To the cookie crumbs under my couch

motherhood newborn parenting toddler Apr 18, 2023
Motherhood chaos

To the cookie crumbs under my couch…


Yes, I know you’re there. Just like the missing socks, toy cars, and the long lost pacifier.


Every few months, when I gather the strength and motivation, I move the couch and uncover it’s hidden treasures. Like a journal of my life as a mother, a reflection of the chaos of life, and a reminder of the journey I am on.


Being a mother is all consuming. Slowly and silently it can rob you of yourself. You don’t always notice it at first, and when you finally do, you tell yourself it’s temporary, you place the ‘me’ project on a shelf promising yourself to dust it off in a short while… when it becomes ‘easier’.


See, as a mother, simple things can become complicated, like dressing yourself.


‘ Can I breastfeed in this? Will my belly hang over those pants? Can I bend over in these? Will it show every milk stain?’


To leaving the house…


‘What should I bring? Do I have enough diapers and wipes? Should I bring bottles and snacks? Maybe toys? Is he baby fed enough that he will last the ride? Will he cry when I buckle him in? Where are the kids shoes? What about my shoes? Where is my purse again’.


The daily small things start to occupy all the mind space you had, leaving little to no room to reflect on yourself, your career, your desires or even your wellbeing.


It’s okay, it’s just temporary… It’ll get easier.


Then the toddlerhood years come. The tantrums begin and confusion reigns, picky eating turns the table into a negotiation chamber, and the bathroom an art project.


It’s okay, it’s just temporary… It’ll get easier.


The preschool years begin and with it the activities. Your family van becomes a taxi, your fridge a developmental school ready plan, the attitudes come in, my goodness he’s just like me!


It’s okay, it’s just temporary… It’ll get easier.


The first day of school comes, and with it the homework assignments, permission slips, notes from the teacher and worry about the quality of education. A tap on the fingers for a ‘non-conform’ snack in the lunchbox, a reprimand for a child who got bored in class, and a sad little boy who couldn’t make friends at recess.

We put us on hold, because we believe the cookie crumbs under the couch are temporary. But I know they’re not. You were there 5 years ago and you’ll be there 5 years from now, only the long lost library book will be there with you.


The day when the cookie crumbs will finally be gone, is far away, but sad to think of. That day will be the day that the last of my five will have moved out. I don’t want that day to come for a long time, and that’s why I want to enjoy everyday from now to then.


Cookie crumbs don’t mean I have to be a shell of myself, they mean my time is counted, and I should be the best me possible during these precious years. It’s not a short temporary journey, but a long challenging one.


So why not make it beautiful?

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