When I went into labor my house was clean. When I delivered my son into the world and waited anxiously to hear his little cry, all my laundry at home was folded and put away. When I brought our precious boy home for the first time and carried him from room to room giving him the grand tour, the bathrooms were sparkling and fresh. With eyes barely open a sliver and his head resting gently on my shoulder, he peered around as I held his wobbling head and said, “This is where you live now.” I’m sure he was thinking, “Wow, mom, what an organized house I’ve come home to. You are so good at keeping things clean.”
Then, a month passed.
The mail pile on the table was taking over, the dust bunnies were starting to grow and the ring in the toilet… you get the picture. Suddenly, I felt like I was not living up to those expectations my 4-day old son had when I first brought him home. Was his little mind wondering “Mom, what happened? Maybe I was wrong about you.”
The anxiety started to grow, slowly at first and then increasingly. I would sit on the couch holding my 7lb son, swaying gently as he slept in my arms, thinking I should be napping with him but just staring at the pile of laundry waiting to be done and the carpet that needed to be vacuumed. It taunted me.
Until, one day, everything changed.
My son, with his bright blue, sparkling, full-of-life eyes, looked up at me with a big toothless grin and laughed. And, I knew, I had a choice.
I could hold on to my little messes, stress about them day in and day out, and sit around thinking my son and everyone I knew was judging me for not having the perfectly clean house I did when I went into labor. Or, I could enjoy this moment, revel in my son’s new laugh and rejoice when he learns to roll over then crawl and walk. I won’t get these moments with him back if I let them go. So, instead, I let go of the little messes, snuggle with my son and get ready to take a nap, all the while saying a prayer of thanks that I’m privileged to be able to make such a choice.