At this exact moment, all of the laundry in our family of five is clean. Every. Single. Item.
This must be how Mary Lou Retton felt when she scored a perfect 10.
Omg, I am the Mary Lou Retton of laundry.
Kids are sleeping after a nutritious, homemade dinner and a bath with organic soaps and lotions. We read books, took a walk; we had meaningful and pleasant conversations. Backpacks are packed for tomorrow.
Lunches are made. Dishes are cleaned and kitchen wiped down. My to-do list is checked off. My desk is cleared. My husband and I get some time to have a conversation over yet another homemade and delicious dinner. And I still have energy to finish the laundry and tidy up the house so we’re ready to hit the ground running the next morning.
On this day, I scored a perfect 10 in life. A freaking 10!
The problem is, this is not reality. Well not my reality anyway. This is probably never ever, ever going to happen. Like ever.
The more likely scenario is that the kids are in bed after way too many cartoons, with no bath, and only a bite of vegetables with their nuggets because I. just. couldn’t. fight. anymore. We did read books, but I got mad in the middle of said book because child A would not let child B say, “Go to bed, Pigeon!” by himself and everyone broke out in tears.
Here’s the thing – everyone is fed. Everyone received love. Everyone was educated on some level today. And while there are still things left on the day’s to-do list… it was a pretty good day.
So why do I feel like I’ve failed?
I chose to stay home when our daughter was born and that life has now evolved into managing my family’s business and also starting up a new business, all while still (trying) to have a stay-at-home-mom type lifestyle for our kids. It’s challenging. It’s rewarding. It’s a lot.
(Yes, I’m aware that they say that you can’t have it all. Apparently, we haven’t met. I will have it all. Or I will at least die trying.)
In the middle of yet another panicked moment of how am I going to get this all done?? I realized that letting go of the illusion of a prefect score is necessary. I used to work towards the perfect score daily – everything done, done right, and on time. And the reality is, if I’m not going to drop something off of my priority list, then the quality of some of those things on the list will have to be the sacrifice. It’s either that, or what’s left of my sanity.
My new perfect score is a much smaller list: spend quality time with the kids, do something unexpected and fun with them (I’m talking ice cream after school, not get matching tattoos), note how much of my ever growing to-do list I did accomplish rather than how much I did not, spend time with the hubs (talking, not talking, just meaningful time), ask for help when I’m overwhelmed, and breathe. It’s a much more manageable goal. And thankfully, one that leaves me in a happier place at the end of the day, and hopefully in a place with that shred of sanity intact.