Spill Over

I always start my mornings with a child’s face in mine. Sloppy morning kisses, crying baby and obstinate sleepy children begging for more time in the sack. My husband and I corral them and send them on the path for a timely school appearance. My youngest is usually the last to awake.

“Good morning, Pickle”

I scoop him up and pull him in close to find that his diaper has leaked and I am now snoozling (our family word for cuddling) a steaming pile of crap. I am wet and stinky. Regardless, I now have to carefully change a very uncomfortable, discontent child before I can clean myself.

He, as is typical for a one year old, is transformed as I clean him up. He goes from crying to cooing and laughing before my eyes. I however, am not so easily changed. I am irritable and did I mention, stinky. I head back to my closet of so many desirable second hand choices and select the cleanest, most presentable and mildly fashionable option available.

Now the gauntlet of motherhood begins again. I am making breakfast, ordering up a packed lunch, chugging coffee and remembering the responsibilities of others as I go*. School drop off, childcare drop off, office detritus pick up and off to the office. The office is where I begin to shove a full time job into fifteen hours and many more while trying to be a good mother and wife at home. Self-employment can be a bear.

I strain myself not to let all of the responsibilities that take my breath away affect the way I treat my children. I want their lives to be about building character and getting an education. Sometimes, those lessons become speed bumps on the way to my ultimate goal of being able to handle it all. Unfortunately, every once in a while, a child gets run over.

This is the spill over. This is the plate that your mother and wife has packed so full that there are now side dishes laying on the surface of the table. This is not a cup filled with peace and grace. It is a plate of Oliver Twists’ gruel and I can’t stop asking for more.

Every year I learn that although my life demands that I keep a fast pace I choose to compete at NASCAR speeds. I feel an obligation to participate. In the quiet times, I know that my compulsion is about my own vanity. I want everyone to know that I am capable and good. Do I know it? Can I be satisfied with knowing my limitations and accepting them?

Decisions need to be made and a new pace needs to be set. I know it. Sadly, I always know it after I have already begun to under achieve. You have to admit it’s bad when your husband says, “You are a better mother than that.” Thanks honey. It’s time to clean my plate.
*My husband helps with the morning routine because I am spoiled and he knows that if I have to leave without my hair and make-up done there will be consequences. Dire consequences. :)

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