I’ve been doing something I almost never do for the last couple days – I’ve been down on the floor cleaning around the edges where the dust gathers. Just being honest here – this is something I normally only do once every three years when we are getting ready to move out.
Every time I get down on the floor to clean it, I think of my precious mother-in-law. She still gets down on her floor every single time she cleans it every single week. She doesn’t use a mop even for the middle ground. I asked her one time “Why?” She said that she wants to stay young, and getting down on the floor on her hands and knees to hand-mop hurts a lot, but helps her body stay flexible and strong. That’s pretty amazing. And here I am using a super powerful steam mop that cleans everything but the very edges of the floor without me having to do hardly anything.
In fact, my mother-in-law does EVERYTHING “motherly” very well.
Whenever I have surgery on my trachea (which is fairly often) she comes and stays for the week and runs the whole house. I am so blessed by her help! She usually gets all the laundry caught up, feeds the kids three square meals a day, teaches all of the homeschooling and grades all the work, dusts and sweeps and even gets down on her hands and knees to mop my floor and makes the kids keep up with their chores. And cleans the bathrooms I’m not allowed to clean. And I sit on my recovery chair and watch in amazement – because she’s amazing.
And sometimes… (Can I just be really raw and honest here – because I love her very, very much.)
Sometimes, she makes me feel like a bad mom.
Because you know what? When I am fully well and fully capable of doing all that she does — I never keep up the house and do all the stuff that she does when she comes. Not like that.
And I have a lot of bad days, where absolutely nothing gets done and because I feel guilty I yell at my kids, nitpick at my husband and go to bed in tears thinking about what a bad Mom I am and how everyone else could surely do this job better than me.
It’s not a pretty place to be. But we’ve all been there. In fact, my MIL likes to remind me that if she had the kids all the time, she wouldn’t keep up with it all either! She goes home and rests for days after each visit. At the end of the day what we really need is someone to come alongside us and say
“Having a bad day does not make you a bad mom. It will be okay. They will grow up and these temper tantrums will be a dim memory. Hang in there mom. You can do this.”
Because you can! You can do this mama!