Kids are cute, full of activity, and have endearing positivity. But raising them can be exhausting. Mothers know this firsthand and it can be a tough act to keep going at times, much less indulge in the niceties of life.
In a viral story titled “The Blue Stain” and shared on Facebook, Heather Duckworth delved into the dynamics of raising kids and had an important lesson to share.
Heather’s daughter had dropped some goo on the floor. Nothing to be surprised about and Heather went about picking it up and scrubbing the gout. It definitely wasn’t a fun activity. She’d choose having a nice time in a spa than doing that if given the choice. And as she scrubbed, she found herself irritated by the situation and absentmindedly mumbled under her breath.
At just about that point, she realized she didn’t have to get worked up about it. Her mind flashed 14 years back to a time when she cared for four kids—a boy aged 4 and triplets aged 2. Peace and quiet was a rarity as the house was a beehive of activity.
One evening, after she had fed and bathed the kids, she went to the playroom to do a final cleanup before bedtime. The kids were having fun singing and dancing while music played on the radio. Unfortunately, one of the triplets was fiddling with a pen that broke and sprayed blue ink all over the carpet. His pj’s, body, and other items around also got the spray of blue.
It was enough to upset her, who wouldn’t be. In her words, “I instantly felt so upset as I grabbed my son and took him to the bathroom to clean him up and my husband started scrubbing those bright blue stains on our carpet. Tears of frustration stung my eyes. I was just so tired. And mad. Like really, really angry. I wasn’t mad at my son – who was as blue as a Smurf – but upset with myself for leaving that pen out where my toddler could reach it. We had only lived in this house for six months and now the carpet was completely ruined. We scrubbed that stain for an hour that night, but yet it remained.”
Professional cleaners couldn’t get the stain off either, and the stain only ever got her angrier every time she saw it. “That blue stain was just a big fat negative in my life. I hated it.”
And then like a flash, the infuriation of the stain ceased: The little boy who made the stain was diagnosed with cancer a month later. Two years after his diagnosis, he passed away.
Heather’s son was gone but the blue ink stain remained.
“It was still there . . . and now . . . it was a constant reminder of my son. It was a constant reminder of my frustration over something so trivial . . . something so unimportant in the scheme of life.”
Heather’s loss was many magnitudes more significant than the blue stain. The story is meant to drive home that point. That whatever the issues may be—pj’s on the floor, a stack of dirty dishes, or blue stains on the carpet—they are a given with children.
And so rather than let yourself remain immersed in the frustration and infuriation of the mess and challenges, mothers should begin to realize the mess is a “blessing in disguise.”
“That blue stain was a constant reminder that life is messy, but that’s what makes it worth living. A constant reminder to not sweat the small stuff. A constant reminder that ‘things’ aren’t important, but people are. A constant reminder that accidents happen. A constant reminder to let go of the little things and hang on tight to what is important.”
As Heather continued to scrub the slime, she reminded herself of the times when she was in the hospital with her son. It’s all about finding the “bless in the mess” Heather reiterated, and focusing instead on the important things in life.