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I started the Homemaking Photo-A-Day Challenge on Instagram for the month of October. I don’t usually join challenges where I obligate myself to post something that usually involves a theme. However, I wanted to challenge myself and also connect with other “homemakers” and get a glimpse into their lives as they share them on social media. Check out some of the posts– there’s such a diverse group of ladies doing the challenge!! I like sneak peeks into the lives of others that share in what I do and this challenge is such a fun way to connect!

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**The challenge is hosted by Jami Balmet (@jamibalmet) from Young Wife’s Guide.

Today’s challenge was “completed home task” and I wanted to blog about that for a moment because I think social media can be very misleading when it comes to what “completed home task” looks like. It also brought to mind something I struggled with for a while and I know there’s another woman out there struggling, too. This blog is for you. There was a season in my life where I felt that having my home reflect my Pinterest account meant that I was a godly, Christ-honoring woman doing her best serving in her “ministry”. While I don’t disagree with that statement (homemaking IS a ministry, ladies), I don’t think that having unrealistic goals for myself is godly and I don’t think it helps me in my walk. I admire women that can look perfectly put together, full face of make-up, children clean cut and matching, and their house looks like it’s ready for a photoshoot with Better Homes and Gardens. I really do. That takes a lot of discipline, effort, and love. And for some women, that is just how they function. It’s their happy place and they work like a well oiled machine with every part in it’s place doing what it was meant to do. That IS NOT my happy place. It’s my very bad place. And I’ll tell you why.

It’s because I start comparing my life to others. I’m no longer taking advice and considering ideas, thoughts, and suggestions. Instead I am trying to mold myself into something they are that I am not and now my life has become unmanageable. I’m no longer trying to grow myself or challenge myself or educate myself. I am forcibly changing myself and it’s usually for superficial reasons like the acceptance of others, a misplaced expectation I created in my mind that my husband wants me to be that woman, or I think my family and friends will love/respect/admire me more if I become like that woman that has her life together. I become overly agitated with my children when they’re just being children. I get frustrated with the toys and the play dough, and the Legos, and the dolls, and the thrown about pillows, and the wadded up unfolded blankets that are now forts, and the myriad of other things that are no longer in their place. I get fed up with my laundry baskets being too full or the sink having a few dirty dishes in it, or the beds aren’t made, or the bathroom has a pair of little boy underwear on the floor… My list can go on. It’s because my house doesn’t look “put together”. But despite all that, it IS put together. My children are fed, loved, cultivated, encouraged, and taught the love of Christ. My house is warm and smells like fresh baked bread because I love to cook for my family. And that sometimes means a sink full of dirty dishes. I sometimes don’t get around to doing laundry because I’m playing Minecraft with my two oldest and I can guarantee you when they look back on their lives they aren’t going to remember that laundry. They’re going to remember their mom putting her responsibilities aside, if only for a little while, to be a kid with them and play a game. My life doesn’t look like my Pinterest account. I usually don’t wear make-up if I don’t leave the house, I wear workout clothes most days, and my laundry sometimes only gets done on an as needed basis. My floors get sticky and the dishes pile up. And that’s okay. Because that’s where I’m at right now. My life is busy with the business of children. Every one of them has a want, need, desire, problem, praise, or dilemma. And that takes time. It takes time away from the housework and the make-up. It takes time away from perfect decor and perfectly placed throw pillows. It just, well, takes.

In this season I have four children, ages ranging from 8 years to 5 months. It’s a messy season and if my “completed home task” is that everyone was fed and clothed today, then that’s a very good day. When many children all over this world don’t have even those things. So, you moms out there that feel like they can’t keep up with Pinterest, or Instagram accounts, or that super put together lady from your women’s Bible study– don’t let that discourage you from your calling. The days are long, but the years are short. In a few short years my house won’t have toys thrown about, or pillow forts in the living room, or little boy undies on the bathroom floor. And I’ll **probably** long for the times when my house was littered with children’s things. And my kids won’t be any worse off than the kid down the street who’s mom woke up at 5:30 this morning to put on a full face of make-up, mop her floors, to finish her laundry, and to run a car pool all by 7am. Mine will be all right, and so will yours. Enjoy your kids. Enjoy the breaks in between the “completed home tasks”– because sometimes a “completed home task” is just sitting on the couch with your kids sharing each other’s hearts.

You can see my pic for today’s entry on my Insta account @dutchessoftexas <3

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