I hear it about once or twice a month. From friends, family, facebook. It’s always that one sentence that is uttered, and while it is said to make me feel wonderful, it also breaks my heart when I hear someone say it, and I’m quick to correct them.
It’s a short phrase, but it is a cut to the core one….
“I don’t know how you do it all, you are super-mom.”
Just last week two people asked me how I managed to do everything — tending to animals, which includes feeding, watering, breeding, and tending to their babies. Managing a household, homeschooling, cooking, extra-curricular activities.
And my answer is always simple….. “I don’t”.
Let’s just set the record straight very quickly, I am not super-mom.
As you can see above, most days my hair is barely done, and I’m surprised I even left it down yesterday when this photo was taken.
I know a lot of super-mom’s, and I’m not one of them.
I take care of our backyard animals, which includes 11+ rabbits (and their babies), a flock of 20+ chickens, two ducks, and there are ten chicks in the basement.
I home-school my one and only child.
I am a part-time photographer, journalist, and ad sales manager for a regional magazine — none of the three are related. And I blog… all of this from the comfort of my own home…which I live in 24/7/365. This means we use the house all day — I don’t get to clean the house and leave and come home to a clean house. No way. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I have a husband to tend to and clean up after, and a household to manage.
And while all of these things are great, let me tell you the things that are lacking….
The carpet in our bedroom is a wreck. Who am I kidding, our entire bedroom is a wreck. There are unfolded clothes strewn about, sometimes I have to do a sniff check because I’m not sure who threw their clothes where before their evening shower.
There’s a laundry basket (or two or three) full of clothes pouring out of it that need folding…right after the dishes piling over the sink in the kitchen.
I can’t see the top of my dresser, because there are folded clothes on top because no one wants to get rid of their old clothes…therefore I have to put them somewhere.
The best part is that my bed is made — I’m always very adamant about that. I hate a bed that’s not made.
My son’s bedroom is a wreck. As soon as we clean it and vacuum it, it’s full of toys again. I don’t think I’ve been able to see his floor for the past 3 months, except for the weekly vacuuming that it gets. Husband is putting down the wood floor in his room this week, which means this mama is going on a purging spree.
My living room normally has tiny pieces of shredded paper all over it from the dog. As soon as the vacuum is put away, it’s apparently a signal to shred every piece of paper towel and piece of paper possible. Half the time I just leave it there. When husband gets home and says “look at this mess”, I say, “oh wow, he must have done that while I was washing dishes, vacuuming, talking to 10 different clients, and trying to calm down a screaming child because he wants his green pencil for school work instead of his red one.
There’s a closet in my living room piled high with unorganized shoes. And the door is broken, so it has been leaning up against the closet for the past 8 months. Talk about an eye sore.
My bathroom is painted 20 different shades of 20 different colors, none of which we’ve decided on for the past 5 years. While I clean the toilet and sink daily, it normally looks like a train wreck — white toothpaste on the mirror, pee on the floor (most likely from the toddler, I hope). Oh, and my shower is green from hard water….and I just don’t care anymore.
I don’t have doors on my kitchen cabinets. Did I mention we’ve been in the process of renovating for the past 6 years?
Sometimes my kitchen table is so full of “crap”, that I give up on cleaning it off. I know that as soon as I do, someone is going to fill it up with bills, junk mail, loose change, play-dough, gum and candy wrappers, and Lord only knows what else.
Did I mention we only live in a 900-square foot house?
There’s 10 packages of wood floor sitting in my very small living room, and I’m pretty sure the dust bunnies around the edges of it have decided to make this place their permanent home. Just a few more bunnies to take care of….what’s a few more…
I lose my cool more than once a day — sometimes loudly, sometimes silently where no one can hear me.
I suck when I get overwhelmed, especially on days like today when there’s a toddler screaming at me, a house that’s a mess, and let’s not even talk about attempting homeschool today, k?
Home-school, let’s just say I’m thankful he’s already ahead for the weeks and months that we fall behind.
My computer desk is…disgusting. To say the least. And I just cleaned it last week. Between grimy little toddler hands, leaky coffee cups, and snotty tissues…..
I check emails and facebook more than I should, and sometimes I don’t know where an hour of my day has gone because of it.
If we’re being real here, then I should tell you to never ever go into my basement until we completely finish renovating it. You’ll probably step on a nail, die from dust engulfing your innermost being, and you’d be able to swim in the mound of laundry piling up in the laundry room.
I don’t cook dinner every night. Some nights it’s cereal, some night’s is a good stick to your bones roast and potatoes. Either way, they’re either going to love it or hate it. One or the other…
My walk in pantry isn’t so “walk-in”. There’s junk all over the floor because I have zero cabinet space for any of my pots and pans.
I don’t have a trash can and I can’t remember how long it has been since I’ve had one. I couldn’t get to it from the wood floor packages piled up in front of the pantry one day, so I took the trash bag out and told the boys not to use the trash can. Apparently, their monkey arms could reach it, and God only knows how long they had been putting trash in it. I didn’t know mold could get so fuzzy and grow so tall until I found a God awful smell in my pantry and realized that’s where it was coming from. I have a trash bag hanging on the outside handle of my pantry door now, and I can’t say that I foresee a trash can in my future.
I could keep going….and going….and going….
I could keep telling you about the socks under my bed, the cobwebs in the corner, or about the fact that I can’t deal with it all on most days.
But you know what?
My kid is loved and taken care of.
My animals are loved and taken care of.
My husband is loved and taken care of.
My job get’s done, even if I have to stay up until 2 a.m. to finish it.
The important things get done…and that’s all that matters anymore.
I refuse to live my life pretending to be super-mom or super-woman or whatever you think you need to call her or yourself.
I refuse to live my life waiting for my big house, perfect child, and for my husband to miraculously become pristinely (yes, I just made that word up) clean.
I love my family, I get my job done, and everyone is fed, clothed, and tended to.
But guess what, I’m not super mom. I eat real food, and yes some nights that means cereal for dinner.
I might crochet, sew, knit, and work with my hands….but I am not wonder woman because of those things. And in fact, I am far from it.
So please, let’s just do us all a favor — let’s stop comparing.
Because the sad reality is that the person you most likely set up on a pedestal, has their very own flaws, faults, and messiness.
I’m not super-mom….I will never claim to be super-mom. And if you have that false assumption of me in your mind, that’s your fault, not mine.
So, for now I will love and live….and the housework will get done after the billions of other things I have to do today.
As I told a sweet friend of mine this week — sure, I get all of these other things done, and I enjoy them. But something is always lacking. Always.
We cannot “do it all”. We cannot be “super woman”. Because in the end, whether you realize it or not, whatever you say “yes” to, means you say “no” to something else.
Yes, clean your house and tend to your household. But make sure you say “yes” to the most important things first — your husband, your children, your family. Everything else will eventually fall into its proper place.
I have recently discovered that the less I think about housework, the more it gets done…the less overwhelming it is….and the more I enjoy it. Enjoy it? Pfff, yeah right. But the more satisfaction it brings me.
Now, I must go tend to those dust bunnies. I have realized while writing this that I do not need anymore bunnies on my homestead!! Contrary to what I may tell my husband 😉
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