Mom life is both enormous and tiny. It's everything and nothing all at once, paired with a sippy cup of curdling milk that’s hiding under the back seat of the minivan.
So sometimes, it’s the simple things that get us through. Those tiny no-big-deals that bring smiles to our unrested faces.
Here are a few teeny things that can bump a regular day to a next level, heck yes kind of day for this mom:
• Remembering the ice cream in the back of the freezer and managing to eat it without any children butting their little spoons in. I don’t know what goes on in other people’s houses, but in my home, it is inevitable that if I’m about to dive into something delicious, children appear out of nowhere and behave as if they’re dying of starvation. It’s like they have some sort of sixth sense that alerts them when I’m enjoying something too much, and it even pinpoints my exact location. Their superpower is apparently the ability to suck all joy out of sneaky eating time. If I manage to find a delightful food and consume it before being busted by one of my food ninjas, that day becomes most excellent.
• No one is crying. Sh. Do you hear that? Exactly. Nothing. No crying. If this is happening, it’s a stellar day and I’m doing cartwheels. Because my toddler cries about clothes, shoes, food, sunshine, rain, rain boots, the absence of rain boots and the absence of rain. Anything and everything has the ability to garner an emotional response from her, especially if she doesn’t nap. So a day absent of meltdowns is a day worthy of a happy dance. Although my dancing would probably make her cry, too, so maybe scratch that.
• There is time for Starbucks. Whether it be on the way to baseball practice, dance class or the morning commute, any day becomes a crazy good day for this mama when there is time to slip in a caffeinated and over-sugared beverage run. But a word of caution: I’ve arrived late to a lot of events because I thought I had time for coffee and actually did not. So use good judgment. The other moms seem less than sympathetic to your tardiness when you’re slurping down a venti coffee frappuccino and gnawing on a cake pop.
• The kids go to bed without it being a 45-step process. Brush teeth, go potty, read story, sing songs and yell goodnight down the hall three or four times. That should be the end of it, but most nights it drags on much, much longer. My toddler comes into our room at least six times for important reasons like updates on what her stuffed animals are doing, questions about things like whether or not Santa knows how to swim, and general stalling that often fails to even produce a reason. On the rare nights where she falls asleep in less than 10 steps, I feel like I’ve been given a gift.
• Finding a spot in the front of the school driveway without playing the road-rage-inducing game of waiting. I am not a hothead, but I get a little bonkers at after-school pickup. There is only enough curb space for a certain number of cars, yet people park like it’s a new activity they have yet to master, leaving willy-nilly gaps and pulling sideways into spots where their car doesn’t even fit. So when there’s magically a wide open spot right in front of the school when I arrive, all is right in my world.
It doesn’t take much, does it? What are the little things that turn your day around?
Lynn Kirkle is a writer and lives in Omaha with her husband and five children. She writes twice a month for momaha.com, and can be found on Twitter @LAPainter.