Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Little Mother That Could

This week both my daughters were sick. 

Stomach churning, toilet bowl hugging, blow-out diaper sick. 

And then, it happened- I got sick.    

At one point, I found myself lying on the cold tile floor in the bathroom. My husband was at work, and I was alone with two sick kids. There were no bathmats in the bathroom at this point. They were piled high in the laundry room, as was probably every other article of clothing in our house, waiting for a turn in the washer. 

I was immovable. My 9 month old baby was crying in the Pack 'N Play, and I could hear her stomach churning from a mere 6 feet away. I knew that I had to change her diaper quickly. If she sat back down, the diaper would leak, and I would have to change the Pack 'N Play sheet, in addition to her outfit.

From the depths of my brain came this prayer:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of vomit,
I will fear no virus: For Lysol and bleach art with me;
Ginger-ale and crackers, they comfort me.
Shout removes stains in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou scrub my hands with hot soap and water; My stomach runneth over.

However, I still didn't have the energy to get up. When I ran cross-country in high school, I had a friend that would have said, "You have to dig deep and then deeper." So, I searched myself for motivation to get up. It was then that I began to chant to myself the mantra that so many of us learned as small children at story time, "I think I can." 

I think I can. (Because so many other women just like me have to done this in the past, are doing it now, and will continue to do it in the future.)

I think I can. (Because I am blessed to have running water to wash all of the soiled laundry.

I think I can. (Because I have an industrial strength carpet steam cleaner to disinfect this house.)

I think I can. (Because I have a cabinet full of cleaners that have been shown to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.)

I think I can. (Because my daughter is wearing Pampers Baby Dry. Wait, scratch that. Screw Pampers right now because they aren't blocking a single blow-out from happening.)
I think I can. (Because I am a women. And we can do it!) 
Slowly, I pulled myself up off the floor. I looked in the mirror and was certain that I looked exactly like Garth from Wayne's World. (Don't believe me, ask my college roommate. She can tell you how much I metamorphosis into Wayne when I haven't showered and look slovenly. Party on Garth.) 

I crawled over to little peanut and changed her diaper.
She smiled, and I celebrated a small victory. 

I thought I could, and I did.
My sister has done it.
My mother has done it.

My grandmother did without the beauty of Lysol disinfectant wipes. 
And my amazing mom friends have done it time and time again. They give running on empty a whole new meaning. They find the strength to make sure that their children are clean, dry, and cared for, while still replying to emails and phone calls despite a myriad of illnesses. 

The women I know rock.

I am lucky because it was only about an hour later that my husband got home from work. I was eternally grateful for the ability to hand the children over to him and go to bed. The moment before I promptly passed out, I spent thinking of all the amazing women I know. We are doing it. We are getting it done. We are little engines that could. As we climb our mountains, we find the strength to make it to the top and shout, "Is that all you've got?"

So when you have hit your proverbial wall, what is the mantra that gets you through it? 



  1. You thought you could, and you did!
    This is currently a favorite book in our house (C calls it the "could book") and even though I don't "think I can" (hah) read it one more time, it sure is bringing back a bunch of childhood memories. After reading it umpteen times recently, I have reflected that it's message was certainly imprinted in my nature somewhere. Not only "never give up", but "don't give up because other people's happiness is dependent on you". Not quite sure how I feel about THAT yet, but regardless, you are SPOT on with this post - it really spoke to me. I think I remember in my darkest moments that I'm never truly as alone as I feel - the knowledge that many have walked this path before me and will after me is strengthening. (P.S. This post was a great way to wrap up International Women's Day. Go us!!)

    1. Thanks dear. I was home sick on International Women's day, I saw all these inspiring shows about women in dire conditions and thought that I have nothing to complain about in my life.

  2. Even though this was gross at times, this was my most favorite post yet! You go, girl! Also, I really feel the need to clarify: I was Jenny's college roommate. She did NOT look like Garth for the reasons she said in this post. She had this really cute bob haircut, and when she would wake up in the morning and put her glasses on, she looked like Garth's younger, hotter sister. Thank you. :-)

    1. Yes, but add several years and countless sleepless nights with the kiddos and you start looking like a rocker. ;-)


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