Here comes a very honest truth: I haven’t cleaned my house, like really cleaned, with the big vacuum and sponges and cleaning products, in weeks. I’ve spot cleaned, wandering around with the dust buster in hand, zapping up piles of crumbs underneath where the kids eat breakfast. But it’s been weeks since I’ve really gotten down and dirty. I’m a little afraid of what’s happening under the couch.
Here comes another very honest truth: I’m totally ok with my sparse cleaning schedule right now.
When my daughter was first born, I believed that I wanted to be, and in fact would be, that perfect mom. The one whose children were always perfectly clothed and groomed, their toys always pristine and neatly stowed. The one whose house always looked spotless and well decorated and organized. And, for a while, I was. In those one-child days, those baby days, I didn’t have a lot else going on. So I cared for the baby and cared for the house and the whole system worked.
But my baby grew (as they do). She started school and made friends and got invited to birthday parties and playdates and she started ballet class and life got busy. And then we added another baby (as people do). And we bought a bigger house to accommodate our growing family (so it goes). And suddenly, I had to make some choices. No longer could I have it all, do it all, make it all happen. I had to decide which was more important – spotless floors or afternoon walks with my son. Laundry that gets washed and dried, folded and put away all in the same day or family board game time after dinner. I had to find some help along the way, get some advice to guide me through the tricky parts (and, sometimes, the not so tricky parts) and then I had to figure out what worked best for me and my family.
I had to give up on supermom. I had to lose the cape.
In their new book, Lose the Cape: Realities from Busy Modern Moms and Strategies to Survive, Alexa Bigwarfe and Kelly Rivera provide a series of tips, tricks, and strategies with a healthy dose of inspiration and humor. They are the good friends that remind you (loudly!) that you don’t need to be perfect while nonchalantly saving your sanity with helpful tips from the trenches.
In my motherhood, I’ve learned that the best cure for feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to do it all is an honest conversation with a good friend. I’ve also learned that I don’t know it all. That my fellow mothers who live this life day in and day out are figuring things out as they go along too. And we’re all learning at a different pace. Which means that I may have figured out a solid morning routine while my friend up the street has bedtime totally locked down. Which, of course means that we can compare notes and both get closer to doing what’s best for ourselves and our families. With honest acknowledgement of how hard this can be and straightforward tips for things like managing the family social calendar and finding ‘me’ time, Lose the Cape is one more good friend to add to your circle. The book also has several pages of resources at the end with everything from life planners to meal planning services.
But, most of all, the book shamelessly urges mothers everywhere to let the crumbs pile up if you need to. Skip laundry today if it’s just not happening. Embrace the chaos rather than fighting it. Lose the cape and enjoy the ride.
I received a complimentary copy of Lose the Cape. All thoughts an opinions are my own.