“‘Mommy, look at this!’ My seven-year old, Spencer is motioning to his deck of cards. He’s wanting me to ‘Pick a card, any card!’ yet again. I know this magic trick. I know how it works but I appease him because I love watching his excitement.
‘Mommy, watch this video I made!’ My six-year old, Oscar is now vying for my attention while Spencer sets his card trick up. Oscar made a video of him playing with his toys. He is truly the most famous YouTuber to ever touch the site. His eight followers are dying to see his next video and he wants my help uploading this new masterpiece.
Jasper, the seven-month old baby wakes from his nap and I can hear him start to fuss from his bed. I have to stop everything I’m doing to grab him because if I wait for him to reach full meltdown then I will pay for it for God knows how long. Little voices follow me needing me to come back.
This is the worst part of parenthood for me. Three kids and only one me.
My husband helps. He’s over doing dishes, or starting dinner, or having a shower, or on rare occasion, spacing out at his desk trying to pay bills.
Our hands are full at all times.
Getting back to the table I hold the baby and pick the card that somehow was magically the card I picked at the beginning. How did he do that?!? It must be magic!
The video stops uploading and the six-year old goes back to the couch to watch his video a hundred times and giggle over how hilarious he is.
My phone dings.
It’s my mother.
‘Jennifer, I was at your house earlier getting my car seat and I just can’t believe how messy your house is! I don’t know how you all live like that!’
My eyes go to the laundry chair. You know the one. The chair you use to dump the clean clothes in so you can free up the laundry basket to put dirtier clothes in. I had been trying to get it under control for at least a week now and never seemed to have enough time.
The floors needed sweeping. They always needed sweeping. The kitchen table and floor was now littered with cards and there are toys in the living room floor. The kid’s shoes were scattered around the house, jackets and toys were piled up on the stairs and the cat that refuses to use the litter box has pooped in the shower AGAIN.
I’m overwhelmed. I don’t have time to clean the house to perfection every day. Honestly, most days I just try to reach the status quo and get the kids in bed by 8:30. Some days they have a bath, some days they don’t. Some days my husband will play with them so I can get some laundry done or make dinner, some days I just order a pizza because I can’t focus my brain on anything long enough to actually accomplish it. Some days I do ALL of this while running on four hours of sleep because the baby is teething and wouldn’t sleep the night before.
Somedays I can get a bath but it’s rare that I get one by myself. I am the Queen of multitasking.
To be honest, my husband does the brunt of the housework and I do the majority of the childcare. It has worked relatively well for us. The house is never spotless and when it is, it doesn’t last long. Someone always needs their drink refilled, someone always wants a snack made, ‘Mommy, can we go to McDonald’s for dinner?’, and somedays I yell and cry because I can’t go to the bathroom without someone knocking on the door asking me to do something.
This is every single day of my life.
But here in this moment, I have to deal with my mom who is criticizing the state of my house.
So, I respond in a direct way that I hope is effective.
‘Mom, you used to complain to me about how much you hated when Mamaw would come over because she’s say how messy your house was and now you’re doing the same to me. Have you forgotten what it’s like to have kids? Adam and I clean every day. I’m sorry it’s not up to your standards. I have a full-time job and a lot of days when I get home, I eat dinner standing in the kitchen because there’s a kid that needs something and I need to hurry. I pee before I leave work because I know I won’t have time before 8 p.m. at home. I had Spencer take their clothes upstairs two days ago so I could hang them up while I was putting them to bed. Instead I had to hold Jasper the whole time because he’d cry when I put him down. I’m doing the best I can. Stop judging me on my messy house.’
I press send and go back to the chaos of my home, rolling with the punches as I go.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jennifer Meglich, 33, of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Follow her on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
‘I’m a teacher, and I’m angry. Then I went to see ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,’ and I don’t know anymore.’: Teacher says Fred Rogers reminded her that ‘grace doesn’t run out, there isn’t a limited supply’
‘I got the call at 6 p.m., left my kids with my husband and drove to her house with my socks crammed into my Birkenstocks.’: Mom urges others to ‘just show up’ when friends need you, ‘She didn’t need Pinterest, she needed me
Spread beauty and strength for others. SHARE this story on Facebook with family and friends.