I hear frequently that things look perfect in my life. How do I balance four kids, homeschooling, attachment parenting, kiddie sports/activities, writing, crafting, volunteering, and the like and still have a smile on my face? Carl and I get asked a lot: When do you sleep?! My kids are smart and cute, and I have been able to accomplish a lot of my early parenting goals (breastfeed all of my children, fully attachment parent, etc.). We eat organic, healthy meals and we make time to go outside every, single day. We love family time and one of our favorite aspects of each week is family movie night where we cuddle up on the couch, eat stove-popped popcorn, and watch a classic family movie (a couple of favorites are Swiss Family Robinson and Treasure Island). Heck, our toys are organized and my kids even help out around the house.
If that opening paragraph sounds disgustingly arrogant to you, I’m sorry you had to endure that. I didn’t write that all out to give myself a pat on the back, or even to make sure you know about all the things in my life I love or am proud of. I wrote all of that out to prove my point: It’s really darn easy to be whoever you want to be on the Internet. People can make up a life that in reality is a complete lie, and guess what? Most people will never know the difference. Now, none of the things I share with you are lies. I try to be as honest as possible in my writing. I want you to know the real me. But in reality, I omit a lot. I only share the good stuff with you. Sure, I’ve shared a few tough parts of my life with you. My marriage hasn’t always been perfect, and we’ve had our share of struggles in parenting. But still, I’m choosing what you see of me. Even the people I’m closest to in our little town don’t know everything, those parts I choose to keep to myself.
So, in order to be fully transparent and real with you, I want to share a few imperfect aspects of myself and my life. I don’t ever want to make anyone feel like they can’t measure up or that I am looking down on them because they make different choices than I do. So without further ado, here are a few of my oh-so-not-perfect, non-crunchy ways. I hope I don’t scare you away!
1. I (sometimes) (gulp) feed my kids McDonald’s. Yup, I can’t lie. We live in a small town, and it’s by far the cheapest drive-up option for lunch, so when we are out and about and I’m too lazy to make pb & j’s, I drive through those horrid golden arches and
poison feed my children. I obviously don’t like this decision, but it is what it is, and I’ve come to accept it is a part of life once in a great while. I even let them have soda when we drive through. Yikes. (How can I top this one, right?!)
2. I’m a yeller. I can have a loud voice, and if my kids don’t listen after
one two FOUR times of me asking them something, I yell. I hate that I do it, and I consider it one of my biggest flaws because I have so little self control when it comes to this area.
3. I only breastfed the twins part-time, and only for six months. I used the frozen breastmilk I had until they were 12 months old, but it was still only part time for the second six months. I wish I had tried harder. I wish I had had more support, and I wish I had had more knowledge. But I didn’t, and I was lost in the blur that was Cade and Avery’s first year, so we muddled our way through. I think this is one of the reasons I am so passionate about breastfeeding now, and why I will breastfeed Adele as long as she likes.
4. Since we moved into our new house in June, I haven’t composted or recycled one SINGLE thing. I know, bad, bad hippie. It’s on my list of things to organize, but it hasn’t reached the top. I’m hoping a little project we have in the works for this month will motivate me to get my butt back into gear in this area. It’s something I have been passionate about for a long time, so this one is hard to admit.
5. I started eating sugar again last spring and haven’t stopped. It’s truly a drug. (A delicious one though, no?)
6. I only bathe my kids once a week. I like to pretend it’s because they’re kids and since they don’t sweat, they don’t need it more than that, but really? I just forget.
7. I have a diet coke addiction. Well, I’m currently not drinking it (again!), but I cycle. I know it’s literally the worst possible thing I could drink, but oh how I love it. I distract myself with xylitol tea. It works (for a while).
8. My kitchen/dining room is currently covered (and I mean COVERED) in crafting supplies. It’s been this way for a week, and since I’m too lazy to clean it all up and pull it back out, it’s going to stay this way until I finish the projects I’m working on for a church fundraiser. (I realize this has nothing to do with being crunchy, but it shows how clutter-y my life can be!) I make my kids eat around the mess. The poor things don’t quite know where to walk/sit/stand in there!
So, I could go on and on (and on), I’m sure. For every one thing I do right, I do ten wrong. I usually choose learning by trial and error over using someone else’s tried and true methods. This list is just the tip of the iceberg! I hope sharing these shows just a little bit that I’m not perfect, and I know that more than anyone. It’s so easy to read blogs and compare your life to what you see or read. Sometimes I finish reading someone’s wonderful post, only to walk away feeling dejected and inadequate rather than inspired and motivated. It’s easy to notice your own failures with glaring clarity in the face of someone else’s list of ways she does things correctly. I screw up daily, in so many ways. I miscommunicate when I’m writing, and I stumble over words. But all of it is a part of what makes me me, and I want my readers to know all of it, no matter how much of an oxymoron (or maybe just a moron) you may see.