There have been several articles in my newsfeed lately that bemoan the perils of blogger moms. “Don’t read those things!” they warn. “You will be made to feel inadequate. You will hate yourself and your children. You will get so obsessed with making the quintessential tiramisu that you will forget to change your baby’s diaper for three days.”
Okay, the advice is actually well-founded. You can’t let yourself get sucked into the hype. Truly, if a blogger (or an Instagrammer or a Pinterester or a Facebooker) is posting only their amazingness and subconsciously (or intentionally) letting you think that they tend to every detail of their mommyhood and wifehood with such exquisite perfection, you should block them from your inbox.
However, I would like to think that I am not that kind of blogger. I’d like to think that, but maybe you are just dazzled and frazzled enough to have forgotten some of my glaring faults (which I am not shy about posting). In the unlikely event that I intimidate you, I shall hereby take a moment to share a few snippets of my reality with you.
First. Yes, it’s true that I make my own laundry soap. And I love hanging my laundry outside to dry. But I am not a laundry diva.
This is my laundry room.
It is in the unfinished basement of our 140-year-old farmhouse. There is dust. There are cobwebs. There is dryer lint. There is cat poo (not pictured). I do clean up all that stuff once in a while (FYI the cat poo gets cleaned up way more often than “once in a while”. More like ASAP.) But you don’t need to feel like Satan if you buy ready-made laundry detergent. If you are somewhat capable of maintaining a reasonably clean environment in which to use said detergent, you are awesome!
Next. You may think all the sparkling wit, hilarity and brilliance that is created right here must happen in a zen bubble of peace. You would think I would be incredibly organized with the God-given gifts of administration and structure. Wrong-o! This is my desk right now:
There are about 6 different to-do lists here. There are reminder notes stuck all over the place. And see all those pens? Half of them don’t work. Whenever I grab one and it doesn’t work, I just drop it and grab another one. You do not need to feel like a rabid honeybadger if sometimes things are disorganized. If you have a general idea of where most of your stuff is, or at least some good ideas about where to start looking, you are fantastic!
Next. I know, I know, you talk about my carefree beauty at your playdates. You are in awe. You are jealous. (Riiiiiight.) This is me right now.
The truth of the matter is, once or twice a week I put on mascara and use some sort of product in my hair. And if I need to have my picture taken, I’ll make sure it’s on one of those days. The rest of the time, I look like this. You do not need to feel like Quasimodo if you have more important things to do than Kardashianizing yourself. If you have showered and/or brushed your teeth, you are a beauty queen!
Next. I enjoy a good decluttering day as much as the next gal. I do not keep scads of my kids’ schoolwork and artwork and church lessons and paper snowflakes and restaurant menu drawings. They show it to me, and I praise the work, then it goes in the recycling bin. The kids each have a Rubbermaid tub in the basement in which to store the most precious papers and keepsakes. I, however, have all of this:
I’ve been mid-sort for about a year. I would like to get this job finished and purged and minimized. But…ain’t nobody got time for that! So I’m a hypocrite. That’s what I am. There. You do not need to feel like a Nazi if you sometimes have standards that are, shall we say, double. If you have realistic goals that you intend to someday work towards (and if your kids are not hurt by what they don’t know), then you are a rock star!
Next. I have been so proud of myself these 2 weeks while my husband is away. I’m staying on top of so many of the jobs that he usually does. I am single parenting like a boss (and I’m not even in a drunken stupor). I’m looking after his chickens and turkeys – feeding and watering them every single day! I have taken out the garbage. I have brought in firewood and built a beautiful fire in the wood stove. I looked after a sale of something that he had listed on Kijiji. I got rid of a dead mouse in the driveway (and by that I mean I stepped over it and then I guess a racoon or something dealt with it later). I have even made an appointment to take my van into the mechanic tomorrow!
I didn’t notice right away that the water softener was out of salt. I noticed AFTER I’d scrubbed the tub and then a day or two later, it was looking like this. We have iron issues.
It turns out that sometimes dehumidifiers can overflow if they are not emptied regularly. So know this, dear mom. You may be the most capable, strong, independent Guru of Multi-tasking and Super-Ability, but you don’t need to feel like Rob Ford if you make a few little mistakes here and there. If you didn’t burn down the house today and most of the children ate most of their meals, then you are pre-fraud Martha Stewart.
Next. I have a lot of things on the go. Too many plates that I’m trying to keep spinning. I don’t really like frantic busyness, but I do sometimes bite off more than I can chew. And then my schedule gets crazy. And sometimes people look at my schedule or ask me what I’m up to, and I probably come off sounding like I’m so glamorously needed by everyone and I just have to suffer humbly under the weight of all my astonishing talents. But the truth is:
I’m on level 480. Sometimes there are just too many things to do and I buckle. It doesn’t happen often, but there are days when I get absolutely nothing worthwhile done. So you don’t need to feel like a speed bump when the world is running you down and all you can do is lie there. If those days are the exception, not the rule, then you are Michael Phelps (without the DUI and with, I don’t know, a cute sweater/skinny jeans/boots ensemble).
There you have it, folks. A few little bites of reality from your favourite (ahem) mommy blogger. Now go out and conquer the world.
Or don’t. Whatever.