I’m gonna come right out and say it: I’m a big, fat liar. My nose might not be three feet long and my pants are surprisingly cool, but the fact remains.
Let me give you a couple of examples:
Scene 1: I’m going about the day with my three kiddos. Toys are everywhere. Oatmeal has cemented itself to the kitchen counter from breakfast time. One child is still in his pajamas (he promises to get dressed after lunch), the second is in his diaper and a semi-clean shirt, and the third is dressed (mainly because she’s my only girl, and at three months of age, its still a novelty to pick out her clothes). The phone rings. Its a friend saying she’ll be stopping by in fifteen minutes to drop something off. I suddenly switch into panic mode. Toys are frantically tossed in bins and thrown into the hallway closet. Dirty dishes get shoved into the dishwasher and I hastily chisel the oatmeal off the counter. The middle child runs by me, but I manage to corral him and wrangle him into a pair of pants while using one of the only sure-fire weapons in my arsenal to get the oldest to cooperate: “Bet you can’t get dressed before I’m done vacuuming!” Success! He’s up the stairs like a rocket and I’m cleaning two days worth of cracker crumbs off the floor. Just as I’m putting the vacuum away, a car pulls into the driveway. I take a deep breath and open the door to welcome my friend. Just then my heart skips a beat… I didn’t check the bathroom, and now it’s too late! Are there drips (as my oldest calls them) on the seat from a four year old’s less than perfect aim? Is there oatmeal covering the edge of the sink? My two year old loves to wash his hands after meals, but has to grip the edge in order to stay on the stool while reaching for the water. I say a silent prayer that our visitor doesn’t need to pee and breathe a sigh of relief when she pulls out of the driveway 15 minutes later.
Scene 2: Playdate at a friend’s (freakishly immaculate) house. My two year old rips a toy from his brother’s hands. My slighted oldest begins to yell at his feisty little brother. I can see where this is going… “Boys,” I calmly say, “both of you stop what you’re doing!” They miraculously stop and I seize the moment of quiet to explain what needs to happen. “Samuel, Eli had that. Give it back to him. Eli, stop screaming and tell him in a nice voice that you want it back.” The refusal on both parts is immediate. I remain calm. “Either give back the toy and stop yelling or we will leave right now.” Obedience follows. Half an hour later its time to go. We get into the car, get on the road, and a fight in the backseat ensues. Now free from the constraints of having a fellow mother present, I let the real me out. “BOYS, ENOUGH!!! IF YOU DON’T STOP FIGHTING YOU’RE BOTH GOING TO BED AS SOON AS WE GET HOME!!!!” “But Mommy, he…” “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT!! BOTH OF YOU ZIP IT!”
Are you getting the picture? Now that I’ve come clean and revealed that I’m a slob and a crappy mother, let me tell you why I’m writing this. It isn’t because of a sudden need to come out of the ‘I’m a jerky slob’ closet. In fact, I’m a little nervous to think about people actually reading this. But here it is, the real reason I’m starting this blog: I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re a big fat liar too! Now don’t get all offended! Maybe you’re not messy. Maybe you don’t yell at your kids. But I bet there’s something else you try not to let the outside world see. And I got to thinking: what makes us act like this?? I realize the ‘need’ we have to give a good impression to people, but really, all this make-believe is hard to keep up with. Please don’t misunderstand; I’m not suggesting we let our houses get all nasty. And I don’t think yelling at our kids is the best way to discipline them. But maybe, just maybe, if we were honest about this stuff we could actually spend our time improving in these areas rather than just faking it.
This whole idea of everyone being fake hit me one day a few months ago. I had to stop at a friend’s house rather unexpectedly and she didn’t have much warning before I showed up on her doorstep. I had been to her house a couple of times before, and was always a bit jealous of how beautiful it was. On this particular day it was just as beautiful as ever, but it was also a mess. She had been busy at work all week and hadn’t had a chance to do much in the way of housework. When I walked in and looked around an overwhelming feeling of relief spread through me. I wasn’t disgusted. I didn’t think judgmental thoughts. In fact, it was the complete opposite. What went through my mind was, ‘Oh my gosh, maybe she’s more like me than I thought she was!’
When I think about the people I want to spend time with, I think of the ones who are the most real. They don’t ‘put on airs’. They don’t try to make me think they know everything. Instead, they’re the ones who are humble. Who admit that they don’t have it all together. Who laugh at their failures and then get back up and try again. I want to be around people who are HONEST. So that’s what I want to be as well.
This blog will be where I record my attempts at honest living. I can assure you that it won’t be pretty, but hopefully, as I fumble along, I can be an encouragement to you. Or, at the very least, I can provide you with a good laugh every now and then at my expense. Because, let’s face it, if I’m gonna be real and honest I better prepare for the backlash