I'm a Mess, You're a Mess

I'm a Mess, You're a Mess

Let’s just get this out in the open. If you’re following this website thinking, “That Whitney Archibald really has it together, I wish I was more like her,” you’re missing the whole point of this site. I started How She Moms because I have problems and because you have problems. I also have some great solutions, most of them borrowed from other people. And so do you.

I just spent a month compiling laundry solutions from as many mothers who would respond to my emails. And for that whole month I didn’t see the floor of my laundry room (or the corner of my basement that serves as my laundry room). At all. And a few mornings the uniforms were a bit sketchy when my kids jumped out of the car to go to school.

Why do you think I started with laundry? My laundry routine was in crisis. But I can now say that I’m having the first great laundry week I’ve had in ages, thanks to the advice of so many of you great moms out there.

Fact: Moms who have an enviable laundry system are struggling somewhere else. Moms who are great at spending time playing with their kids probably have a filthy closet or two.

Being a mom is like playing a giant game of whack-a-mole. Once you get one thing figured out, a dozen more problems pop up. There are just too many aspects of being a mom, a woman, a person, to be good at all of them. The best we can do is learn from each other’s strengths and continue to improve.

I just listened to a fabulous podcast by one of my new favorites, Lisa Woodruff at organize365.com, entitled The Difference Between Excellence and Perfection. One of Lisa's mantras is, “Done is better than perfect.” She says, “Excellence is taking the next step. It’s not about having a perfect outcome. It’s just looking at the next step that needs to be done, taking the action, then figuring out what the next step is.”

I’ve been wanting to create this site for 10 years, and I’ve hesitated for two reasons. One, I always had a baby to take care of. My youngest is now two , which makes this doable, though not a piece of cake. Two, I thought that if I started a website about managing a household and anyone who knew me read it, they’d call me out as a fraud. “I’ve seen her messy house,” they’d say, or “She has no idea how to control her children, what’s she doing giving parenting advice.”

But I’ve read a lot of books and blogs on parenting, housekeeping, and organization. The ones I love share a common thread. They’re real. They recognize that being a mom is hard. So, so hard.

Some of my new favorites are Dana White’s blog and podcast, A Slob Comes Clean; the aforementioned Organize365; and the book, “Life’s Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets,” by Lisa Quinn. If you don’t have time, I’ll read them and listen to them for you and summarize on How She Moms (although you’ll still have to read that). Because that’s one of the things I’m good at—reading and listening to podcasts. We all have our thing.

So, my fellow moms, whether you struggle with getting dinner on the table, getting kids out the door in the morning, balancing work and home responsibilities, or just finding time for yourself, we’re all right there with you. Let’s be real about it. 

Making Weak Things Strong

Making Weak Things Strong

Mother's Job, Circa 1951

Mother's Job, Circa 1951