Monday, September 28, 2009

the real story

My friend commented to me after reading this blog the other day that it seemed like things are running pretty seamless in our household.

And that made me realize I haven't written much about the nitty-gritties lately.

I'll tell you what, things are far from "seamless" around here. I don't like when I start to sound like all is perfect here in suburbia, because let's face it, it's not.

I love blogs.

I love to document life. It's such a great outlet to me to sit in front of the computer and spill out my feelings and details of life. I love to have the knowledge in my back pocket that although I have the worst memory known to man, I can come back and read what the heck happened last week and still relish in the memories...of the sad and the happy...the good and the bad.

The only thing I don't like about blogs is that sometimes they tend to highlight only the rainbows and butterflies of life. Don't get me wrong...remembering the good stuff is so very important.

But I think blogs sometimes tend to mistakenly make the mothers who write them seem to be some sort of superhuman creatures...because we're more likely to document the good stuff. Blogs can create mistaken impressions that a mother can single-handedly whip up a nutritious, whole-grain dinner, make up fun cleaning games for her kids, pamper her husband, decorate a perfect house, read her scriptures in a little spiritual bubble each morning, fulfill her calling in church to a T, and feed the homeless in the twinkle of an eye...all with a smile on her face that she had time to put make-up on that morning.

Often blogs don't tell the "real story." They neglect to inform the reader that that same mother who is single-handedly "changing the world" also yelled at her kids that day, and burnt the pancakes for breakfast (come on, how hard can pancakes be for crying out loud!), and locked herself in her bedroom when the commotion in her "perfect" household brought her to a breaking point.

I'd like to hang it out there and make sure that I am very clear that I, for one, am very far from the superhero range of motherhood.

Sure, I have some good ideas here and there. Sometimes I go for a long streak of having an extra share of patience. I genuinely adore motherhood and waited for it with baited breath my whole life, which helps to keep things in perspective. But boy howdy, do I ever have a lot to learn.

I do try to keep it real here on "71 Toes." (If you don't agree, read here and here and here and here and here....I could go on but you get the point.)

Elle's friend can tell you the real story.

As she stood there in swirl of activity in the kitchen waiting for Elle the other morning three kids were begging for lunch money (one of them to the point of tears because I couldn't write out the checks fast enough and she didn't want to be late), Claire was crying because her bum was itching so bad (sorry if that's too graphic...she's got issues), Grace still had a welt on her arm from where Max got a little too close doing his dishtowel-whipping-scare-joke earlier that morning, the kitchen was still strewn with breakfast residue because since Max has to leave before clean-up it seems that everyone else slacks on their jobs, Elle was incessantly on the phone with various friends trying to figure out what mode of transportation they wanted to use to get to school that day, Lucy was yelling for someone to come get her out of her "tent" that keeps her in her crib, Grace was begging for me to take her out to lunch that day for the fifth time and I had to explain for the fifth time (trying my best to stay calm) why I couldn't do it that particular day, I was sweaty and stinky from working out and still had mascara all around my eyes from the day before and my hair was still up in all kinds of crazy clips from a hairdo one of the girls did on me the night before during story time...

I was a total mess...and I lost it with the kids.

Yep, that cute little friend of Elle's got a good show of what a "great" mom I am.

I'm just saying, life is full of chaos in Motherhood. And no mother can be perfect. We all get distracted from what's most important a lot of the time. We lose our balance. We yell. We get emotional. We criticize. We make mistakes...sometimes really big ones. At least I sure do.

But I'm a firm believer that although no mother can be "perfect" in the sense that she does everything right, every mother can be the perfect mother for her particular kids. I firmly believe that the "perfect mother" for our kids is a mother who tries her best to get help from up above, still makes lots of mistakes, learns from them, and helps her kids learn from what she learns along the way.

In my mind a perfect mother is a very imperfect mom just trying her best.

Sorry, just rambling. That's what happens when I worry that I'm painting the picture a little too rosy. But chaos or not, in my mind it is rosy because I'm thankful for it...craziness and all. Because there is nowhere in the world I'd rather be than right here, right now.
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