So, I try to be put together and manage to do my hair and makeup when I have meetings, zooms or events…and when I am home doing the day to day, I don’t get there very often. When I am home, not doing meetings, just working and keeping up with the house? I am one of the messy moms. And that’s ok!
I try to keep it real around here. The reality is that most of the time, I start work right after the kids go to school – more often than not with messy hair and glasses because I am half blind without them – and get ready whenever I come to a stopping point, either with writing, getting through a few things on the to-do list, or chores, depending on the needful.
Mamas, if you are struggling to keep up with the day to day, and you haven’t showered in 4 days because you get up and start doing things right away and kids and life and all the things? You are my people.
To all the messy moms out there, I am one of you. I have days where I get lots of things done for work and around the house, but don’t shower until 2 pm because that is when I have alone time and I absolutely have to wash and dry my hair before school pickup. Or 11 pm after everyone else goes to bed!
When I do have a Zoom or a real meeting? I have to hit the shower before 6 am in order to get ahead of the other people who live here…or wait until after they go to school and hope that I have enough time before I have to leave or get online. On those days I am dressed before I get kids up, they always ask me where I’m going. Always.
I used to be the mom who had it together. When I only had one kid, I still went into an office every day. I had my hair and makeup done before I got the baby up, and I remember it like a dream.
Now? I have been working from home, running my own business since 2008. I like working in my jammies, plowing through my writing when I think about a new topic (whatever time of day that might be). With 3 kids, bathroom time is a premium and extra sleep is a bigger priority to me most days than hitting the shower before the kids get up!
So, I’m one of the messy moms. And I embrace it!
Why not? We all have to do whatever comes next, and take care of the important things. If I am taking care of my family, everyone has clean clothes, meals on the table and the house is mostly picked up (I’m not going to claim my house is always clean – that is always a work in progress…and we’ve had a year of hardly any reasons for people to come over and thus stress clean the house), I call that a win!
I’ve talked before about the challenges of getting food on the table – especially in this last year when everyone has been home and we’ve made like 100,000 meals. Check out some of my easy dinner ideas in Family Dinner, and Family Dinner 2.0. Or any of our other easy recipes in our Weekly Recipe Wins series!
Same goes for cleaning. My biggest pet peeves? If the kitchen sink is messy, or if the downstairs (main floor) bathroom is a mess. In the grand scheme, I do the absolute needful, and sometimes the mail piles up on the dining room table, or the kid stuff (jackets, shoes, backpacks, etc.) get piled in the living room. Laundry is always a priority, but ironing – not so much (I put it off until I have to).
I can procrastinate with the best of them. Probably not a good example for my teenager – who has decided that putting off doing a paper until the last minute can achieve better grades – but I’ve always done it, so I can’t call her on it, much.
My best advice? Prioritize what has to get done, make sure the kids are happy and healthy, and get them to help you do what they can. My 9-year old took out the trash for me yesterday, and helped unload the dishwasher the other day. My silverware drawer became a creative mess of spoons in the fork spot – and that’s ok. I re-organized it when I noticed. I have other ideas for ways kids can help you keep up in my Mom Chores vs. Kid Chores post from a couple years ago.
If you have been a stay at home working mom this last year, and you are completely burned out, it is absolutely OK to get your kids into preschool or daycare! Do not feel guilty. You will be a better mom if you can focus on your work, and then you will be better able to focus on your kids and be their awesome mom again when they come home. I literally just had this discussion with a friend. Mom guilt is real, but also, you need to take care of business and pay the bills, and sometimes you just need help.
Have your kids help with setting the table, dinner prep, or cleaning up their toys.
Sit down and give your kids extra love when you (and they) need it. Take the time to have a cup of coffee or go out for a special treat if you need a re-set or as a reward for them being really helpful at the end of the week. Recognize the small things – both for yourself and your kids.
Friends, take it one day at a time. We are all keeping up with all the things, juggling life and kids and home and family. And if that means that sometimes we are messy moms, that’s part of the deal.