Sunday, October 7, 2012

the one in which I have some things to confess...

So, maybe its just me.
I see pictures on facebook. Read blogged stories. Watch families in the grocery store.
And compare.
I assume everyone else has everything figured out.  Their houses are clean. Their children behave. They pintrest their lives from top-to-bottom. CERTAINLY they keep their amazing topiaries that the previous home owners gifted them ALIVE. (ok, maybe that last part is just a personal battle)

Its probably just me.
But, I'm having to really struggle through learning to balance setting high standards with having unreasonable expectations.  Its only taken me 6+ years of parenting to come around to the notion that maybe it is a bit unrealistic to think that I can have four children, work part-time, keep my house clean and laundry done, decorate new home, keep social commitments, volunteer for EVERYTHING...and STILL keep the stinkin' topiaries alive.  Yet, I still find myself getting emails asking for help (meals, volunteers, hostesses, etc) and immediately see flashing red lights that say EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT.  THEY'LL HATE YOU FOREVER IF YOU DON'T SIGN UP. QUICK. WRITE YOUR NAME. NOW.

This may sound completely ridiculous to you.  If so, I congratulate you for your ability to self-manage.  I applaud you for recognizing where your real priorities are.  I'm glad you don't feel the need to compare yourself with others. I really am. And its something I'm working on releasing.

But. Just in case.
Just in case there are others of you that find yourself with the same conundrum...
I have a few things to confess.

I prefer my kids eat fresh fruits and vegetables at dinner every night.
But sometimes we eat cereal. FOR DINNER.

I love coming up with creative and intentional things to do with my children on our days at home together.
But sometimes I let them watch a movie.

I want to teach my kids to be responsible for their own belongings.
But sometimes I prefer to clean-up and organize the playroom myself.

I like to keep my home neat and organized.
But I've been paying someone else to do much of the actual cleaning for the last 4 years.

I like for my children to be clean and neatly dressed.
But there are times when I can't remember the last time we bathed the baby.

I like to hear about the things my kids are learning at school and the people they are interacting with.
But sometimes after a long day at work, I just ask them to tell me something they like about ME.

When I'm with my kids in public, I like to maintain an appearance of being calm, cool and collected.
But typically I'm taking deep breaths, giving myself pep-talks and PRAYING (on the inside).

ALL that and...
I've mowed grass exactly NEVER.
I (still) occasionally drink straight out of the container.
My husband is usually the one who wakes up first when a child needs us in the night.
I nearly ALWAYS have a bag of peanut butter M&Ms hidden in the refrigerator.
AND I rarely wash my face before I go to sleep.
Gasp. I KNOW!

But the most recent amazing mom moment. And the real trigger for this post.  Is this:
I took my kids to the dentist this week.
For the first time.
And KJ is six.
And if you think I didn't beat myself up one side and down the other knowing I was going to have to face the DENTIST and tell him that I definitely BRUSH my children's teeth, but have never actually been to visit someone in his profession. You'd be wrong. 

While my children played innocently in the waiting room, I felt like I was waiting outside the principal's office.  I just knew I was going to be chastised. 

But we did it. We survived.  I might have been a bit crazy for taking all 3 at once. By myself. But, that's how I roll.  Late. And all at once.

The kids did great.  They loved the dentist (maybe mostly for his video games). 

And they now remind me constantly that they need to brush AND floss.  And letmetellyouwhat- I'm SO glad we've added flossing to the list of things I can't forget to do.
Because heaven knows I needed something else to forget to do.
And assume EVERY other mom IN.THE.WORLD is remembering to do it.
Making me...

And that's when it hits me.  I already am.  I absolutely am the very best mom for KJ, Cbug, Lou and their baby brother who still doesn't have a blog name.  And when I allow myself some freedom to learn and grow and improve, I actually enjoy the process.  So, starting with this less-traumatic-than-expected Dentist visit. I'm releasing myself to not be perfect. I'm releasing myself to live in this season of craziness and just be the best ME I can be.  And doncha just know it.  I happen to like myself better this way.  Tonight, we might even eat cereal (before we floss).

Shew, that feels better. Maybe, just maybe, if moms would do a better job of sharing what we are learning and not doing perfectly.  Maybe, if we join teams instead of competing. Maybe if we would tell about the time we forgot to (
We might just be able to encourage each other along the way. 
But maybe, its just me.



Anonymous said...

I feel like I will be so prepared as a mommy by just watching you! Your honesty and wisdom are beautiful and I thank God for you and your family often. Keep being transparent - it is a breath of fresh air - even to those of us who have yet to experience parenthood.
Nicole Hendley

Talmid said...

You're a great mom! And you have great kids. Keep it up.

The Brackeens said...

Being able to laugh at yourself is a great quality. We all try to take ourselves too seriously sometimes. Enjoyed it. ;) It's funny. I have my own little imperfections, but they aren't the same ones as yours...except I do like to organize the play room myself...and we got a once-a-month cleaning lady when the second child was born. That is money well spent for a full-time mom who would rather spend evenings going for walks and doing the obligatory dishes instead of cleaning the toilets. Although, I'll admit, I've never told anyone about her for fear I'll be seen as 'spoiled' or 'lazy'. But honestly, I love her and its so nice to come home to clean toilets!!! ;) Ha ha.

Betsy@Living in the Moment said...

Ditto on all of your confessions. Still laughing about the "sometimes I just want them to tell me something great about me"
My confession: So that I can finish up a work project my kids have been introduced to the fine art of bugs bunny. :)

Lauren said...

Amen and Amen, Allison! This was a divine post meant for me to read this very moment. Thank you for your words. They are a gift to me. I am going to be releasing myself from some things...starting this afternoon after naptime

Alisa N. said...

LOVE :-) Thank you so much for sharing.

Brooke said...

I wish I could take a picture of my house right now and post it for you here. It's a total disaster and we're about to put it on the market. I've been dealing with morning sickness for about two months and my oh my, it's so dirty around here. Yesterday, I cleaned the toilet, just because I couldn't take loosing my cookies one more time in that nasty thing. I was so proud about an hour later when I was face to face with it again. And my kids? Curious George may be a godparent by now. And that's my real life!

Anita said...

I've thought for a long time that if all Moms were honest about what really goes on in our homes, we could all be a little happier not having to compare ourselves to others. Bravo for having the courage to admit that you're not perfect!