If you are a mom (or if you happen to know one) you know that everyday life as a mother is both wonderful, demanding, scary, and stressful — all at once.
A mom’s life is full of trials and often a mess in the form of sticky hands spilled milk, stains, and loads of laundry.
And when you think you finally have everything done, there’s always a new pile of laundry or a new stain waiting.
We often resort to laughing the ‘misery’ off — but it can nevertheless be very frustrating.
It’s only normal for us to feel like we’re running out of patience now and then.
Heather Duckworth is a mom who knows all this as much as any other — but she also has a crucial reminder for mothers around the world, which everyone needs to see.
Sadly, it was an unimaginable tragedy that led to her insight into this.
Heather Duckworth is in many ways a mom like any other, but one thing makes her stand out.
She lost her young son on June 12, 200, and has since been working hard to share her important message with all parents.
In 2019, Heather shared her story on Facebook under the heading “The Blue Stain”. As you read it for yourself, you quickly understand why it is pulling at so many people’s heartstrings.
Everything began as Heather was picking up some slime off the floor that her daughter had dropped. It’s then that everything became obvious to her…
Her daughter had done her best to clean up the stain left by the slime, but Heather naturally had to get in there too, and help.
She was, as natural for any parent, annoyed by the situation. But as she began muttering under her breath, she suddenly remembered a different stain…
A stain from 14 years prior. At that time, Heather had two-year-old triplets as well as a four-year-old little boy. She did not have her daughter yet.
On this particular evening, she was struggling to get her 4 active boys into bed. With four young children in the house, life was nothing but a tornado of activity and non-stop chaos.
She spent most of the time chasing her kids — often feeling like she was facing the potential of a third world war.
“My hands were full, but so was my heart.”
As night drew near that evening 14 years ago, she recalled the struggle of feeding and bathing all four boys, all the while cleaning up after the usual mess.
The children had music blasting and ran around singing and dancing, full of energy as usual. This would be the last time in a while that this kind of atmosphere would prevail in the house… for several reasons.
Amidst the chaos and her struggle to get the boys in bed, she looked down at the carpet and saw a large ink-blue stain.
One of the triplets, Jacob, stood nearby, broken pen in hand — the ink had spread all over the carpet. It was also all over his pajamas, his body, and more or less everything else in the room!
Needless to say, upon witnessing this, Heather lost it. Her patience was on the brink.
“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,” said the mother, adding:
“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.”
Heather and her husband even hired professional cleaners but to no avail.
The stain continued to get on her nerves and she was annoyed at it every time she saw it.
“It made me feel angry and it made me feel like such a failure for leaving out the pen where my young son could reach it. That blue stain was just a big fat negative in my life. I hated it,” Heather says.
But as her frustration over the stain continued to grow, suddenly, it all went away, in a single, life-changing moment.
The little boy who had broken the pen that day was soon diagnosed with cancer. And two years following the heart-shattering news, Jacob was gone.
As Jacob went to heaven, the blue 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 now wants mothers everywhere to realize that young children will of course always make a mess. Raising young children can be incredibly frustrating and as they get older, a parent faces new trials and challenges.
For Heather, the blue stain is now a constant reminder that life with children can be messy but is so worth living.
It’s a constant reminder not to sweat the small stuff. A constant reminder that “things” are not important, but people are.
A constant reminder that accidents happen. A constant reminder of letting go of all the little things and focusing on what really matters.
Heather calls the mess a “blessing in disguise” and admits that she would live with a million blue ink stains if it meant she could have a single day more with her son.
She wants to remind mothers and fathers around the world that they should not become absorbed and stressed about everything happening around them and forget to enjoy the little things in life that sometimes appear frustrating.
Heather continues to clean, wash and scrub away after her children — but now, as she does so, she is constantly reminded of the time she spent in the hospital with her little boy.
It’s so important to remember to focus on the important things in life and not get too frustrated when your children make a mess, even leaving permanent ‘blue stains’ behind.
Dirty pajamas, smurf faces, and large stains on carpets are just proof that we did something right along our path. We had children.