I fell down a hole last night.
I think it probably happens to everyone– not enough sleep, too much negative self talk, and the little demons that live in your head start coming out to play.
I was on my own this week, as Hubs was out of town for work, and I also really stacked on the extra responsibilities for myself. Too many sewing projects, too many baked goods to bake, too many activities to cart kids to. Add strep with scarlet fever for Squeak to the mix, the accompanying baby-crazy-making meds, and our ongoing lice saga, and it was a recipe for a good long fall down the hole.
And in those moments, I often think to myself, “Everyone else has their shit totally together. I am not even a grown-up! Look at my house! Look at my stinky children! All I want to do is crawl under the covers and watch House Hunters for the rest of the day!”
It’s easy to get into that mind trap that everyone else has their shit together. I know studies have shown that Facebook is especially bad for this, but it doesn’t really affect me that way– because I have been reading blogs a LONG time, and those are even worse. Since I am a crafty bitch, a lot of the bloggers I read are even craftier bitches. And THAT does not help my feelings of inadequacy.
The inner monologue, with each click of that mouse, goes something like this:
OMG look at those cute little dresses she sewed for her FIVE girls! With matching ties for her four boys! I should totally make that. Right. When is that going to happen. How in the hell does she do that? She has nine freaking kids! Her house is always spotless! Her children are gleaming beams of cherubic light! She homeschools! She goes on dates with her husband and (obviously because she has nine children) has time and energy to get freaky! She’s thin and has long nails and long hair and her house is large and beautiful without being ostentatious and and and and I have only three kids but right now they smell like a butt, and I’ve got a muffin top and a messy house and I just screwed up sewing a simple circle skirt and my van smells like spoiled milk and we have a tiny house with only have one bathroom which needs some serious work and I SUUUUUUCCCKKK!
So. You can see how that’s a problem.
But like most things, a night of sleep and a good cry provide excellent perspective.
Actually? In all reality I’m doing pretty fucking awesome.
I’m not thin, but I am healthy. I can run around with my kids and ride bikes and wrestle and tickle and show my kids how to do a cartwheel AND a round-off.
I will never have long hair because I suck at growing hair follicles and I won’t have nails because I also suck at growing nails. This is not my fault, this is biology and outside of my control.
I don’t sew as often as I like, but I have a hobby that I love, that I am good at, and that I have even parlayed into a somewhat paying gig. If I sewed a million dresses for Funk, she probably would not wear them. She doesn’t wear the three I have made her in the past year.
I have a small house with only one bathroom, but I HAVE a house. It is messy, but it is well-loved and well-played in. My children love to be here, it is safe and warm and comfortable and it is MINE. (Well, ours.)
My house is messy, but instead of a clean house I have kids with imaginations that sometimes let me enter their weird worlds and play. It is messy, but not dirty and not unsafe.
I spend a ton of time running, but it’s awesome to see my kids blossom in their activities, or get the satisfaction of serving in the stuff I serve in. It makes for a busy life but the alternative would be not as good.
And here’s the kicker: something has to give for EVERYONE. When I read those blogs? Those blogs LIE to my inner demons. Of course those ladies aren’t trying to make anyone feel inadequate, but they are not showing you the whole picture. I know, because I don’t either. Remember this post? Well, my house wasn’t “clean” but it was a hell of a lot cleaner than it is right now, or even on most days. And I wouldn’t have taken a picture of how it looks right this very minute, after a week of solo parenting, kid sickness, bake sale commitments, sewing projects, and the spring ant invasion.
I am not trying to lie, but it just ain’t natural to be all “well, I’m pretty sure that I sent my son to school with jungle crotch today because forcing him into a shower the night before a field trip to a swamp just seemed dumb, even if he WAS stinky.”
I’ve thought about this a lot lately, especially where FB is concerned. I probably *look* like I have my shit together to most people. I serve on school district committees, volunteer in my church, have very involved kids with wicked little brains, and even have time to sew. I even had a friend call me “supermom” the other day!
And that made me feel like a complete douche canoe.
I am, we are all, doing the very best we can. And if I have every contributed to your inner demons here, on on Facebook, I sincerely apologize. I promise you that my shit still smells like shit, my house is often awful, my clothes are clean but never put away, and I fight the demons just like you. Just like we all do.
* Title bastardized from this.