I Am A Beautiful Mess, And So Are You
Guest Post Written By Jenny Evans
Here is a list of stupid things I've done as of 2:44 pm today:
1) Forgot to have my kids pack their lunches for school. 2) Miscalculated when I needed to leave for volunteering at my kid's school and showed up late. 3) Forgot about a visiting teaching conference I'm in charge of planning at church this Sunday. 4) Went to pick up some books on hold at the library that had already expired and been sent back. 5) Ordered a PB&J sandwich off the kids' menu for my peanut-allergic child.
Normally I pride myself on being a marginally organized, functional person, but there are some days when I don't feel very confident about that assessment of myself.
What makes it harder is the temptation to give in to black-and-white thinking. It would be much simpler to give up on myself and say that I'm a forgetful person, or a sloppy housekeeper, or a bad mom.
Here's the thing, though. I could also make a list of everything I've done right today, and it would make me look like Supermom.
Sometimes I am forgetful and sloppy — but sometimes I'm superhuman in my ability to manage our crazy schedule and keep the house neat (temporarily, for a brief amount of time, for a specific purpose.)
Sometimes I'm a mean mom with a short fuse, but other times I'm so freaking awesome with my kids Mary Poppins needs to come over and take some notes.
That's just how life is.
One minute you're basking in a compliment on your parenting skills from an onlooker at the playplace, the next minute you're serving your daughter food that will kill her at Panera Bread.
(She's fine, by the way.)
I have moments all the time when I look around and wonder, "Did I just stumble through a wormhole into an alternate reality?" Here I was, feeling like I pretty much had the hang of this life thing, and then am shocked to realize I forgot 3 important birthdays this week, nobody has clean underwear left, and I was supposed to buy a gourd for my oldest to decorate like a book character for class tomorrow.
What I take away from my busy, messy, disastrous day so far is that you aren't either on top of things or a total mess. You're both. And that's just what a good mom looks like.
I may not have it all together, but my oldest two children just came home from school happy to see me. My daughter was excited I volunteered in her class. My oldest wants to tell me about her latest favorite book from the library.
I love my kids.
Life is good.
There just aren't enough hours in the day to be on top of all the things all the time, so be easy on yourself today. Every one of us is a beautiful mess.
(This post originally appeared on Unremarkablefiles.com)
About the author: Jenny Evans is a writer, night owl, perfectionist, and mother of six. When she's not cleaning juice out of the carpet, she blogs about life with a houseful of kids at Unremarkable Files. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.