Thursday, December 5, 2013

Laugh or cry...this is "having it all together?"

What does it mean to "have it all together?"  I have had people tell me they are jealous of me because I always seem to have it all together.  I have had people tell me they feel intimidated by me because I always seem to have it all together.  I have had people tell me they just don't get how I can have so many kids and still have it all together.

I laugh.

I never, ever, ever try to make others think I have it all together.

I don't think pretending to have it all together is very Titus 2-ish.  I think it is so important to be real! Why would I try to set up this perfect expectation that tries to tell other young moms that motherhood is glamorous?  It's not!  I cleaned up puke this morning!!!  Puke is NOT glamorous!

Yes, I can see how people can look at me and think I have it all together.  When they see me out with the kids who are typically well-behaved, everyone looks nice, I don't look harried, or sleep-deprived, or dumpy, and we are often laughing, or dancing...  But, not every moment looks like that!  Come spend a day with me!

There are moments when I have to choose whether to laugh, or to cry.  So, for those of you who think I have it all together...this is what it looked like yesterday:

The kids got up and worked really hard to get their school work done, so they could spend the afternoon outside.  Yes, I have it all together.
The kids proceed to "play school" and the older two try to teach the next two grammar and math.  Yes, I have amazing kids who make me look like I have it all together. 
The kids leave a sharpie out in the year old finds sharpie and colors on carpet and his face. Well, maybe I don't have it so much all together.
I sat down for a while because I wasn't feeling well, and let the little ones play upstairs.  Play?  Not so much. It's more like destruction.  They took a mattress off one of the beds.  They took the covers off most of the other beds and put them in Ligon's crib.  When I saw the mess, all I could think was...this is going to take forever to put everything back in its place.  Yeah, not feeling so much like I have it all together.
It was beautiful yesterday, so I took all of the kids outside to play and decided to give all 5 boys a haircut. Wow!  You cut your boy's hair, too?!  You must really have it all together!  While cutting the boys hair Bethany dumped sand all over Ligon's head and down his shirt, which then proceeded to seep into his diaper.  Again, not feeling so much all together.
After cutting hair I brought the kids inside, so I could start on dinner.  While getting dinner on the table the 2 year old decided to go potty, and then left the door open.  An open bathroom door to the 1 year old means IT'S TIME TO GO SWIMMING!  Into the toilet he goes with his shoes and clothes on.  Yes, the toilet...which had not been flushed.  I didn't know he was playing in the toilet until I was putting him in his chair to eat, and saw that the bottom of his pants and shoes were soaked.  Ummmm...what was I saying about having it all together?  
Ligon ate with soaked shoes, and as soon as dinner was over I took the four youngest upstairs to the bathtub.  Three of them had face paint that I could not get off, and Ligon still had black sharpie on his face that seemed impossible to get off.  Ligon nearly climbed into the bathtub fully dressed while I was getting everyone else stripped down for the tub.  I believe I caught him by his pee-soaked sneakers!  While getting him stripped down all of the sand from his diaper and clothes were dumped all over the bathroom floor.  I finally got all of them in the tub and clean...including face paint and sharpie!  I got Bethany out first and got her dried off and hair brushed.  Next, was a screaming Ligon because he wasn't ready to get out yet.  While drying him off, Bethany said she needed to go potty.  I leave him to wipe Bethany and then turn around to find him back in the tub.  I get him back out, screaming, again and proceed to dry him off.  I turn around to get Ian out of the tub while Bethany fills her hand with baby soap and wipes it all over Ligon's hair.  I get Ian dry, wrap Ligon in a towel, and hold his head in the sink to get the soap out of his hair.  I told Miles to get out of the tub and dry off while I take Ligon and Bethany to the bedroom to put on diapers and pajamas, and direct Ian to go put on a pull-up and pajamas.  While putting lotion on Bethany I look over at Ligon and see him start to pee on one of Bethany's costumes and the carpet.  I shout, "Noooooo," as if in slow motion, and he stops peeing, midstream.  I start to get up to get him and he starts peeing again, so once again, I say, "Nooooo," again, as if in slow motion, and he stops peeing again.  I scoop him up and rush to the bathroom to see if he will finish going in the toilet.  I sit him on the toilet backwards, as I have done while potty training my other boys, and before I know it he has his foot in the nasty pee water!  I scoop him up again and wash his foot and leg in the sink before going back to the room to finish putting on diapers and pajamas.

So, in reality, that's what having it all together officially looks like!!!  On this particular evening...I chose to laugh.  It's doesn't always end that way.  Ask my sweet husband!

I don't display every mishap in our lives because, honestly, it would probably scare some people out of becoming parents!  My life truly feels like a circus sometimes!  I don't want to paint a bad picture of what it looks like to have a home full of children.  Yes, it's busy!  But, it's a lot of fun, too!  There is so much love in our home!  I want people to see the good...and the not so good!  There are moments when things seem to go smoothly, but for the most part...not so much!

I think having it all together is more about how you respond to the situation.  If you can laugh, more than cry, during those tough days then maybe...just will sometimes feel like you a very small way...and moment by moment...might just a little some odd sort of way....have it all together.

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