In my defense today was kind of a surprise adult day. I forgot the kids had dentist appointments and I didn’t realize I was going to have to go inside their school, so I didn’t plan accordingly.
The only jeans that were clean [and that also worked with my Converse, which I had to wear because, a. it was raining and, b. to cover my toes, which need attention] were the ones with the gaping hole in the knee.
In some situations I feel fine wearing them, but when I interrupted the cheer/dance duet at the second grade talent show to check Corban out, wearing those and a sweatshirt, I felt extra conspicuous.
That feeling was also due to the fact that my hair needs washing, so I had thrown it into a ponytail this morning with the plan to shower later. That plan was aborted for an extra errand and said dentist appointment.
Generally, I want to look like a grown up who tried when we have such appointments, but since I hit the ground running this morning there wasn’t time to try.
We’re preparing for end of the year stuff for the young kids, graduation for the big kid and my parents are coming into town tomorrow.
That means shopping. And cleaning. And balancing. And providing peanut-free replacement snacks for my food dye/gluten sensitive kids. And more cleaning. And an end of school playdate/party for our amazing kindergarten teacher who is retiring after this year.
All that to say, I caught a few looks from moms who had tried today [not the fabulous half-day kindergarten moms]. Or at least, I interpreted the looks that way. I could be totally wrong and simply be projecting my self-judgment.
Days like this when I feel overwhelmed with the to-do list and don’t feel like I have my stuff together, I’m tempted to be really hard on myself.
Not having my laundry done, forgetting appointments, looking gross and spinning my wheels when I’ve got a long list of things to do makes me feel like I’m a mess.
That’s the disclaimer I used to throw out: Hey listen, you just need to know, I’m a mess. It was my way to let people know what to expect, in advance.
But really I’m not such a mess. I’m just normal. This is something I’ve finally learned. We’re all a little bit messy in one way or another, we just don’t talk about it much because we are supposed to have our crap together.
Or so we think. We just keep putting lipstick on the pig.
I don’t know why we set the bar so high for ourselves (and our kids) in areas that, on the average day, don’t matter that much. I’m laughing a little at the idea that doing laundry and washing my hair was just classified as setting the bar high.
But, when you have young children, making it through the day with everyone safe and fed can be a real accomplishment. Having the house somewhat clean, too, is a huge accomplishment.
Nobody tells you that when you have babies. I’m telling you: If you’re pregnant or expecting a child via adoption or whatever, listen to what I’m saying.
I used to show up at church on a regular basis with our four kids in tow – after fighting through diaper changes, feedings and bottles, getting them all dressed and strapped into their carseats, tantrums and someone having to poop at the last minute, all by myself (Dave had to be at church early), because by gosh this is my one hour and a half this week to get some peace – and deliver the kids to their rooms, then promptly break down crying on my friend, Melaine’s, shoulders in the Highlands cafe.
That was my normal.
I’ve actually got a lot more freedom now to get things done. I’ve just had a busy few weeks that are giving me flashbacks to more difficult days.
Maybe if we cut ourselves some slack in the secondary things, we’d do better in the big issues, the heart issues – because when we get down on ourselves, every area of our lives suffers. It’s the hearts of our children that really matter and that can get lost in the to-do list and perfectionism.
When I feel free and secure I’m a better wife and mom. I’m a better listener and just generally more fun and relaxed. Everybody benefits.
Now, I’m off to attempt to take a shower. Because everybody will benefit from That, too.