Over the weekend, I discovered an unused block of mozzarella cheese tucked in behind the resealable sandwich bags. A few minutes later, my husband pulled the peanut butter out of the refrigerator and cocked his head to the side like a confused puppy before asking if I was sure I’m not pregnant.
These are only a few of the sixty gajillion moments that make me realize that my mind is simply not running at full capacity in my life right now.
Occasionally, I put on a good show. For a few days each month, my Facebook and Instagram overshares would make you think I’ve really pulled my life together. Photos of budget-friendly home projects, healthy made-from-scratch meals, and post-workout sweaty selfies abound. New designs for my shop, commentary on my latest freelance gigs, and photos of my happy children (playing in a semi-acceptably clean home) with friendly quips or nostalgic thoughts make appearances. (Has anyone ever written as obnoxious a paragraph as this one? Yikes. Hang with me, y’all.)
For a (very) few random days, everything aligns. And I can fool myself into thinking I’m doing just fine. I’ll say things like, “I’m good! Tired and busy, but thankful and good!”
And then the burnout arrives. And I’m kind of useless the following week (or two). The laundry piles up in ridiculous amounts. I get behind on emails, require more coffee, and we have breakfast for dinner. Or tacos. Like. A lot.
When I find myself in a conversation with someone who only sees that first productive version of myself, I like to think I ‘keep it real.” But lately? I notice that I still most often portray the pretty version of my life. (That is, over the hot mess of reality.) But reality? The human brain can only handle so much. I do not have my stuff together. Something has to give. And that something is usually laundry. But it may also include the following:
Eating a reasonable breakfast.
Sometimes (lately, more often than not), I put canned whipped cream in my coffee at home in the morning. Then I slurp it off quickly before my toddler notices. Even if I don’t get to finish my hot cup-a-joe, I’m still beyond excited about that dollop of whipped cream.
Every week, I think to myself, “I need to go to the post office.” Every week, I do not go to the post office.
I am nearly certain I may have permanently damaged the part of my brain that is supposed to tell me to pull the meat out of the freezer to thaw for dinner.
Consistent weight loss.
The old college mirror hanging on my bedroom door is angled ever-so-slightly in a way that makes me look a good 10 pounds lighter than I actually am. I love that mirror. I will keep it forever. “Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who can eat cake and pretend she’s still at her wedding weight?”
My introverted game is strong, people. I love you. I need to be away from you.
The Email Abyss.
I have 30,965 unread emails. This is not hyperbole. This is literally the number of unread emails currently displayed on my phone. (Half of you just died a little on the inside. You’re sitting there wondering how you can casually meet me in real life, steal my phone, and clear out my email. Mmmmhmm. You know who you are.)
I realize that doesn’t leave a lot of standard adulting left. Reality, for me, is often sweet, beautiful, unpredictable, messy chaos. The chaos is where so much of the best parts of my life happen.
So, if you are a mom who is at capacity? Who has reached the limit of sanity and is running on fumes? Here is the permission you didn’t ask for—but may very well need: Something has to give. Embrace the wild reality of your life, and let some stuff go! It’s good in the wild. We have chocolate and Gilmore Girls marathons here.
(Oy with the poodles already!)