Monday, January 16, 2017

My Motherhood is {not} Defined by a Pair of Toddler Jeggings

My life seems to revolve around the kids' clothes. I buy their clothes as they grow bigger. I make their clothes for special events. I wash, dry, fold and put away their clothes as they get dirty. Doesn't it seem like a never ending flow of laundry?! It only gets bigger and bigger and bigger by the day, no matter how many loads are done. Oh yeah, right... I keep buying more... And. cannot forget those outfits and clothes I favor! You know. The ones I feel I need want to take a picture of every. single. time they wear it? Yeah. those ones. They are so gosh darn cute! They should wear it Every Day!! (too much? yeah, too much..) But they are so cute! 

I think it's even harder when those favorite outfits, those favorite pairs of clothes, are hand-me-downs from older siblings. It's as much a favorite then as it is now! And you get to experience all the glorious cuteness again! Like a pair of girl's toddler jeggings. The kind that actually looks like jeans, but isn't. It even had pockets, real pockets, on the back with the word "love" embroidered on them. I swear, it was my go to pair of pants for my middle when she wore that size and by golly, it's my go to pair now for my munchkin too. But gee whiz if I never got a picture of those darn cute pants with 'love' on their little bottoms! Gah, I love them even now!

What happened to those favorite pair of pants? Gone. Vanished! Off the face of the earth! (ok, maybe not off the face of the earth, but it sure felt like it!) I was in a state, looking everywhere. Literally turned the diaper bag inside out, looking for those pants. Could. Not. Find. Them. I was devastated. Seriously, ugly cried about a silly pair of toddler jeggings with the word 'love' embroidered on the back pockets. I try to justify my feelings by saying they are one of the few pairs we have which actually fit. They are one of the few pairs she can wear with everything. But, all that does is make it worse. I become more of a basket case.

How in the world did I end up in such a state over a pair of pants? It's not just the pants! It was a blanket, a pair of shoes, a stuffed animal, a toy car. Something. Something hard to replace. I felt like such a bad mom because there I was yelling, crying, so distraught over a pair of pants. I asked myself how, how could I keep my kids safe and healthy and happy if I cannot even keep track of a simple pair of pants?!?

As I sat on the floor, the contents of the diaper bag surrounding me in the entryway, I realized the absurdity of the statement. My motherhood is not defined by whether or not I've kept track of a pair of pants! How many other items have I lost my cool trying to find? How many other items have I let get to me so much to the point where I feel like a failure because I cannot find them in a moments notice? Why am I letting objects dictate my worth as a parent?

I looked up from my weeping mess on the floor (the Kleenex' adding to the pile surrounding me) and look at my kids. Do they care the pants are gone? no, they care about their mommy weeping on the ground. The baby would rather go naked than wear clothes anyway! They smile at me and ask if I am ok. I'm alright because they are safe and healthy and happy. After all, it was just a pair of pants, right!?!

My house is a mess. Chock full of stuff that doesn't matter, stuff we really don't need. The laundry, be it dirty or clean, scatters it's way across the floor from bedroom to laundry room. I might loose a pair of socks here or there, accidentally leave a spare pair of underwear in the bathroom at the grocery store. Have a shirt fall out of the diaper as I search for my wallet at the gas station. But I can always replace those things. Even if I never got them in a cute dressed up picture I still have the precious moments and memories. I cannot replace my kids. Their smiles are what define my worth as a mom.  They are happy and healthy and safe and they have stayed that way because I focus on them and not the contents of the diaper bag .(hence those lost items!)

You know what happened with the pair of jeggings? I kid you not, it showed up 2 days later. In my son's room. It disappeared long enough for me to have a revelation. I was so upset; I'm surrounded by junk and can't even hold on to a special pair of pants. I needed those special pair of pants to disappear for me to realize where the imposed importance came from.

The pants aren't what was special. My kids made those pants special. 

There will be more things made special because they will make it so. Their smiles, their laughter, their beaming little faces is what will add sentiment to whatever comes next. And, regardless of the endless flow of laundry, I will do my best to remember...

My life is not defined by a pair of toddler pants!