A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

Confession: I’m not the Mom you Think I am April 12, 2012

Filed under: Confessions,family,parenting,pets — mandyholbert @ 7:12 pm
Tags: , , ,

Somehow, unintentionally, I have given some people the impression that I have it all together. I appreciate the compliments – I truly do. But, I feel a little hypocritical in accepting them.
Let me tell you why.
I washed all of our bed sheets on Saturday. I finally put ours on our bed this morning (today is Thursday). We’ve been what we call “camping out” all week. That really just means we’ve been sleeping on sheetless beds on top of and under whatever covers we can scrounge up that are actually clean.
I have done an additional four loads of laundry this week, and all of the clean clothes are piled on a couch unsorted, unfolded, and un-anything else that is responsible and motherly.

We have eaten out every night this week – not because we love eating out but because I never made it to the grocery store to buy ingredients for proper dinners. We also are down to the last roll of toilet paper. I really need to get to the store.
My son’s favorite meal is macaroni and cheese from a can. Most people don’t even realize macaroni can be bought in a can. I actually feed it to my child.
I forget to feed the dog sometimes.

My poor husband had to dry off with a hand towel after his shower this morning.
The kids’ rooms look like disaster zones. I only care when I go in them. And I only go in them to tuck them in or to put their laundry away (obviously, a rarity).
The thing is, nothing is perfect around here. Actually, nothing is even remotely close to perfect. I feel like I never have it together. If I get the house cleaned up, the outside is a wreck. If I get outside presentable, then my car is a mess. I don’t think I’ve ever had it all done, and I don’t think I ever will.
I am a working mom. I have to remind myself constantly that I leave my house between 7-7:30 in the mornings, depending on the day of the week, and I get home sometime after 6 and usually before 7. When I get home, I have the family and animals to feed, laundry to do, a house to clean…I could go on naming the mundane tasks that keep a household running, but I won’t. More importantly, I have a family to love and take care of. I have projects to start and try to finish. I have a garden. A tree house. Bunnies. And a dog.
I am so blessed to have a husband who doesn’t demand a spotless house and meals on the table when he gets home. I have a man who doesn’t mind helping me search through the mountains of clean clothes and maybe the drier too to find two matching socks to wear to work. We decided together that we can’t have everything perfect and still have time for our kids, our projects, and fun. So, we compromise. We keep things presentable, but not perfect. When they start to get out of hand, we all work together to get it decent again.
I’d so much rather drop my kids off at the garden on the way home so they can play in the tree house. I’d rather go inside and take off the uncomfortably professional attire I have to wear to work and put on my holey jeans and my Crocs so I can go join them.
I’ll get to the laundry eventually. It can wait.
My family shouldn’t have to.


38 Responses to “Confession: I’m not the Mom you Think I am”

  1. sherbear64 Says:

    I’m proud of you daughter. You get what’s important. The rest can wait.

  2. Teresa Cleveland Wendel Says:

    Hurray for you! I wish I had a tree house.

    • mandyholbert Says:

      My husband and I built it together. I told him exactly what I had in mind, and he made it happen, teaching me everything I needed to know along the way. It was one of the best things we’ve ever done together. Talk about a bonding experience! It’s still a work in progress, but it’s usable as it is.

  3. Things sound like they are as they should be. At least one day when you look back you can remember family and not whether or not there was dust on the table. 🙂

  4. betsyk1 Says:

    That’s totally awesome. I love it. 🙂

  5. irishsignora Says:

    I absolutely love this post, and you for writing it. My house usually looks like a tornado went through a combination of a clothing store, a toy store, a pet store, and a vacuum bag. I just can’t make myself give up story time and making Play-Doh zoos with my kids to keep my house looking like my Mom’s or my Granny’s. This has earned me some pretty harsh remarks from people who don’t live here. I guess I’ve just come to accept that while we’ll never make the cover of “House Beautiful,” sometimes I have to take the minute to put the sheets on the beds and the clothes in the drawers — because, like you said, they deserve better.

    Hugs, sympathy, and empathy to you! –Kelly

  6. There is always laundry… And the kids will never remember if you did it or it sat waiting, again… But they wILL remember love, laughs, and memories. good job at figuring this out long before your family grew up. Keep the humor. It’s refreshing!

    • mandyholbert Says:

      Thanks! Sometimes I’m afraid they (especially my daughter) will remember not having a certain outfit clean that she wants to wear…But, you’re right. The most important things are the memories we make together. It’s a hard thing as a mom not to be too hard on myself. Thanks for the encouragement and for reading!

      • unless they are naked when you do the wash – you’ll never succeed in getting laundry done… so this is MY measuring stick… Look for MORE clean laundry (not just piles – count drawers and closets too!) then you are AHEAD of schedule! As long as there is something to clothe the children, you are a good MOM and you are way FINE! LOL I remember not a thing about my mom doing laundry – but can go on forever about what she did for me growing up 🙂

      • betsyk1 Says:

        That’s good news and inspiration for all of us!

      • HA! It IS good news, isn’t it? So LOVE those huge unfolded clean piles – you have official permission… but this conversation never happened if the Laundry Police DO knock at your door 🙂

      • betsyk1 Says:

        Haha! Right. I didn’t hear it from you!

      • mandyholbert Says:

        So, does everyone else keep throwing clean clothes in the drier to “fluff” them because they get so wrinkled from sitting around in a pile for so long?

      • YES – and I never iron – (if I can’t put away on time, you think I can do THAT?) so I have “steam balls” which are nubby round rubber balls you fill with water so it can steam the wrinkles out. We take the clothes we want that day and throw them in to fluff… fresh – good – and warm on cold days. 🙂

        I got a whole system going here about how to not beat yourself up over laundry! :LOL

      • mandyholbert Says:

        Steam balls sound like something I need!!

      • believe me – if there’s something out there to mask the fact I don’t have my act “together” I can assure you I know where to find it! LOL Ever heard of a spray called Wrinkle Releaser? Spray it on wrinkles – hang item – let dry or throw in drier – and PRESTO – it’s like you did it right the first time! Whoo too!

        Maybe I should start a blog about the things that you can use to give you the “super” power punch to that “super Mom” thing that eludes us all!

      • mandyholbert Says:

        That’s true. I guess when I think about it, we always manage to find something to wear! Thanks!

  7. Mum-Stitch Says:

    that made me laugh so much I cried!! You just described my life. I too am very hard on myself because i don’t keep everything “perfect” but it’s family that counts!! Keep up the great work your family is very lucky to have you.

    • mandyholbert Says:

      Thank you! I appreciate that! I’ll tell you, it sure does make me feel better to know that I’m normal. Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one who doesn’t have it all together. Thanks!

      • The biggest lie women believe is that everyone else is put together – and that YOU are the abnormal one. DONT believe the lie!!

      • Mum-Stitch Says:

        Yes I agree it’s nice to know I’m not the only mum who has mountains of clean clothes on the couch! I too feel like I’m the only mum who can’t keep the house together and like I’m failing my family in some way because everything isn’t put away nice and neatly but it’s like I always say > “Mountains of clean clothes prove I dress my family in clean clothes, Towels and toys all over the bathroom mean I bathe my family, Dirty dishes on the sink prove I feed my family. If you want to come over and see my family you are more then welcome-if you want to come and see my house then make an appointment!”

      • mandyholbert Says:

        I really admire women who can keep everything perfect, but I’m like you. And the last thing I feel like doing after a day of gardening and playing with the kids is scrubbing the dirt ring out of the tub after I bathe them. When do these moms relax!?

      • Mum-Stitch Says:

        That is very true. Wouldn’t be a very fun life cleaning all the time instead of playing with your kids now would it?!

  8. rubyblue32 Says:

    This is one of the most awesome/funny/ realistically cool things I’ve read in a long time. Today’s society has got us so convinced that we (and our houses!) can look like the commercials! But it’s just not true, and besides who wants that , anyway? I homeschool my two boys and have to choose all the time between housework and schoolwork. The kiddos are only going to be with me a short while anyway, so any critics will just have to suck it up, lol! Loved , loved, loved this post!

  9. Jeans and crocs outside with the fam sounds like the perfect priority to me! 🙂

  10. nightingale4real Says:

    Truer words have never been spoken! I enjoyed seeing that my family life IS normal. Most ppl don’t have it all together, ALL of the time! I love your laundry confession: ‘camping out’…now I have a term for it! Thanks!

  11. Hi Mandy 🙂 I see that in addition to liking the same blog theme, we have other things in common. I remember when my father passed away suddenly of a heart attack 13 years ago, a very wise uncle stopped to visit me one day to find me obsessing because I had a guest and my sink was full of dishes, the vacuum had not been ran or furniture dusted since ‘I don’t know when’, and laundry was everywhere. I was pregnant with my 3rd child and on bed rest…again…with a 3 year old and a 2 year old running around…and I felt the silent pressure to have a perfect house…. He looked at me and very kindly said, “Selena, the dishes will wait…the laundry and the vacuum will wait…and eventually you’ ll get around to them. If you were to fall ill today, I guarantee you would not be concerned with spending more time cleaning…you would want to spend time with your husband…with your children…and rightfully so! And if anyone comes to visit and they don’t like the way you keep house, tell them their participation would be greatly appreciated.” I was soo thankful!!! That meant more to me than he knew. Since then I have established some order 🙂 My kids are older and a big help. But we live here and you can tell! And we have slept on a random ‘cover’ more times than I care to count…but we love each other and that’s what matters!!!! Thank you so much for your transparency. I am very glad to meet you!

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