Clean Up in Aisle 4

I’ve been writing a lot about all the emotions- the hard and the exciting- that come along with navigating a lane change in life. Particularly the one transitioning from a pure bred SAHM to mixing in some side “work” to pursue a bigger, personal purpose. 

I realize not everyone will relate and it’s not what you are all here for. Perhaps you already mastered having your hands in work AND motherhood (kudos to you). Maybe staying at home with your kids is exactly what is filling your cup up right now (good for you). Or possibly you don’t fall into either one of these categories (you do you, boo). Seriously though, you are all amazing at what you do. 

We aren’t all in the same stage of life but if I’m talking to all the Mom’s out there- we do all have kids and that always has stages. Really messy ones. 

And it’s time to talk about it.

So when your girlfriend asks you “How was your weekend” you don’t respond with “Oh it was great! We hung out, low key. Nothing too big going on.”

When it’s all a lie.

You tried to get the kids to go to bed early Friday night after a long week of busy schedules, so you could have some quiet time with your husband to unwind.

But after the kids ate half their buttered noodles for dinner, they played outside for a bit to then start WWWIII to even step foot back inside, let alone get their jammies on and brush their teeth. 

The battles were fought child by child for tuck in’s, which were ultimately won by the parents. If you can confidently call this winning… when the last child falls asleep at 9:30pm, with one of the said parents also falling asleep in the child’s bed, while the other parent finally gets back to cleaning up the other half of the dinner noodles off the floor.

And mind you, this is still just Friday night. We haven’t even made it to Saturday. When we would gear up for more battles over the simple, mundane tasks of the day; constant cleaning of the leftover snack bowls- and drinks, ohhhh the never ending sea of kid cups- by the couch, in the couch, and under the couch; and the impossible task of ever coming to understand any concept of urgency, or at least just moving quicker than a snail’s pace? Saturday comes and goes in the blink of an eye, but not without the headaches and tested to the max, acts of patience. 

In comes Sunday evening to nightcap the weekend: toy piles everywhere, nothing productive actually accomplished in the last 48 hours (or at least not without unwilling tiny humans around), back to the buttered noodles for dinner but a new shape in order to spice things up, kids on their iPads right before bed, and melatonin for all. 

Rinse and repeat.

Let me take a small step backwards, though. Is this weekend synopsis true to every second of every weekend? No. Does all the exhaustion and hard moments outweigh the good ones? Never. Are my kids still an absolute joy to me? Absolutely yes. (I wouldn’t have four kids if I didn’t believe that.)

We have just as many amazing moments, fun memories that always stay with us, and some good ole laughter that keeps our wheels going round. 

But… there is always a but

That doesn’t erase the mess. The fact that this stage of life with tiny humans can be hard. It’s a kind of messy that can be very loud, sometimes sticky, and always busy. Not just on a daily basis but an hourly basis if we’re really being totally realistic here. 

This is the mess that I know we all have. It happens behind closed doors but also at the baseball game or even better, down the grocery store aisle.

It’s time we bring this mess up to the check out lane. 

Normalizing the chaos and TALKING ABOUT IT is not something we need to shy away from. It’s not being ungrateful for what we have. I already know your kids are your whole heart, and you are a GOOD Mom who feels lucky enough to have your kids. You don’t need to justify that to me, or anyone else. 

But you do need to be honest. You need to be open and real. You need to know that you are not alone in the mess. 

In doing so, not only will you feel supported, but you will give another Mom the same support. Judgement free. 

Let me be the guinea pig here, just to prove my point. 

Some of my current mess, but certainly not limited to, includes:

*I am dealing with 27 toddler tantrums per day, surrounded by the fact she will.not.let.go.of.her.pacifier. She just turned three, and it’s something we had tried to wean her off of when she turned two. There is no end in sight, and the same goes for potty training. (4th kid problems…)

*The boy’s food preferences consists of chips, extra crispy waffles with nothing on it, and an occasional apple. It’s an issue. And a fight, every day.

*Everybody picks on the poor middle child. It’s mean, it’s ugly, and I don’t know how to stop it.

*Our basement looks like a tornado went through it. Then a bomb exploded. Then Noah’s Ark drove through it destroying anything left in it’s path. 

 *Bath/shower time in our house takes an (extremely uncooperative) hour, every time. I am not even kidding. 

*Although the oldest girl, she thinks she is far older than what she really is. Teenage drama, 7 years too early (ugh).

*In regards to leaving the house for anything, if I don’t repeat instructions to the kids 10 times, I might as well not say it at all. My voice is loud, yet unheard and therefore increasingly annoyed, far more often than I’d like to admit. 

*My kids have learned what it means to ‘tattle tale’… enough said.

Phew. I feel better. (Really, I do.) I can almost guarantee you related to one -or more- of these points, and maybe you feel better too.

Sharing these moments out loud allow the extra weight of society’s expectations to fall off our shoulders. It melts the mold of magnificence that we think we are supposed to maintain as a Mom. Talking out loud about the mess grants us the gift to feel imperfectly perfect, together

So the next time someone asks you “How is your day going?”…

Don’t be afraid to tell the truth. Because the chances are, while you were cleaning up your mess in the cereal aisle, someone else was doing the exact same thing by the ketchup. 

Until next time❤️