I was having a horrible day the other day, and nothing was going right. I was nauseated from the Fetus That Ate Cincinnati, my job was difficult, my husband's uncle died, my son wouldn't be quiet for two seconds in a row, and my daughter kept pooping her pants.
I was teetering on the edge of that moment where you crawl under the covers and refuse to come out.
Later in the day, a colleague casually intimated that I should have an abortion. (I KNOW!) At home two hours later, my daughter walked into the room I had just cleaned and actually handed me a pair of underwear steaming with fresh crap, leaving a trail of feces on my just-cleaned floor.
I don't think I need to tell you that in that moment, holding a pile of dookie, I was looking directly into the cuckoo's nest.
I'll admit that I shouted a little about what I was holding in my hands. But my daughter and I worked together to solve the problem-- we got her cleaned up. We washed the floor. I set fire to my bacteria-laden hands. (Not really.)
And I did not actually go crazy.
Being a mother, for me, is an exercise in constantly learning that I can. I can, because I will. And I will, because I must. Because my kids' development is really more important to me than having a clean floor. Most days, it's even worth a small shred of my sanity.
I do it because it has to be done, and that is the deep truth of parenting. There are tons of things I don't want to do in regards to being a responsible, supportive parent. I hate potty training, but she has to learn. I hate asparagus, but they have to see me eat it. I despise Chutes and Ladders, but they have to learn sportsmanship and fair play.
I do it because it must be done. And because the end result is worth so much more to me than the relatively temporary frustrations and trials.
I have beautiful, (mostly) well behaved, joyful children who love me, trust me, and turn to me in their hour of need. They are kind to others, independent, and love themselves. They are growing up to be just what the world needs.
Part of it is their own inherent goodness.
But part of it is, because, to my own shock, I have continued to be strong enough to just keep doing.