Like most moms, I do it all. I cook, clean up toys, chauffeur, stay at home, pop into to the office, support, cheer, play, and never take time for myself. My husband's demanding job does not allow me to make evening girly plans, because I can not count on when he will be home to watch Amelia. Going out on weekends would mean rarely seeing him and barely having time as the three of us. So I suck it up and do it all. I get tired and lose all patience; I am a troll when tired. Moving, of course, has put me into an even deeper realm of stress and fatigue. But I trudge through it.
Trudge, trudge, trudge.
Miserable, sore, and troll-like.
Today was an especially bad day. House selling issues, work issues, moving, packing, added to not feeling well and utter exhaustion from the crushing weight of stress on my shoulders... not cool. Not cool at all.
This evening, while I was nearly elbow deep in dishes and suds, she collided into me. Sweet five-year-old Amelia grabbed me tightly around the butt for a surprise hug. She hugged and patted me, then in a sweet voice asked, "Mommy? What can I do to help? I don't want you to do it all by yourself anymore."
I have been too consumed with chores to utter a plea for help. My child did it for me. With all her heart, she wanted to help.
Here comes the lightbulb moment....
I let her help.
She helped me pack up her bedroom. She proudly and cautiously wrapped her self-painted ceramic creations in tissue paper. She strategically placed things in a box to maximize space. She said "goodbye for now" to beloved stuffed animals and toys so we could be ready to move them out.
At bedtime, she thanked me.
SHE thanked ME.
Perhaps it is time to back off a bit as waitress and maid. Perhaps it is time for me to give up some control and let my daughter help. She WANTS to help. She knows it makes me happy; I know now that it gives her satisfaction. She handled breakable items with precision, brimming with excitement over doing a grown-up job. Together, we had fun packing. I was able to get things done without pushing aside her needs for attention. Win-win.
I needed a five-year-old to teach me that.