Reality hit me hard after abdominal surgery. Suddenly, everything seemed impossible and I realized with new clarity why they call it your â€ścoreâ€ť.
I know that moms joke, tongue in cheek, about how hard it is to maintain any semblance of balance between raising kids, caring for a household, and making sure everyone gets fed. That and about eleven billion other things, right? I also know that a lot of us function infinitely better when the kitchen is presentable – and the kitchen sink is clean.
Throw in a core that canâ€™t do much of anything for up to six weeks? Thatâ€™s a recipe for disaster, anxiety, and a kitchen that could be classified as needing a HAZMAT decontamination team.
Thankfully, I have an amazing village.
My husband handled everything for the first week after my surgery. While I donâ€™t remember much of that first week, Iâ€™m fairly certain he did a fantastic job. I do remember that he was ready to go back to work after that, though! Next, my sister flew 2,000 miles to come help out for a week. She cooked, she cleaned, and she helped take care of the kids. She joked it was better than birth control.
After that, I got the doctorâ€™s okay to at least lift my baby girl.
And once my sister left, I relied on neighbors and friends to rescue me from the occasional crisis. Like the time my youngest boy climbed into the crib thatâ€™s placed precariously close to the stair banister. I couldnâ€™t lift him out – and then he wanted to try flying into the basement. Thank the Lord for text messages, good friends who come over immediately, and a toddler who chose this particular instance to listen!
As the days passed by, I found myself living with an ever-increasing mess caused by the simple reality of being unable to do it all – or even very much. Especially since I was still healing from surgery!
As the mess increased, I became both more anxious and apathetic about it. Anxious because the mess was spreadingâ€¦ And apathetic because if there was very little I could do about it, why should I bother doing anything about it?
Thatâ€™s when my village came to my rescue again.
My husband, sister, and friends each reminded me that doing all I could was enough. Some days â€śenoughâ€ť meant unloading 3 bowls from the dishwasher, cleaning up a dozen toys, then taking the kids to get a few groceries before collapsing back onto the couch. And some days it meant all we did was watch Moana sixty-four times in a row while snuggling and eating on the couch.
Each day I tried to do more in some way – and then be content knowing that Iâ€™d reached my â€śenoughâ€ť. Even so, things got harder as the mess once again tried to take over my home.
Then my friend, who totally understands my â€śeverything is okay as long as the kitchen sink is cleanâ€ť mentality came over, did my dishes, and tidied my kitchen.
And every day, my village continues to remind me that my best, no matter what that means, is good enough.
â€śPerfectâ€ť may not be possible in this lifetime. But with some amazing family, friends, and the villages we build for ourselves standing by our sides, I can promise you that happiness is.