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Hot Mess Express

So I have an embarrassing story. One that most people might shy away from telling. But not me! I feel like my embarrassing stories might somehow make someone else feel better about their life and situation. So I’m going to tell it. And I hope you’re laughing with me as you read.

A couple weeks ago we had a little dinner with the women in my Bible study group. Let me start by saying these women are amazing. Amazing moms, amazing friends, amazing people. They have walked through things with me and with each other in very loving, godly ways. I admire these ladies and they are good friends.

However, this particular Monday evening, I must have been feeling a little overwhelmed. Well, I know I was. My life has been quite overwhelming for the last couple months, and I’ve been just getting by in general. At dinner, we decided to share something fun for summer. It could be a recipe, fun activities, ideas to do — whatever you can think of. Well, I’m not too great at thinking of any of those things, let alone planning enough in advance to bring something to the dinner. I am a hot mess through and through and that is what I do best.

It started with one mom sharing how she makes summer lists with her kids and family and they check them off in the summer. They were cute ideas and I was like “oh maybe that’s something I could do!” She talked about how she put things on the list that she knew they’d do, so that it made it easier for her. That seems doable. I could do that.

Then another mom started talking. It was the same type of thing, sharing ideas of what to do in the summer. Different activities and ideas. This mom is a good friend and her kids are older than mine. They are good, well-behaved, lovely people so obviously I look to her in how her and her husband have been raising them.

I don’t know where it happened. At what point I started to feel overwhelmed. Maybe it was the point where they passed these papers around to show the summer activities and how they track it. Maybe it was me slowly realizing that there was no way I could handle something like that this summer. Or any summer for that matter. Whatever it was, I felt the pressure rising from my stomach, to my chest, all the way up to my eyes. I felt like I was going to break out in tears for early no particular reason, and you guys, I couldn’t stop it.

I remember holding the papers that had been passed around (she had made copies for everyone of course), waiving them, looking around the table and asking myself — partially out loud — is this for real? Do people really live like this? Do people really have their acts together enough to do this? Is anyone else drowning right now? No? Just me then. Okay.

So what happens next is the most embarrassing part. I tried to talk. I tried to ask if everyone did this sort of thing. If I was a bad, lazy mom for not being able to get my act together. But as I tried to talk, I got all choked up. I couldn’t contain it any longer. I started to cry right there at the table at Macaroni Grill. Yep, tears down my face and everything.

I realized that although it was already pretty bad, it wasn’t going to get any better. I needed to leave before I made a complete fool out of myself. (too late, maybe?) I got up and in a tear-filled, choked up voice I muttered out something along the lines of “I’m sorry, I can’t, I’m sorry. I’m just… I gotta go.” And I walked out.

Yep. Mom/friend/person of the year right here. To make matters worse, this isn’t the first (nor the last, I suppose) that life has gotten the best of me in a public place. Luckily, it takes more than that to embarrass me, and as bad as it was, I’m okay with being human.

Even though I lost my cool there for a second, I’m okay. I’m okay with not having it all together. I’m okay with not planning activities for my kids. I’m okay with not making lists and not checking them off. I’m okay with allowing my kids to be lazy in the summer and to not be their personal cruise director. I’m okay with the way I have to do things.

In the interest of being totally honest here, I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I wish I had it together. Sometimes I wish I was the mom that could do it all. I wish my kids weren’t dirty when we left the house and occasionally wore matching clothes. That they weren’t late to school and never missed something because mom forgot. I wish our house functioned like a well-oiled machine and that I made dinner every night. And yet, this is not my reality.

I am coming to grips with the way God made me. I don’t have it all together. I am not organized. I drop the ball on occasion, more than I would like, and I probably have to work harder than most to function on a semi-normal basis. It’s really okay. This is the way my kids are being raised. I can’t change who I am. I can work hard on the things I need to get better at, but I can’t be someone I’m not.

So this summer we are gonna lounge by the pool, play basketball in the front yard, play with Legos, swim at friends houses and have friends come to ours. We’ll go to the beach, the park, and sometimes not go anywhere at all. We’re not going to go on fancy vacations or mark off items on a list. We’re not going to have plans for our days and the boys might watch TV until 11. The boys will entertain themselves and it will not be my job to create fun for them.

And you know what, we’re probably all gonna be okay.

If you can relate to me and my story, please be encouraged. You’re okay. Even as a hot mess, loving your kids and being a family in a way only your family can be is the most important. Not being a family like anyone else’s family. Comparison is the their of joy. Be who you are. Be the family you are. Make the best of whatever life has thrown your way.

However, know your limits. This is why when people ask me if I want three kids, they get a solid NO. Even if that third kid was a beautiful little girl.

18 Responses to Hot Mess Express

  1. Jane Feuille May 23, 2016 at 10:00 am #

    Your boys are having a great childhood! Those boys are blessed to have you as their mom!

    • Natalia May 23, 2016 at 10:04 am #

      Awe, thank you! I appreciate that 🙂

  2. Jane Apparis May 23, 2016 at 10:07 am #

    Love your honesty and willingness to share! It is a help to all of us. Thanks, SO much!!

    • Natalia June 24, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

      I am so glad, thank you!

  3. Kate May 23, 2016 at 11:41 am #

    I loved this! I am right there with you as I have also busted up crying at the most inopportune times. I think I can feel extra sensitive when it comes to my kids/parenting. God is looking for faithfulness to Him and his word in my parenting, not perfect/organized etc. I’m so grateful that HE loves and approves of us just the way we are…the way he made us!!

    • Natalia June 24, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

      100% agreed! Thank you for pointing that out! I am so thankful God doesn’t look at our organizing skills! I’d be toast! lol It’s always good to keep life and what’s important in perspective!

  4. Annitha May 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

    Hello I just want to say your post has hit home. I feel this way just about everyday and having an anxiety problem dowdy make things better. Reading your post made me feel much better. Thank U!! You lifted my spirits God Bless your family

    • Natalia June 24, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

      Oh I am so glad! That is why I write things like this, because I know I must not be the only mom who doesn’t have things together. I know I must relate to some! And even if it’s just one person I touch to help them feel better or like they’re not alone, I’m good with that!

  5. Missy May 23, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    I hear your heart, Natalia. I have never planned my kids’ summers for them – ever. They are now 16, 19, and 23, and none of them have ever said anything about how bad their summers were because I did not plan enough for them to do (and they only checklists we had were for chores – Ha ha!). They spent the summer doing what they wanted to do, and I never planned much at all. It was their time to just be who they were. And wouldn’t you know, they have all been very successful in their lives to this point. There is something to be said for letting them be responsible to entertain themselves. Keep up the good work!

    • Natalia June 24, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

      Thank you! It is nice to see someone down the road having done what I’m doing and say it’s okay. Because, you know, it’s hard in the moment to know just how much you’re screwing your kids up! haha! Hopefully they will turn out to be good, strong, self-sufficient men who contribute positively to society!

  6. Kelleigh May 23, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

    Didn’t you and your boys just take a whirlwind trip around Europe? Pretty sure just the thought of doing something like that alone would leave most mom’s in tears. I mean, it sounds exciting, but we all know it is work. Your boys have wonderful experiences most kids will never have. You all deserve to have LOTS of unplanned time this summer. Thanks for sharing. I like your “this is us” posts the best!

    • Natalia June 24, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

      Thank you so much Kelleigh! Yes, we did just travel around Europe and the funny thing is that is so much less overwhelming than making summer fun! LOL! I’m used to traveling with my kids, it’s what we’ve always done, so that’s exciting and fun to me, the day-to-day is hard! But it is good to keep all that in perspective. My kids have a good life whether I entertain them or not!

  7. Leslie May 23, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

    I’ve been reading for years, but haven’t commented in a very long time. However, this post really pulled at my heartstrings. Somewhere along the line moms decided that it was their job to do everything for their kids-even plan out every single moment of play just to avoid boredom. I think you are spot on in saying you’re not responsible for creating fun for your kids. I don’t remember my parents going out of their way to plan out our summers. I will admit that I pull together ideas that we can do, but they’re not things we must do.

    Think of it this way, you’re teaching them skills of self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and self-motivation. All skills that are critical in adulthood. I’m sorry you felt so overwhelmed. I’m pretty sure, though, that your plan just described many kids’ dream summers.

    • Natalia June 24, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

      Awe, thank you so much, I appreciate it! I know these mothers didn’t mean it that way at all and for them it’s possible to do. They are very sweet ladies and would never have wanted to make me feel bad. I was just in a difficult spot. I think learning to be okay with the way we do things is a part of life. I want a good balance between creating fun and having them create it. I think so far it’s been pretty good actually. Lots of laying around with some fun things sprinkled in between. Thank you for your encouragement, I appreciate it!

  8. Ingrid May 23, 2016 at 7:39 pm #

    I feel like you just wrote my story for me! Sometimes I have it all together and feel like supermom, but most of the time it feels like I am just getting by. We are messy, and don’t have tons of activities planned all the time, but my kids are healthy and happy. Even if I forget things or just don’t have the energy to do them, my boys have a safe, happy, loving home. 🙂

  9. Joanna May 24, 2016 at 4:28 am #

    I would probably have reacted the same way… Somehow I am glad that SoMe wasn’t around when I had younger children. I really think I would have been totally overwhelmed and dug myself into a deep hole of insecurity and underachievement. Maybe this is your niche? 🙂 Sharing real life. Sharing YOUR Story. And being dang cute and creative at the same time. Because you are!

    • Natalia June 24, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

      Awe, thank you so much! I really appreciate that. I want to keep it real around here. I mean, there is so much stuff out there that appears more perfect than normal and I don’t want to be that. I want you guys to know that my life isn’t perfect, things get hard, and it’s okay. I want to be relatable! I just have to figure out what kinds of stories would be interesting for you guys!

  10. Melani May 29, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

    My sons are 20 and 24, and I struggled with many of the same feelings being surrounded by great moms. Now looking back, all our children chose their own paths with or without being scheduled by a super-mom! Although i didn’t have the resources you do, i don’t think that changes how we are made or our insecurities. Enjoy your family and may you continue to be blessed!

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