I can't do it all!!!!!!!!!
I know you aren't shocked. Chances are, if you're reading this blog, you are a mom too. You know that no matter how hard we try, we can never get everything done that needs to be done. There's always that list. Yeah, the one you dread looking at because it seems to be never ending. There are many more things written in your beautiful handwriting on that list than things crossed out. You may even be like me and sometimes make another list, thinking that maybe, just maybe this one might be shorter. Your list might even be divided into "what I need to do today" and "what I need to do this week." The thing is, we all have a list. It's either on paper or in our heads. Most of us don't finish the list in just one day either. So what's the secret? How do we manage to "look" like we've got it all together when really we don't? It's not that we want to look that way, our friends just seem to think that we look that way. I hear so often that I must be Super Mom. I try so hard to be as transparent as I possibly can because I am far from Super Mom. I don't even believe in Super Mom!
Yeah, you read that right. I try to be transparent so that my friends, especially those on Facebook that rarely see me face to face, will know that I am far from perfect and so are my kids. I know that I get a bit irritated seeing moms post all about how perfect things are. You know that it's not really that perfect but you start feeling bad that your life isn't like that. These moms don't mean to seem like this, they just post the highlights throughout their day. I don't want to be the mom that makes anyone else feel that they aren't a good mom. Whether we work in the home or out, we all have the same responsibilities to our kids. We have to make sure they're fed, clothed in clean clothes, receive a good education, learn to pick up behind themselves, learn to take care of themselves, learn to be responsible citizens, learn to be nice to others and the list goes on, and on, and on. We also have to be a good wife. We have to keep the car cleaned out, the house clean, be a good friend, be a good employee, find time to rejuvenate ourselves and actually enjoy life too. Whew! It's a daunting task. None of us can actually do it all and do it all well.
The truth is, when you do one thing well, other things get neglected. Ever wonder why the laundry gets piled up? Yeah, it's partly because it's our least favorite thing. It's also because so many other things have to be done too. We make choices, do I start a load of laundry in this 5 minute window of kids playing nicely or do I finally make a cup of coffee? Then the kids magically know that Mom is wanting to enjoy that coffee hot so everyone starts arguing or someone has a major Thomas the Train catastrophe and you have to stop to fix the track. Before you know it, it's noon and no laundry has been done. Has your morning been a failure because you still have no clean towels to take a shower? NOT HARDLY!!!! Let's back up a minute and look at what did get done. Your kids were fed, diapers were changed, you set aside that hot coffee to play HERO by fixing a train track, probably sat and played trains for a few minutes (only to realize that it had been an hour and was now time for lunch), sang a few songs, etc. Did your kids care that the laundry wasn't done? Did your kids care that you're still wearing yesterday's yoga pants? Did your kids care that your hair was in a ponytail and you had no make-up on? NOPE! Our kids care about us. To your kids you've had a very productive morning. Your house may be a mess, you have no idea what's in the pantry that you can cook for dinner and you may be dying to drink a hot cup of coffee but you spend time with your kids because that's what's most important right now at this point in your life. Everything else will wait!!!!!
Let me tell just a little about the typical day in our house. I try to get up before the kids but honestly, I hate to wake up to the buzzing of an alarm. I'd much rather wake up at 8 to a toddler standing by my bed, with horrible morning breath, right in my face saying, "Good morning Mommy." I rub my eyes, stumble down the stairs still barely awake. Head to the bathroom to change the toddler out of his pull-up and into unders and clothes for the day. By this time, the 8 year old joins us in the kitchen so that I can make bowls of cereal. I stand up to eat mine as I make a mental list of what I need to do today. By the time the cereal is done, the 5 year old is up which tells me that the baby should be waking up any minute now. I go ahead and fix 2 more bowls of cereal (one with no milk) and then go get the baby up and changed. Into the high chair she goes. Then it's off to the classroom where the 8 and 2 year old are waiting. I get the 8 year old started on school work, check to be sure that the toddler is working on something and then back to the dining room to check on the other two. Floor gets left until later..... It's now about 9:15 or 9:30.
Then it's baby to the nursery with the door open and a baby gate up between the classroom and the nursery. She does her work in her room while I try to get the 5 year old started on something. At that point, my morning becomes a blur. Everyone starts talking at once, I feel like I can't sit down for more than a second and all chaos breaks out. Around about 10:45, the baby joins us in the classroom and the toddler decides that he's done and wants to play in his room. I have full intentions of doing story time, playing outside, doing music, etc but before I know it, it's time to fix lunch. It's now noon. I get lunch cooking, usually chicken nuggets, fish sticks or other version of processed food. We eat, usually closer to 1 and then it's diaper changed, baby down for nap, toddler needs a nap so I have to lay with him to get him to sleep, etc. Next thing I know, it's 2:30. The older two still need school work finished by I need to get a few hours of work in. I send them outside, spend an hour or so working and around about 4 the babies start waking up and the boys are ready to come in. At this point, the door gets left open so that they can all go in and out of the classroom and screen porch while I work with one kid at a time on math. Then we try to all do story time, then I work with one kid again until we get our assignments finished. Guess what, it's now 5.
Time to start dinner, sit down to dinner, bathe the kids, tuck the kids in, etc. Some days we have sports or therapies mixed in. Did you notice that lots of things got left out? Yeah, I mentioned the floor not getting swept after breakfast. I never mentioned doing the dishes after any meal, sweeping the floor, picking up the things that get dragged out as the kids run in and out of the classroom all day, cleaning the classroom after the chaos that was our school day, cleaning the nursery, doing a load of laundry, etc. I do try to sneak a bath in during the morning but most of the time, that's left for night-time or I skip my cereal to get one. I simply CAN'T DO IT ALL! My kids get taken care of, the house comes later. Sometimes my husband even ends up doing something that needs to be done, even though I've been home all day. If I decide to do an art project that day, my kids go play alone while I create. If I decide to clean that day, the kids go play alone. See, I can't do it all. I am not Super Mom, getting it all done. I'm not even close!
I'm that mom with my hair pulled back in a pony-tail, wearing a t-shirt and yoga pants, running around the house like I have no clue what's going on. Most days, I really don't. I can't find two of any pair of shoes for this kid, can't find this kid's blue ninja guy with the red headband, can't find my Pepsi that I just opened, can't remember if I brushed my teeth this morning, been needing to pee for an hour and still haven't had a chance to go. That's me! I'm real! I'm just like everyone else and I try not to ever appear that I'm Super Mom. I'm simply not her. She doesn't exist. If she did, she'd need 36 hours in every day, her kids would need to sleep 16 hours at a time, her kids would need to come into this world knowing how to dress themselves, feed themselves and read. SUPER MOM IS A FAIRY TALE!!!! I like being me. I may hate the messy house but I love my children and I know that the house will one day be clean and my kids will be grown. I try to clean here and there but if it doesn't happen, I don't stress over it. I want to be a good Mom to my kids and in case you haven't noticed, kids don't really mind if things are a bit messy.
So, there you have it. None of us are perfect. We all leave lots of things undone while tending to our responsibilities. We just have to learn to juggle. Sometimes it may feel like we're constantly treading water trying to keep our heads above water. It's all just part of it. We're moms! We're tough! We get stressed out! We've got to stick together and get rid of this whole Super Mom Myth! We really do love our lives as moms! This season may not be that great but we're going to get through it together. Let's encourage one other, give praise when you see a mom trying really hard to juggle everything and maybe even give a hand when you see a mom that could use it. Being a mom is not for the faint of heart!