Busting the Busy Mom Myth

A few weekends ago chaos peaked. All four members of my household dove into the dirty clothes to pull out something they needed. My family walked around Saturday in stinky socks, pants, and shirts which cancels out the clean clothes they did wear.

Sunday I ignored my three favorite people, skipped church, and graded papers all day long. By the time dinner rolled around, hotdogs and tater tots were all I could muster onto paper plates. And actually, the kids ate chicken nuggets because neither likes hotdogs. (Whose kids are they anyway?) (And yes I cooked two dinners. #notashamed)

Sunday night I was awake until 11:30, squinting my way through the sewing of ribbons onto my girl’s pointe shoes for class Monday afternoon. Then I found out Monday afternoon, class didn’t begin until the next week.

Most days I look across the landscape of my home and see clean clothes piled on a chair for weeks. Our bed remains unmade 99.9% of the time. Dishes teeter in the sink, waiting for one last utensil to send the tower toppling. And the stacks of papers? They breed like rabbits across the house.

Don't let the evidence of baked goods fool you. This picture was taken ages ago.

Don’t let the evidence of baked goods fool you. This was ages ago. But dishes are still in my sink.

Breeding like rabbits, I tell you. This stack mysteriously disappeared but was replaced by two others...

Breeding like rabbits, I tell you. This stack mysteriously disappeared but was replaced by two more…

My point? I fumble this motherhood gig. Every day.

But I’m not alone.

When I take the time to notice, I don’t see a mom who isn’t run ragged by life. The busy mom is a reality. But the busy mom who has it all together? She’s a myth we need to pound into dust.

She doesn’t exist.

Here’s the thing about the constant blog posts from all directions reminding us to stop comparing ourselves to other moms, to realize we’re all a mess, and to remember there’s no such thing as perfect:

We read them so much because we need them so much.

The busy mom with her perfectly coiffed hair and her perfectly attired children living her perfectly organized life?

We need to be reminded she doesn’t exist.

She drops the proverbial ball somewhere. I promise. Because a momma spinning all her energy to have the all-together life is an exhausted momma. She’s a momma who’s forgotten her purpose.

We weren’t charged with the mothering of our children to give them the flawless life. No. We’re to teach our children how to navigate an imperfect world. Giving them an unrealistic picture of motherhood does a disservice to our daughters and the future wives of our sons.

What if we stopped trying to have it all together for the world?

What if we stopped spinning?

What if we slowed to enjoy our children?

What if we allowed ourselves to make mistakes?

What if we offered ourselves grace?

Maybe if more of us shared our real—our not-having-it-all-together moments—we’d feel less like we have to do it all. We’d feel free to make mistakes. We’d feel better about what we actually get right.

Because the Saturday everyone wore the dirty laundry? We spent that day together. Enjoying each other. Sunday? The clothes did get washed. So there’s that. And I made dinner. Who really cares if it was hotdogs and chicken nuggets? My children didn’t go to bed hungry.

At the end of every day? I tuck my gifts into their beds. Kiss their soft cheeks. Whisper prayers over their tender hearts. And as I remind them I love them to the moon and beyond, their arms wrap around my neck, and my heart hears the most exquisite four words.

I love you, mommy.

Who needs to have it all together when you already have it all?

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