The Little One’s last day of school was yesterday, and (as I mean-spiritedly tweeted) my life has taken a turn for the worse. Nothing like the “thrill” of endless hours of togetherness to push a relationship to its limits. As we were eating lunch today, the following “prayer” popped into my head and I knew I had to write it down.
A Prayer for the Stay-At-Home Mom During Summertime
This summer, God grant me the serenity to:
- let my child spend 20 minutes making his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch even though my hands are twitching to grab the knife from his hands and do it myself
- teach him how to do his own laundry (even if that means tossing wet clothes into the dryer for 10 minutes and missing 45% of the shots)
- say nothing when he helps clean his spot at the table by brushing all the crumbs onto the floor
- step over the tiny cars that are spread all over the living room floor and the zoo set up in the upstairs hallway
- tolerate the screaming and shouting of all his friends who come over to play (because then I might be able to sneak in some blogging or reading in between refereeing screaming fights and applying Band-Aids to scrapes)
- spend upwards of $30 a week on drinks and snacks and ice cream for all his friends who come over to play because, darn it, I wanted to be the house where all the kids hang out so I can keep an eye on things
- say “yes” at least once a week to chorus of screams for ICE CREAM FROM THE ICE CREAM TRUCK!!!!!!
- plan, supply and execute a variety of arts and crafts projects, even ones that are very messy
- drag out and set up the sprinkler, slip and slide and wading pool, even though the kids get bored of each one after 30 minutes
- allow my child to push the shopping cart at the grocery store even though it means getting hit in the heels or the butt at least 250 times
- sit through every single kid’s movie we can find at the theater because, hey, it is dark, air-conditioned and he won’t be talking during the movie
- remember that I wanted to stay-at-home because I didn’t want to miss all these moments with him (even though it would be super swell if I could spread those moments out a little more and have some quiet time in between).
Help me to accept wet carpets, spilled drinks, bubble solution that is spilled less than 5 seconds after being opened, endless requests for ice cream, noise levels that exceed 110 decibels and a screen door that is never closed properly and lets in all the bugs!
Give me the courage to look at all the injuries at the children under my care (no matter how bloody or gross), to provide a safe haven for the children who seem to have no adult supervision in their own homes, admire the worms and bugs that have been captured, and deal with all horrifying bugs that appear in the house due to the screen door never being shut properly.
Give me the wisdom to know that being able to stay-at-home with my son is worth more than the loss of peace and quiet and sense of control that I have given up in exchange.