My 3-year-old pooped on the floor today – on my expensive living room carpet.
There are not many fine things in my home. I shop at my parents or in-law’s for many furniture items. So most of what we have is lovely, but second-hand. I have no complaints about that. I did indulge a few years ago (obviously before having children) on a nice rug.
Today that very same rug was pooped upon, as if it wasn’t expensive, as if I didn’t save up for it, as if I didn’t spend weeks shopping for the perfect one.
As if it was a toilet.
(I know what you are thinking: Why haven’t you potty trained your 3-year-old yet? That would obviously solve your problem … BECAUSE I HAVEN’T, OKAY?)
You may be familiar with this saying from Jewish wisdom, “Keep two pieces of paper in your pockets at all times. On one write, “I am a speck of dust.” On the other, “The world was created for me.” The idea being that the divine and the ordinary are constantly merging.
There is no greater example of the holy and ordinary merging than in motherhood. We devote ourselves daily to the divine tasks of sacrifice, humility, and human-making, all while having poop, spit up, drool, or snot on our hands, clothes and even on our expensive rugs.
Mom, so much of the work you do goes unseen. So for those days you feel alone – when you’re sick of cleaning up after your kids. When you’ve been woken up in the middle of the night for what feels like 100 nights in a row. When they don’t nap. When you’re the only one making sure the craft stuff gets put away. When you bring in the ride-on toys because everyone else forgot to. When you lose your temper and regret it. When you make sure everyone gets dressed. When you change the dirty sheets, brush the teeth, clean the ears, clip the nails and schedule the appointments. When you sacrifice your body and care of your own spirit to take care of little ones. When you serve your spouse, even when you feel exhausted and unattractive. When you plan meals and go shopping all while staying within a budget. When you keep track of the library books. When you sacrifice your wardrobe, your body, your brain and your breasts for children. For those days, remember this:
These very ordinary and unseen tasks are the tasks of heroes. The work you do, the role you play, the woman you are, is sustaining life for your family. You are a superhero.
Your rugs may be ruined. You may desperately need a shower and a vacation. You may feel like a lesser version of the woman you once were. But even so, mom, you are glory and ordinary all at once.
Today, after containing and sanitizing the rug situation, my oldest son tapped me on the shoulder. “Mom,” he said. “I think there’s some orange juice on the floor.”
Well, at least it’s orange juice this time. I can deal with orange juice.
I just finished cleaning up the orange juice.
It was pee.
I know. I know. I need to potty train my kid. I’ll add it to my list of super powers.
Aubrey Sampson the mom of three crazy-hilarious sons, which is also to say that she spends most days in her pajamas drinking entirely too much coffee. On the days she manages to get dressed, Aubrey is an event and retreat speaker, a blogger, and the author of Overcomer: Breaking Down the Walls of Shame and Rebuilding Your Soul (Zondervan, 2015). She and her husband, Kevin, just planted their first church in the Chicagoland area. You can find and follow Aubrey at aubreysampson.com and @aubsamp.