playing catch up

I wrote in my journal the other night:

going, going, going, but never gone. perpetually in the state of getting there, but never actually arriving at a destination.

I feel like life, these days, is all about spinning wheels. every day is pretty much just like the one that came before, and quite likely to be much the same as the one that comes next. this isn’t a complaint; spinning wheels isn’t necessarily a bad thing. the circuit is pleasant enough, and I am a fan of routine and predictability in general, but there are days when I get to bedtime and feel a sense of frustration at having not accomplished anything notable that day beyond feeding, diapering, entertaining two children. hell, there are days that simply making it to bedtime is a victory.

but I feel like I could be (should be?) doing more. and I’m not just referring to laundry, though that would be a good place to start. i look at other blogs and feel a sense of ineptitude. these other moms with their spotless, catalog-decorated houses with organized and labelled junk-drawers, showcasing their craft projects and culinary creations (in well-staged, perfectly lit photographs, naturally), tackling their lifelists with gusto and passion, canning food cultivated from their own backyard garden, homeschooling their kiddos, and still managing to shower and brush their hair every single day. I realize that these moms only show the slice of life that they choose to present to their audience, and underneath the glossy exterior they too (possibly?) have shamefully disorganized closets that burst forth upon opening, threatening to rain down an avalanche of wrapping paper tubes and never-used camping supplies. but that’s not the side we see, right? that’s not the life we’re trying to emulate in the short 24 hours we have each day. it’s hard to feel victorious when you can’t even tackle last week’s laundry and your husband is eating cereal for dinner again because last night’s dishes haven’t been washed yet.

how do real moms do it? not the perfectly coiffed moms behind sparkling, pretty blogs, but real moms who are just trying to manage the day-to-day to-do list of a normal family while simultaneously maintaining their sanity? help.

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6 Comments to “playing catch up”

  1. You know, I think you’re onto something here. I read an article just last week that asked the same questions about these superhuman mommy bloggers. Seems that it really is about picking out the best bits of the day/week/month/year… and displaying it. Who wants to read a blog with photos of dirty kitchens and scummy bathtubs (because we’ve all got that, LOL), when that DIY floral arrangement you handpicked from the local organic field is now plonked in a vintage milk glass vase just waiting to be photographed and showed off.

    Smoke and mirrors! Hell, I live in a disaster of a renovation, but I could take censored photos and make it look like I was basking in marble tiles and vintage light fixtures (when the reality is that I have a toilet that I can only reach by monkeying my way up scaffolding, and I sleep on a mattress on the floor where freakishly large dust bunnies tumble by).

    I think that just the fact that you managed to blog should cause you to stand on a table and demand some applause! πŸ™‚

  2. I wonder these exact same things. For instance, a particular blog I love and have been following for years…never have I seen a plastic toy in her photos. She’s always baking something…like bread…from scratch and no bread machine. And somehow she manages to make most of her children’s clothes….and she homeschools her children…and there’s more than two of those. Like a few more than two!
    The ultra pretty blogs…I’m learning to stay away!!! They’re the ones that tear on my heartstrings most.
    What’s really hard for me is that I’m the youngest in my family of four kids. My mom always kept our home beautiful. She cooked delicious food. Everything was always organized. My sisters are that way too. Somehow, I am not. Most days I’m just treading water. Only now I accept myself this way. That helps. So does keeping our dining room table clear. πŸ™‚

  3. :::waits patiently for someone to comment with an answer::::

  4. 1: http://memoriesoncloverlane.blogspot.com/2010/09/i-want-that-comparisons-and-looking.html
    Love that post.
    2 : No one does it. It’s funny, on so many blogs I read that are bigger and have an “FAQ” section, there’s always one along the lines of “How do you do it all??” The answer is always, always a resounding “I DON’T DO IT ALL. NOT EVEN CLOSE.” I think for a lot of people, though, a blog is an outlet and a place where you can choose to pull things together. Display the 3 photos that turned out amazingly and leave the 97 other junk/terrible photos sitting in a folder for no one to see – much like houses. Take a picture of the one corner of organized house that exists and leave the rest of it in the shadows.

    http://soulemama.typepad.com/soulemama/faq.html
    http://memoriesoncloverlane.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html
    http://www.flythroughourwindow.com/about/

    You saw the pictures of the current state of my kitchen that I’d never show the whole internet world until it’s all completely finished and has pretty things sitting around in bowls like it NEVER looks on a daily basis, right?? Maybe I’ll post that pic today, just for the sake of real:)

  5. Huh. I read your blog and Katie and Lillian’s blogs and pretty much figure that’s what you guys do. At least you can put a glass down on your coffee table without causing a cascade of falling junk!

  6. So glad you commented on my blog so I could find my way to yours. I came across this post today and it made me smile because I wrote something almost exactly like it on my blog yesterday. Guess we are all just doing the best we can and blogging about the good, the bad and the ugly…..well at least some of us are πŸ™‚
    Keep in touch, Kristy

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