I have 3 baskets of laundry sitting at the foot of my bed. They’ve been there for a while. There. Now you know.
I look at those 3 baskets and think, “I really need to put those clothes away. But first I’ll have to clean out my dresser and get rid of all the t-shirts, jeans, and pajamas I never wear so I can fit those clothes in.” And then I realize we are out of big black trash bags, and I would need to make a run to the store to pick those up so I would have something to put the give away items in to take them to the donation center.
And then one of the kids hollers from the kitchen that they just spilled a gallon of milk all over the floor, and the clothes stay in the baskets, forgotten, for another day.
My long time friend, Michele, called me this week. Do you have a friend like her? We can go months without talking and pick up as if only a day has passed. I love having friends like that.
She was calling because someone had invited her to join her local CrossFit box (that’s what they gyms are called in CrossFit) and she wanted to know the reasons I love it and have continued to go every single morning for the past 11 months.
(Stick with me, now. This actually relates to those baskets of laundry up there and isn’t about gym memberships at all.)
Here’s what I told her.
This morning’s CrossFit workout was SO HARD that I thought multiple times about quitting before the 45 minute time limit was up. I couldn’t feel my arms. I was gasping for breath. I was thinking, “This is ridiculous. It’s TOO HARD. I CAN’T DO THIS.”
But I kept going. Do you know why?
Because the others were cheering me on. They were standing next to me (since I was the last one and they were already finished) shouting, “You can do it! Just do one more rep! Now ONE MORE! You are strong! DON’T YOU DARE STOP! You can do one more. KEEP GOING!”
They were repeating an often stated mantra at my CrossFit box. “One more rep.” You may have heard, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The idea is that you don’t think to yourself, “There is no way I can do 50 sit ups.” You think, “I can do one sit up. Then I can do one more. And then one more.”
There is no other place I go, no other activity I participate in, where people gather around me to tell me not to give up, that I am capable and strong, that it isn’t too hard for me.
Now, what in the world does this have to do with baskets of unfolded laundry? Just this.
This is what we should do for one another, Mom Friends.
When the days get so tough that we think we can’t go on, we can come along side one another and say, “YOU CAN DO THIS! I am right here to hold you up! You are doing a great job! YOU ARE ABLE!”
But the thing about our mom struggles is we have to let one another know what they are. Since we don’t gather at the gym to fold our laundry together, since we are each really doing it in what amounts to adult solitary confinement, none of us realizes the others also have 3 baskets of unfolded laundry at the end of their beds, too.
So, let’s be real and vulnerable with one another. On those days when we think we just might fall apart, let’s say, “Sometimes this all feels too big. I just don’t know if I can really do this whole mom thing well. Honestly, some days I don’t know if I can do it at all.”
And that’s when we can gather around and hold her up with our encouragement. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we felt like we had a team of moms who were right there in the trenches with us cheering us on? Moms who really had managed to fold and put away those 3 baskets of laundry and were telling us, “It’s not too hard! It just feels that way way right now. YOU CAN DO IT! One more pair of socks! DON’T GIVE UP! YOU GOT THIS!”
Encourage one of your Mom Friends today. Yours may very well be the voice that keeps her going.