Sometimes I have this dream.
In my dream, I wake up at 5:00am super refreshed from a great night’s sleep. I’m up long before my 2 boys get up. I get a high intensity 30 minute workout in. Then, I sip some green tea and have this amazingly inspirational quiet time with God. I then whip up a hot breakfast for the boys and some blueberry muffins to take to the school. The boys get up around 6:30 and get dressed and brush their teeth without me even having to tell them to. They then make their beds and come downstairs for a nice, healthy breakfast before heading off to school.
We all pile into our minivan making sure to be at least 20 minutes early to school. Our minivan has our stick family sticker on one side and my 36.1 mile marathon sticker on the other (because I also run marathons). We get to the school and I step out of the minivan with full makeup on and my hair looks perfect. I pull out my chevron monogrammed canvas bag full of warm blueberry muffins to take to the teachers and staff. Everyone knows me because I volunteer at the school so much, and I’m always the classroom mom. Then, all of a sudden, the fire alarm goes off in the school. Everyone panics. There’s this loud beeping sound…BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
I actually wake up and realize my alarm has been going off for several minutes. The boys are slowly strolling down the stairs still in their pajamas. We have 10 minutes to get out the door. I frantically yell, “Go brush your teeth, get dressed, and do the best you can with your hair! We’re gonna be late!” I throw my hair into a pineapple (curly girls, you know what I mean) and wipe the smeared mascara from under my eyes (girl, I didn’t wash my face). I don’t have time to change, just put on a bra. Yeah, my pants say “love to sleep” all over them…I mean who doesn’t love to sleep, right? I slide on my Toms with no socks and throw the boys a room temperature pop tart as we rush out the door.
We pile into the Corolla and speed off to school. We pull into the school parking lot with one minute to spare before the “Oops, you’re late” sign comes out. I try not to make eye contact with the principal standing outside. I’m sure he disapproves of my tardiness. The boys get out and bolt for the door with their backpacks just barely hanging on. Whew! We made it….
Then, I notice they left their lunches in the backseat. I get out wearing my “love to sleep” pajama pants and shamefully walk into the school with their lunches. “It’s been a rough morning,” I laugh to the school secretary hoping she doesn’t notice my pants. She does.
I confess. I’m not perfect. I don’t have it all together. I know that’s hard to believe with my pineapple hair and my “love to sleep” pants out in public. Yes, my kids eat too much sugar. Yes, they have way too much screen time. No, they don’t play outside enough. Yes, I start diets and fail a couple of months (or days) later. No, I don’t exercise enough. No, my house is not spotless (not even close).
But here’s what I know to be true. I am fearfully and wonderfully made… imperfections and all. And so are you. We have social media constantly showing us how we should look, what our kids should eat, what color we should paint our walls. It says we should be a stay at home mom with a side hustle bringing in $1000 per week. Honestly, I’m just trying to keep the kids alive and make a dent in the never ending pile of laundry.
I used to try to do the whole Pinterest perfect birthday parties. The ones where you have this really original theme (you know, like what everyone else on Pinterest is doing) and you come up with clever names for the different snacks on your food table. And don’t forget to label what they are because people may not be able to tell what the cheese puffs are supposed to be! Then, I went to a birthday party my best friend threw for her daughter. She got some matching plates and napkins, ordered some pizzas, and let them swim at the pool. There was no theme, no food table, no handmade decorations. And you know what? The kids had a blast! Isn’t the party about the kids anyways?
Now, I am not trying to say “shame on you” if you go big for your kids’ parties. If you want to go all out, then by all means, Pinterest it up! But if you’re doing it so all the other moms will talk about it for years to come, then it’s not about your kid anymore. Maybe all they want is to just go swimming and eat pizza.
I’ve come to realize we will never have it all together. And as soon as we think we do, BAM! Life smacks us in the face. We lose our job. Our kids get sick. The car breaks down. The dog chews a hole in our wood floor. Whatever it may be, at some point, life will stick out its foot and make you smack your face on the concrete. So don’t look down on that lady (or me) in Walmart wearing her pajamas and looking a mess, because tomorrow that could be you.
There is so much pressure to be perfect these days…perfect body, perfect kids, perfect marriage, perfect house, blah, blah, blah. It’s exhausting to try to keep it all up and post it all on Facebook. I’m done pretending to be perfect. It’s time to change the narrative. I say “Girl, you don’t have to wash your face!” It’s okay to be a mess because being perfect is boring anyways.