I had a good day today. I actually woke up on time this morning and got some morning prayer in. I got Gabriel to school on time. I made it to the gym. I played outside with the girls, and read them a book about princesses. I microwaved chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese for lunch, and threw some salad and ranch dressing on the plates to make me feel better. The girls took long naps this afternoon, and I got most of my chores done for the day. I (gasp!!!) wrote this blog post. My aunt and uncle stopped by with my grandmother and I made them brownies and coffee and we visited.
It’s been a nice day.
I’ve been thinking lately about how infrequently I tell my husband if I’ve had a good day. It’s almost like I am scared to do that sometimes. And I’ve talked to plenty of friends who admit to the same thing! I think I can safely start to unpack this little mystery with a couple of good guesses.
First, I just don’t have a lot of wonderful, smooth days with the children right now. I don’t have to remind any fellow MMSC (Mothers of Multiple Small Children, and yes, I made up my own acronym) out there that there always seem to be at least a few ugly moments with little ones during the day, no matter how early I get early, or how great my prayer time goes, or how organized and on top of life I am. There are some entire weeks that I discipline one or more of the children every five minutes while they are awake. You know those days. Days filled with normal, small-children problems like whining, grumpiness, refereeing a silly toy dispute that got physical, and teething babies wailing constantly when they’re not on your hip, and supposedly potty-trained youngsters who suddenly begin pooping in their pants again. Don’t get me started on how sometimes you call your husband at 4:30pm with a crying baby in the background (you could have walked out of the room, buuuuttt…) and you start to go on and on about how you forgot to buy one of the main ingredients for dinner when you went to the grocery store this morning (the kids were SO CRAZY by the way!!) and why don’t we just order pizza tonight?!
It’s just how it is right now, ya’ll.:)
Secondly, I think I have this nagging, oh-so-common-but-deeply-felt suspicion that I am misunderstood, and that the world and even my husband don’t really understand how hard this Stay-at-home Mother of Small Children Stuff is. Some icky, deep part of me whispers to my heart that if I tell Michael that I had a good day, then he would think my job was easy or (gasp!) fun. (Can anyone else smell Pride Issues from The Depths of You Know Where?!)
But seriously, when would I be satisfied that my husband-or anyone else for that matter-gets it? If he shouted out my praises from the rooftop? Wrote an op ed to the newspaper about how mothers are under-appreciated in our society? Or came home from work one day and immediately pushed me out the door to go to Eucharistic Adoration, dinner at La Madeleine, and a homemade gift card for One Full Weekend of Sleeping In?
Hmmm…that last one just might work. (cough*, cough*)
The truth is, sometimes it is an act of humility and bravery to admit to ourselves or others that we have had a good day.
And the truth is, MMSC have some nice days every once in a while. We even sometimes have a little fun. In any case, if we have our heads on straight even just a little, the irresistible adorableness of our small ones makes us at least smile many times a day.
Another point that has been on my heart lately: On the marriage end, who out there can’t wait to come home to somebody who never has a good day? Not me. Not my husband.
So, I have been working on being more positive when I’m talking to Michael about the children or just about my day. I think that we have to be brave, and hopeful, and humble, and make a generous, good-hearted effort to be positive about our motherhood where it’s merited. Maybe then, when I actually have a Very Bad Day (or week or month), perhaps Michael will have a more accurate radar of when I really need him to be my hero. I think lately he has known I needed some extra lovin’ actually. I want to include a praise report for my good husband. He has been so sweet to me these past few weeks. Flowers, chocolate, general helpfulness, cheerful service, patience with the kids…he’s been amazing. 🙂
I don’t know if all of it stems from me being kind of a wreck last month with our wild children and life in general, making him realize a real need to step in and pamper his Fragile Wife….or if my Brilliant Idea about being “more positive” (which I really have been trying to do) has worked some marital magic. In either case, I have been very grateful for him lately. His goodness has had the effect of giving me even more courage at the end of the day to admit to him when the day has been rough or kinda-maybe-a-little-bit nice.
Peace be with you! And may each of us open our hearts to learn one day how to find joy in “this, [the] day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad!” -Psalm 118:24
Oh, and I thought I should include some evidence that I do truly have good days once in a while. As long as I’m being brave and admitting to it and all…:)