I am pretty active in my neighborhood community. I am a stay at home mom, but I am not a mom that can stay at home where my only task is to take care of our home and entertain our children. As I tend to do, I have overcommitted myself in many different ways within our community. Through text messages with neighbor, who is new first time mom, she mentioned that she did know how I managed it all. The problem is, I do not manage our life well in many areas, and sometimes it is just the appearance of having it together such as a magician creates an illusion with smoke and mirrors.
This past year has been particularly busy. Our three kids are all in really active stages. Our house is a mess 99 percent off the time. This year, all three kids have each been in an activity at some point resulting in numerous trips in the car. This has been the year that boundaries have been pushed by all three of my kids, and mom’s simple “no” is challenged on a daily basis. In my opinion, this past year has been harder than the newborn stage.
I appear to be doing it all, but I am dropping balls left and right. I am forgetting birthdays of people that are most dear to me. I am forgetting appointments, snack days for my kid’s teams and other important details despite calendar reminders in my phone. I have slacked on exercise due to lack of time and have snapped at my kiddos on more than one occasion due to being exhausted.
I do not feel I have it together.
Through Instagram, Facebook and the occasional interaction with some, it does often appear I have it together. I have learned over my parenting years that all moms have their strengths and weaknesses. Instead of celebrating personal strengths, it is often easier to compare our weaknesses to another mom’s strengths.
My first experience with a mom who seemed to have it together more than myself, made me feel horrible. She was a room mom that was super crafty and creative, and I quickly compared myself to her. The strengths she exhibited were not any that I could even slightly conjure up. Instead of celebrating her skills, I let the comparison make me bitter.
Once I realized what I was feeling and why, I began to think about the strengths that I possessed. I do not sew, but I can cook a great meal. I do not make cute party favors or craft’s for kid’s events, but I can grow a healthy garden and do it alongside my kids. I am not prone to show up anywhere on time (just a smidge late), but I do show up if I promised I would. I do not throw my kids elaborate birthday parties every year, but I help organize inexpensive fun activities within my neighborhood for my kids to enjoy with their friends.
How much nicer would we be to each other if we started realizing that we all have different strengths? Women are amazing and can wear many hats, and the sooner we realize that our different hats complement each other, the better off we will be.
Writer Bio: Summer Bolte
I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.