Alright. I’m spilling it, and keeping it real. You’re going to want to read this because I may never come out and say it again…or maybe I will.
This post was inspired by a discussion in a mommy group I’m part of, and the thoughts have just been lingering. Those that know me well will know this to be the honest truth; those that sit on the outside looking in may be in complete shock. But hopefully the mom that really needs to hear it, sees it for what it is.
I’ve got a dirty little secret! Yes, I do! Everyone in this house knows it. Brace yourself; graphic details to follow.
When asked, “How do you do it all?” At risk of sounding completely awful, the honest answer is I don’t. My dishes are most often undone, the laundry piles high, and you may need a snow shovel (or a bulldozer) to walk through the playroom or front door. Sometimes my bed’s not made; sometimes it is. There may be enough things left in my van that we could call it a 72 hour survival kit.
I take a long time to get to my stacks and piles of dysfunction, but I know what’s in those stacks. DON’T move anything. Eventually they all clear out and new stacks appear. Dinner may be served after 8 pm. My kids have to call me periodically (or weekly) to have me run things to school that have been forgotten or sign permission slips. And we’ve been known to stay up late at night to finish a report due the following morning.
I’ve missed doctor appointments, and perhaps, have forgotten a child was playing at the neighbors house for too long. And if the alarm goes off at 3:30 am, I must need to switch the wash so someone has clean clothes to wear in the morning. If there’s somewhere the mess can be hidden, put it there, close the door, and I’ll get to it. As you can see, this crib has multiple functions, currently serving as the ultimate laundry basket.
WOW. Really? Yes, really! Maybe some of you can relate. Maybe some of you are thinking it’s an exaggeration. Maybe some of you have been in my home…
Every year, or even every day, I think, this is it, I’m going to get it all together. I spend time coming up with plans to help me become organized. I find cute things on pinterest to eliminate the dysfunction, but even pinterest can only get me so far. I’ve even bought things that should make everything easy.
I get discouraged when I see ALL the other moms have it together; cute trendy clothes, nice hair, house spotless, all of their ducks in a row, and their child with the science fair project that looks like they have already been to college and turned in a week early. I easily beat myself up trying to hold my reality to their level of strength.
But guess what I’ve learned over and over and sometimes need reminded of? That’s not me. If I set out each day to be like someone I’m not, I will fail. I will get discouraged. I will feel in, over my head. And I may not want to get up the next morning to face the day.
“God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect. Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf
I get up each morning and put my best foot forward and do my best. Each day the level of my best may vary, but it’s my best that day. And my best is good enough! I’m a work in progress. Each day I try to do a little better, and eventually my little efforts will add up. We all have weaknesses and areas for improvement, and we are quick to see the qualities we long for in those around us. The person next to us has weaknesses too, but their strengths stand out, as do yours.
My children are neatly groomed, teeth brushed, faces washed, and clothes are clean. Their hair is fixed complete with flowers and bows (except for the boys), and even Dad has been known to throw in a ponytail if Mom’s not around. We make it a point to sit down and eat meals together. I know what homework they need extra help on, and where they are at in school. We strive daily to have chores done; scriptures read; prayers said; and most days, mission is accomplished. I know who their friends are. I know how their day was. I’m actively engaged in each of their lives. We laugh together, play together, work together. I know their struggles, their hopes, dreams, and desires. And I’m doing everything I can to help them get there, to reach their fullest potential. And they know everyday they are loved.
Dinner is late. Maybe because I stopped to teach my daughter how to cut tomatoes, it took longer to prepare. My dishes can wait when my baby wants me to love on him or a daughter wants help crimping her hair. My house is lived in. My days are long, and there is always going to be something I feel like is left undone. Even the mom that you believe is ‘perfect’ and has it all together goes to bed at night with a list in her head of what she didn’t get to. And tomorrow brings a new day.
All of us are doing the same thing, each in our own way, each striving to do better. And we, my friends, have the ability to build each other up. To highlight each others strengths.
My dirty little secret is out. If you want to see my house like this…
come…when? I don’t know. The window for this moment is short lived. Come when the kids aren’t home or visit me in a different season of life. Perhaps when they’re grown and gone…and maybe technology has invented a magic wand that will zap everything from dysfuntion, to function.
But for now, this is me dysfuntionally functioning, and I’m okay with that. In your life, you should be too.