling she misses the fact that her baby ate a still perfectly good piece of banana off of the high chair? Enjoy the moment. The days are long but the years are short. Neither Ryan, Abigail, nor you will look back and say “Man, my Mom/Wife sure could clean” but they will say ” my Mom/Wife was so fun and relaxed and we got to do great things together like give bear hugs and eat gross things”. Please remember that the whole point is to remember those everyday things not the perfect moments because if you are anything like me, your book would be blank. Love you and I think you are doing an outstanding job!

  4. Heather Knapp February 3, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    I just realized what Smush had on in the picture for this blog title – love it!

  5. Kelly February 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Love this! I was cracking up seeing you crawling across the flower- like some Ninja….THAT’S MY GIRL! Great meaning- you gotta be ‘tha mama’ – step on anything else. Yep- white T-shirts included!

  6. Sarah February 3, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    Love you guys. You are all examples for me of what a great mother is.

  7. amy February 6, 2011 at 12:42 am #

    I can remember when the girls would fall to sleep in my arms I would almost have to become a contortionist to get them laid down without waking them up. What we wouldn’t do for a little extra sleep!!!!!!!!!

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