Just In Case

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08

If you were to come over to my house right at this very minute, you’d find cereal crumbs smashedΒ up from Luke’s hands on the rug right by my kitchen sink.

If you were to step into my office bathroom, you’d immediately wonder what is all over the floor and I’d tell you it is cat litter that is knocked out of the litter box when the cats use it. I don’t vacuum it nearly enough.

If you stepped into my bedroom, and ran your finger along the top of my dresser, you’d find an alarming amount of dust.

If you walked into the guest bathroom at the end of the hall, you’d find bath toys sitting in the tub that never get put away.

On the stairs you would find cat hair tumbleweeds.

You’d see marks on the wall from where furniture knocked it.

On the deck, you’d see a broken canopy from a swing that needs to be thrown in the trash but instead has sat on our deck for months.

If you looked in my refrigerator, you’d find gallons of milk, lots of coffee creamer, and leftovers that are probably due to be thrown away.

My sink would have dishes in it.

There would be shoes all over the playroom.

There would be toys, specifically matchbox cars, under chairs and in random corners of the house.

The vacuum would be sitting somewhere as if it was recently used but instead it’s just sitting there waiting to be used.

You would find half finished cups of coffee on all levels of the house.

But do you know what else you’d find?

Two happy little boys, and a mom that is okay with a messy, dusty house, and a kind husband who is more than understanding that the house doesn’t look like it used to before kids, and meals aren’t prepared as often as they used to be before my job + the household got busier.

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I’m a big expectations girl, meaning I try to prepare realistic expectations for any and every situation. So, to stay content in this season, my expectations about the presentation of my house are way low. Also, the state of my van. But because of that, I’ve released any stress about constant cleaning or tidying. I stay on top of it, at a reasonable level, of course, but I’m much happier focusing on other things right now.

This is sort of a response to an e-mail I received from a reader asking “how I do it all?” and as you can see, I don’t.

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Comments (82)

  1. Mamoona says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Yes same here! I want my house to be clean and tidy but not at the cost of my kids happiness.

  2. Megan Karabon says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. I always envy mommy bloggers that look like they have it all and do it all. Everything looks so picture perfect all the time. There are crafts being done. There are professional-style photos being taken. There are healthy meals/snacks prepared. And me? I’m just a full-time teacher and mom of a two-year-old with a big ‘ol baby belly trying to figure out how to get even half of it. With baby #2 due in less than two months, I’m wondering if I’ll ever be “good enough”. So, thank you. The tumbleweeds of cat hair under my couch and the bags under my eyes are grateful for this post!

    • Nicole says
      Posted April 8, 2016

      I have a 19 month old and a four week old. It can be so tough, but look for the sweet moments and do your best to always treat your children with kindness and respect. Even at that young age, they are aware of everything. There at dishes in my sink, laundry on my love seat, and general mess in every room of my house. But my children are happy and healthy, so we are winning I think. You will, too!!

  3. Jessica says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Glad to hear you’re normal just like the rest of us!

  4. Megam says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    This might be my favorite post ever. The devil gets me with the word “failure” a lot. I feel like a failure when my house is a mess or I get impatient with the kiddos because I feel like it’s only me that can’t keep it together! Thank you for sharing this little bit of encouragement!

    • Lori says
      Posted April 8, 2016

      Magam,
      Your comment reminds me of something my pastor said this past Sunday…the devil loves to use the words “Never” and “Always” to attack us. “It’s NEVER going to get any better!” or “It’s ALWAYS going to be like this.” When you hear those words, recognize it is an attack of the enemy, and you’re doing a great job as a mom!

      And Kate, I also think this may be one of your best posts ever! I’m not a mom as of yet (hopefully soon), but I am a newlywed wife who is trying to learn to be a good and supportive wife to my husband, all while tackling that scary “First Year” of marriage, and also going through an entire renovation of our new home. I find myself already internalizing fear and anxiety that I won’t be able to keep it all together, as they say, when our children do come along. Thank you for being real, for being honest, and being an encouragement to other moms (and future moms), that worry they are the only ones with dust, hair balls, and smashed cereal. You are truly a blessing, and I look forward to your blog every morning!

      Blessings to your family!

  5. Posted April 8, 2016

    Ah yes! Thank you for this post! I have been going through some crazy emotions about my house being neat and tidy, but clearly need to let it go! I only have 1 son now and he’s not mobile yet so I am sure that my house feelings will change very soon and I will have no choice but to let it go!

    SaraH
    http://www.mysimplemomblog.com

  6. Kimberly says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Wow!! This is a completely accurate portrayal of my life right now as well. I am currently on maternity leave with baby #2. We are getting there… But lots of room for improvement. Lol. Thanks for being REAL Kate!!!

  7. Lindy says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Yes! And there are different seasons of motherhood. Your house may be magically cleaner in a year. I am reminding myself of this because my house used to be clean and it is currently wrecked as I am 3 months pregnant and slowly digging out of the mess from an awfully difficult (but awfully wonderful – yay baby #4) first trimester. My oldest can finally unload the dishwasher unassisted and that sure helps. πŸ˜‰

  8. Jayne says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Just the post I needed to read this morning πŸ™‚ Thanks for keeping it real!

  9. Beth says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Best post ever! I love that you’re being so honest! You’ve helped a lot of moms with this post! Including this one!

  10. Paige says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Kate,
    Our two oldest boys are 19 months apart. When they were small, we lived in Winston-Salem where my husband was a resident at Wake. I love that your blog reminds me so much of that sweet time in our lives! Looking at David and Luke takes me right back to those precious days with our Andrew and Coleman. You are wise to let the house go for a bit because those sweet, happy smiles are so worth it. Keep it up mommy! You’re doing great!

  11. Kristen says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    I love when we moms can be real with each other, and not pretend to be supermoms. Being a mom to little ones is hard enough without all the unrealistic expectations that are placed on us as well. We need to link arms in this game of parenting to help everyone through. Thank you for being real!!

  12. Cindy J says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Dog hair instead of cat hair and 1 girl instead of 2 boys but yes! Yes to all of this!

  13. Laren says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    You just helped a LOT of women out there to dispel feelings of unworthiness! I find that one of my biggest challenges with 3 kids to keep the house looking nice but also not loosing my peace when it looks the opposite of nice- which is most of the time! Thank you for keeping it real! ! <3

  14. ann says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    I LOVE reading this. Even though it has been MANY years since I was a child I still remember our house being spotless. I remember mom making the beds every morning and washing dishes the minute we were finished eating. I remember not being able to have certain toys because they made too much of a mess. I couldn’t have an Easy Bake oven because mom said it would make to much of a mess.

    What I don’t remember? Hugs. Or mom sitting in the floor playing with us. Or reading to us. Or taking us to the park. Or outside to play. Or laughter. Or fun. I knew at a very young age that the house being clean was very important to my mother. I, however, did not feel very important. Don’t get me wrong mom was not abusive to us and we were clean and well fed. I just wish the house being clean hadn’t been so important to her.

    • Angie says
      Posted April 8, 2016

      Thank you Ann, for this comment! You’ve reminded me of the kind of mom I want to be to my son, as most evenings are spent driving trucks back and forth down the hall way through the dirt and dog hair, rather than doing dishes.

      You and Kate have both reminded me today that I am doing just fine.

      Thank you both!

  15. Martie says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Now this is real! I love it. Have you ever been guilty of vacuuming a 4ft x 4ft area for the sake of a blog photo? I have! Lol! Thanks for sharing the hard reality of working Moms everywhere! πŸ™‚

  16. Sally says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    There is a saying that I used to keep on my fridge when my kids were little… its called “Babies don’t Keep” and it is so true….my son is now 26 and my baby girl at 23 just finished her last class of her university degree yesterday and now has to adult full time…it seems like last year my kids were the ages of your kids. The memories you make are the most important part not the immaculate house!

  17. Caryn says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    yess!!! I love this post. Everyday I see my house in disarray and think “how do other people keep it together?!” but this post has me sighing with relief. We all get busy. Someday we’ll clean, other days…it’s just not the priority. <3

  18. Andrina says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    The boys won’t remember dust and dirty dishes. They will remember growing up in a happy house and home. β™‘

    And how much do I love the chunky legs on that blondie boy!? Oh the rollies!

  19. Jenny D says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    AMEN, Mama! AMEN! Peanuts and string cheese for dinner, that’s a-ok!

  20. Julie Spady says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Perfectly said! I could’ve sworn you were describing MY house!!

  21. Kelly says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Thanks for that…seriously. I’m a new mom with a 3 month old and I just returned to work. Cleaning my house is basically the last thing I feel like doing at night. I too keep up with it all at a reasonable level, but cleaning and organizing to the extent I used to is just not gonna happen right now!

  22. Kassie says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    I love this post!! The internet gives us a small glimpse into someones life. I love that you are so real and honest about your life. I would much rather be on the floor with my son then worrying about the 4 loads of laundry that need done, the carpets that need vacumned, and a kitchen that can’t seem to clean itself. Thank You for this

  23. Jamie says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Amen! Pictures can be so deceiving. It’s nice to share the “behind the scenes” with everyone. πŸ™‚

  24. Rosie says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Thank you, thank you. I am a mom of 3 under 3 and lately I’ve notice I been getting really stress because I want to keep my home perfectly clean. My hubusband is constantly reminding me that i do an amazing job and that he understands that the house will not look the same as when there where no kids. And of course I been praying since I started noticing I stopped enjoying motherhood and the special family moments do to my obsession of wanting a clean home. Stories like yours have been helping me to understand that it is okay to have a not perfectly clean home. Thank God for your life you have no idea have much your story means to me. Thank you

  25. Mandy says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Thank you so much for posting this! My house is the same, if not worse. However, I have 2 happy kiddos the same ages as yours and that’s what matters!

  26. Jessica says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    I love this! I have been having difficulty accepting the fact that since my son was born a year ago and going back to work full time, I can not keep up the house like I used to. It’s so nice to see others with the same struggle and to realize it’s ok to have a messy house as long as your family is happy and healthy! I’ve also realized spending precious time with my son is way more important than whether or not the dishes get done or the laundry gets put away!

  27. Becky says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Thanks for sharing. As other commenters posted, it reminds us, “OK, phew, its not just me!!!” ?

  28. Amanda says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    A giant round of applause!! So sad because of social media, so many of us feel we inadequate compared to what other people post. So thank you for keeping it real.

  29. Leah says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Life of a mom with young kids. Someday my house will be clean again. πŸ˜‰

    It is nice to know I’m not alone.

  30. Nicole says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Thanks for keeping it so real! This sounds exactly like the current state of my house, and do I wish it was cleaner? For sure! But when our children grow up they aren’t going to remember that there were dishes in the sink, they’re going to remember the hugs and kisses and play time. Making the memories that last a lifetime, that’s what truly matters.

  31. Cindy says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Two words…AMEN SISTER!

  32. Posted April 8, 2016

    AMEN.
    And re: litter being kicked out of the box…. check out a ModKat litter box. We switched to one last year and it’ been a life changer! (yes, it’s pricey and it took me forever to pull the trigger, but it’s amazing!)

  33. Jessica says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    You’re so sweet and relatable. πŸ™‚ From one mom to another – thanks for this post this morning!

  34. Amber says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Sooo many matchbox cars…

    I swear the darn things breed.

  35. Dana says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Excellent post! Your beautiful boys won’t remember (or even care) that the house wasn’t picked up all the time. What they will remember is how their amazing Mama played with them and let matchbox cars be found under the couch months later after you already bought a dupe for an inconsolable little boy (been there!). Making memories with those two precious boys is what matters. It goes by WAY to fast! I miss the days when my kids were that little. My daughter is 16 and my son is 9. While every season they go through is new and exciting, soak it all in. Before you know it, a little bundle will be calling you Grandma and you’ll wonder where the time has gone! You’re doing a great job, Mom! The mile-wide smiles on Luke and David’s faces are proof of that! God bless you and your beautiful family! xo

  36. Kelsey says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    I’m a little late to read this post, but from the bottom of my heart, “I thank you”!!! I think all of us moms need a reality check every once in a while and know that while it might look greener over at our neighbours house, it is in fact the same shade! While I don’t have cats I have a dog who eats out of the main floor bath and there is usually a layer of filth/slober/food/dog hair right across from the toilet, so our guests have no choice but to look at it. I cringe every time! Lol.

  37. Lauren says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    I’m going to email this to my husband, who hasn’t adopted the same “low-expectation-of-house-hold-cleanliness” as I. hehe.

  38. Laura says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Great post, thanks for keepin it real, Mama! (You are still the coolest and a great ‘virtual’ girlfriend.

  39. Danielle says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Yesssss this is my life! I love when my house is clean; when the house is a total disaster it stresses me out! But it’s so hard to keep it clean all the time with baby/work/having a life. I need time each night to relax and unwind! I’ve started a 2 chore a day “rule” (laundry, dust something, clean a bathroom, vacuum, Swiffer – stuff other than the must do daily things) to help keep more on top of things. Some days I don’t really stick to it but overall it has helped keep the house at an acceptable level of messy and makes it way easier to whip it into shape if people are coming over or I just want a nice clean house – which lasts a day if I’m lucky haha.

  40. Posted April 8, 2016

    I can’t thank you enough for this post. I’m just getting to the stage of motherhood where the messiness starts! I have an 8 month old boy and my house is starting to reflect that! I’m trying to embrace the mess and get over my neat freak tendencies. It’s easy to believe that I am the only one with a messy unkept house because I spend my time with my son instead. Thank you once again for being a true, honest, deep person πŸ™‚

  41. Alicia s says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Bravo! Kate! Us women need to be honest with one another about appearing to have it together… none of us do!!! There are only so many balls one can juggle at one time… is OK to have a messy house, or skip the fancy make up and hair for an extra hour with your kids. We are all out there doing or best and sometimes or best is spent in our PJs just surviving one day at a time!!

  42. Becky says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Thank you for being real with us!

  43. Jesse says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Very refreshing! Thanks for keeping things “real”!

  44. Jamie says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Exactly what this sister-in-Christ needed today! Thank you!

  45. Emily says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    #keepingitreal

    I’m a new mom to a 5 month old and the biggest gift is when I come home from work and our nanny has done the dishes I left in the sink. Absolutely not her job, but I think she recognizes what a huge help such a small task is to this mama!

  46. Kristina says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Thanks for this!

  47. Kristi Cormier says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    So adorable!!!

  48. Dawn Kress says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Thank you for the reminder for myself of “it can wait.” The cleaning and constant picking up that I feel auto-immune to do to keep myself sane, that makes my girls (4yrs and 2yrs) wait. My “baby” just turned 2 last Saturday and I cannot believe how fast even the last year went! So by saying “it” can wait, that “it” needs to be cleaning and not my kiddos. Thank you for your honesty in this post!!!

  49. Kathy says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    I’ve always liked your blog & videos, but this is my favorite post you ever did πŸ™‚ I always kind of feel like a failure that my house is messy, but I always put play time with my 2 year old ahead of cleaning and it’s nice to know we’re not alone sometimes πŸ™‚

  50. Kris says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Kate, I cannot thank you enough for this post and the thoughtful sharing from other readers. It came at the right time for me. I am expecting my second child and remain in the throws of naseua and tiredness. My four year old currently has a stomach virus and me and my husband both work so the house and ongoing to-do lists are suffering. Thanks to all for keeping it real–and reminding us what is really important.

  51. Posted April 8, 2016

    I love it. Thank you for the honest post. It really is a sign of a good mother who strives to have a clean home and keep everyone well fed but knows how to balance that and keep realistic about how much she can accomplish. I must admit, I thought the same thing. You look so put together and your pictures always make your house look perfect. Phew! It is a relief to know you are just like the rest of us.

  52. Ann says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    I love this post.

    I am single and don’t have kids and because some curve balls of life I am currently living with my mom – who believes that the house has to be ‘perfect’ before anyone can come in it. Drives me CRAZY. It’s not a daily thing by any means. We both work so the house is lived in but when my brother or anyone comes to visit the world stops and the house has to be spotless. CRAZY I have shared this frustration with a few or many people and here is the best response I have gotten so far.

    “If you are coming by to see me please come at any time. If you are coming to see my house then please make an appointment”

    Keep up the great work Kate. Your snaps, grams, scopes, blog posts and tweets are always a bright spot in my day. So thank you!

  53. AnnW says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Get a cleaning lady. Once a week. You have a job, you shouldn’t have to vacuum and clean the bathrooms. Or, get a nice neighborhood kid to come in two times a week after school to play with the boys and pick up all the shoes and toys.

  54. Ancsi says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Oh it so encouraging to hear I’m not alone with this ! Thank you for sharing !

  55. Sarah says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    This is so awesome! Thank you for being so real!

  56. Lauren says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    This is an incredible and important message. Thanks so much for sharing! So many times we interpret the “highlight” reel that we see on blogs or Facebook or Instagram and interpret it as real life when so many times it’s truly just the best version we’re presenting. It’s so important for us to remember that when we read a blog post or look at an Instagram post that we’re seeing a snapshot and the reminder coming from you is even more powerful. Thank you for that.

  57. Brenda says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Kate,

    Thank you for this real life look into your home. I just made the decision today to not go back to work so that I can spend time with my sons who are 11 and 13! They are too old for a nanny or daycare and not old enough to stay home all day every day alone. It is a very difficult decision and seeing that we all make sacrifices for our happy, healthy children is inspiring. Prior to leaving work I had a nanny and a housekeeper BUT I worked 60 hour weeks and was too exhausted to do anything but work. I left my corporate job in May of 2014 to start my own women’s life/success coaching business, spend more time with my sons as they are growing into little men and to be a healthy and happy mom, wife and woman. Making this decision caused the house to not be clean & tidy and the boys are happier, I am less stressed and it has allowed for us to make lots of memories together! There are days though where I miss a clean house, the ability to buy new furniture or get new carpets. I almost lost myself again by taking a J.O. B. until I finally decided today that it is not the right time (and may never be) to go back to work. Reading your post today helped me to validate my decision! Thank you for always being an inspiration for beauty, hair, home and life!!!

  58. Sarah says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    “Apparently, she gave up on being perfect, because her floors are sticky and she laughs a lot.” Maggie Lindley

  59. Erin says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    But you DO do it all! You are raising two sweet little boys and, really, that is all that counts!! Thank you for your honesty. I have been following you for years and on top of all of your amazing hair/beauty/styling/decorating tips it’s your honesty that always brings me back.! Thanks for being you! xoxo

  60. Jenni says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    This totally hit home! Thank you so much for this post…I needed it! (:

  61. Kira says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Thanks for this Kate πŸ™‚

  62. Lynn says
    Posted April 8, 2016

    Kudos to Kate for keeping it real!

  63. Carolyn says
    Posted April 9, 2016

    Thank you, Kate, for keepin’ it real! I need to remind myself that what we see on social media does not always represent reality and what we art is often just a snapshot (pointed away from the kitty litter spill.. Haha my cat used to do the same thing!). I was on a blog the other day, the girl has two kids about the same age as mine (I have 2 boys- 3 year old and 9 months) and has an adorable house, adorable kids, perfect hair, does perfect crafts and I’m over here sitting in my workout clothes still going WTH?! How does she make it look so easy when I know it’s NOT! Anyway… It got me pretty down about myself so THANK YOU for being honest with us!

    Also, thanks to your gray YOLO jeans I now have a pair of gray jeans because I seriously love gray pants and even though they may make my thighs look a little pudgy (thanks to the wash! Hah)…. YOLO and I love them!

  64. Posted April 9, 2016

    SUCH A GREAT POST! I’m not a mom (yet), but I have similar expectations for my house right now, working full time. The weekend comes, and I would much rather be enjoying time with my husband or friends than stuck inside cleaning half the time. I hope that I will be as realistic about this as you are when I’m a mom!

    http://www.jenniferpeer.com

  65. Emily says
    Posted April 9, 2016

    I love this peak into your life! It’s so easy to think some people have it all, especially when we only see a glimpse of people’s daily lives on social media. Thank you for this honest confession. It reminds me that we’re all figuring out this beautiful life together.

  66. Meaghan says
    Posted April 9, 2016

    Thank you, thank you, thank you <3

  67. Tracy says
    Posted April 10, 2016

    Thank you for your honesty and keeping it real ❀️

  68. Posted April 10, 2016

    Thank you for posting this. I’ve just started a new business and over the past 4 weeks or so my house has started to look a bit disheveled. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone.

  69. Alison says
    Posted April 10, 2016

    THANK YOU for this post! I’ve been a reader for years, and this one of my favorites:) Thanks for keeping it real

  70. Diana says
    Posted April 11, 2016

    Thank you for posting this! As a work-away-from-home mom of a 2 year old, I needed this. Sometimes it feels like there is so much pressure to have the “perfect” house and have your child neatly dressed at all times. But, like yours, my house is not perfectly clean, there are dishes in the sink and dust bunnies are probably too easily found. There are even some Saturdays that my child will stay in her PJs all day. But she is happy and healthy and that’s what matters. Thanks for the encouraging reality check. πŸ™‚

  71. Stacy says
    Posted April 11, 2016

    It makes me so happy to hear that others have “released” the need to have a perfectly clean house, that Pinterest perfect everything. It took me many years to be able to gulp down not vacuuming, dusting or not having a presentable house at all times. It made a few years no fun. I still have my moments but my vacuum no sits out most days but instead of being used is, like you waiting to be used. I’ve slowly learned to breath and say “it doesn’t matter” that there is a pile of crumbs swept to a corner that sit there to be picked up……

  72. Kim says
    Posted April 11, 2016

    Out of all of your posts, this one is my all-time favorite! As a mommy to 3 boys, I feel your pain. Brace yourself because in a few years, that spare bathroom is also going to smell like those little boys can’t hit their goal all the time, if you know what I’m saying! That’s what Daddy is for, right?!?! πŸ˜‰

  73. Laura says
    Posted April 11, 2016

    Thank you for this… always refreshing to hear even moms/bloggers that appear to have it all together, are just like all other moms that are just hanging on πŸ™‚

  74. Jenn says
    Posted April 20, 2016

    This is beautiful! So many of us look up to you and just to know that you are just like everyone else but maintain a happy & stress free life in the meantime is awesome πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing!

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  76. Beth says
    Posted May 1, 2016

    Good to know you are a normal mom. Thanks for the post. You still owe yourself a ton of credit. In awe of you and your beautiful family. You seem to have the perfect balance of family/faith and a successful career. Blessings to you and yours.

  77. Heidi C says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    Thank you for sharing this! It is easy to think some people can do it all, but this glimpse into reality is great. Glad you have made peace with your new “normal,” I fought it for a while and after accepting it have been so much more at peace + relaxed.

  78. Amy says
    Posted May 18, 2016

    I love this blog post… I work 12hr shifts at a full time job plus blog on the side and it’s so hard to keep my house clean and organized… So happy to see a blogger being real and not having a Pinterest perfect home… Awesome post.. And resonates with so many moms who “do it all ” love, love, love!!!!

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