On Doing It All (Airing My Dirty Laundry)

Internet, I am super-mega-effing stressed out right now, and it's all your fault. YOU! You, with your shiny happy pictures on Facebook of your smiling little kids, your sunsets, your perfect dinners, your soccer games, your evenings with friends, your tidy little houses, and your chirpy LOLtastic updates. You with your blog posts, coyly letting slip that you have a jillion kids all of whom are little prodigies, who you sit with while they practice piano, and behave themselves while you run a business and singlehandedly keep your household ticking along like a Swiss watch, (except for that one lampshade that is just a tad off kilter, and that's like totally shameful for you). Blerg, you Internet.I can't live up to your standards! BLERG YOU!


 


(Just kidding, Internet. I love you. Don’t be mad.)


 


You see, I can’t live up to that. For example, this is what my house looks like right now:


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(Minus the baby, who, praise the heavens, is peacefully napping. Hopefully for many many many minutes.)

 


The problem is, my expectations and my ambition are in conflict: I expect myself to keep an immaculately clean house; to have organized closets; to make homemade baby food; to dream up and implement baby betterment projects; to cook meals worthy of a chef; to handwrite thank-you cards in a timely fashion; keep the baby happy and entertained; and a myriad other household tasks, varied and sundry. 


 


But I also have ambitions: grow my blog; finish that freelance project I'm midway through; learn to sew; start running again; explore my little corner of Japan; keep up with friends and family back home; go out and do awesome fun things with my girl. Bike to the shore. Decorate my house. Finish that resume. 


 


But there is just not room for all of these things in my life. The expectation / ambition conflict means that something always gets left by the wayside. Unfortunately it is usually my living room. (Incidentally, when taking my daughter out to play the other day, I had to go over her with a lint roller to make her presentable enough for public observation. Oh gawd. I am the best mother ever.) 


 


Once more, for the kids in the back row, I give you this in lieu of a thousand words: 


 


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Please note the dirty breakfast dishes on the table. And the random blanket strewen across the couch. Along with the cat cage, that was recently extracted from THE CLOSET OF HORRORS,  of which I remain very afraid, and as I have not yet found an alternate home for said cat cage, it just sits there in our livingroom. Like this. 

 


 


So anyway, I'm stressing out about not being as good as the other mothers out there in Internetlands real and imagined : not doing as much; not being organized enough; not being fun enough; our outdoorsy enough; or ambitious or industrious or whatever enough. And then, I read this book to my girl for her bedtime story.


 


This gem of a book! This little treasure with it's jaunty rhymes, it's joyful illustrations, it's depiction of the real life of a family.


 


Peepo! by Janet & Allen Ahlberg


 


Look! A messy house! Puddles on the floor! Clothes strewn in random places! A baby who lost his shoe! A mother working hard, trying to stay on top of things! This looks just like my life!


 


 


 


And I started to feel a bit better. I'll bet that more people than are willing to admit have dirty laundry like mine. I'll bet more people have chaos that they are sweeping under the rug. But we keep it hidden, and post shiny happy things on Facebook and on our blogs. 


 


Now, here is where I would say, in conclusion, that I'm going to go easy on myself, modify my expectations, realize that they are unrealistic, and that no one actually lives that way. 


 


But what I'm actually thinking is HOLY CRAP I've got to organize the closet, and clean out the fridge, and make baby food, and that massive pile of ironing isn't de-wrinkling itself, and there are masses of emails that are hanging over my head, and the minutes in the day are not nearly enough to find the time to finish that video and write that update, and think smart thoughts, and my kid is whining, and needs me to pick her up and I can't make dinner and ... gah gah gha ... brainaneurysmkaboom. 


 


So, maybe I'll just conclude with a question or two? Are you swimming along swiftly, or just barely keeping your head above water? If you're managing....please tell me howhowhowhowhow!?!???????