I clean up toys and read "Three Little Pigs." I nurse the baby. I pick up prescriptions, groceries, and a sick kid from school. I rock, cuddle, and hug. I wipe dirty bottoms and runny noses. I draw little people for my daughter’s taped together paper house. The clock ticks by too fast. I look around at the piles of dishes and mess and think, “I've got nothing done yet." School's out and the older kids are running off the bus and into my arms...or not depending on the child and mood.
Homework battles begin. Baby is nursed. Lunch containers are emptied and repacked for the next day. Permission slips are signed. Laundry is started but not folded, except for the wrinkled clothes that had already been sitting in the dryer for the past 48 hours. Paper is cut by chubby little fingers into dime sized pieces all over my floor. I sweep.
Dinner is mixed, baked, burned, and served on 4 little plates. Food is half eaten, and half spilled. Kids are chased around the house with pajamas in hand. 80 something teeth are brushed...mostly. Prayers are said. Goodnight hugs are given. Lights are turned off. Lights are turned back on, the 5 year old needs to go potty. Lights are turned off again. Echos of children requesting a drink bounce off my walls. Cups are filled, distributed, and then collected. I sweep the floor again. Garbages are emptied. Precious dinner leftovers are dumped into containers. I look around at the mess still out and my untouched to-do list on the counter and think, “I got nothing done today!”
11:00 pm comes. Baby is crying. I hurry and flip on the dishwasher and race to get into my pajamas. I reach into my baby’s crib. He grabs onto my hair and calms down. I can tell he’s smiling even though it’s dark. I smile back. I crawl into bed with my baby cuddled next to me. His warm body and soft coos of content as he nurses remind me that the ‘nothing’ I got done today is actually ‘everything.' Mother isn’t just a noun it is a verb. I was mom today, and tomorrow I will mom my way through the day again. I clean. I cook. I chase. I wipe. I teach. I listen. I hug. Simply put, ‘I mom’ and really that’s the same thing as ‘I love.'