This morning I forgot to send a water bottle with G-man when he went on a field trip.
I experimented by putting blueberries in the banana muffins and nobody liked them.
My three-year-old SunshineGirl fell down the stairs and looks like she got hit with a baseball bat across the face.
I forgot the TinyOne’s sippee when we went to town and she screamed for 20 minutes before I realized she was thirsty because she’s been spacing out her nursings a lot more and needs water in between for the first time ever.
I turned around from stirring soup to finish unloading the dishwasher and TinyOne had a paring knife in her hand that she had found in the silverware rack.
I found a moldy washcloth at the bottom of the laundry pile.
Then, to top it all off I was sorting laundry in the laundry room and heard hubby pull in. Then the sound of the dumpster being pulled to the road in the gravel. SunshineGirl and DinoBoy announced they were done with their soup, so I pulled DinoBoy’s messy shirt off and told them they could go play. The garage door closed. Hubby walked in and SunshineGirl came racing to meet him, shouting “the catty is outside! The catty is outside!”
And I followed him to the front entrance to see my DinoBoy, clad in nothing but a pull-up, standing on the front porch in the October evening, with the cat running free and in the wild in the front yard.
Ten minutes later I pulled a dirty Q-tip out of TinyOne’s mouth.
Those are my failings. At least, the ones I remember at this particular moment. I know there were more.
I know I forgot to say “Thank You”. I know I shouted. I know I got angry. I know my tired meant my kids got less of me than their little souls deserve. I know I got frustrated with my 7 year old for talking. Yes, just for talking.
But I am not a failure. That is not my identity. It is not who I am. It’s not ok to be a failure.
There’s a culture today that says being “real” means accepting that you are a failure, and embracing that.
#reallife and #realtalk have stormed the internet. Suddenly we are supposed to be glorying in mistakes.
Glorying in messy.
Glorying in “being human”.
Mistakes aren’t something to glory in. They’re something to learn from.
Accidents are not something to laugh at as “real life”; they’re scary. They’re something to cause us to take pause and consider how bad they could have been and what could have been done to avoid them.
I’m not typing this to be relatable…
…or to show you that I’m as much of a hot mess as you are, because this is not who I want to be, and that’s not who you should want to be.
These “confessions of a real life mom” aren’t about permission to fail. They’re about striving for better.
And about changing perspective.
Because screwing up isn’t cute. It isn’t funny. It isn’t something to delight in or be proud of. Screwing up sucks.
So let’s take another look at this day. Let’s take a look that says “I am not a failure — I tried hard and mistakes were made, but I am GRATEFUL for this day and I will LEARN from this day and I will REMEMBER THIS DAY WITH JOY.”
This morning my 7-year-old got to go on a field trip to a historic homestead and dip candles, use a washboard, and visit a one-room school house.
Today I used my brown spotted bananas and made a healthy batch of whole wheat berry muffins that were a responsible use of my resources.
Today my three-year-old tumbled head first down the stairs, but I was sitting at the bottom the Lord let me catch her halfway down, so her bruised face is the only injury, instead of a broken neck that could have happened if I hadn’t been sitting there.
My 14-Month-old is starting to space out her feedings some, which means I’ll be able to leave her behind for some events coming up this month that I thought I wasn’t able to attend. This means I have to think about keeping her hydrated, but I’m good with her only breastfeeding 4 or 5 times a day at this age! (And for the next year…)
I was able to get the kitchen caught up AND make a delicious pot of soup for dinner in spite of a full day and a roaring headache and being on day 10 of a chest cold, and when the baby found a knife in the dishwasher she picked it up by the handle instead of the blade!
I made it to the bottom of the dirty laundry pile today.
We were able to get the cat back into the house without him bolting when the twins let him out this evening, and the ensuing teaching opportunity to educate the children on not opening exterior doors was very beneficial to all.
TinyOne survived another day of finding every hazard in our home. And our home is one day more baby proof than it was yesterday.
And you know what?
Tonight DinoBoy was crawling around like a crab, laughing and saying “I’m a crab like mamma!” because earlier I took 5 minutes to teach them to crab crawl that ended in a tickle fest. I had forgotten about that.
Tonight TinyOne brought me a book that I read to her earlier and pointed out a lion. “Rawwwr”, she whispered with a grin. Yeah. I taught her that today.
G-man and his Daddy are sitting on the couch, talking about his trip and everything he learned.
SunshineGirl told her Grammie today that “mommy kissed her nose and gave her medicine” when she fell down the stairs. She remembered that that made it better.
Hubby decided he likes the muffins after all, and TinyOne is completely happy with them.
And that’s the best soup I’ve had in months.
Pay attention to the “real”, but make sure it’s the “real happy”. You can embrace the messy, but also choose to embrace each small success, each effort, and each learning experience as part of the you that you are becoming instead of settling into the mess as a permanent state.
And keep finding ways to make the next day a little better.
The next hour can be better.
The next moment can be better.
Reach for excellence. Because when you give up and “embrace the real you” you lose the aspect of humanity that is what sets us apart from all other creatures:
So keep growing, mamma. You got this.