I am not ashamed to say it.
My husband and I have 4 children aged 8 and under. Spirited (that’s code for “sometimes ill behaved”), wild, high energy children. My husband travels a lot for work so I am more than occasionally a single mom. My family is easily recognizable (2 of my children were born in Ethiopia and the other 2 have red hair) around town and people often stop me and say, “I just don’t know how you do it. You’re amazing!” I smile and say a sweet thank you, but if I was being honest, I would just say I don’t do it. I really don’t do it.
My house is a mess approximately 70 percent of the time. There is laundry piled to the ceiling 3 out of 5 weekdays and the sink almost always has dishes in it waiting for their turn to be sent to the dishwasher. My kids are having a great week if their beds are made even twice and their bathroom has blue toothpaste all over the sink most of the time. I cook “real” meals maybe 2 or 3 times a week for dinner. The other nights are leftovers or chicken fingers or hot dogs or frozen waffles. I make my Kindergartener and second grader make their own lunches (gasp!) because I don’t want to do it anymore. My 4 year old son spent 30 minutes in Snip-its alternately screaming at the stylist that she was the “worst hair cutter in the world” and telling me that he was “going to kick my face off”. Did I mention that I am a therapist for children? Those moments feel especially good. Sometimes I even forget to pay a bill.
Here’s my point. I think that a lot of us have similar tales to tell. It is just that some of us are ashamed to tell them. The Facebook and Pinterest revolutions have created a standard that is impossible for most mere mortals to attain. We all have ‘friends” on Facebook who are updating their wall with statuses that rival the likes of Mother Teresa. With all of the amazing DIY and craft projects and recipes and home photos streaming over Pinterest every day, it’s hard not to wonder if we are the only ones who feel lucky when our day consists of a matching outfit plus clean hair, clean laundry actually put away and an empty kitchen sink at bedtime.
Let’s not wonder. Let’s not be ashamed.
Let’s be real.
The next time someone asks me how I do it all, I think I’ll simply say, “I don’t, but it’s enough.”