So, I haven’t posted on the blog in a long time because, well because of exactly what I’m writing about today. I sit here today putting my thoughts onto the screen of my phone through the WordPress app, while I shove a salad down in between chores, errands, and running my kids to and from activities and appointments. For all intents and purposes, most people view me as a “stay at home mom”. The reality is that while I don’t work a full time job outside of the house, I am a part-time real estate agent, run a small home based business, and do the books for my husbands clinical practice. I have many irons in the fire! In addition to that, like most other moms, I play taxi driver to my 3 kids, am a chef, maid, and personal assistant just to name a few. And right now I’m feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, inadequate, and frustrated. There. I said it.
I mean sure, I’d like everyone to think that my life is perfect just like most people’s social media shows, but it isn’t. In fact, that is exactly why I created this blog in the first place. Remember? Real Life? And unfortunately while writing has always been an outlet for me, real life got in the way, and I had to start letting go of some things. The blog posts were one unnecessary thing that worked its way out of my life. But here I am today, trying to release my frustrations, knowing that there are a lot of other mothers feeling the same way I am, but not wanting to admit it.
On the surface it appears that I am frustrated with just all of the tasks I’m dealing with. But the root of the problem isn’t the tasks per se, but rather how our lives have become so crazy busy. If kids want to play on a good sports team, be accepted into a good college, have a “good” career and future, it seems that the path to those things has been paved so differently than it was 30 years ago when I was a kid. Wow. 30 years ago? Tomorrow I will be 42! How on earth can I be this old?! Where has the time gone? Oh yeah, the last 15 years have been spent running my kids all over the place to give them the opportunity to pursue their dreams, and to try to be a “great mom”. Instead, what all of this has done is make me feel like I am not “good” at any one thing I’m trying to be! My duties as a mom, parent, wife, housekeeper, and business owner all suffer because there isn’t enough of me to fill all of these roles with perfection. And to be honest, I don’t like it. I don’t like feeling less than adequate. I don’t like not being able to keep my house clean. I don’t like seeing my parenting and marriage suffer because life is so crazy.
While I have felt this way for quite some time, the slap in the face came this morning. As I was running around the house picking up after everyone, doing dishes, doing laundry, my 4 year old was begging for someone to play with him. He asked his sister who apparently responded that she didn’t want to right now, that she is the only one that ever plays with him. Wow. My heart sank seeing how my 12 year old daughter viewed things. And she’s right to some degree. I want to sit and play with him, to work on learning activities, to do science experiments, to have fun with him. There just never seems to be enough time. In that moment my eyes welled up with tears, and I felt like the worst parent in the world. I felt like a failure.
How did this become my life? How did I become so busy that I don’t have time to sit down and play with my child like I wish I could? Let me tell you. Society has changed. Expectations have changed. Sports have changed. Technology has changed. We have changed. Our kids have changed. Gone are the days where a kid just played on a little league hometown baseball team because he enjoyed it. Welcome to the days where parents push their young child to be on “the” elite baseball club team, travel every weekend for out of town tournaments, and spend a fortune to give them the opportunity to play ball, because this is the only way to now. This wasn’t how it was when I was a kid. None of this was. We had no cell phones to text and play games on, we picked up the phone and called our friends. We made plans to hang out instead of “hanging out” virtually on Xbox or through snap chat together. There were no travel club teams. I don’t remember my parents running all the time, but maybe I just don’t remember because they were the ones in the trenches like I am now. And it occurs to me, did my mom feel this same way when I was a kid?
Today’s perfect day included being slapped in the face with reality, being begged by my 4 year old to play, attempting science experiments the 4 year old has been begging for that turned out to be a total flop, a heart to heart discussion with my two older children about the state of things right now which sent me upstairs in tears, and the grounding of my oldest from technology today for things we repeatedly ask to be done that repeatedly get ignored. A day of parenting at its finest!
I do my best to try to fill all of these roles, and I do to some degree. But I don’t feel like I do any of it perfectly. Maybe I have too high of expectations for myself. Or maybe this is everyone else’s life too in spite of what they portray on social media. I try to keep a fairly clean house, I provide home cooked healthy meals almost every night in spite of our crazy sports schedule, even if that means cooking dinner at 4:00. But still, on the eve of my 42nd birthday, I feel completely and totally inadequate. This started out to be a post ranting about the expectations we as parents now have for our kids, the expectations they have of us, and how we got to this place, and somehow turned into the realization that right now I am feeling like a failure. But as I think about it more, I’m doing the best I can to be perfect. My family is thriving and healthy, they have hot healthy meals at home almost every day, our home is fairly clean, and somehow I manage to squeeze in running them everywhere and managing three different business activities. I am always exhausted and rarely take time for myself aside from my daily workouts. But I guess I’m about as close as I can be to perfect. I’m perfectly imperfect. And trying to learn to be okay with that, but as a perfectionist that isn’t an easy task. I’m not a Pinterest perfect mom, and I wish I were, but in this season of life with a four year old and two teenagers, what I am is here for them, and doing the best I can to manage it all. There aren’t fancy graphics and a lot of editing time poured into this post, because that’s the whole point of it! This is just my raw, emotional thoughts spilling out in the midst of a busy day. So for all you other moms out there that feel inadequate, overwhelmed, and imperfect, join me on the eve of my birthday in embracing being Perfectly Imperfect!
Wishing you peace and love,