Over the past few months since having Jude I’ve had conversations with others and I’ve heard a myth that I want to bust today. Several times I have heard, “You seem to have it all together!” or something to that effect. When I’ve shared my struggles with someone, they’ve responded, “we’ll you sure don’t look like it!” Maybe I’m just a good fake!
The truth is, I don’t have it all together! Not even close. And if you asked those who know me best (my husband, for example), they could tell you! I spent the first three months of Jude’s life crying. I’m sure I had some baby blues but mostly it was just the sheer fact that life was hard taking care of a newborn and my older boys. I’m not crying every day anymore (progress!?) but life is still crazy. I struggle with discipline and routine. I struggle with housework. I struggle with time management. Seriously, I just started getting dinner on the table before 8pm and even my kids noticed. Luke said, “Hey, it’s not even dark outside yet, why are we eating?” Laundry is always piled high and if you come over (with plenty of notice) it will all be shoved in my bedroom so you have a place to sit. Don’t be fooled though, it’s not even close to being caught up. Jude is 4.5 months old. My floors have been mopped ONCE since he was born and I made sure everybody on Facebook knew it. Spot cleaning and sweeping is more than enough at this point in time. I do shower everyday. I made that lofty goal early on and have stuck with it, although my hair doesn’t always get dried. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I just figure I’m saving energy and keeping my hair healthy and shiny!
The truth is Jude doesn’t take great naps (usually 3, 20- 30 min naps a day) which leaves me with little time. Yes, he’s pretty content much of the time but it’s difficult because when a baby is awake you are constantly engaged. The truth is Jude wakes up sometime between 2-4 am (usually earlier than later) and pretty much nurses constantly until he gets up around 8. So, I sleep until he gets up unless we have somewhere to go. The truth is I cook at nearly every meal so just keeping the cooking and cleaning in the kitchen up is an all day, around the clock chore. I do good most days to do that one thing. This was my kitchen last night right before dinner! After dinner I cleaned it up (ok, so I left a few pots for the next day!) for the 3rd time that day.
Remember the laundry that is never caught up? Well, here is what my living room looks like most days.
Clothes get folded and put away randomly but it never gets completely done. There is always a new load in the dryer and one waiting to be dried in the washer. Around here, if you want something particular to wear you better tell me and then you might have to dig for it on the couch. I did take one more:
This is the den. During the school year that table is usually covered in school books. Right now it’s a catch-all. The boys were playing something at the time so their stuff was strewn out but was eventually gotten up, the rest is still there except the curtains have been fixed. We had a little ant problem over the weekend and I had moved them for the Hubs to get them up. Now, I could show you the bathrooms and bedrooms but that’s a little more than I’d like to share. I don’t want to be that real. 😉
So, why am I sharing all of this? Because while I know there are those of you out there who keep an immaculate home (you’re good at time management, super efficient, or maybe you have a maid… lucky!), I also know that I’m not alone. I know that there are lots of mommy’s out there just like me. And I’m here to say, it’s okay! I’m also here to just be transparent. There are seasons of motherhood when we can keep the house much neater than others. I remember when I just had Luke. I kept the house super clean. I had a cleaning schedule and cleaned while Luke napped (and he did actually take good naps!). I was also not cooking very much from scratch at the time either! And that does make a difference. Now, I have three boys! Life is different and that’s okay. As I mentioned in a recent post, God hasn’t put ‘have a perfectly spotless house’ on my list. Yes, He wants me to be wise and to work with eager hands (Proverbs 31) but that doesn’t necessarily equal a perfectly spotless house. Sometimes being wise means to stop what you’re doing and read a book to your child or take the time to write an encouraging note to someone. Sometimes working with eager hands might mean to make meals from scratch to help stretch a tight budget or taking the time to work through an issue with your child that will invest in eternal soul work rather than temporary housework!
“My kids don’t need to see a supermama. They need to see a mama who needs a Super God.” Desperate
When I read those words in Proverbs 31, “a woman who fears the Lord”.. well, that can mean so much. So, dear friends seek the Lord in how to run your home and don’t get caught up on what you can’t get caught up on! It’s not easy to let things go and not beat yourself up, at least not for me. I seem to have a shaking finger over my head saying, “Tsk, tsk! You are a bad wife and mother for not having dinner on the table by 5pm and not keeping everything in your home organized. And for goodness sake you should at least have your make up on when your husband gets home!” She seems to change her criticism often to match my failings! I must remember who I am, a daughter of the King. My worth is in Christ, not in my homemaking. My goal is to seek the Spirit’s leadership in my home, but I will fail and not always get my priorities right. And when I do, I will remember this:
“And above all, I need to remember that “good” motherliness has nothing to do with how God sees me. Nothing. I am pleasing to Him on my good days and my bad days. His love for me never wavers… and never will. Because I am His.” (Desperate, Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson)
Next, I’ll share more of how I’m seeking to find balance between giving myself some slack and at the same time attempting to be productive and hard working in my home.
Oh, I did take one more picture last night.. look at this little love bug!