A few years ago, I got slammed with a week of staggered sick kids. Patrick went down first, then when he was feeling better, Meaghan caught the same nasty bug, then MB caught it and so on down the line. The constant care and feeding of the patients in sick bay caused me to get behind on the laundry. Wash has to be done around here everyday
and sick kids, as all moms know, create even more laundry and I just couldn't keep up.
There were towels and sheets and pajamas and regular clothes and then, of course, more towels and sheets. Within days, the laundry was overflowing out of the baskets onto the floor. It was everywhere and because the washing machine is in the center of the house, I couldn't just shut the door and walk away. I had to step over it just to get out of the house!
That's a lot of clothing to wash, I would think. I'll get to it. It's just laundry. But in between the sickies and the infant and the toddler, I couldn't get to it. So it grew and grew and grew. By Friday, I was in bed with bronchitis and a sinus infection and the laundry pile continued to morph at warp speeds. On Sunday, I told John, "I give up. If you want to find me, I'll be underneath the endless mound of clothes." It had run me over.
John Duggan came to my rescue. He folded the enormous pile of clean clothes that had been sitting for days. He put the clothes from the wash into the dryer and started another load. Every time I saw him hauling arm loads of clothing, I fell in love with him all over again.
I might just survive, I thought.
And that's the funny thing about motherhood.
Every so often something happens and I get thrown off--maybe it's sick kids, or schedule changes (the upcoming school schedule, anyone?), or a nauseating pregnancy, or a kid experiencing some wacky developmental stage. Whatever the curve ball may be, I commonly experience these all-of-a-sudden moments where I'm unable to accomplish something that was once easy-- like laundry or cooking or talking on the phone or the library or even bathing.
It's weird. It's like a simple, normal everyday task becomes an overnight impossibility.
In these temporary interruptions of services, I have a choice: I can despair or get stressed or panic about my failures or I can even try to force solutions.
(Not that I've ever done any of the above. Me? Please.)
Or I can accept that--at the moment--certain things are difficult for me to accomplish. I can remind myself it won't always be difficult to the laundry (for instance) but it's difficult today and it may be difficult tomorrow as well.
But it won't be difficult forever.
I can assess the situation, looking for that which is beyond my control and that which isn't and I can leave the rest up to God. Moment by moment, day by day I can chose to live in peace and serenity when a rather large, unsightly wrench is thrown into my life.
Kicking and screaming or simply giving up isn't going to help anyone--and it certainly won't get the laundry done.