Tuesday morning was rough.
Long story short-John has been hating diapers lately. He goes potty once and then begs to be changed. He was displaying many signs of potty-training readiness, so I decided I’d start a little potty-training introduction beginning Monday.
Well, Monday was a disaster to say the least. But most of the potty training courses said the first day would be, so I was ready to start fresh again on Tuesday in hopes of a better (more accurate) day.
On Tuesday morning, I let our dog, Sadie, out to potty, as per usual. When I let her back in, I noticed she was licking her chops like she’d just eaten but I was barely concerned. If you know Sadie, the girl is an actual trash can. By that, I mean her stomach is far from sensitive. She eats whatever she wants whenever she wants. Blocks of cream cheese off the counter? Yep. Sticks of butter? Yeah. Chicken wings, bone-in? Been there. And it works for her. Nothing, typically, happens.
After I let Sadie back in, it was time to take John back to the potty. James started getting jealous, so I took his diaper off to let him try the toilet, too. I started to think that maybe John would enjoy potty training more if he had James do it with him. The boys ran out of the bathroom and I stayed to clean up for a minute.
When I walked outside of the bathroom, I stepped into pure chaos.
James came running up to me saying, “uh-oh.” And I noticed something on his foot.
“What is that?” I said.
And he lead me, pointing the whole way, to Sadie’s barf puddle behind the couch that he had just run through. Turns out today of all days, something finally disagreed with her.
“OH MY-UH MY-OH MY GOSH!” I screamed.
I quickly ran to get James feet scrubbed clean, passing someone’s pee puddle (with two in undies, it could be anybody’s) along the way.
Then I heard Sadie gagging by the front door and realized she as getting sick again.
“Stay by, mama!!!” I yelled to John, as I dried James’ feet.
I ran them both to their cribs, because this is usually the safest place for them if a (messy) job needs cleaning.
I felt our bathroom was the best place for Sadie because it’s all tile so she could get sick and I wouldn’t have to worry about rugs or carpet or couches.
When all of the little animals and children I’m in charge of were safely contained, I began the work of cleaning. And I cleaned and I scrubbed and I started laundry and disinfected.
I was gone for a short period (you learn to clean fast as a mama) and realized that I did not put diapers back on the boys during all of this. So, someone had peed a very large amount in their crib (I won’t name names).
I put diapers back on them and they continued playing as I worked to get a stain out of the carpet.
Recently, I’ve been reading the devotional Fighting Words by Ellie Holcomb. One day of the devotional focuses on the enemy’s lies and how it’s easy to believe them because the lies sound a lot like our own voices. She encourages catching the lies and then using the Word (truth) to combat them. Since reading, I feel like I make a more conscious effort to catch myself and then stop myself from listening and believing the lies.
As I was on the carpet, scrubbing, a voice kept saying, “I have a college degree. I’m educated. And I clean other people’s poop all day.”
And it was on a loop. Telling me that I do nothing but wipe other people’s butts all day. I used to have a career. I used to be successful. But now this is what I do-I scrub barf out of carpets.
And I began crying over the mess.
The enemy was lying to me-telling me that I was better than this, that I should be doing something “more important” than this.
When all of a sudden, I heard little giggles and screams and four little arms grab me from behind.
“Ma-ma! Ma-ma!” they laughed.
And I stopped scrubbing and I started squeezing my little dudes. They giggled as I gave them bunches of kisses.
And it was God’s sweet reminder that cleaning nasty messes is only a small part of this job.
A big part of this job is giggles and kisses and hugs and cuddles and moments of pride and learning new things and popsicles and hearing “mama” and being their safe space and rocking to sleep and tickling toes and splashes at bath time and reading silly books and making cars go “vroom” and kissing away boo-boo’s.
It can be really easy listening to Satan’s lies. That this isn’t where I’m meant to be, that I should be doing something “more important”, that every task needs some kind of praise or recognition.
When in reality, I was hand-picked for this. Of everyone on this Earth, I was chosen to be their mother. I am where I am meant to be (yes, even scrubbing the carpet). And that truth is way more beautiful than the lies I am often fed by the enemy. There is nothing “more important” than this. Every day I’m doing what God has assigned, designed and created me for. And there is nothing more important than that.
(I can also appreciate the subtle nudge from the Lord that it’s just not the time for potty training. I don’t even know what I was thinking….).