In Her Shoes ~ Smelling the Dandelions

In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives – to see what it is like to walk in their shoes. Today I’m happy to introduce you to my friend Ruth. My friend and I have known each other since our days living in a Moscow orphanage. She is a wife, a busy mom of six, and you can follow her on her blog. Let’s join our friend while she shares with us what it is like to walk in her shoes. ~ Love, G

In Her Shoes - Smelling the Dandelions

This morning I ground my coffee beans outside the back door.

It was 8:22am, and I didn’t want to wake the still-sleeping baby OR let my other kids know I was awake.  It didn’t work.  They always, always know — even if I tiptoe!  I stumbled around the kitchen, eyes half open and brain half dead.  My herd of children came racing up from the basement to say good morning and clamor for food.  Food this morning was large pasta shells, pulled out of the fridge and zapped in the microwave.  The kids did their own science experiment, not on purpose.  Now they know that the microwave can turn pasta into black, hardened, chewy stuff.

(The pasta shells were for stuffed shells last night, which I didn’t make because I ran out of time.  We ate hot dogs instead.  Don’t judge me.)

All before I’ve had coffee.

Please, children, do you not understand that mama is nicer after caffeine?

I sleep in as late as I can, which is usually right around 8:00am, give or take.  My 9 year old daughter gets up with my 2 year old son at 7:30am-ish.  My 8 and 6 year old boys and my 5 year old daughter usually wake up before me too!  They watch Wild Kratts, then Curious George, then The Cat in the Hat.

YES.  We know all the PBS shows in order.

I used to feel guilty about sleeping in, and making my oldest get up with the 2 year old.  Then a friend pointed out that I’m up all night with the baby.

Literally.  Most of my nights are spent sleeping leaning back against the headboard, nursing my 9 month old daughter who prefers to sleep draped across my stomach.  I do get brief reprieve, when I sneak her back into the Pack ‘n Play next to our bed, and it’s SO. NICE to stretch out flat on my tummy!

I dream about whole nights of un-interrupted sleep.

As you may have guessed, we home school.  I am grateful that we don’t have to get up early just to catch the bus, and you parents who do that have my undying admiration.  I do have to confess that I occasionally use public school as a curse word.

If you were in public school, you’d have to wake up at 6:00am just to get on the bus!

Sorry about that.  You have my permission to use home schooling as a scare tactic.

We try to start our school day by 9:30am.  By “we,” I mean me.  My kids are not motivated to do their schoolwork, but they know that they can’t play Wii or have friends over until school is done.  On most days, school is done by 3:00pm.  Some days, we’re completing a science lesson right before bedtime.

On many days, I think, “I KNOW why moms start drinking!”

Like, on days the kids are doing head stands instead of listening to the history lesson.

Or when we all sit down to have read-aloud time, and the fighting starts almost immediately.  One kid wants another chapter, and one kid doesn’t.  Either way, I’m screwed.  I decide on another chapter, and sure enough – whining from the “no more chapters” section.  When I confront the offenders, I get an apology from one child, but he makes the mistake of saying, “Mommy, will you please forgive us?”  That word “us” made another child blow up.  “DON’T speak for me!  I’m not a baby!  I want to be able to speak for myself in this house!”

Goodness, child.

By the time my husband comes home, I’m ready to hide somewhere, away from hands, and demands, and the word “Mommy.”

(Being an introvert, SAHM is tricky business, let me tell you!)

My hero man knows just when to shoo me out the door or to my room for some alone time!  We can call it time-out.

In case you weren’t sure?  Time outs work!

As I sit without my kids, I miss them.  They’re all tangled up in my heart, entwined and imprinted for eternity.  You know how us mamas, we forget about the pain of labor?  I think that’s every day, the painful laboring and then the forgetting because of the joy and love our children create.

Like when my middle daughter brings me the first dandelion bouquet of spring.  She leaves muddy prints all through the kitchen, and I just paid my son a dollar to mop that floor, but they’re still bringing me dandelions for now.  I’m their favorite person.  I’ve read enough books to know that my future self would tell my now self to relax.  Smell those dandelions.  Soak up the grins.  Drop the school books and head to the park.  Push the 2 year old on the backyard swing.  Jump on the trampoline (warning – wear a panty liner at all times).  Take a hike through the woods.  Watch ants.  Embrace the warm tininess of my nursing babe.  Stop the dishes to listen to the young daughter who is already halfway done living at home.

People first, all the time.  Relationships built or neglected now will impact entire lives.

I’m memorizing scripture from Colossians.  It’s taped up in my kitchen on a 3X5 card.

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

I have this wild notion to stop and yell, “Heaven is for real!” when I start cocking an attitude with my kids.  (Oh yes – you KNOW moms do it too!)  My kids matter more than clean laundry, a hot cup of coffee, or the latest Call the Midwife episode.

My shoes up top?  (Confession:  I don’t wear shoes.  I go barefoot year round, and only throw on shoes when I have to.  But those rainbow ones are my go-to favorite!)  They’re worn out because I love them so much.  I hope my life shows the same.  I want my kids to know that the worn-out-ness that is me, Mom… It’s because I love them with every single fiber of my being!

Ruth's family

To read more encouraging stories, or if you are interested in sharing your own story, please go to the In Her Shoes tab near the top of the page. I love learning about the people in this series. Connecting with others seems to make the world feel not quite as big and scary. We’re all in this together. I can’t wait to hear from you, to read your stories, and learn more of what it is like to walk in your shoes.

~ Love, 

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7 Comments
  • […] ya’ll (such a fun word!) want to read about my kids, check out Ginger’s blog!  And keep going back.  Ginger is a great […]

  • Ruth says:

    Aww! I fall in love with those smiles every time!

  • I loved this and could relate to almost everything! — especially knowing the entire PBS Kids lineup and the challenge of being an introvert with small kids. It also brought back memories of how stealthy I used to be when my kids were napping — I’d move around the house like a ninja but the hardwood floors always creaked and gave me away, darnit.

    Thanks for this and many blessings on you and your family!

  • Mark Allman says:

    Ruth,
    I do think we have to work hard to put the one’s we love first not the things that scream I need to be done. We have to look for those magical moments that are happening around us as we grind it out each day. We were talking this weekend that the best money we ever spent was on our trampoline, back porch, and garage door opener!! 🙂

    • Ruth says:

      Yay for trampolines! Our next kid-investment is pouring a slab of concrete in our driveway, and putting up a basketball hoop. Both my husband and I played a lot of pick-up basketball in our younger years, so we would both really get into playing with the kids! My 8 year old son already loves the game.

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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