We are always talking about having it together or getting it together. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “I need to get my life together” or how many times I’ve heard other people say it. We all have goals. I am sure that there are things in our lives that we need to focus more on and be better at such as being a better mom, friend, wife, co-worker etc. There is nothing wrong with working towards being a better you or working towards being more organized in life.
I remember a time in my life where I put constant pressure on myself to have it all together; to have it figured out. My house was always presentable. I had a system and everything was organized and in it’s place. It didn’t matter when someone came over. I put all of my effort into constantly staying on top of the laundry, house work, taking care of the kids, I cooked at or around the same time daily, I never left dishes in the sink. I could have worked all day, came home and did school work for college, cooked dinner, bathed the kids and got them in bed-it could be 11:00 at night and before I got in the bed I was going to wash those dishes. I was going to sweep and mop. I was going to vacuum and pick up all the kids toys and I was going to throw in that last load of laundry. I was exhausted and irritated all of the time trying to live up to some unrealistic standard I’d set for myself based off of outside perceptions. I didn’t want to be judged or called a bad wife or mother. Just want to throw something in right here-set your own standard. Do what works for you. It doesn’t matter what others say they aren’t living your exact life.
But in some ways aiming to get all of that done sounds good. I’m being proactive right? Getting a head start on the day. But what good is all of that if you are mentally and emotionally exhausted the next day? What good does that do if you can’t focus at work because you’re tired therefore you’re not putting in your best effort, which your employer deserves? How does cramming a million and one tasks into one day- a day that has probably been long enough already-help you? How does the lack of sleep and irritation help your kids when they want to play or cuddle or tell you about their day but you’re too tired to listen or engage?
While it’s important to take care of home and all of the other outside responsibilities we carry, there’s no time limit and there’s no need to try to cram each and every task we can think of into one day. (There are several days in a week for a reason ya know?). We put all of this pressure on ourselves to be “put together” and if we aren’t “put together” then we are always telling someone how we need to get our lives together. You know something I learned? Most people, especially moms, are not looking for someone who has it all together. Yes, we want to be surrounded by people that inspire us and encourage us to be better but if we are honest we are looking for that one person who is struggling just like we are so that we feel less like failures and less alone.
This all became clear to me when I had a friend come over to hang out one day. She has two small kids and one of her kids is the same age as my youngest. When she got to my house I was in the middle of trying to straighten up and folding/putting away stacks of laundry. I learned that day that just from that moment I encouraged her. She said “You come across as the kind of person that seems to have it all together and it was refreshing to see that you were dealing with the same things I’m dealing with.” I was like “Yes! I, too, struggle and run around like a chicken with my head cut off.”
So be a mess sometimes. It’s ok if there’s a few dishes in the sink at night. It’s ok if the house isn’t perfectly clean and put together every day of the week. What’s most important is taking advantage of the time to spend with your husband after he’s had a long day and just wants to blow off steam or to take the time and watch Moana for the hundredth time with your kids. (I honestly like Moana. I watch it without my kids LOL). But I’ve had some of the best moments with my kids when I just ignored my long list of things to do and just popped popcorn and hung out with them.
Your mess is encouraging someone. You are not alone. You are not a failure. You’re not perfect and that’s ok. Your kids aren’t going to grow up and go “Mom, remember all those times the house was in perfect order and the laundry was always clean and dinner was always ready and waiting? Yeah….good times.” But they are going to remember the time they had a bad day and you took them out for ice cream or the moments you spent playing with them when you had so many other things to do. So let the cookies crumbles where they may, literally, and focus less on the mess and more on the important moments in your life that you will never get back once they are gone.