Two year old Lyli was running on the beach along the edge of the water. I, her loving mother, followed behind, my footsteps heavy on the sand.
A lady passed us and smiled at me. "She's so cute!"
It took a moment for me to return her smile. My frown had become entrenched on my face.
Why was I frowning? Was it such an inconvenience to frolic on the beach with my baby girl? Her joy of freedom and sun and sand shined in her smile. Her breathless laughter floated across the sand. Why wasn't I laughing? Why wasn't I smiling? I had lost my joy.
A stay-at-home-mom's work is never done. I wake with my daughter, stumbling around, trying to find the remote control with sleepy blurry eyes. I turn on Elmo hoping to distract my bouncy bright-eyed child while I locate the coffee. The day is filled with tasks and chores and email and reading and learning and shopping and cooking.
But when someone asks me, "What do you do all day?" I cannot find the answer. Most of my time is spent cleaning up messes that my daughter and dog have made. Mindless menial tasks that keep me from accomplishing anything of importance.
And at the end of the day, all I have to show for my 20 hours of nonstop motion is my happy healthy family-- asleep in our clean, organized efficiency apartment.