Ornaments, Candles, Tees and More! Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

Today is Monday. On Mondays, I wake up with the determination to get my life together. Everything has gone to you know where in a handbag over the weekend, but Monday is my restart day. Of course, I didn’t sleep last night. My children were all up at 5:30 a.m., and my toddler wants to wear underwear today. It’s starting to feel like I picked the wrong Monday to get my house and life together. 

RELATED: My House is a Mess, But I’m Trying Harder Than You Know

Many moons ago I saw this movie called Kill Bill. If you’ve seen it, then you’ll know the scene I’m about to speak of and if you haven’t seen it, I’m not advocating you run out and do so. There is a part in which Uma Thurman is very badly beaten. She has been through something awful and finds herself in a hospital bed unable to move. She starts to speak to her body, willing it to move. “Wiggle your big toe.” She repeats this to herself in escalating volume until her toe in fact does move. Her toe moves, then her foot, then her legs, and then she escapes the hospital.

That’s me every single Monday. I open my eyes, completely beaten down and broken, and will myself to wiggle my big toe. 

Today, after I wiggled my big toe, I began to knock out one project at a time. Pick up toys, collect trash, laundry, and dishes. I vacuumed and wiped down and then set out to do something about my nightstand.

RELATED: Dear Mama, This Part of Motherhood is Your Beautiful Mess

I have this basket that collects everything. Toys, pacifiers, ChapStick, essential oils, various medications, nail polish, jewelry, trash, earphones, our tax papers, a report card I should have turned in last week, and artwork from my daughter. My life has been collected in this one place, and it made me cry to sort through it all.

All the ChapSticks I’ve bought in an effort to have soft attractive lips instead of these dry, nasty ones winter has given me. Essential oils that were supposed to lift my mood and boost our immune systems. Medicines for all the horrible things my thirties have done to my body. I have pills for depression, my bladder health, aches and pains, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, allergies, sinus infections, and every salve you can imagine for my poor skin. Life is hard, man.

It snowballs and takes me to this place where I feel like I can’t move. 

Today is Monday. Today I face my life one thing at a time. I organize this little piece of my world and go on. I can’t sit and meditate on how I feel about it or how hard it is. I have to keep pressing into today. Today, I put my ChapStick on, rub on my lotions, and take my happy pill. I make my bed and just keep moving.

RELATED: Depression Happens to Stay-at-Home Moms, Too

It starts with my toes and ends with a head decision not to give up. Today I may only get this basket managed but that’s OK. I moved. I wasn’t paralyzed by the huge pile that needs to be done or that blocks my way.

For on Mondays, we start over and on Tuesdays, we keep moving. 

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Shelley McCauley

Born and raised in northeast Florida and transplanted to Minnesota, I am a stay at home mom of four, daycare provider, and foster parent. My faith and my family drive me to get up each morning and encourage me to go to bed early every night. Writing has become free therapy and my outlet to connect with other women.

Don’t Fear the Gap

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Baby lying on mother's chest, black-and-white photo

I was afraid of the gap. You know, the one where you have some kids and then wait several years to have another? That gap. When we moved here, we kept all the baby things because we weren’t ready to say we were done but weren’t ready to start over. Moving to the farm brought wayyy more chores than our neighborhood home and adding a tiny human to that mix felt a bit crazy. RELATED: I’ll Always Want Another Baby There were months of back and forth . . . talk of barefoot baby feet stomping all over this place...

Keep Reading

The Magic of Having Kids Who Still Believe in Santa Is Worth the Christmas Chaos

In: Motherhood
Kids looking at Elf on the Shelf toy

Our elves showed up sometime in the night between Thanksgiving and Black Friday, just as they have every year for the last seven.  All three of our kids had been excited for their arrival, but we noticed our oldest was especially eager this year.  “Our elves come this month!” he announced on November 1, eyes twinkling with anticipation. He counted down nearly every night after, and once they finally showed up we found him in the corner talking to them several times throughout the day.  “How was the trip from the North Pole?” “Man, I’ve sure missed you guys.” “What...

Keep Reading

It’s Exhausting Being a Teacher and a Mom in the Month of December

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom and two kids smiling by Christmas tree

I absolutely love Christmas. In fact, I start listening to Christmas music right after Halloween. I’m always itching to put decorations up as soon as my other family members are willing. I love the magic of the season, the giving and the meaning behind all of it. By the time November begins, I’m ready to take on the holidays in full force as both a teacher and a mom. If I’m being honest though, Christmas as a teacher mama is both magical and downright exhausting. There are parties for both my own children and my students. There are gifts to...

Keep Reading

Being a Working Mom When Kids Get Sick Is Complicated

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom holding baby on couch

I didn’t know what my ringtone sounded like until I went back to work after maternity leave. “You know it’s always on silent,” I would say every time I missed a call from my husband. “What’s the point of having a phone if you never answer your calls?” “Who calls these days? Text me like a normal person!” It was a circular conversation, lighthearted, and not intended to bring about change. He will always prefer to call, and I will always prefer to keep my ringer off. But when I got my first early pickup text from my daycare provider...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, If Something Feels Off, It Probably Is—Trust Your Intuition

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter black and white photo

A few weeks ago, my 7-year-old daughter was playing at a friend’s house when she messaged me on her game tablet to come pick her up. I didn’t ask why I just went to get her. I asked her once she was home how it was, and she told me she had a weird feeling and she was just “trusting her guts,” which I loved hearing her say. Apparently, her friend had a bunch of extended family show up at the house that we were unaware of. She is extremely outgoing, friendly, and confident so she thought nothing of listening...

Keep Reading

What Single Moms Really Need

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mom holding toddler on hip outside on dirt road

No, you’re not a single mom for a weekend. I’ve heard it said at social gatherings, in passing at church, and on social media. Perhaps the words are being uttered in a state of awe as if comparing themselves to valiant warrior princesses, knights in shining armor, heroes.  Usually though, it’s an under-the-breath complaint about being left by their otherwise attentive and loving spouse for the week or weekend. “I’m a single mom this weekend; my husband is on a golfing trip with his brothers.” “My husband is away for work, so I feel like a single mom this week.” ...

Keep Reading

I Love You At Every Stage

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three children at park, color photo

Confession: I love the 1-year-old phase. Our youngest is one and such a joy to be around. He’s still so cuddly, finds such joy in the smallest things, is learning new things every day, and smiles at every little thing his big brother and sister do. I love the 3-year-old phase. Our only girl is three. She has a flair for the dramatic, but she is very forthright with her feelings. “I’m having a hard time.” “I just miss my daddy when he’s at the Fire House.” “I’m a princess.” “God made me beautiful.” She is quick to be a...

Keep Reading

10 Lessons I Hope You Learn Playing Youth Sports

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy dribbling down basketball court, black-and-white photo

Last night was my sixth grader’s last basketball game of the season. He played with many of the same gang of boyhood friends he has known since kindergarten. This year, however, they were introduced to a traveling team, older players, and much stiffer competition than they had encountered in the past. They stood the test and played their little boy hearts out. I am proud of my son, his team, his coaches, and all the familiar faces we came to know in the Greenwood Laboratory School cheering section each week, sometimes two to three times in one week!  Here’s to...

Keep Reading

Having a Late Preterm Baby Is Hard Too

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant, color photo

I see you, mama, who holds her breath while they bag your brand-new baby. Asking “is she okay?” and being met with “everything is fine” when you know that everything is not fine. The baby who was due in just a few weeks. The baby, who just a few hours earlier, you joked “wanted to surprise us early.” The baby who was fine on the monitors just minutes before. I see you, mama, when they tell you they are transporting your baby to the NICU. The baby you held for five minutes before they took her to the nursery for...

Keep Reading

You Gave Him So Much More than a Haircut

In: Child, Motherhood
Baby boy with long hair, color photo

“Thank you for cutting his hair,” I’ve told Emily many times in passing, or lightheartedly over text. I wish I could show her what it actually means in my heart. “I’ll go in by myself,” he says. Instantly, my mind flashes from the achingly handsome 10-year-old standing in front of me to the toddler he once was. I see his 2-year-old self standing before me in our mudroom. Fresh from Kids Cuts, a soggy sticker on his T-shirt that reads “I GOT MY HAIRCUT.” A red and blotchy face from crying, eyes swollen. The buzz cut was the quickest way...

Keep Reading