Groundhog Day, Motherhood Edition



The dishwasher.  That’s where all the days start and end.

Barely awake, waiting for the brewing coffee, I’m unloading the dishwasher first thing in the morning.  And I feel like I was just here.

I was.  Six or seven or eight hours earlier.  Right before bed.  That’s when I’m loading it up with any remains of the day.

In between, the dishwasher is gradually filled and tells the story of how we spent our day.  What we ate.  What color plates were the subject of arguments {“I want the green one today.  It’s my turn for the green one.”}.  What I cooked.  What they liked and what they refused to eat.  The meal-time negotiations.  What I didn’t cook or what I meant to cook.  The blue thermos that tells me we were at karate.

The details vary slightly day to day.  The fight over the purple plate and not the green one.  The proclamation that today we don’t like grilled cheese, whereas yesterday we did.  The pink thermos that tells me it was ballet day and not karate.

Sometimes it feels like that’s all that changes in a day.  Plates and meals.  The rest can seem like Groundhog Day.

The same angle of the street lights I can see out of that one corner of my kitchen window when I load the dishwasher at night.

The same sound of my Keurig brewing my coffee as I empty the dishwasher the next morning.

In between, yes, there is a lot of the same.  Load, unload.  Rinse, repeat.

And then one day, someone spells her name when I’m unloading the dishwasher.  Something she couldn’t do yesterday.

And then one day, someone tells me he’s too big for the kid-sized fork and spoon I give him.  He wants to use same ones as Mom & Dad.

And then one day, there is a different color belt to wear to karate.  And bigger shoes for ballet.

And then one day, I can only have one cup of that brewing coffee, instead of two. Because of the baby coming in June.

And I realize that things do change, more often than I realize.

Big things beyond the plates and the meals.

That’s the funny thing about time.  Despite the daily routine, which brings the predictable hum of the dishwasher and, at times, the Groundhog Day effect — somehow, the big things, the ones that really matter, always seem to happen in the blink of an eye.

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  1. Khoward says:

    This is a very sweet piece.

  2. Teri says:

    Very thought-provoking, Kim! Great post.

  3. alicia says:

    well said, my friend, well said.

  4. This is a really lovely piece. Beautiful and quiet. I wasn’t expecting it and I was so surprised in a wonderful way. Time marches on…. Loved this, Kim.

  5. This really spoke to me. I get caught up in daily life, but a conversation I had with my son made me realize he’s growing up faster than I thought. This is beautiful.

  6. Tracy says:


  7. Anna says:

    What a beautiful post, which is amazing I am writing as loading and unloading the dishwasher are at the top of my list of things-i-wish-i-didn’t-have-to-constantly-do.

  8. This is really beautiful Kim. I have been having these same thoughts lately about how fast time flies and things change. Can’t they just slow down a bit??

  9. Ranch Mama says:

    This is wonderfully said. It is so easy to forget the sum of the small things is indeed extraordinary. As Parents it feels like all we do is change a bed or a diaper when really we are changing the world.

  10. Jessica says:

    I get this so completely. Sometimes the days seem so long but just yesterday they were babies. Absolutely love this post.

  11. Meredith says:

    I feel this way all the time! You put it all so beautifully, Kim. Scary how fast those days go by…

  12. Very nice. I’ve been thinking about this very thing lately. Two weeks ago I had to buy my oldest son (a preteen) a size 9 men’s shoe. (My husband wears a 10 or 10-1/2). Just prior to the new school year, I bought the same shoe for him in a 6Y. Stop! Wait! You’re growing up too fast!

    It reminds me of a line from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while you could miss it.” Thanks for the reminder that amazing moments are hidden even in the mundane daily routine.

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