On having it all and a belated Mother’s Day

On having it all and Mother's Day - www.alliepottswrites.com
Image courtesy of http://www.unsplash.com

The hubby and I have been flirting with minimalism for some time. I say flirting because while we both find the idea attractive, and would absolutely love to get to know it better sometime, it’s just not something we feel we can commit to at this moment, especially as, with two kids under 10, it is next to impossible to keep the ‘things’ from piling up.

There’s the ‘thing’ the youngest made in school – a small clay pot with uneven sides or the hand-drawn book he made describing how a bed is made. There are the ‘things’ the eldest collects – rocks that catch his eye or the projects he completes in cub scouts.

Clicking on the image will take you to an affiliate link

Those things, at least, have sentimental value even if they take up space, but then there are the other ‘things’: the plastic characters that come with fast food kids meals, the Legos they use to build a model once which later magically transform into multicolored landmines to an unsuspecting parent’s foot, or the toys which cycle through their favor – one minute they are taking up space in the corner, the next minute (which usually coincides with you eyeballing them for a garage sale) they are the be-all-toy of all-consuming obsession.

Their ‘things’ can be a tad overwhelming at times.

Then I came home from lunch on Sunday and found the floors were cleared and all the toys had been put away. It was all I could want for Mother’s Day.

Better yet – I hadn’t needed to ask.

A friend of mine recently brought my attention to an article featured on the Huffington Post entitled: “Why Women Are Tired: The Price of Unpaid Emotional Labor” by a person known as Psyched in San Francisco. The article, which describes one woman’s request for a professional house cleaning as a Mother’s Day gift, goes on to detail how her well-meaning other half missed the point of her request. She wasn’t looking for a clean house, though that was definitely a plus. What she wanted – was a break.

It reminded me of the old analogy of a person looking for a drill in a hardware store. The person isn’t there to buy a tool, even if that’s what it appears to an outsider. The person is really in the store because they need a hole.

The author of the article made a point to say her husband was a kind and supportive partner. He wanted to do the right thing. He wanted to make her Mother’s Day. His mistake was simply not understanding the requested gift’s true value.

Has my other half been sneaking a peek at my browsing history and whispering suggestions into my kids’ ears? Perhaps, but in this instance, I’m not complaining. I simply enjoyed a couple hours off duty. It may not come again for some time.

Yep – this looks about right (Clicking on the image will redirect you to an affiliate link)

Another friend sent me a piece from the New Yorker: “I am the one woman who has it all.” by Kimberly Harrington. By its title, you might think the piece was a judgmental essay about a woman who has chosen to continue to work after having children, when in fact it is an all too relatable (and funny) summary of all the many reasons a mom might actually want a break from it all, if only for a single day.

After reading the piece I now understand I’m a woman who has it all too, but that’s okay. I know it is worth it in the end.

I like to think it’s made me a better person as well as a better mom. I certainly appreciate my own moms more now knowing what shenanigans my siblings and I put them through.

I’m okay with the bad – the mess, the stress, the never-ending head colds – provided it continues to be outweighed by the good.

I tell myself that one day I will come home and there will be no mess to clean – my boys will be out in the world on their own – and so I accept the things around my home for what they are, proof that, for this moment, that time is still far from now.

I’m okay with having it all.

Just as long as ‘having it all’ comes with the occasional unexpected house cleaning and maybe…, just maybe… a couple hours off and a bottle of wine (or two).

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to the moms out there.




17 thoughts on “On having it all and a belated Mother’s Day

    1. All I asked for was a hand drawn card, so it was a real treat. A couple days later their cousin came over and I heard my eldest ask her to pick up her mess as he’d just spent so long cleaning. I’m pretty sure I heard angels singing.


    1. Cleaning out my office ahead of my job change definitely got me to weigh whether an office thing was worth taking up space in my moving box, so I can totally imagine what you are going through.


  1. And a super belated Mother’s Day to you! I got to sleep in on Mother’s Day and I didn’t realize it until I’d woken up. My hubs had managed to get the baby down for his first nap without me. I didn’t wake up until the baby did. Wow. That was all I needed. Also, I remember reading that first article you mentioned. It bothered me b/c the wife should’ve just told her husband what she really wanted. Men and women don’t think alike, and men can’t read women’s minds. They would’ve avoided confusion and conflict if she had just been direct. Having written a book about marital communication, that article got my back up a bit, though it still had merit it other ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I totally agree she could have handled it better, but agree with her point that certain tasks have a deeper energy drain than they appear on the surface. Like mowing the grass. My husband takes care of that for us which is hard work by itself, but he also has to maintain the equipment, store it the mower, winterize it, fertilize the yard, but not too much, aerate it, and occasionally reseed it, which requires planning, reviewing vendors, and all the same things the author cited in her example. Which is why it is so important that both partners understand that the other is tired.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sigh – you mean there might be no end to the laundry?!? There goes one dream… I made it through the first week of the new job. Learning quite a bit, but there is a lot to take in.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.