Let me tell you how a normal day in the life of me goes down:
- Wake at 5am. Read, watch sunrise with a homemade latte
- Workout in adorable active wear like Kate Hudson, acheiving magnificent buns of steel
- Shower, dress totes-adorbs + full makeup
- Have breakfast ready, greet my love with coffee + passionate kiss while our theme song plays/doves fly
- Quick tidy of my already perfectly spotless house
- Ride all of our horses for several hours
- Make pinterest inspired snacks and lunch
- Work in my perfectly manicured yard, vegetable garden and chicken coop
- Read 47 books to our child, teach her how to speak French, sew, and craft like Martha Stewart
- Play with endless energy and enthusiasm
- Pay bills, balance budget, run errands, grocery shop
- Cook perfectly healthy gourmet dinner that kicks Bobby Flay’s bootay
- Bath time, 47 more book readings to my Einstein child
- Epic evening beauty routine, that includes long candlelit bath+wine
- Alone time with my man dime that would put the Top Gun movie scene to shame #takemybreathaway
Complete and absolute perfection, right?
Ha, if only. As funny as it may seem, I actually had almost all of those (unattainable) goals on my real life daily list at one point. Yeah, seriously. I was drinking crazy juice, I know. That list didn’t even include keeping my car immaculate, my nails done, working on my blog, meeting with my girlfriends, going to barrel races or taking my daughter on play dates!
So, here is what a REAL day in the life of me was actually looking like:
- Sleeping as long as my kid let me, waking up, already behind, and still tired. Wasting my quiet time watching/reading facebook news stories that make me sad and/or scare me
- Workout? hahahaaha
- Make breakfast, watch my toddler reject it. Slowly kill my husband via artery clogging fried bacon and eggs
- Look out the window at my unridden horse, who looks like a hairy water buffalo. Cry.
- 2 hour cleaning with ADCD (attention deficit cleaning disorder) never finishing it all, wondering what the heck I actually accomplished
- Make lunch, watch my toddler reject it. Put real clothes on.
- Pick up sun faded toys in my jungle yard. Think about my non-existent vegetable garden. Collect chicken eggs.
- Random husband requests
- Read 4.5 books to my kid
- Play…exhausted, and not mentally present
- Serve dinner way too late
- Bath time, a few ABC’s/123’s
- Get my face washed, teeth brushed by 11pm
- Alone time with just me and my man, a.k.a. passing out mid smooch while TV plays in the background
There you have it. Quite the difference between my expectations and my reality.
All of the things on my perfect list were “important” to me, and still are- BUT, I cannot accomplish all that in a single day- let alone a week, and maintain it. I pride myself on being a great task juggler, but it’s also easy to become a task fumbler when you sprinkle perfection on everything like I was doing. You see what I was REALLY getting done (and I don’t work or have school age children yet!!! Yikes!)
All my life, I’ve been trying to do and organize it all, PERFECTLY, and I have been failing miserably because of my own standards. I’m finally here to admit…
“I can’t do it all.”
Ouch, that was painful. I need a hug.
So, I made some changes. I had an honest talk with myself early last year about REAL priorities, and what I could realistically accomplish in a single day as a mom, wife, homemaker, bookkeeper.
A few months later, when I was told “you’re expecting TWINS,” I knew I REALLY I had to let my perfect list go. In fact, I had to chop it down to kindergarten simple for myself. The bare bones NECESSITIES became:
JESUS– As soon as I wake up, even if it’s just 10 minutes in a daily devotional and a “thank you” prayer, it sets my day and mindset off right. Facebook and the news first thing, do NOT. If you start your day off grateful for even small blessings, instead of wishing for what you don’t have, you’ll feel a lot happier, I promise. I highly suggest the Bible app. I’ve been hooked for almost two years now. Prayer/gratitude journaling is awesome too, but I don’t pressure myself to keep it up every single day.
MY MARRIAGE – The dude I chose is my PARTNER in life, and all it’s to-dos…even when I’m plotting his suffocation. A healthy, normal-ish relationship is a priority for me (and for our kids’ sake). I had to let perfection go in this area, too. If you don’t have bad days, bad moods, and clashing of ideas, you’re full of bull snot. We all have these struggles. If there is a thorn in my paw or his about something, I try hard not to let it fester, like us chicks tend to do. Easier said than done, right? Being passive aggressive never works either, by the way. There is a fine line between being an awful biotch and a doormat- on both sides. The old “communication/respect is key, and marriage is HARD WORK,” is so true, just like they tell ya. It’s definitely an evolving, continuous, pain in the butt project. I don’t have answers, but I do recommend letting yourself, and your spouse off the perfection hook. I also suggest giving at least one “I appreciate you because______,” and one good butt grab a day.
OUR DAUGHTER(S)– she will ALWAYS come before perfect nails, fast horses, social outings and a meticulous house. A good friend of mine once told me, “your horses and houses will always be there. Your child will only be little once- you can’t go back to those moments” SO right. It does go by way too fast! Don’t let the people you love get pushed aside, becoming moments you miss because you were too busy trying to keep up with the Jones’ instagrams and the world’s expectations of perfect.
AN ORGANIZED LIFE– clearly my expectations of this were too extreme, but it’s still very important to me (and for my kids to grow up in). Being on time, having a game plan, stability, routines and a decently clean environment is important for kids. At least for me they are. I am not a natural born organizer, although I’ve longed to be, and worked to acheive it my entire friggin’ life. I’ve searched and asked other people for help, found ways to accomplish it little by little over the years, but I also failed over and over.
Luckily, my newest strategies have been working out great over the past year! Only took me 31 years. Yippee.
If you’re interested, here they are:
-I’ve always packed around a PLANNER BOOK (that is a big one, especially when I was working. We can’t do it all, or REMEMBER it all either, ladies). Now that I’m a stay at home mom, I still have my planner book for important reminders/appointments, but they are the absolute MUST dos…NOT fluffy meaningless perfection garbage. Before bed I review it, and I look it over when I wake up. PRE-PLANNING IS KEY TO KEEPING YOUR MARBLES TOGETHER
-I still needed a simple “stay on track” helper for the day to day at home with my kiddo. I get task distracted VERY easy, okay? SQUIRREL!! Thanks to Pinterest and my own testing and errors, I came up with a DRY ERASE CHECKLIST that fit me. It sits in my kitchen-
It highlights the basic daily needs that have to go down in order for me to feel accomplished. They are different for everybody. I know most people don’t need to write down these simple everyday tasks – but I really enjoy “checking things off”… It’s a weird little quirk of mine. I like walking by and seeing the things I’ve finished, and being reminded of what I have to do next. AGAIN, these are basic. My “yard chore” may only consist of sweeping the three steps by our sliding glass door.
The template I created is saved on my computer, so it can be tweaked or updated at any time. If you’d like a custom one, send me your list! firstname.lastname@example.org
I WAKE UP BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE, ESPECIALLY THE KID. I am NOT a morning person, at all. I may really be Dracula. The night is my love, all the way. However, the rest of the world doesn’t work on that schedule and it’s not in the best interest of myself or my family. So, I’ve forced myself to get up. Arrrrghhhh. Once I’m up, holding a cup of coffee or tea, getting a dose of alone time and planning the day, I feel great!! It’s hard- harder than cutting carbs, but it’s well worth it. You start out ahead, not behind. Note: don’t think you can go to bed at midnight and get up early without burning out 4 days into it. Not that I’ve tried that or anything.
-I DO NOT PRESSURE OR OVERWHELM MYSELF ANYMORE. If you allow yourself to get wrapped up in the “perfection picture” that people portray on social media and TV, you’ll feel let down and inadequate. What you eat, the way you look, how much time you’re spending with friends, how you parent, etc. All those perfect people are just perfect liars. Since I threw those false realities out the window, my anxiety has been at an all time low. Even though every petty little thing isn’t perfect like I desperately want them to be, I feel like I have myself so much more together. The more I let go, the more I gained.
DON’T SET THINGS IN STONE. Although I’ve cut down my to-dos and expectations, there are things that will come up, making even the basics impossible to complete. You’ll get the flu, you’ll have a big school/work project that needs all your extra time, you’ll get knocked up with twins and won’t be able to walk 10 steps without having to lay down for an hour. You’re going to fall behind on things, you’re still going to fail. It’s just how it is. I’ve finally accepted that, and I’m much happier for it. I hope you will be too.
Happy New Year!