I remember hearing the phrase, “If I could be a fly on the wall” so many times in my life. As a child I literally imagined being a tiny insect sitting on a wall watching everything going on in the room. What must that look like?
Now that I’m older I still wonder what I would find if I could hide on a wall and peek into another life. Specifically another married family with small children. (Only because that’s what I relate to.) No I’m not a weirdo wanting to spy on people. Come on now. It’s just that we see people for such a small chunk of the day, but it’s impossible to know their reality. What happens in the cover and security of their own walls?
There are so many possibilities of how others spend their time. Imagine if we’re all at least little alike, wouldn’t that be interesting?
Like, do other moms cook every single night, but get so exhausted at times they can’t seem to detach from the couch? Do they reluctantly decide to have cereal for dinner or beg their husband to bring something home? Then, do they feel guilty for going on a dinner cooking strike even though it’s rare?
Do other families fight? Do they get annoyed with each other and raise voices and then feel bad about it? Do they breathe a minute and then apologize for their frustration induced outburst? Do they let other life problems filter through to create an attitude their family doesn’t deserve, because it feels safe to release feelings there?
Do other moms and dads dance around the kitchen and smack each other’s rear as they pass by and kiss while their kids pretend to be grossed out all while peeking through squinted eyes?
Do other moms sometimes feel defeated and pretend to use the bathroom just to cry and then see little fingers wiggle under the door and know it’s all ok?
Do other couples discuss purchases and sometimes fight before coming to a decision? Do they discuss their day after the silence of sleeping kids settles over the house? Do they sometimes just hold each other without words, yet have an entire conversation? Do they binge watch shows and occasionally pause it just to talk about the kids?
Do other moms excessively research about the best foods and shampoos and vaccines and sunscreens and diapers and schools only to get overwhelmed and just go with their gut and try to stop stressing?
Do other kids fight and call each other stupid face and scream and cry and whine? Do they watch too much TV or have too much screen time? Does their mom constantly battle the, I need peace vs. they need to turn that off battle? Does she vow to do better only to rinse and repeat the next day?
Do other moms worry they’re raising ungrateful children? Always wondering if they have too much or receive instant gratification too often while also finding it hard to resist getting more? Does she hate the toys all over the floor and then cry knowing she’ll miss them one day very soon?
Do other dads come home so tired but still race in to greet their kids with excitement? Do they drop everything to spend a few hours with them before they go to bed? Do they constantly have to fix broken toys and replace batteries and put together the latest gadgets, but do it all with a smile? Does his wife find him even more attractive for this?
Do other moms obsess over what to feed everyone each day, what clothes to buy, how to manage the money, how to get everyone to school and soccer and dance and parties and play dates and in bed on time and up and dressed on time? Does she also try hard to care enough about herself to not have huge bags under her eyes and care enough about her marriage to spend quality time with him?
Do other parents spend countless hours staring at their children, studying each feature of their face, trying to engrave the image because they know it will change by morning? Do they spend hours on their knees praying for their children’s futures and for the wisdom to guide them through this crazy world? Do they spend hours anticipating milestones or an end to a difficult phase only to feel heartache when it passes?
Do other moms think about going out with a friend, but the thought of putting on a bra, and putting on makeup and putting on clothes other than yoga pants seems like way too much effort at the end of the day? Every. Single. Time.
You see, if I were a fly on the wall I’d know. Since I’m not, I’ll just keep doing my thing and wonder if maybe, just maybe we’re all a little more alike than we realize.