The other day I had the sweetest conversation with a dear friend of mine. She and I have been friends for years, before I even met my husband. Her family essentially adopted me when I spent two glorious summers working on an island on Lake Erie during my college years. Her mom has always said we are like two peas in a pod, and it’s so true. We’ve celebrated so many important milestones together. My friend also understands the challenges that come with having a husband who doesn’t work a standard 8:00-5:00 shift. We are kindred spirits!
I had called her while I was out shopping to get gift ideas for her son’s upcoming birthday party, and the conversation turned to my blog. She told me how much she enjoys reading it, and how impressed she is with the amount of writing I’ve been posting. She laughed and joked, “Geez, you’re making the rest of us moms look bad!” And I laughed so hard the lady standing next to me in the toy aisle gave me a sideways look as she scooted away.
You see, my friend knows what my life looks like behind the scenes. The reality is that in order for me to find the time to take care of my family, work on our home improvement projects, and create this blog the house is a mess. I’m surviving on caffeine and there are some days where my kids watch a lot of TV. The truth that both my dear friend and I know is that I’m not doing it all. It’s impossible. And quite frankly, it’s not really my goal as a mother. I read somewhere recently (and for the life of me I can’t remember where) that if “doing it all” as a parent was our ultimate life goal, then single moms have been meeting this standard forever. And that really made me think. Because we all know that single parenthood is hard. I have the utmost respect and awe for people who make it work.
A few years ago my dear friend Amanda wrote an encouraging blog post in which she stated that everyone is cutting corners somewhere. Everyone. And that is something that has stayed with me over the years. In the age of social media where people can show the best portions of their lives it is easy to compare and come up feeling short. But remember, we are all cutting corners somewhere in order to make room for what is most important in our lives.
What is important to us varies immensely from one person to the next, and we must understand our strengths and celebrate how we are created. It’s not fair to compare ourselves to others. It’s also incredibly important to ask for and receive help. We were not meant to do life alone.
Please don’t ever read this blog and feel bad. I’m cutting lots of corners to make time for this blog, and I’m definitely not doing it all by myself. My kids go to a babysitter’s house two days a week for a few hours so I can stage photo shoots and write. My mother-in-law watches them a couple of evenings so I can go to my yoga class. My husband is absolutely amazing and gets our son ready for school in the morning so I can sleep a little longer after staying up writing late into the night. And I have awesome friends who help me with the computer and graphic design side of blogging. I am incredibly lucky!
I believe that life is beautiful, even in the crazy, messy, imperfect moments. Sometimes I feel like my entire life is a hot mess! The week before I styled and wrote this post about fall family activities my kids ate frozen chicken nuggets and pizza for dinner each night because I was busy sanding, staining, and varnishing the trim for the kitchen. They thought my frozen dinners were amazing! And do you know how I cleaned up my messy kitchen once I finally finished the kitchen trim? I piled all the clutter that was on top of the counters into a giant IKEA bag and stashed it in a closet! Then I frantically cleaned the house until 4:30 AM. Also, this week I finally got around to folding a basket of clean clothes that had been sitting on the floor of my bedroom for a long time. How long, you ask? Well, my swimsuit was in the clean laundry basket, and the last time I went swimming was the 4th of July. And it’s officially November now. So yes, I’ve been cutting a lot of corners lately, and I’m a happier person because of it!
Just know that whatever stage you are experiencing in life, it’s okay to cut some corners. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to do everything. You’ll be a happier person if you allow yourself some grace. Find what fuels your soul and enjoy this crazy, messy, imperfect life!
Have a beautiful day!
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