Today I slipped and fell. It was one of those falls where each step brings you closer to the bottom but you don't realize you are going down until you are looking up at the sky wondering how you got there. Lucky for me, this was not a literal fall, but a figurative one.
Schools were closed today due to the Blizzard of the Century...at least so far. I know we're only 11 years into it. Anyway, my boys, 4 and 7, were home for the day. At first it was exciting. Neither of them had seen snow of this magnitude before...me neither, not in a long time anyway. It was impressive. After playing outside for awhile, we were left with roughly 8 hours of daylight to fill until dinner time. This being a day that I would normally have at least half of to pursue my own interests, it took some time for me to adjust my mental plan. About 9 hours to mentally readjust, to be exact.
While the boys played Wii, which, at our house, is a full contact operation, I wandered around trying to do things that I didn't feel like doing. I wanted to be writing or working on my next lesson for Mom Time. I stayed in my snuggly pj's until 2pm when I couldn't stand it anymore. Don't get me wrong...I'm all about comfy; I showered and changed into my fleece lounging pants.
This slow slip to the pit came over the course of the day when I checked Facebook, oh, I don't know, every 15 minutes or so. Everyone seemed to be having so much fun with their snow day, enjoying kids being home, having a big jammie and snuggle fest. The more I checked, the worse I felt. Sure, I played Wii with the kids. We had special snacks. We even had a dance party to my "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" cd.
But somewhere, in the midst of my restlessness, egged on by everyone else's good time, I began to feel like a rotten mom. Why wasn't I having a blast like everyone else? Why weren't we all snuggled on the couch? Why didn't I want to make snow ice cream?
I had fallen straight into the comparison trap.
By about dinner time I was feeling bad that I wasted a day that could've been really special if I was a better mom. In the course of a conversation with a friend I sorted it all out. I bet if I had stayed off Facebook, stopped comparing my reality to other people's cyber-reality, and just engaged fully where I was at for the day, I would have felt better about the whole thing.
The cool thing is, though, that my kids didn't seem to notice that I was a rotten mom. They played Wii with their mom, had a great 70's dance party with their mom, got to eat all the snacks they wanted (yeah, with their mom), and figured out Wii Shrek Carnival on their own, together. They also got in a good bit of wrestling and dressing up like super heroes. During bathtime, I asked them if they had a fun day today. Justin, 4, leaned over and said, "It was a lovely day. Here, I have a present for you." Then he licked my face.
It was a good day in our house. And, I'm glad that it appeared to be a good day in everyone else's house, too. Like we shouldn't compare our sufferings with others, we probably shouldn't compare our blessings either.