If you've been keeping up with my blogs and my social media pages you see that I struggle with the pursuit of perfection in my life. It's something I could shoot for *before* becoming a mom because I could spend the time making things just "so" in my home, my garden and my wardrobe, etc. etc.
Now I'm 2 years into motherhood and I am realizing the pursuit for perfection isn't a plus, it's a huge minus. It's a drain on my energy and my time. I'm finally realizing what you have all been telling me: forget the dust bunnies and the clutter, it can wait! Your kids are only little for a little while. However, I battle those nagging thoughts in my head and I battle with the concern that others will judge me for my mess, my weeds, my late birthday cards and my wrinkled pants.
So... it's time to get real.
Oh how different things are from my first blogs where I was carefully preparing a perfect scrapbook, knitting a blanket and painting nursery furniture before our first child was born. Fast forward to our second child (and what Chris swears is our last because we're overloaded) and I am a frazzled (but blessed and happy) working mom who has a kitchen floor full of crushed cheerios, carrot bits and Lord knows what else on it.
My wardrobe is hastily picked from laundry baskets that are stacked waist-deep in my closet. I fall asleep at the drop of a hat. I'm mostly done with Kaydence's scrapbook but my knitting project for her looks more like a hand towel than a blanket even a year after I started it. That nursery furniture I painted is chipped now and most days littered with the scraps of a busy young family. You know, the squished up tube of Desitin, baby brushes, stuffed animals, socks and books everywhere.
My mom brought someone into our house yesterday to visit the kids and I found myself panicking, as I recalled in my mind the mess that would unfold in front of their eyes, knowing in my past life I would have never let anyone through the door without having a spotless house. Now I'm swallowing my pride and trying to "let go and let life." That guest also experienced the awesome "crunch, crunch" of cheerios being crushed beneath their feet in our kitchen.
Back to the point I'm trying to make here... as you may have seen, there are commercials that we call "promos" running right now featuring our family. When the crew approached us about the shoot, Chris joked about getting a "stunt house" because ours is a "working farm" as he calls it. I said, no! We can't be fake! He knew I'd be up until the wee hours cleaning so our house would look nice for the video and he was trying to spare me that stress. Of course I cleaned up a bit but we wanted it to be real. I compromised and cleaned a couple of rooms.
You actually saw Kaydie waking up from a nap for real, you saw us dressing her for real and we were taking a real walk. However, I did not walk in my yoga pants, college t-shirt, glasses and pony tail like I normally do in our neighborhood. I had to have some pride. I figured I better put some makeup on! However, you do see that I could lose 50 pounds or so and that our son was actually holding two screwdrivers as he sits in dad's lap reading a book. I thought, oh great, I look huge, and Kanyon's holding dangerous objects! But you know what, it's real. He's obsessed with tools and gets to hold the real screwdrivers for a few minutes each day when the baby is sleeping and yes I struggle with my weight. It's part of the deal right now and I have been hearing from viewers for a long time that they appreciate my authenticity.
I don't want to be part of the problem busy moms already face. I do not want to perpetuate the myth that perfection exists. I pray about it all the time. I want to be able to learn to let go of my high expectations and live in the moment with my precious babies. I know I fall short of that all the time.
I am proud that the mommy blog movement is shining a big light on the real lives of busy parents. (Dads included!) We love our kids so very much and are holding ourselves to a high parenting standard. I am committed to nursing and making my own baby food, but I fall short elsewhere. I don't get any time for myself and that's a bad thing overall... that bites you in the behind because you get burned out!
I do believe you can have it all, but you can't do it all... all the time.
Chris had to towel off from his shower with an Elmo towel the other day.
I had to shut the windows one day when I was having a battle of wills with our toddler for fear of the new neighbors thinking I was a terrible mom. Kanyon likes to yell "owie" when he cries hard (well yeah, your head is going to hurt when you intentionally bang it on stuff when you're throwing a tantrum) as he tries desperately to avoid nap time. This sounds terrible to anyone who doesn't know that he's totally fine, and just being a 2 year old. I don't know how I fix it when this happens. I can't decide if I make him cry it out or if I let him out of his room and hit the reset button and try again. I'm not perfect. I am learning as I go. Until the magic answers come, he will have bad nap days. I will get frustrated.
I think if more of us were real with each other there would be less pressure and moms would breathe more, relax more and be able to let go of the notion that we have to be on top of everything. I think we put undue pressure on ourselves to be as good as we think other moms around us are, when in reality, they may be struggling too. It's a cycle we owe it to ourselves to break. Let's be real with each other.
We've got enough on our plates. We don't need to take on a "best mommy", "most pinworthy dinner" or "cleanest house" competition too!
When I've made it a point to just be up front and honest about the fact that I'm exhausted after countless nights of only getting 4 hours of sleep and that I'm not a superhero, I feel a bit more free. I feel so free that I can now take a nap without spending half of it wondering if Chris has it under control. This is a step in the right direction! I think just writing this blog is another part of the process of owning the fact that I am human and motherhood/parenthood is a very humbling learning curve.
I also find it totally therapeutic to talk to my girlfriends about my shortcomings as a mom, wife, friend and daughter. We can laugh about it and commiserate. I find it reassuring that they too go through the same stuff we do and they're ok. I recommend more of these conversations/therapy sessions for all of us.
My hope for you today is that you can be the best mom or dad you can be. If that means you fall short some days, you do. Please remind me too. I forget too easily.
Below are a couple of blog posts from people I don't know... but they are just a couple of stories that made me laugh with pure understanding. I appreciate them for being real.