Monday, October 19, 2009

These Acts of Love

A mother’s life can be boiled down to one very simple overriding theme.  Our friend Linda once said, “It’s what we do.  Mothers move things from here to there.”  We move laundry from baskets to washer to dryer and back to basket.  We move groceries off shelves, into the cart, onto the belt, back into the cart, into the car, then out of the car.  We put them on our shelves and into the refrigerator, so those shelves and that refrigerator can be emptied again, and so begins the cycle again.  We move our kids from school to appointments and classes and games and friends’ houses and then we bring them home again.  We move piles of stuff from one room to the next, and on the way back, we move other stuff the other direction.  Even a trip to the bathroom is an opportunity to multi-task.  Change that roll, refill the tissue box, recycle these magazines.

Such is the stuff of a mother’s life.  It can feel like such drudgery, and for a time for me, it was.  The morning alarm was a cruel jab.  Time to get up and make the donuts.  The  laundry was a personal affront, and god help the kid who was discovered putting clean jeans into the basket rather than refold them.  The empty refrigerator felt like rebuke.

But then I came across something that shifted my perspective just a few clicks, and it made all the difference in the world for me.  Acts of love.  I began to look at the planning of dinner, the packing of lunches, the food shopping and the laundry as acts of love.  For me, these words were an incantation.  These are ways I show my love for my family.  And, what a gift that I'm here to show them my love this way.

Granted, we are self-employed, and work at home many days.  Our schedules are flexible.  And, ok, we do pay someone to come in every other week to do the work no amount of love could make us happy to do.  But this is the stuff of a mother’s life, and with our oldest boy in the throes of college applications, we are fully aware that the days of this full house  are numbered.  Our nest will be down to four birds next year.

And so, bring on the lunch requests.  Get your clothes dirty and grab a fresh towel.  We’ll gladly fill the refrigerator with stuff you love and plenty of it for your friends, too.  We're happy to drive you to Applebee’s and Connor’s and Brooke's and the eye doctor and for shin guards.  Acts of love.  Lucky us.

(For those of you who don’t feel the magic, there’s always people like Amanda Salles, with a background in interior design and organization whose business, Wife for a Day, can relieve you of some of the pressure of your to-do list!)


  1. I will carry this mantra with me for the next 18 years!

  2. and nice use of the 'word of the day' from the earlier pic!!

  3. I came to the same realization about these "acts of Love."
    It first occurred to me that if "I" was not doing this or that, "I" therefore made the decision to let my spouse do it.
    As described in this post, these taks integrate into your life, they become part of it. You stop thinking about them as tasks.
    That said, we are lucky too to be able to have someone come weekly "to do the work no about of love could make us happy to do."
    Maybe, as simple as it sounds, there lies the secret.