This is a follow-up to this post where I wrote about the dangers of comparing ourselves to other mothers and feeling “less than” and what I feel I do well as a mother, and this post, where I wrote about the benefits of observing other mothers and the things I hope to improve on.
As I mentioned, you cannot possibly “do it all”. Or at least I can’t. Here are some things I observe in “other mothers” and say, “I’m impressed she does that for her kids, but I likely never will.”
Things I don’t do well but that don’t matter to me, or don’t matter to me *enough*
– I don’t dress my kids well. Their clothes are always clean, or as clean as can be expected with a toddler and a vomiting baby, but that’s as far as it goes. I dedicate no time to finding cute outfits for them to wear and even less time to getting them dressed in the morning. I think that Mackenzie currently owns one pair of pants that fit her. She generally picks out her own clothes, so it’s not unusual for her to wear the same thing multiple days in a row (assuming it didn’t get visibly dirty on previous days). Needless to say, we don’t do matching socks or coordinating hairbows. Her hair has never been blow-dried.
True story: Sometimes, when her hair falls in her face during a meal and I can’t find any sort of clip, I simply wet down the part near her face and slick it back. We’re all about practical solutions around here.
Don’t get me wrong, I admire moms whose kids are wearing coordinating outfits (hey sometimes even a season-appropriate outfit will bring out my envy when my kid is still in shorts in November because her one pair of pants had to be washed). I even feel some mom guilt that I don’t focus on this… until I remember “it’s not my thing and that’s ok”. I pick my battles. My kids get clean teeth and a couple of baths a week.
Note to Mackenzie’s nursery leaders: Her fingernails are NOT black all week long. She DOES get a bath Saturday night. Those darn nails are only black for nursery because blueberries on waffles are a family tradition for Sunday breakfasts.
– I don’t keep a really clean house. Don’t panic, it’s usually relatively clean as far as dirt is concerned, it’s just bound to look messy if you drop by unexpectedly. Mackenzie loves to play by getting things out and moving them from room to room. We pick things up at nighttime and then first thing in the morning, different things are carefully scattered everywhere (every measuring spoon and cup, or every Dr. Seuss book, for instance).
I know moms whose homes look great during the day, but I try not to sweat it. The carpet my kids crawl on gets vacuumed and our laundry is usually caught up. Though apparently I draw the line at windows:
True story: We have lived in this apartment for over 4 years now and I have never washed the windows. We got new windows just a couple years ago, if that helps you sleep better at night.
– I don’t do events.
True story: I have hosted exactly one baby shower ever, despite having literally dozens of friends give birth to scores of babies in the six years I’ve been married.
I know lots of moms who are room-mothers, throw parties for friends and parties for holidays. With one car, a husband with an unpredictable schedule, and two little girls, I just say “thank you” to whoever coordinated the event I’m attending. It’s selfish, yes, but it’s not the season for me to commit to much outside my family. That decision means no guilt when I see other moms “doing it all”. I’m not in the running for doing it all, so I can’t come in last. 😉
– I never look “put together”. You will never see me at the park wearing cute boots and a statement necklace. In fact, you won’t even see me wearing mascara.
True story: I spend more time brushing my teeth each day than I do on getting dressed and doing my hair (combined).
I was never “put together” even before I became a mom, but that didn’t/doesn’t stop me from sometimes being jealous when I see other moms breeze by in their stylish ensembles and cute hair. Then I ask myself whether I’d like to spend even five extra minutes getting ready in the morning and I have to honestly answer, “Nope.”
– I am not crafty. You will never see me making any sort of respectable Halloween costume from scratch, coming up with a rainy day craft activity from recyclable objects, or making darling memory books for each child.
True story: Mackenzie has never wielded a paintbrush or even a marker. We’ve stuck with crayons thus far because frankly, my own artistic skills have not outgrown the crayon stage and also, crayons are less messy.
If she shows an interest in art, I’ll have to ship her off to a community center class or beg a crafty friend to show her some tips. I tell myself I’m keeping things “simple” by not decorating extensively for holidays and just doing simple photo books for our memories, but truthfully I just don’t have a crafty bone in my body so I just admire other moms and spend my time elsewhere.
Ok, there’s part of my list. What’s on yours? What do you see “other mothers” do that you deliberately slack on without feeling guilt? We can’t do it all so… what aren’t YOU doing?