Being Real

A short essay penned during a long winter with three children under age three:

Today, I had a mini meltdown about being snowed in, trapped with our piles of crap that needs to be put away and kids who don’t want to be here (I assume the babies don’t care, but Eli asks constantly to leave the house). So during Naptime in my perusing of Facebook I started getting so frustrated with people having time for crafts or whose house looks spotless or who don’t seem bored with their kids watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 24/7…

And I just realized that the reality of everyone’s life is different. I’m not supposed to be able to do it all. One of my biggest pet peeves since the twins were born is people saying “Wow! I don’t know how you do it…” Sometimes, I just want to say “I am not sure what your definite of ‘doing it’ is, but I’m not sure I am…”  Trust me, I am not trying to martyr myself here. It makes me uncomfortable when people praise us for caring for three kids born in less than 24 months. We just do it. If you had the chance to do it, you would be able to do it too. And if you have none, or one, or two, or four, you’re probably still maxed out. Stressed out. A little less patient and filled with grace than you would like. We all are at our max. So you don’t know how I do it- how they are all matching and fed and clean and I  am standing upright  with my eyes open? Well I don’t know how you work and care for your one child and function at both. You’re my hero. I couldn’t do it, and quit in a fit when he was 6months old. I don’t know how you have a 5 year old and a newborn. The difference in development must be so hard to do- a foot in two worlds.

I see moms all the time who are barely holding it together or shoving things in cabinets for company to come over. I love them all dearly, my friends who are trying to hold it together or feel like they should have it more together but somehow don’t. The houses I go to for work- fumbling to bring us coffee while shaking with nerves about what our developmental testing will show for their child. Sitting on the stain on the couch so we don’t see that their kid drinks Kool Aid- and spills it too.

Right now, I feel like half the time we have a handle on things and half the time I am not sure we will ever have a handle on things.

When I have company over and just leave this (about 8 hours of dishes) in my sink. The sink that I used to scrub clean every night before bed.

This coffee mug I noticed today- from a play date I had here on Friday (three days ago). Whoops!

This? This is the area between our dining room table and the wall that is farthest from sight. That’s two infant seats. A bumbo. And a rock-n-play sleeper.

This is three days worth of cloth diapers for three kids. I used to stuff them and fold them colored side up in a pretty basket in my living room. Eh.

And this is jail. Haha. Well not technically. But this is like two or three days worth of laundry. The way that some ladies lay awake and dream about Christian Grey, I dream about a first floor laundry rooms.

This might look like a haphazard something I forgot to put away. Nope. We store these snot management tools right on the back of our couch this winter cause they are in constant CONSTANT use.

And the pièce de resistance…this dead stink bug has been clinging to the toe plate below my kitchen garbage can for at least a day. Every time I see it and try to pick it up, I have a child in my arms and can’t. I tried with the foil and failed. So now the foil it there too. (And the funny thing I just realized? I took a pic of it during Naptime but can’t remember if when my hands were free I actually threw it out). At least it’s a dead one and not part of their live army taking over Pennsylvania. I promise, by publication it will be gone.

Toys in odd places…a sad dog who hates winter too.

But you know what? It’s ok. Today Eli and I played choo choo trains in whispers while the twins slept. The twins were adorable holding arms and talking to each other. And my heart melted. We are so lucky.

And sometimes everything gets washed and I feel like queen of the world…

And so, moms (and dads) how are YOU doing it? Some days we barely are. But we do. You just do. There’s not another choice- we parent. We laugh, we cry, we struggle through and sometimes succeed. And for those of you following who are hopeful adoptive parents, I know you long for the sink full of bottles and the 12 poopy diapers I changed today. I’ve been there too. I hope I don’t sound ungrateful for our triple blessing. I’m not. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness. And sometimes, overwhelmed in general 🙂

So the next time someone puts me up on a pedestal wondering how I DO IT??  I will just be honest that some days I am not sure how. And some days when Pinterest or TV make me feel less than, I will revel in the sweet moments with my kiddos that remind me that somewhere along the way, I must have done something right by the grace of God.

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