Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

I’m Getting a C- in Life

Where my girls at? You know, the ones who pulled straight A’s while being involved in a million things. ‘Cause you will know what I’m talking about.

19 years of formalized schooling has trained me to think about so many things in terms of grades. And for the past month since returning to work, I feel like I’ve been getting a C- in life.

Really, that’s probably me being generous, but my brain can’t really even process that grade, let alone something lower.

Let me recap the last hour of my morning.

I started a challenge with my friend this morning to make all our coffee at home this month and then use the savings to buy a mommy splurge. After I get the coffee started, I realize I can’t find my travel mug. So I pour said coffee into a mason jar. Then I can’t find the lid.  We’re late, so I go to the garage to load everyone up, notice an empty venti water cup sitting on a box and pour my coffee in it before loading the kids. 

Getting out the door: C-

While driving to daycare drop-off (late, mind you), I realize I never called my friend’s husband back to discuss catering for her graduation party. For her PhD. The woman has been homeschooling three kids and dissertating. I can’t even remember a phone call. 

Being a friend: C-

Then, as I pull into a forever-away parking spot at work (‘cause I’m running late) I realize my only available choice against the pouring rain outside is a Mighty Morphing Power Rangers kid umbrella. Well, my hair (which has been rapidly falling out) can’t take another hit so it’s morphing time! 

Being prepared: C-

Seriously – can anyone relate?

In the brief—very brief—moments of self-reflection or processing with friends that I’ve had recently, I know I’m believing some pretty untrue things that have kept me assigning failing grades.

Lie #1: I have an easy baby so I shouldn’t be having a hard time.

My baby girl is a chill, great sleeper who breastfeeds with no problem. But I am still having a hard time managing life with three! I don’t know if it’s just that there are three separate developmental stages vying for my attention or what, but I am not on my A game.

Lie #2: My life is circumstantially easier so I shouldn’t be struggling.

I spent the last two years supporting my family financially while working three jobs and being the primary parent in a teeny tiny townhome. Now, I’m down to 1.5 jobs, the husband’s done with grad school, and we bought a lovely house. But I still feel more overwhelmed at times now than I did then.

If you were reading this to get a quick list of things to do to reduce the feeling that you’re failing at life, I don’t have one. I’m a work in progress. 

I have moments of authenticity followed by moments of wanting to hide. 

I take a nap and wake refreshed only to be confronted by all the tasks I didn’t get done that afternoon. 

But much like that perennial student I’ll probably always be, I’m starting to think it’s not so much about raising my overall average as it is about getting the high grades in what really matter to me. 

So I might keep getting an F in housekeeping and remembering preschool paperwork, but I’m gonna bust my tail (which paradoxically, might look like more naps) to get an A in being a joyful mama and a faithful friend.

What are you struggling with, mama?

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2 Responses to I’m Getting a C- in Life

  1. Pamela Goode May 25, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

    First of all I think that you are rocking it at being a mom. All of the problems you encountered thIs morning were cleverly solved in creative and very functional ways. So great job! I loved your post this morning because I definitely am there! (Jon must think so too because he shared it to me) Especially the easy baby part. Lately I’ve been trying to focus on the very happy moments even though they perhaps are fleeting… to try to out weigh the ones that are less than glorifying. I am also dishing out an extra serving of grace for myself each day. Hang in there mama! I think you are killing it! And honestly, I am too. (Sometimes)

    • Autumn Cartagena
      Autumn Cartagena May 25, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

      Thanks, Pam! You ARE killing it! New mercies (and occasionally a good hair day) every morning, right?

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