I struggle.

I just want to make that perfectly clear to those of you that read this blog.

I struggle just like you.

Yes, it may seem to you at times that I have much of my life together, but what you see are mere highlights in the midst of chaos.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have received MANY emails from readers telling me that I am an inspiration and insinuating I am something special.  Excuse me while I laugh.  If you could see me now you would probably sing a different tune.  I’m bra-less, in my pajamas, hair in a messy ponytail, with bad breath and house a mess.  I am CERTAINLY no inspiration.

I AM NO SUPERWOMAN!  I AM JUST LIKE YOU!

You see the pretty picture of a recipe that I’ve been testing to get right, but you don’t see burned dinners, recipe flops, and meals that my kids barely touched.

You see recipes for non-toxic cleaning solutions, but you don’t see the dust bunnies that float down my hallway like tumbleweeds or splatters from spills that decorate my floors.

You see nice smiling pictures of my family in color coordinated clothing, but you don’t see that some days when we don’t have anywhere to go, my husband gets home from work, and I may or may not have brushed my teeth, and we may all still be in our pajamas.  Or in the case of my children–naked.

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You see a post on my blog and it takes you 2 minutes to read, but you don’t know that it took me weeks to research, days to write, and my kids probably suffered as I focused more on my blog and less on them.  When I’m working on a big post, let’s just say they probably watch way more tv than I’m comfortable admitting, and the playroom ends up looking like this.  Isn’t that sweet that my son dumped out all of the cards and games out of the game cabinet?

Messy playroom. I am just like you.

You read that I’m a stay at home, home-schooling, work at home blogging mama, and it sounds like a pretty sweet gig!  I’m earning a small income while still being able to stay home with my kids.  It sounds like I have cracked the code to having it all.

It sounds like I should have plenty of time for relaxing, plenty of time for exercising, plenty of time to pour into my children, plenty of time for reading, plenty of time to keep the house clean, and plenty of time to keep all of the laundry done.  Reality is that I’m not sure that I do any of the above well at all.  Just last week I was so proud of myself because I actually had the house completely cleaned, I got a post written, all blog emails replied, Facebook posts scheduled, a great dinner ready to go, and I had even made a pie for my husband.  I am rarely this domestic.  It was a shining day as a homemaker and blogger.  As I was reflecting on how in the world I got all of that done in all my puffed up glory, my bubble quickly burst when I realized that I had completely forgotten to do “school work” with my daughter!  Ugh!  It always seems like as I spin all of these plates in the air trying to balance everything, without a doubt one is going to get dropped.  I have forgotten appointments, forgotten dance classes, and forgotten meetings.  I AM JUST LIKE YOU.

Truthfully though, I am blessed.  I will never ever dispute that fact.  Even on a day like today when I am writing this and I have cleaned up puke four times, haven’t had a shower in two days, and have a mystery soup simmering a stockpot on my stove because we have only odds and ends in the fridge, I am blessed.

I have to remind myself of that over and over again on the challenging days.  On the days when I feel trapped and smothered.  On the days when I want to run away.  On the days when I just don’t want to be touched anymore.  On the days when I’m just tired of cooking.  On the days when my 2 year old wakes me up at 5am.  On the days when I’m caring for one of my kids when they are ill.  On the days when I’m tired of doing the same tasks over and over, only to have to do them over and over again tomorrow.  On the days when I’m just down right tired and don’t want to get out of bed.  I AM BLESSED.  SO ARE YOU!

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Being a stay at home mom has so many rewards, but it can often feel overwhelming.  My husband will never understand what it’s like, and that’s ok.  I’ll never understand fully what it’s like to be him.

I can never fully explain what it’s like to give give give all day long and it feel like it’s never enough for my family.  There’s always more that’s demanded of me, which overwhelms me, and yet it’s a joy and privilege to serve my family.

I can never fully explain what it’s like to have two sweet little rascals climb all over me all day long, want me to play games that I don’t enjoy playing, poke me, prod me, and act like I’m a jungle gym, making me feel physically smothered, and yet at the same time, I know these moments are fleeting, and there’s nothing sweeter than snuggling and playing with my kiddos and hearing their contagious giggles.

I can never fully explain that I am down right dog tired at the end of the day even though I didn’t go to “work” and never left my house.  What I did feels like everything and nothing at the same time.  My to-do list has nothing checked off, yet I was busy.  The work felt meaningless, yet it was possibly the most important work that I will ever do.

I can never fully explain what it feels like to have two have two different people living inside of me.

One that wants to hold my family so tight, and one that wants them to leave me alone.  One that wants to get out on my own, and one that misses my family so much when I do.  One that feels smothered, and one that adores when my family dotes all over me.  One that feels totally inadequate as a mother, and one that feels proud when my kids enjoy dinner, treat another person with kindness, or finally master a skill that I’ve taught them.

My entire point of this is to tell you, please don’t glorify me or any other blogger.  Please don’t set up unrealistic expectations of yourself in your mind.  I AM JUST LIKE YOU!  Every blog you read, every pin you pin on Pinterest, every article you read in a magazine…they were all written by regular ol’ people just like you and me.  Don’t fall for the lies that try to haunt you in your mind, telling you that you just don’t measure up.  Your challenges may look different than mine and you may do things differently than me, yet we’re the same.

We are all beautifully flawed.  I’m trying to learn to rest and bask in God’s grace with an audience of ONE.  Won’t you join me here?