The laundry’s been put away. Dinnertime is over. The kitchen is clean-ish. The kids are asleep.
Tuesday or Saturday, it doesn’t matter—it’s the end of my day, the part when I’m supposed to wind down. My body is so tired, my brain, my muscles, all of it. I actually picked up my 2-year-old daughter yesterday and could barely lift her off the ground without a struggle. My arms felt like Jell-O and my brain was mush from my countless daily back-and-forths. My 7-year-old has become my daily translator for my 2-year-old. When I have a thought but can’t finish my sentence, she steps right in and fills in the blank. God bless my little interpreter.
Before I go on, understand my two girls are the reason I breathe. But—and let’s be honest—they’re also the reason my body and brain are turning to goo by the end of the day. But do you know what I do with my gooey self every single night? I slither, shuffle, and drag myself to each of their bedrooms and tuck them in. A story-time and rocking later, it’s finally time for me to relax this mushy mind.
I’ve read the stories and delivered the glasses of water. I fluffed the pillows and kissed the stuffies good night. I’ve once again suppressed my tired mom-brain to finish the day strong. As my girls drift off to sleep, I don’t want them worrying if they’re too much for me—or worse, bad kids. Because kids do that, you know.
They’re natural empaths and pick up on our energy in a heartbeat.
My goal of finishing the day strong is the affirmation they need to know they are loved and just as equally important, they are safe, and that I will be always be there for them no matter how I feel. We can’t give our kids everything they want during the day, but we can at least make sure we finish strong together.
There will be unicorn days when everyone eats a balanced meal and goes to bed on time and clean. More often than not, however, days will consist of copious amounts of snacks, dirty fingernails, very creative bedtime charades, and last-minute retrievals of items absolutely essential for a 7-year-old’s bed to be just right. Either way, and always inevitably, the days have a tendency to run together and become a blur, but those precious few moments—when the kids are actually in bed and we’re ending it as a team—are the ones I dearly hope will actually stick with them.
Among my deepest hopes, I want my kids to know that whatever kind of craziness the day holds, mommy’s love is strong enough to cover it all.
Good and bad days will end in hugs. Time-outs won’t last overnight. Irritability disappears as silly story-time voices take over, and lights-out will never be a punishment.
When the story-times fade away and cell phones take over and my girls are old and grown, I hope the memory of their slightly disheveled, well-loved mom shuffling down the hallway in her polka dot bathrobe and house slippers makes them smile and remember a happy, loving childhood. They’ll remember the adoration, no matter how mushy my brain was that particular day.
The bottom line to being a mom: our kids need to know we may be tired, but we will never, ever be tired of them.