In Real Life :: You Can’t See My Couch

by Stefani on 27-January-2009

So, last week I mentioned our affinity for Walmart and opened a floodgate of responses (what passes for a flood in these parts anyhow). 

They weren't the sort of comments that I feared I'd get by mentioning the "W" word though. These were NICE comments, ENCOURAGING comments, SUPPORTIVE even – not so much of our shopping venue,  but of my laying it out there, being "real" and "honest."

I've been thinking a lot about that. 

You know, I don't get around to too many blogs – not like I'd like to. I check on a few each day, and then a couple of times a week I'll go on a binge and surf blogs way too long. 

It can  be overwhelming though – the amount of good ideas, new projects to envy, beautiful photos, pure D TALENT. 

On the one hand, it is so inspiring and uplifting. I love to see all the amazing ways that women and families fill their days. I love to hear stories of how people are mindfully raising the next generation. I love to see all the beauty that people wrought. 

On the other hand, blog surfing can be, well, kind if intimidating. It can make you feel pretty inadequate. You can start to think that "So and so would handle this so much better than me" or "SHE would probably never raise her voice" or "That person would never forget about the birthday party and buy some plastic noise making junk to wrap in the car on the way over. Oh no, SHE would make something beautiful, something that would be treasured into the birthday boy's retirement." or "I'll bet SHE never has piles of unfolded laundry on her couch for days."

When I peruse the blogosphere, I often have to remind myself that I'm looking at someone's life through a pinhole. I'm only seeing the wee-est little bit. If I knew them in "real life" I would see all the rest, and it would probably look as messy as my life. 

Tell me it's true. 

Lie to me if it's not, okay?

When I wrote my Walmart post, I realized that you all might sometimes feel that way around here… that our life is always as neat and tidy as this blog can seem. 

Perhaps you haven't read the Rat chronicles?

Seriously, I don't want you to feel like that. I try to be real. I try to lay it out there like it is, both because I think it will help us all, as moms to be honest about how hard this job can sometimes be, and also because when my boys are raised and gone, I have a feeling that some of the stuff that seems messy now, will seem golden then. 

The sticky floor, those piles of laundry, the not so flattering report from a Sunday school teacher, the NOISE – it's our life, our beautiful mixed up life, and I love it all. I don't want to lose a drop. 

And that's why I blog. I feel like I'm here at night, or in the wee hours of the morning, trying to catch the ocean of our days in a Dixie cup. 

When I blog, I'm a prospector, wading in, scooping up each day, shaking of the silt and delighting in the treasures that I find. 

I want to be sure though that I don't send some of that gold back into the river, not realizing that the clump of dirt that I found is really priceless. 

So, in order for ME to remember all the not so pretty, but still GOOD stuff, and in order for you to be able to come here and know that we are normal, average, just gettin' by, just like you, I'm going to start a new little series, "In Real Life." 

Every now and again, I'll show you something that I wouldn't ordinarily show strangers (nothing like THAT folks)… something I'd ordinarily shove in the closet when company comes. 

I hope you'll play along too. Let it all hang out on your blogs. Post photos of the toys laying in the front yard, snap a shot of junior having a fit. It'll be fun! You can even share them in our new "In Real Life" Flickr group

So here goes… I'll get things started. 

Hi. My name is Stefani, and I hate laundry. 

In Real Life :: Laundry

I can stretch one load into a four-day process… a day to wash and let it sit in the washer until it's stinky and then I have to rewash it. On the second day I dry it and carry it to the couch where it will be neglected for the remainder of said second day. Another day will go to folding it at a rate of one pair of pants an hour. Then, if I'm feeling industrious it might get put away on the fourth day. By then though, there's three more piles coming through the pike. 

It's sad. I know. 

But you know what I love? 

I love boys in their Spiderman drawers putting Papa's socks on their feet AND arms to put on a "Super Laundry Man!" show to help me get through the chore. 

That's us, In Real Life. 

Now come on, get real with us. It'll feel good, promise. 

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