I don't think I'm the only woman in the world with Supermom complex.  I want to have it all together.  I want to have the gorgeous, clean, tidy house.  I want to have the well behaved, sweet, happy children.  I want to look put-together and beautiful every day.  And if I can't actually pull that off, I want to at least give off the appearance of Superwoman.  And I know a LOT of women who really do seem to have it all together - so I know I'm not alone.  And sometimes I let myself get really stressed out about competing with these 'perfect' moms - about trying to "keep up with the  Joneses," as they say. 

Well I don't have it all together.  Not even close.  And, frankly, I'm getting worse and worse at keeping up appearances at all.  I have become "that mom," who's always late, always disheveled, always forgets to pack her kid's coat/backpack/homework/etc, and whose house looks like a storm blew through.   But you know what?  I'm ok with that!  Today, I'm going to get real with you.  Very real.  I'm going to give you a peek into what my crazy, messy, chaotic life actually looks like - and why I feel so blessed anyway. 

I know that many of the pictures I'm posting have been ripped from Pottery Barn sites and the like, but I am constantly amazed at the number of families I visit (yes, families with small children, even) whose homes really do look like they're straight out of a catalog - spotless, impeccably decorated, and very tidy.  And every time I visit a home like this I think to myself "what on earth am I doing wrong that my house is such a mess, and their house is amazing!?"  Well - here's a look at my dream house, my real house, and why the two are so disparate.  I hope that it can be at least a little encouraging to some of you.
I would LOVE for my house to look like this.  Built in cabinets, shiny appliances, and tons of storage and organizational tools.  Oh, and furniture.  Actual furniture. 

Instead, my house looks like this:
The couch cushions are always on the floor.  The storage bins I bought are emptied and used as toys.  My "office" is a laptop and overflowing letter-holder stashed on a shelf next to my kitchen, whose sink is always full of dishes and whose pantry is a disaster (though it is next on my list of 'things to organize').  We use an old fitted sheet instead of a tablecloth.  The walls are covered in fingerprints, crayon scribbles and pre-school art instead of store-bought decorative displays.  We have more baby gates than electronics, and if you could get a close look at the carpet, you'd be thoroughly grossed-out (we are also in the process of saving up for tile).   And this post here will explain why I don't even bother trying to keep things tidy most days. 

And while I would LOVE for my kids' rooms to look like this:
And I even wrote this post here about how to keep kids' rooms nice and tidy, my boys' rooms usually look like this:
Toys everywhere, mismatching linens, and no furniture (I've got climbers and I'd like to avoid the E.R.).

In fact, even when it comes to my own room, instead of this:
Yup, once #3 came along, we moved into our semi-finished basement.  No paint on the walls, no flooring on the concrete. 

And yet, I'm ok with all of this.  I don't mind my house the way it is (most of the time).  And here's why.

1) I am so blessed to have a home at all.  It's warm, it's cozy, it's plenty big for all 5 of us.  It's in a beautiful neighborhood and we don't struggle to pay for it.  It meets all of our needs and many of our wants just the way it is.  We don't spend lots of money on matching bedroom-sets or paintings for the walls, but that's money we can use to spoil our kids, help a friend in need, or, well, save up for our dream house - when the kids are older.

2) I have 3 healthy kids who are so energetic and creative that they turn this house upside-down.  They draw on the walls because they want to create art.  They drag food out all over the house because they want to be independent and feed themselves.  They haul furniture from room to room because they're making-believe.  They even spit their dinner out on the floor because they like to make each other laugh.  My parents continually remind me of the damage I did to our home when I was a young, creative and energetic child myself.  And while I'm continuing my efforts to teach them boundaries and discipline, I know that they will grow.  And I will be very sad when my house is tidy, and well decorated - and quiet. 

3) I am comfortable.  I have exactly what I need to stay warm, well dressed, well fed and well rested.  In fact, I have far more than I need (and am constantly trying to clear out the clutter).  My things might not always be tidy, my house might not always smell like roses, and I may not be the world's best decorator, but I'm well taken care of, well provided for, and well loved.  And I would much rather have that than live in a page out of a Pottery Barn catalog. 

I hope this little peek into my world might help some of you feel better about your own.  Our children are our priorities and everything else is just icing on the cake.  So I'll try to stop feeling bad because I'm not Supermom and I don't have a perfect house.  I'll just do the best I can with what I have, and spend all that extra energy seeking contentment instead.  And when those catalgos come in the mail, I'll take a look, daydream a little, and then put them tidily into the recycle bin. 


11/15/2011 13:19

The fitted sheet as a table cloth is a really good idea! It would stay on the table a little bit better than an actual tablecloth would, right?

My house resembles yours - a lot. I've only ever posted little snippets into my chaos, no one's been lucky enough to have a photo tour of it yet. I LOVE that you shared this. :)

11/15/2011 14:45

Yup! The fitted tablecloth works great! However, it's only effective if your table is about the same size as a twin bed. You could probably rig something up by pinning the bottom corners of a tablecloth on a table of a different shape - I just got lucky on this one :) It takes them a couple of days to remember to yank it off, as opposed to 5 minutes when I have a regular cloth on lol.

11/15/2011 16:01

So my house resembles this... want to know what will make you feel better about that fact?


It is just me and the hubs and the furry baby, yet I can't keep this place in order for more than 5 minutes lol so thank you so much for sharing!! :)

-Meesh :)

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