Almost every week, a mom at karate tells me, “Oh wow, you look tired. Rough week?” Seriously? Who just comes out and says that? (Don’t judge her though-she’s actually a very nice person except for this one harsh, but incredibly accurate comment she keeps throwing at me).
Well, guess what Lady? I am tired. It’s Friday evening. I drove ½ hour to get here and have been sitting on this hard bench for 2 hours waiting for 2 of my kids to be done with their classes. All the while I’ve been trying to occupy my other 2 kids in this cold, hard benched, no toys, nothing to do waiting room.
When my karate kids are done, I’ll drive the ½ hour back, feed the kids dinner, break up a couple fights, wrestle tablets and video game controllers out of their hands, and hand them off to my husband who will put them to bed.
Then I’ll clean up the kitchen and maybe fold some laundry. Once that’s all done, I’ll finally sit down to relax.
But for now, I’m sitting here at karate where I can almost see the the light at the end of the tunnel of another crazy, busy week with this woman telling me I look tired.
After a week’s worth of cleaning, making lunches, working, volunteering, loads and loads of laundry, more cleaning, cooking dinner, refereeing sibling squabbles, helping with homework, taking kids to and from activities, I am tired. Karate is nearly the last thing I have to get through before the weekend, sitting here on this bench, trying to solve this damn sudoku puzzle, waiting for class to be over so we can finally go home and enjoy our weekend when the tornado of busy finally dissipates.
This is a busy season of life and and I am worn out. I’m tired because I’m doing all these things but I’m not tired of doing them.
I’m tired of driving to gymnastics, and dance, and karate, but I love watching my kiddos master a new skill.
I’m tired of doing laundry, but I love their cute little clothes.
I’m tired of rescheduling work, but I love that I get to be the one person they want more than anyone in the world when they are sick.
Thinking about all the work I do in a week reminds me how much I’m kicking butt at this motherhood thing.
Even the days I’m not perfect (which is every day), even the days I don’t cook meals from scratch, even the days my kids pick outfits out of a clean laundry heap, even the days I lose my temper, even the days I forget to send in the field trip permission slip, I’m still doing a great job. Because I’m showing up.
I’m waking up every morning and trying again. In the whirlwind of schedules and appointments and activities and chores, I’m doing my best to keep up and loving on my kids. What more is there?
If I had to choose a different life, where I wasn’t so busy and I didn’t look tired, I wouldn’t. I know that a different life is coming for me. In a decade my kids will be grown and most likely out of the house. I know I’ll miss it. I won’t be busy, but I’ll sure be lonely.
Normally when I hear, “You look tired,” I feel like that’s code for someone telling me “You look old,” or “Yoga pants again, Anne?”
This Friday I hope to take it as a compliment. This time I want to hear it as, “That was some expert level parenting this week Anne!”
And, I’ll take the “You look tired” as a nod to my kick ass parenting.
This post originally appeared on Once Upon a Mom