I totally agree.
No mama does it “all” but you know what? We do ALL that we do and that is a lot. Not only is it a lot, it is enough.
So when someone asks me, “How do you do it all?” I don’t blush and pretend my life is perfect. I also don’t give a list of all my failures and deflect a compliment (because some days I really just need a compliment). If someone asks me that question, I take it as they see me doing something well and could maybe use a few tips on how they could do it too. At least that’s how I feel toward other moms when I ask the question.
Like any job (and let’s face it, parenting is work), it’s important to highlight strengths and don’t be shy about naming your own. Be proud! And also, take note of other moms’ strengths. We can all learn a lot from each other.
I am good at taking my kids places. I don’t get overwhelmed at zoos, fairs, water parks, or playgrounds. I feel relaxed and refreshed after a busy day with my kids. I’m not always good at bringing enough snacks for extra kids. My sister is the best at this (she got that from my mom). She always has a ton of snacks and drinks to feed a crowd, and she does. Outings with her have taught me to be better about bringing enough for extra people.
I am not good at in-home activities. I get stir-crazy and bored. Sorry kids. Wanna watch a movie? Oh, we already did. How about Legos? Or…something? You're bored. Ok, do jumping jacks.
I am good at physical activities. Jumping on the trampoline? Butt wars? Tag? Races down the street? Monkey bars? Ninja wars? Sports? Dodgeball? I’m so there. Imaginary play? I stink. For reals. My poor little girl loves to play house and I struggle every time. I try, really I do, but I get so distracted and [let’s face it] bored and antsy and I lose track of the storyline [she gets irritated when I break character]. And I love that she loves it. I know it’s great for development…yada, yada. But it is my struggle.
I am good at keeping my house in decent order. I have a system for cleaning and laundry and I follow it so I don’t become overwhelmed with housework. That is something that is important to me. It helps me function. This sometimes means my kids have to [gasp] play by themselves or that they have to wait for my full attention. Sometimes that makes me feel guilty. I usually get over it.
I am not good at organizing craft time. Sometimes I buy premade kits that make it seem like I’m good at it but the reality is, most of the time, if we need some craft time, I get out paper, scissors, crayons, and paint and hope for the best. We get a lot of scribble art.
There are more things that I’m good at. There are a million more things that I struggle with. And to be honest, I don’t need another person patting me on the back telling me motherhood is the hardest job ever. [Because it’s not, even when it feels like it is. The live runs deep and wide and rough, my friends.] I also don’t want anyone deflecting any compliments from anybody. So mamas, look at all the things you do. Grab a glass of wine, pair it with your kids’ Halloween candy, and kick up your feet. We do it all.