You may have noticed that last week I had a blast participating in the Week in My Life link up over at Adventuroo.
I was completely and utterly exhausted by the process. It was much harder than I anticipated. I don’t think I went to bed before midnight on any one of those nights. After putting everyone to bed I had to sift through all of the photos, choose the ones I wanted to use, upload them (the real time suck, it seemed), and then write about the day. Oh and my computer runs slower than molasses when I have so many programs open. At almost 4 years old, it may be on its last legs.
But the project turned out to be way more than just documenting my days. As I carefully constructed my posts and visited others in the linkup, my wheels really started turning and gave me a lot to reflect on.
When I started this blog way back in September 2008, it was a way for me to document life with infant twins, because there sure as hell weren’t any baby books. But along with posting cute photos and impressive stats of our growing former preemies, I also rediscovered my love for writing. And when I decided to take this blog more public not quite a year ago, I moved away from posting about the more day in the life stuff that surely no one, save my family, cared about.
Well, a Week in My Life completely changed my outlook on all of that.
Peeking into others’ lives is a bit fascinating. Prior to the linkup, I didn’t even know most of the blogs that I visited, but I still loved seeing bits and pieces of their lives: how they organize their day either at work or at home, what they do with their children, and their all around family dynamic. Some people made some ridiculously delicious looking meals, and I barely cooked at all last week. I now feel the need to up the dinner ante.
Most importantly, I got to see that I am not the only one with a basket (ahem…baskets) of laundry sitting in the background as I’m trying to take pictures of some of our daily activities. That’s life, folks.
I also couldn’t help but do a little friendly comparison to those who have lives that are vastly different from mine. I loved seeing how Melissa organized her work day while her kids were at preschool, since I’m building up my experience to freelance more once my kids, at least the big girls, are in actual school. And I may have gotten a wee bit jealous of Fadra’s relaxing dinner time with her family of three.
But comparisons are dangerous. We all know that none of us is perfect, and while Week in My Life definitely gave us the opportunity to reflect and even embrace that, I know I found myself holding back a bit.
I didn’t get in front of the camera as much because a) I haven’t shown Christian the things I’ve learned about the camera lately, and I didn’t really want to “stage photos,” b) using the self timer was kind of a pain when little kids are oh so interested in what you are doing and immediately STOP doing what they are doing to poke at the camera, and c) photos of myself make me want to barf.
To be honest, I didn’t really include many of my current frustrations about my kids or my general stage in life in my posts. I did document a day in which I had a headache and felt guilty for not doing much with Zoe while her sisters were at school and a day in which I nearly lost a child at the park and wanted to strangle the other two, but I deliberately left out the fact that the whole first half of my birthday actually sucked really bad (pedicure excluded) due to all of us having crappy moods on Saturday. And I may have tossed some clutter out of the way when I was trying to shoot from particular angles at various times.
What I found funny, and I’m sure other did as well concerning their own posts, was that a lot of people were in awe of my normal: that we seemed to get out and about a lot with our traveling circus; that my daily tasks usually include laundry, cleaning, cooking, blogging, newsletter editing, and OH YEAH ALL THE KIDS. But this is my life. I go to the park with all 3 kids because I can’t keep us locked in the house every day. And although we have our fair share of homebound days, that’s why they seem so packed with activity — I have to keep these kids entertained, lest they turn all Lord of the Flies on me.
And know this: I may do a lot, but I don’t get a lot done.
The best lesson I received from Week in My Life is that there is beauty in the mundane. Special moments are everywhere, not just on birthdays, holidays, or milestones. Thanks to this project, I captured priceless moments like Zoe making out with the SamDog:
Or this one in which I discovered what was keeping the girls occupied for such a mysteriously long period of time. I mean, I was outside with them, but I was on the other side of the yard and didn’t realize that the bucket they were playing with had mud in it:
Most importantly, I got a renewed desire to live life with my kids and revel in the moments. The snuggles, the games of hide and seek, the trips to the park full of “Mommy watch this!” Sure, it’s not all sunshine and roses, but when I look at my bucket, it’s definitely full.
And I also learned that most of you wouldn’t trade places with me even on your worst days. And, well, I’m okay with that too.