A question I get asked a lot is how I’m able to manage everything and hold everything together. And if I was being honest (which I think I always am on here), I don’t have it all together, probably not even close. Although, I really don’t know who actually has it all together. I think different things work for different people and for different families.
I’m a working mom trying to juggle everything in a 24 hour period all while trying to cherish and enjoy precious moments with my two young sons. I think being a working mom is extremely difficult. I think being a stay at home mom is extremely difficult. I think being a mom in general is extremely difficult.
Correction, it’s the hardest job in the world.
I started a book, Grace Not Perfection, back in the spring but mom life happened and it sat on my nightstand and served as a coaster for my nightly glass of water for the weeks—maybe more like months—to come. It was nothing against the book, at all. I actually think I kept putting it off because I knew deep down there were changes I could be making but just couldn’t bring myself to follow through with it.
Let’s rewind to a few weeks ago when momming finally got the best of me and I had a complete meltdown. I lashed out at my husband (who’s amazing by the way) having a fun moment hitting the t-ball in the back with my boys all while I slaved (not really) in the kitchen to prepare a home cooked meal. After my neighbors witnessed me acting like a crazy person, I made a promise to myself that night—backing off in the kitchen is ok and ruining a special moment between my husband and boys will not be happening again.
After that crazy episode I picked up the book and began to read it again. I brought it down the shore with me that weekend and finished it on the beach. I tried to make up for my previous crazy outburst and gave some special time back to my husband with the boys who were off using a kiddie metal detector to try and find some burred treasure. When I got to chapter 11 one of the paragraphs really got me and I started to cry. Good thing I don’t wear mascara to the beach. Does anyone actually wear mascara to the beach?! And, I had my trusty sunnies to hide a lot. Anyway, it really spoke to me and I felt like if I could have formulated how I was feeling she was already in my head and wrote it all out.
I knew right then and there that I might not be able to make all of the changes I hope for right away, but the ones that I can implement, I would.
For starters, we have always been a home cooked meal kind of family. In general I enjoy cooking, but when you get home after 6pm everyday and everyone is hungry, it’s a race against the clock. I always heard everyone talking about these Traders Joe’s meals and how good they are, so that week we went and picked some up (shout out to the orange chicken). We decided even if we took two nights off and did a meal like that, it could make things easier. It definitely has, but I wouldn’t say it’s been life changing. We’ve tried out a cleaning service before, and while I love the smell of my house when you walk in, for the money, I don’t think it’s something we would continue with. If the boys were older and didn’t make so many messes I could see this being an amazing thing, but I can’t see spending the money to have it look messy by the next day.
There are still a lot of things we are working on, like meal planing, taking Thursday nights to clean things up so it’s a fresh start to the weekend and we don’t have to worry come Friday, and treating the boys to a hot lunch every now and then instead of packing lunches every night have all helped. We won’t get started on laundry that continues to be my enemy and our mornings that are usually hectic because we are not a morning family, at all.
But what I have learned is, that even in my moments of weakness, God’s grace is sufficient. That even when I fail to be an example, or let life get the best of me, there are still those moments that humble me and bring me back to reality.
Momming isn’t easy. Keeping it all together isn’t easy. At some point it might get the best of me again. I need to continue to remind myself that while I might not be home with my kids all day, the moments we do have together are so precious. That it’s ok to ask for help or lean on friends and others moms to vent. That not looking at my day as a race against the clock but an opportunity to accomplish as much I can in that time frame makes my days more enjoyable. My boys may continue to push my buttons and cause me to question every idea of parenting I thought I had figured out, but just like I’m shown grace, I also need to show them grace. They need to be able to learn and to see us to grow as a family.
So for the moms who may have cried those tears trying to wonder how you’re going to figure it all out, you aren’t alone. For the women who are overwhelmed with work and balancing life in general, I understand the feeling. For the women who aren’t sure about making a career move or starting something that scares you, you’ll never know until you try. For all of us, perfection doesn’t exist. Once we let go of the idea of perfection we allow the perfect lives for each of us to begin to fall into place.