EDITED 2-20-14: I am no longer writing at MyPreppy Kitchen but I am writing at www.caseyprince.com Hope you will join me there!
Saturday, I was blessed to spend the day with one of my very best friends in the world. She is “my person”. The one who when we are together it is like she is my other half. When we first became friends, people would often comment on how odd it was that we had known each other such a short time because we seemed to know one another so well. It is definitely a friendship that was meant to be. The funniest thing is that 2 of my kids look just like her kids. It is adorable really.
As we were about to sing happy birthday to Maddie May’s best friend Carter we laughed that she was frosting the cupcakes at the last second, not unlike her son’s party a few weeks ago where I came in the door and started frosting them for her because life once again got in the way of the best laid plans. We remarked that we are nothing like the moms we planned to be. You know, the ones who are always perfectly manicured with hair fixed and clothes that do not involve running pants and tennis shoes. We just knew we would be the moms who have a healthy breakfast cooked and ready when the kids wake up so that they are off to school with a full tummy and combed hair. Their clothes would always match, their faces would be perfectly scrubbed, and our floors in our houses would never be dirty. We would still dust weekly (or more) and finger prints would immediately be removed from windows and doors. There would never by more laundry to fold than the one load that is coming right out of the dryer still warm so as not to have wrinkles. And birthday parties, those would be spectacular. We would make adorable decorations so cute that Martha Stewart would approve. The snacks would be hand-made little treats and the cupcakes would always be made and ready to go hours before the party so that we could make sure we were ready to greet our guests. Never would we forget to send invitations until the week of or rush out 30 minutes before the party because we forgot plates. All in all, our houses would be clean, our children a study in perfect behavior, and our gifts for organization would serve us well as we breeze through life as if we have all the time in the world to accomplish all that we have to do.
But alas, these women do not exist, the perfect Casey mommy and the perfect Stephanie mommy were lost somewhere between that last mani pedi we had the week before Jake was born almost 8 years ago and child number 5 between us born 2 years ago yesterday. Now… my nails are kept short because I have no time to care for them, my hair is perpetually in a pony tail, and workout clothes are my new normal (because maybe if I wear them I will get motivated to actually work out in them). Breakfast on weekdays is usually cereal or oatmeal for the kids and coffee for me (though I do still cook on the weekends!) Sometimes my kids clothes match but rarely do all 3 have brushed hair and sometimes Jake tries to get on the bus without shoes. Just yesterday, Jeff took Maddie May into the nursery at church only to realize her face had not been wiped after breakfast – at least she was wearing stripey tights though. The floors in my house are almost never clean. I can vacuum and swiffer every day and there is still perpetual dirt. I think there is a dirt fairy who comes by after me and sprinkles it around. I have decided to consider finger prints on the glass to be art by the kids so I leave it alone until I can take it no longer. Laundry is never-ending and sometimes I wonder how we are not walking around naked because I am certain that literally every piece of clothing we own is laying on my sofa to be folded. And oh the parties… I regularly forget to send invitations, I scramble at the last-minute to come up with a cute snack or 2 and I am almost always still frosting the cupcakes when the first guest arrives.
It makes me laugh and cry all at the same time. I wonder who this woman is who looks longingly at a clean house and wonders how to keep it that way. Sometimes I miss the perfectly organized silverware drawers, windows without nose prints, and a staircase not littered with tiny shoes (99% of which belong to Will Prince I must add). Then, I remember how quiet life was back then and I know with complete certainty I would miss the loud, messy craziness that my house is now if I had to live one minute without my kids in it. I always imagined this perfect mom, the mom I didn’t understand why others couldn’t be. The mom I always thought my own mom should be – why did she always have piles of laundry to fold??? I imagined the mom I had to be in order to live up to this standard I had set for myself. And now I see I am the mom God made me to be and hopefully more like my own mom than I ever knew I wanted to be. He gave me children to give me some perspective. It really doesn’t matter if they don’t fold their clothes or make their beds exactly the way I want them to, they just need to be shown to appreciate that they have beds and clothes. It doesn’t matter if they sometimes eat sugary cereal for breakfast as long as I usually feed them well-balanced meals prepared and served with love and teach them to be generous so that others who might not have food can be given a warm meal. And it certainly doesn’t matter that the floors are not spotless. I do anything to ensure that their little feet would always be here to dirty my floors.
So as I sit here this morning and give myself a hard time for neglecting the My Preppy Kitchen blog for weeks, I am reminded that the reason I do this, the reason I do any of it, is for the love of my family. I will get back to food blogging this week as we go into my favorite time of the year, but for now I am just reminded of how thankful I am that God changed the mom I thought I would be into the mom I am. I am doing the best I can with what I have, and thank heavens Jeff and my kids think it is good enough.