Making the Ordinary Special

Daddy is the star of the show in our house. I’m talking the A-list Academy Award winning star. The people in my house go crazy over him. My role is more like the writer, producer, director, casting agent, cameraman, wardrobe consultant, food services, clean up crew, etc. You get the idea.

When Daddy is in the backyard, they swing high on rocket ships. When Mommy is in the backyard, I will be happy to push you after I take the dirt out of Baby J’s mouth. When Daddy does bath, there is wrestling and squealing and pillow fights. When Mommy does bath, I would like you to put your clothes in the laundry basket and just. get. in. When Daddy does dinner, it’s leftover pizza he found in the fridge that everyone loves. When Mommy makes dinner, it’s the soup I worked all of nap time prepping that no one eats. When Daddy does bedtime, it’s a story and a song and questions. When Mommy does bedtime, it’s a book and a kiss and a big ol “see ya later.” My husband and I are a great team, and we do things very differently.

So much of what he does is special. So much of what I do is, well, ordinary. I’m the (all) day in and (all) day out. He’s the hero who saves the day. Our family needs both, but I must admit that sometimes I would like to be the hero. It seems like such a fun role! So, lately I’ve been trying to incorporate more of that into what I do. The other morning before school we made a quick stop at the bagel store. We loaded up with backpacks and blankets and had a car picnic with fresh bagels on the way to school. It was a cold morning, and they loved that there was “ice” on the grass. I loved that they noticed. A few days later, instead of just watching our usual show after quiet time, we made popcorn and ate it from the tubs our friends had just gifted to us. Ordinary moments made special by adding just a little bit extra. I wonder who they mean more to. I would bet almost anything that it’s me.

I’ve come to realize that making the ordinary special is critical to thriving as a mother. There is so much power and significance in the day in day out that so many of us oversee, but it has a tendency to feel so ordinary, certainly not special, and rarely exciting. For me it takes pausing, making a quick assessment of the “moment” and wondering if I could do it differently, not Pinterest differently, but real life differently. If I can, then I do. Sometimes I am just trying to survive it. That’s special in a different way. However, when I can grab that ordinary moment and make it special, then I tuck that securely into my heart and keep it forever. I hope they do too.

Find the joy,


Jessica McCauley, M.Ed. is a parenting coach/consultant. She draws on her background as a Montessori educator and Child Life Specialist to help families navigate the challenges of the early childhood years. Contact Jessica at for more information or to schedule a consultation.