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I feel compelled to share this embarrassing story with you. I thought I was pretty good about sharing my mistakes and failures publicly, but I frequently get emails and messages from other moms asking how I stay so organized and manage five kids twelve and under, homeschooling, and working from home with a husband who travels a lot. I'm always a bit surprised to read these messages until I remember that people only see a small part of my life on Facebook and Instagram.
To set the record straight, I mess things up. Often. And sometimes in a spectacularly embarrassing manner. One of my mistakes that will stay around to haunt me forever was a mishap with my son's soccer team. We take kids' sports pretty lightly around here – with 5 kids under 12, a home business, and homeschooling, I just don't have time to drive to different practices and games very often. My kids either take turns playing sports, or play in the super casual local rec league. (A little-known fact about me is that I'm a huge NHL fan and don't often miss a televised game during hockey season, but fortunately I recognize that kid's sports are just for fun). ?
Picture this: I'm struggling on to the soccer field with a heavy, chubby baby in my arms, a toddler holding on to my belt loops (and nearly pulling my pants down), two chairs and an overloaded diaper bag strapped to my back, and three big kids loaded down with snacks, drinks, and blankets. As we arrive at the soccer field, I remember that one of the most relieving feelings in the WORLD is dropping a heavy load when you're carting little kids around.
Another parent sidles up to me and says softly, “You know it's picture day today, right?” I nod confidently. “Sure, see? My son's wearing his jersey!”
I might have said this a bit smugly. I might have said with a note of superiority in my voice that said, “See? I've got this! My husband's been on a three-week-long business trip, but I am supermom! I can do all the things by myself!” (Thank goodness I didn't actually say any of that – that's the part where I felt like THAT know-it-all mom!).
The nice mom next to me shakes her head. “That's last year's jersey. This year the kids are wearing green.”
Cue the embarrassment. Sure enough, I look over to see my son in his bright yellow year-old jersey in a sea of green-jerseyed kiddos.
I offered quiet apologies to the coach and other parents, who now have a team picture that looks like my son is the goalie (he is definitely, absolutely, not goalie material). When I told my shy six-year-old boy that I was SO sorry, he just shrugged and said, “I still love you.” Which was very sweet, but it made me wonder if he had been questioning his love for me since he replied so quickly.
Look, we all make mistakes right? Some of them are more glaringly obvious than others. And some of them will hang on the wall in your home for years to come as a reminder (ahem).
In this case, disorganization in my home had bled out into disorganization out of the home. I had dozens of team emails in my inbox and a dirty green soccer jersey in my laundry hamper because I'd gotten behind on laundry.
But we have to do what we can. Sometimes I feel lucky to get all of the kids out of the house with shoes on, and sometimes I have everything I need for the day and we actually make it to places on time. In the grand scheme of things, the wrong-colored jersey isn't such a big deal, but it in my case it was a symptom of an overlying illness in my home: disorganization. We have to learn from our mistakes (big or small), and make adjustments for future success.
My solution to the jersey mishap was simple: I knew I needed to do better with laundry and keeping up with my emails, so I started focusing on those two things for a few days until I felt like I had a better handle on them.
Here are some of the major areas I've noticed I've had to overhaul quickly to stay organized:
- When I mess up on my diet, I start over ASAP (I don't wait until tomorrow!) with a meal plan in place.
- When I mess up on my whole DAY, and feel like everything's getting away from me, I re-evaluate my daily routines and see what can be fixed for tomorrow. Money Saving Mom's Makeover Your Mornings and Makeover Your Evenings have nearly eliminated this problem for me, but I still struggle sometimes!
- When I mess up on my budget, I stop all spending until I can figure out where I went wrong and fix it moving forward.
Whatever it is that you feel like you're messing up, or not doing well, it's fixable! Stop and make a plan, then move forward with confidence and determination. We can all make the changes we need to if we will pause and adjust before moving forward. The important thing I've learned is that I can't just throw my hands up and say, “Oh, well!” I need to make a change TODAY to have a better tomorrow.
I'm thinking of you today and praying that whatever struggles you face, you can make the changes you need to. You've got this!
Photo Credit Adobe Stock