As a stay at home Mom, a lot of my time is spent cleaning messes my lovely family members leave for me. There is more hair on the carpet than on the dog. I cannot remember laying eyes on our fridge without it sporting hand prints. Why did I have to have stainless steel again? And why can’t my hubby rinse his daily glob of toothpaste out of the shower? Once I ran smack into the sliding glass door, because it was so clean! I had washed it and had actually stayed ahead of my son’s greasy paws!
If you read this post, you’ll know that there are some other challenges at our house as well. And no, I am neither a saint, nor do I have endless patience!
But I have learned that fretting about these things is a complete and utter waste of time. A few years back my attitude about laundry and housework changed abruptly. Feeling a bit like a slave in my own home, I came upon a thread online where a bunch of women lamented their laundry woes. Kindred spirits! That was until one Mom chimed in with the comment that made the difference for me. She had lost her son, she explained, and would give anything to throw just one more load in the wash for him.
That stopped me in my tracks.
I had never looked at doing laundry from that angle. Instantly I felt ashamed and humbled for whining about something so trivial. My heart hurt so much for her. She would never get to see her boy again. And here I was blessed with mountains of wash to do for my guys.
Indeed, how horrible it would be never to do the wash again for someone you love! Have you ever looked at it from that perspective? I know I hadn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I am not thrilled by the sight of dirty socks strewn all over the house! But I don’t get bent out of shape about it, either. People live here. A few years later, when my husband got cancer my gratitude mindset was reaffirmed more than ever. When we weren’t sure if he would be alright, I was sure of one thing, nothing else could ever matter as much as having him beside me. And that I missed the tooth paste in the shower!
Life is short my friends, why waste it away mumbling and grumbling about the small stuff?
Is it annoying that my offspring cannot leave a freshly washed window without adorning it with hand prints? Do I sometimes roll my eyes at the glob of tooth paste in the shower each day where my hubby sets down his toothbrush? Or when I spy muddy dog paw prints on the carpet? Of course!
But the thought of that mother and her desire to do just one more load has never left me.
Today, I know it will be a good day, if I have our big black furry dog waiting at the bottom of the stairs. He’s old and sick now and his days are numbered. Which makes every moment he is still here so precious. When my son acts like a hoodlum because he doesn’t get his way, I silently bless the fact that he is healthy and vibrant enough to give me a hard time. When I wipe up the spilled coffee on the counter, I know I have a loving husband who often hands me a cup without saying a word first thing in the morning.
Is he not the cutest?
There is so much talk about gratitude these days. Are there a lot of things that could be better? No doubt, but looking at the big picture, you are already ahead in the game of life, if you have access to clean, running water.
These are trying times. So many are often lost so quickly to senseless violence and addictions. Others are taken much too soon by cancer and heart disease or other illnesses. I know there are new Moms, Dads, wives, husbands every day who wish they could do just one more load or wipe up one more spill. You see, when you love someone so much, your heart hurts just thinking about them, those little nuisances are merely reminders they are still with us.
So, I hope the next time you come across a mess one of your loved ones has made, don’t get angry, but consider yourself blessed for having someone in your life to mess it up just a bit.
I’ll gladly take the dog hair, hand prints on the refrigerator and the toothpaste in the shower as signs that I get to be the mother of two sweet sons and wife of a man who has beat the odds. And of course pet Mom to the best dog ever!
Clean the mess and hug them tight, no matter how crazy they drive you, because you never know when they might be gone.
Keep it simple!
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