Saturday, June 19, 2010


I worked really hard to prepare the house for my mom's visit.  I was having surgery in 3 days and she was coming to help take care of Little Bit so DH could take care of me.  I'm not allowed to lift more than 15lbs for the next three weeks and LB more than exceeds that limitation.  So here I was cleaning and straightening the house instead of resting and preparing for abdominal surgery.  I should have been laying in bed catching up on my sleep instead of unpacking boxes, packing an overnight bag for the hospital instead of scrubbing floors and toilets.

The last time my mom visited we had been in our house for 2 months, during which time I was very much pregnant {and supposed to be bed-ridden} and underwent an extremely difficult labor.  I was recovering from a c-section and suffering from PPD.  My son wouldn't nurse, my husband was recovering from wrist surgery that could very well end his career, and my mom thought I ought to be busy unpacking boxes.  Needless to say, I was more stressed by the time my parents left than before they came to "help out".  For the record, my dad was a huge help.  My mom helped too, but begrudgingly and muttering beneath her breath the whole while.

This time I was determined to show her!  I am a good wife, a good mom, a good housekeeper, despite what she thinks or says!  So I wore myself out cleaning the house up to the minute we left to pick her up from the airport.  I was going to prove my worth whether she would acknowledge it or not.  I was soon to be very surprised... and pleasantly so.

Upon arriving back at the house she commented on how nice the house looked, how beautifully I had decorated it, and specifically how clean and uncluttered the bathroom was.  She mentioned how she wished hers was as clean and simple as mine.  There!  That right there caught me completely off guard.  Not only had my mom complimented me on having a nice home, she actually said I kept mine better than her!  I was flabbergasted, and a bit confused.  I was overjoyed.  The next day I went in for surgery.  Upon arriving home she has complimented my housekeeping and caring for LB several times.  She hasn't demanded anything of me and she joyfully cares for LB while I rest or catch up on my schoolwork.  She had cooked three meals without demanding I get in the kitchen to help her.  I am not sure what caused this change of heart in my mom but her attitude of giving is so much better than in the past.  I can tell she if giving out of love now, instead of expecting a return on her efforts.

That isn't the only source of validation however.  In fact, her approval has been quite insignificant compared to the changes occurring within myself.  I first noticed it when my mom and DH were running around, frantically trying to calm LB down.  Normally DH would have no problem doing so but LB had his first tooth just about to erupt.  I watched them struggle to calm the poor little guy and then realized, I really am a good mom.  I know just what to do to ease his pain and it worked.  He wanted his mommy to cuddle and kiss away the achiness and tears.  Then I began to notice LB's clothes strewn all over the place, toys scattered on the floors and counter tops, blankets flung here and here.  It looked like a small tornado had ripped through our house on the heels of LB and grandma.  As I walked around, picking them all up and straightening the house behind my mother's trail, I thought to myself, I really am a good housekeeper... a much better one than my mom for sure.  Not that it's her fault, she just isn't that kind of person, but she always nagged and yelled at me to keep things neat and organized when she didn't do it herself.  That always caused a lot of resentment for me, but I don't feel that way any more.  Just in these last couple of days, seeing that I truly am the expert to my household, I no longer feel the need to validate myself by others' standards.  I am validated by my own.
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