What Did I Do Today?


     I was attempting to get in some writing time a few evenings ago. Little Man thought it should be play time. He climbed up next to me and started a dueling game of peek-a-boo. When you're that cute and sweet Mommy gives in. Not much writing was accomplished.

     This is why I spend all day doing things and at the end of the day I wonder what I did. The majority of my effort doesn't exactly leave tangible evidence.

     So at the end of the day, when it is quiet enough for me to think and survey my surroundings, I see what did not get finished or even started. I see the dirty dishes in the sink, the remnants of dinner still out on the stove, the trash that hasn't been emptied, the floors that are sticky/crumby, the bathrooms that could do with a wipe down, the fingerprints everywhere, the toy piles, the laundry heaps, the muddy boot prints on the tile, the kiddos who are a disheveled mess, Hubby's lunch for tomorrow that is not made...all the things. And then I start to total up my day. What did I do? I know I was busy all day. I know I did things. But it looks like I've been AWOL. What did I do? I don't see it. What did I do?

     Today I was tired of the same old refrain that I parrot to myself, "What did I really do?" I was tired of feeling in my heart like I had not accomplished anything when I knew in my mind I had been busting my butt. So I made a list of the things I do on an average day that I am not able to see at the end of it.

     I hug Hubby bye before I can even open my eyes. I pray, spending time with the One who just wants me to be near Him. I stumble through my morning ablutions as fast as I can, hoping to be somewhat presentable before the littles derail my bathroom time. I give morning kisses and hugs and more morning kisses and hugs to people who do or do not want to wake up. I wash sleepy faces, comb hair, brush tiny teeth, and dress wriggling bodies. I tell Little Girl that pj day was yesterday, and today we really do need to put on clothes because we are going out. I feed or make sure someone else feeds our pack of wild dogs. I make breakfast, plead with them to eat it, then clean them up and the kitchen too. I teach school lessons. I get frustrated so I take a break and beg God for patience and softness. I teach more school lessons. I try to distract Toddler from destroying all the school books. I do the whole lunch thing which is strikingly similar to the breakfast thing. More cleaning. I silently ask God for more patience and softness. Tickles. Playtime. Pollys, ponies, puppies, Barbies, trucks, trains, dinosaurs. Scraped knees, stubbed toes, more hugs and kisses. Sibling squabbles, snits, and outright fights. Time outs. Hugs and kisses. Ooohing and Ahhing over dandelion and clover bouquets. Errands out and about (the pandemonium of which is material for an entrie blog post itself) Everyone wants food again. Why??? I silently ask God for patience and softness. Snacks. Clean up. Dinner prep. Another huge mess. And then that is the picture I am left with for the night. Complete disarray. And no evidence of anything substantial. 

     But what if I hadn't done all that? All the things that came before dinner?

     When my day is full of things that do not automatically present themselves as posters of accomplishment I kind of lag. I have to remind myself that I am doing important work. This list isn't so I can pat myself on the back or even ask anyone else to. It is so I can remember the value of what I do and keep doing it. My work is ephemeral and hard to pin down. It has results but not ones I can always see or prove.

     Mommies. Please stop asking yourself what it is you do. It's very hard to explain and even harder to see. So don't waste energy trying to justify it to yourself. Just do what you do. Do it with grace and love. Keep doing it. Your family needs it all. You'll see one day. And God sees even when you don't.

Love and hugs!!!

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