I'm a mess

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There seems to be this misconception out there about me, that I have my shit together because I have this blog and I make stuff and write pretty words and photograph things.

I've spent a lot of time with myself this year, and I can tell you just how imperfect I am. There was a phase in my life that it really bothered me, being imperfect. But right now, I not only accept it, I LOVE it. Thank God I am so imperfect! Realizing just how imperfect I am has given me so much peace, and it's largely the reason I am creative, I believe. Because I'm a lot less afraid of failure than I used to be. Why not try something bold and new? Why not be a little more transparent? I've realized the sky will not cave in on me.

I haven't had a haircut in almost a year, and while I do shower most days, I can't be bothered to brush my hair. (Luckily, the windblown look is in...isn't it?) The corners of my shower are dark and slimy. Cheerios on my kitchen floor and between my couch cushions. On any given day, there are 5 loads of laundry piled on my couch (or on the laundry room floor). I don't do windows. I eat a lot of butter and am addicted to coffee. There's a piece of scotch tape holding my camera together, and that doesn't bother me so much. I like to think of myself as a feminist, yet after nursing two children, I think a boob job sounds like...well... not such a bad idea.

I don't easily remember birthdays. I'm about 3 years behind on thank-you notes.

My kids say "please" and "thank you" but they also eat dirt and smear peanut butter on each other's heads when we're not looking. Their clothes don't usually match. They have nice dress clothes, but I let them wear them whenever they want to. Outside. To the grocery store. On the playground. 

My mentor told me something interesting yesterday.

Side note: I have a mentor. Like, an official one who schedules time for me and answers my parenting questions and reads my writing and gives me pep talks and listens to me cry and makes me laugh and knows all about my imperfections--ones that I can't even type here. I think every mother (and every person, actually) should have a mentor--someone older and wiser than you are who you can be totally transparent with and whose relationship is more focused on you than on her/him. It's a rare gift, to be care-taken in this way, especially as a woman who spends 98% of her time taking care of others.

My mentor used to work doing home visits for at-risk families, and she told me that when they visited a home, and that home was perfect, sparkly clean, and there were young children in the house, it was a red flag. Family homes should not be perfect, she said, because it raises the question of who's doing all that cleaning? And who is paying attention to the children?

She told me to leave the Cheerios on the floor. Let them crunch underneath my feet and don't even think about them. Let the dog lick them up.

Okay, I said. I can do that.

She also encouraged me to do something nice for myself. Like, say, get a haircut. Because, as freeing as the long, tangled layers are, I don't think dreadlocks are me. Plus, it's hard to convince your 3-year-old to brush her hair for school when Mommy's hair is a rat's nest.

So, I scheduled something for next week. And I'm now accepting any and all style suggestions. Bangs? Short? Long? Tousled? Sleek?

Or should I just keep going with the rat's nest?

10 comments:

Jennifer said...

Girl, you know I'm a mess too!

Love you,
Jennifer

Erin said...

There's a reason they call short haircuts "mommy hair." Cut thoughtfully, it's often easy, can look put-together without much fuss, and it doesn't tangle as easily.

Do you qualify as a "hot mess?" ;) Maybe the hubs will know...

Anonymous said...

Everyone's a hot mess. But everyone isn't brave enough to admit it. :) Which is why I loved this!

Gina said...

Hot mess works for me...

Melanie said...

Hair - a rat's nest? You too? I thought I was the only one. In fact I am about to go all out and tackle the tangles because I am finally going to get to go to a hair salon. It's been about 7 months since my last visit.

Thanks for sharing. Makes me glad I'm not the only "mess".

Anonymous said...

Gina, I can't post pics here, but I could send you pics... email maybe. My before and after pictures are on Facebook. I recently turned 30 and thought it was time for a new hair cut... maybe something with style. I love my new Style! That's right... ME with Style with a capital "S"!
my email.. jolene@customfiberglassmolding.com
~ JoLene

Carri said...

Loved! I appreciate that my messiness with 4 kids is NOT a red flag - phew dodged another bullet! :)

Sarah Buttenwieser said...

I love this post as fellow imperfect (uncut/unbrushed/somewhat showered/laundry everywhere) mama.

And if you visit my blog you'd see that we've had a completely "undone" kind of week.

Imperfect, it's the new cool.

Oh, & I want a mentor.

Karie said...

I wanted to let you know that this blog post completely spoke to me and my Mama friends! Thank you for your honesty. For some odd reason, we put an immense amount of pressure on ourselves to be perfect at everything, meanwhile experiencing quality time with our children. I have found that I can't seem to make both happen :) THANK YOU!!!! :)

Gina said...

Thanks for commenting, Karie! This is one of those posts that I wrote and hit "publish" and then thought "oh no!! what have I done? I've said too much."

So it's great to hear it resonated with other women too.

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