The truth is, when you haven't seen me blogging in a couple of weeks there's a good chance that I feel like my world is running about 10 times faster than I am. Welcome to my life.
I'm beginning to suspect, however, that I am only one of many, many people who feel the same way. Several weeks ago I read a book called Lies Homeschooling Mom's Believe by Todd Wilson (here's his website, in case you're interested). The book was recommended to me by a fellow homeschooling mom who heard my pleas for help on my homeschool group's website. But here's the amazing thing about this book - it applies to so much more than just homeschooling moms.
One of the things that Mr. Wilson addresses in this book is this tendency that we all have as moms and women to feel like failures. Let's face it - we look around at some of the women around us and they seem to have it all together. They have smart, polite, talented, well-behaved and well-dressed kids. My kids, on the other hand, are running screaming around Walmart wearing mismatched socks and hiding in the clothing racks. Okay, maybe just Kelsey has on mismatched socks. But still. You get the idea.
My house is constantly upside down and there's clutter on the kitchen counters, table, every horizontal surface in the house. And where there isn't clutter, there is dust. A lot of dust. And don't even think about eating off my floor. There is no five-second rule in this house. If it falls, it probably has dog hair on it so throw it away. There are endless baskets of clean (and dirty!) laundry everywhere, and dinner is rarely planned before 4pm. Assuming I cook dinner.
Exercise? Doesn't happen. Healthy meal planning? Yeah, right. A good night's sleep? You MUST be joking. Lately I am just flying by the seat of my pants getting everything done at the last minute. Halloween costumes, church lessons, CPR class prep - you name it. Laundry gets done when we're running out of clean underwear.
Am I being too hard on myself? I don't think so. I'm not berating myself as a failure tonight. I'm just being honest; I'm being real. I have 4 kids, including a 12-month old and a 3-year old that don't understand picking up after themselves. For that matter, neither do my older kids. We've also chosen for me to be a stay-at-home-mom and to homeschool our children. This is just my life for now.
In his book, Mr. Wilson pointed out that we women often don't show each other what is REALLY going on in our day-to-day life. We hide our weaknesses and parade our strengths, hoping that no one will see how inadequate we really feel. And that doesn't do any of us any good in the long run. We continue to feel like closet failures because we haven't told our friends what is going on and so they can't try to help us feel better or put things into proper perspective. And then the other women around us feel like failures, too, because they think they are the only ones that yelled at their kids today.
Well, I am trying to break this habit. I had a friend once tell me that I was hard to listen to sometimes because I went on and on about eating healthy, provident living, and made whole wheat bread. And as a consequence she felt like I was saying she wasn't as good as me if she didn't do it, too. The truth is, that never crossed my mind. I wasn't focusing on what she was doing or not doing at all. I have to eat healthy or I gain 100 pounds (literally). And I have try to live on a budget because there's never enough money to go around. If I had my way I'd eat rhubarb pie for dinner every night and browse Hobby Lobby for knick knacks to decorate my house. And either my kids would have a nanny or I'd have a housekeeper - maybe both. But that's not my world, and I'm trying to enjoy the reality that is my daily life. And that starts with being real - both with myself and with others.
So if you see me around and ask me how I'm doing... beware. I just might tell you.