Let’s Get Something Straight

by Stefani on 3-October-2007

A very dear friend of mine sent me an email this morning after reading my blog. She said, “I’m so amazed that you find time for everything.”

I’ve told her before that she shouldn’t be hitting the bottle before brunch, but clearly, she’s been at it again.
Or maybe, it’s just that she’s had sick kiddos and is a little addled from sleep deprivation and disinfectant fumes.

If you’re reading this, honey, don’t you know me better than that by now?

It’s got me thinking.

If a good friend reads this blog and gets the idea that I’m some kind of supermom who stands in high heels on her newly polished floor, dons her crisply starched apron, and commences to stirring a pot with one hand and darning a sock with the other, all the while retelling fairy tales in French to her gleaming, hair-parted-to-one-side young men, well what on earth are the perfect strangers who happen here going to think?

Let’s get one thing straight right now, I’m a real mom who has very real faults. I’m a world class procrastinator. I sometimes go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. I forget to pay bills. I let my kids watch more TV than they should. I bribe them with sugar. I forget to call people back. I forget to let people know that I’m thinking of them. I lose my keys daily. I sometimes have to ask my kids for their forgiveness – for raising my voice, for being less than patient, for not paying attention to what they have to say, for being less than what they deserve. I miss teachable moments sometimes.

My floor looks like this, right now:

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And even though my kids are in bed, and I probably could put away the clothes and sweep the floor, I won’t. It’s not that I’m lazy. Well maybe it is. At least in part though, it’s that I recognize the fact that sometimes a clean house fills me up and recharges me, but more often than not, it’s writing, reading, crafty projects, folding and refolding and petting new Superbuzzy goods:

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or even just staring at empty eggshells, marvelling over the evening light resting on their sweet brown selves, and hatching (smirk) ways to use them in some exciting new learning adventure with my guys.

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Let’s face it. I’m a better mom if I carve out a little space for me. It doesn’t have to be a clean space (though sometimes that’s what I crave), it just has to be mine. That’s what this is, this blog. It’s my space. It is a space to record our days, document our joys and laugh over our shortcomings. I don’t mean for it to be false or look “perfect”, I just mean for it to be a happy place.

Take it with a grain of salt though, and know that we’re regular, average folks too. Folks who do NOT “find time for everything,” we just make time for the stuff that we love. The rest… well, it’s just the rest.

Sarah Jackson October 3, 2007 at 8:19 pm

So, so true and very well said!

Molly October 3, 2007 at 8:24 pm

You speak to my heart. I just sat in the middle of a rug that desperately needed to be vacuumed while I made a gift for a dear friend and my children watched an episode of Hardy Boys. The floor may or may not get cleaned tomorrow, but my friend will love her gift and the kids enjoyed their show.

Beth H October 3, 2007 at 8:34 pm

What a great sentiment! So often us bloggers and blog readers start to categorize fellow bloggers…one of which is the super mom/crafter/photographer. It’s nice to hear a down to earth post that makes us remember that we’re all human…we all skip housework for fun sometimes…and really we’re just US!
So glad we can all be ‘normal’ together.

Anne October 3, 2007 at 8:36 pm

My floor looks the same…just cover it with pretty fabric.

kristin October 3, 2007 at 8:38 pm

off to bed with
at least three loads of laundry waiting to be folded,
counters full of dirty dishes,
a bathtub dirty from the dog…
BUT…
a table wiped clean waiting for breakfast,
walls cut in and ready to roll paint on tomorrow,
and backpacks located…
thanks for the chuckle and pat on the back…

Marjorie October 3, 2007 at 8:54 pm

Amen, sister! I love the reminders that I’m not the only very imperfect mama out there. We are all in this messed up boat together (well, most of us.)

cloth.paper.string October 3, 2007 at 9:00 pm

yes. yes. and yes. i had a friend say a similar thing… i’m thinking of sending her over to this post. you capture it all so well.

and, that light you’ve captured casting the shadow of the screen on those eggs? amazing!

miguette October 3, 2007 at 10:25 pm

NO…you mean to say…you’re human!? Just like me?? 😉

I love that you took a picture of your unswept floor. This post hits home. Some blogs give that sense of false perfection. I find you to be very relatable and honest and I truly appreciate that.

ps…that egg shell picture is fantastic!

Rose October 3, 2007 at 10:27 pm

I agree with the above comments! Some friends seem to say similar things to me and it’s just that…that blogging gives me a bit of sanity in the chaos that is my life right now. Right now I have dirty dishes in the kitchen, family room floor has books, toys, pillows, a box from Costco and a big beach towel on the floor, a load of laundry to put away and a dining room table loaded with the cares from today. All of it will wait till tomorrow! Some nights I tackle stuff, some I don’t….but blogging, well, that’s totally theraputic for me…gives me a more Godly perspective on my blessed life! Thanks for sharing!
~Rose

leslie October 4, 2007 at 4:50 am

perfectly said!

Diane October 4, 2007 at 5:09 am

Beautiful! Thank you for a little of the dirt and the nitty gritty…

Tracy October 4, 2007 at 5:35 am

Great post, hun. It’s easy to think that what we write about is the entirety of our reality. Sometimes I even fool myself into thinking that about my own space, and then am wrenched back to the reality of unfinished projects and dirty floors. It’s a peek, often a wonderful, inspiring peek, and I love that.

mollyb October 4, 2007 at 5:45 am

Gasp!

kirsten October 4, 2007 at 6:19 am

amen to that, sister friend!
thank you for showing your floor – you are not alone!

and i need to get some of the tree fabric – i have the blue/green, but NEED to get some of the orange. fall and all.

Erika October 4, 2007 at 6:37 am

I’ve considered starting a blog and have scrutinized my reasons for doing that…not wanting it to be a place for braggery or self-promotion (as I have no business to promote), but you have written the best reason I have heard so far. It’s a place to preserve the special things in your family’s daily life, to grow in and mostly a place to call your own. Food for thought. Thanks!

Lisa Pijuan-Nomura October 4, 2007 at 6:45 am

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

I linked you from my website and put a little note about the importance of taking care of one’s creative soul..and for us, part of that is blogging!

Your blog is wonderful!

Thanks for sharing!

Lisa Pijuan-Nomura October 4, 2007 at 6:46 am

oopss..
this is where i put the post,
http://www.girlcancreate.blogspot.com

Lina October 4, 2007 at 6:54 am

Great sentiment Stefani. I’ve only just started my blog, but you hit the nail on the head for why I felt like I needed to start something of my very own. I battle with the clean house versus time for creativity issue (I’m a control freak who finds it hard to let go) but try to remind myself of what’s more important. After all a happy mummy is a happy family right?

Tania Stearns-Smith October 4, 2007 at 7:36 am

thanks for keeping it real…

beki October 4, 2007 at 8:30 am

Amen, amen!

If anyone really knew how my afternoons are – total chaos, crackers on the floor, dirty dishes, unfolded laundy, oh I could go on and on. I like that my blog is the one place with some order, somewhere over which I have complete control.

suzie sews October 4, 2007 at 8:31 am

Rock on…what a fab post…
I can totally relate to every word
Suzie Sews

bandittsdaisy October 4, 2007 at 9:09 am

I always feel so inspired when I visit your blog. Just seeing the simple beauty in all that you do, doing what you enjoy and enjoying what you do. The way that you view things, and make all beautiful (like the egg shells, and the shadow of the screen behind them, I love it!)…just refreshes me. I love seeing your vintage linens and thrifting finds and knowing that I am not the only one that enjoys those simple things that I find for a quarter. Already knowing that homemade cobbler tastes better when it’s made in that special treasure I found, with peaches we picked ourselves, I am only encouraged more to do these little things more when I scroll through your latest entries. I just enjoy seeing all the things you create with your treasures, as mine sit in a pile wondering what to do with them. Not that I don’t have many ideas, just that I don’t seem to find the time. I am making an effort to enjoy more me time, and involve the kids with more crafty stuff and just forget about the dusting and floors a little more frequently 🙂

nancy October 4, 2007 at 10:01 am

I want to just copy all your words and plop them right into my blog, I won’t do that of course. I might link to this post, since it’s something that I am often encountered with. Sharing our life online can make others feel inadequate, when all in all we are all inadequate. Your writing syle is an inspiration, thanks for taking the time to be sincere.

Eren October 4, 2007 at 12:16 pm

*clink* Here, here sister friend!

Lisa October 4, 2007 at 12:43 pm

You take such beautiful photos. I came across you on the NaBloPoMo photography group. I’ve linked you up.

emilyruth October 4, 2007 at 2:04 pm

i love this…it’s true it is more important sometimes to spend time doing something that you love & that charges you up than to be sweeping the floor & doing the dishes…who on earth will remember the dishes anyway especially after you make something super cute out of that great fabric…

beauty that moves October 4, 2007 at 2:06 pm

very well said, and i’m so glad i’m not the only one petting superbuzzy fabric! i was beginning to feel strange. 😉

Angela October 4, 2007 at 2:49 pm

I love you for posting a “real” dirty floor shot. Thanks for your well-put honesty and for being willing to let us see more than just a glistening halo and supermom cape. I can relate to every line of this post, and it’s encouraging to know I’m not the only one who feels they have to balance the trade-offs of creativity and perfectionism.

meg October 4, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Oh amen and amen, Sister! The whole “make time for everything” concept is one that seems to be lost on me. There are only so many hours in the day, I don’t care how you cut it. It’s just the I choose to have my dessert before my veggies a lot of times, figuratively speaking. Or, OK, literally speaking. The shot of your floor made my day, by the way. Man, wasn’t carpet good for something? Like camouflaging dust? I miss good ol’ wall to wall sometimes, like today…as I survey my floors. 😉

leslie October 4, 2007 at 4:38 pm

i have heard that before too, i have responded by saying i post whatever interesting thing i am thinking about or working on, whatever pops into my flustered head. usually just one idea or event that may look like a lot more when all put together. my blog is just a big old scrapbook of memories for me and my family (and camp fire group) so it is just teeny slices of my life (lots of the crapola is left out, who wants to hear all of my complaints all the time?) i love the comment you made once on my blog about my stepboys, you said you didnt know i even had boys at my house! thats because of all the heavy editing i do, i edited them right out poor things!

Marnie October 4, 2007 at 5:28 pm

thank you. i love the varying voices that are piping up to say “we’re just regular folks!”. it’s such a privilege to be privy to honesty like that. and always refreshing.
p.s. found you through cloth.paper.string
p.p.s. and i’m glad i did!

brit October 4, 2007 at 5:33 pm

“I forget to let people know that I’m thinking of them.” I think this is the hardest one for me. It seems that I offend people without trying…of course they offend me right that whole what are you doing that is so important that you can’t remember ME!

Well two little boys are time consuming and require as much mental energy as i can muster. And there is that darn husband who is always wanting to talk to me too.

I love my blog. For me it is a record of my life in a way that makes sense to me. And while I don’t think it is a romanticists view, it is definitely my view. And I write about what is important to me…..

Liz October 4, 2007 at 6:41 pm

Seriously, God bless you for showing your floor. You are such an inspiration to me, but sometimes I can start to feel incredibly inferior. Thanks for showing that even perfect mothers can be (very, very slighty) flawed.

dana October 4, 2007 at 7:18 pm

couldn’t have said it better myself. never can it seems. 🙂

Kelly October 4, 2007 at 10:33 pm

perfect! i saved this for one of those rainy days! thank you thank you thank you! -kb

molly October 5, 2007 at 6:41 am

perfectly, perfectly said.
i totally get(and live) everything you wrote.

lacy October 5, 2007 at 8:45 am

sweet stefanie!

your blogs have now become a daily highlight. I love how you put it…a life well lived and artfully crafted is often a bit askew, and typically a tad messy. You can’t paint a rainbow without dipping your fingers in the paint, eh?

I am looking to you as an example of “real” motherhood. I love your attitude and you are shining bright to those of us who want the same things for our lives.

I feel perhaps we would be great friends. 😉
lacy!

jade October 5, 2007 at 9:25 am

“Can I get an amen?!?!”

Steph October 5, 2007 at 10:40 pm

It’s so nice finding out that other people are mortal and have floors that look like mine, but lots of really fun crafty stuff.

Shelley October 7, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Oh girl, I can so relate to that! In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s a photo of my floor -except there’d be the added joy of golden retriever fur too.

A happy Mama is a good Mama – and a good Mama is what all our children deserve!

erin October 7, 2007 at 3:26 pm

i am right there with you. dirty floors and more.

Karen October 7, 2007 at 9:02 pm

Thank you for telling us all of this. It is very reassuring, and it gives me peace of mind to know we are all in the same (slightly dirty) boat together.

clara October 8, 2007 at 2:41 am

i agree! this is your space, exclusively yours, it’s not about perfection but an avenue to share about some of your daily adventures.

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