if you need me I’m the one curled up in a ball under the bed

I found the past couple weeks to be pretty overwhelming for many reasons, most of which were predictable when you have a busy life with three kids (traveling with an infant, sick kids, husband with a start-up), but one or two things in particular threw off my orbit and it began to feel like I’d bit off more than I could chew with this whole working-mom-of-three gig. I posted this photo earlier this week on Instagram with a caption that pretty much summed it up:


“Toothbrushing with my babies, who both got haircuts today. Tomorrow I will clip their fingernails. Lately I feel like I can’t quite stay on top of things with three kids. Appointments, homework, travel, sickness, solid foods, laundry, weight checks…feels like I’m on the brink of chaos. Guess I just have to try to keep it together, one day at a time.

I thought I should share it here too, just gotta keep it real. I still haven’t clipped their fingernails. I too only have 24 hours in my day just like everyone else and surprise surprise there’s really only so many plates I can keep in the air at any given time. It’s fine; the fact that I’m posting today is probably evidence of that, I’m not really on the floor in the fetal position. And honestly I knew it was going to be like this when I decided to have a third child, and it will probably be this way for a while yet, and that is going to have to be OK. But still. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t sometimes frustrating.

Occasionally when I meet people who have been following my blog for awhile they’ll say things like “I just wonder how you do it all” or “wow you’ve really been busy lately!” when I feel like I’ve been doing zilch. It’s a good reminder to me that people both see ALL of my collective work at the same time here AND see only a very small glimpse into my real life at any given time. So if I only ever share awesome projects! new fabric lines! and wowee zowee stuff, it can look (unintentionally) like I’ve somehow got my shit more together than anyone else. I’ve tried to blog about  balancing work life and home life at various times in the past, so I hope I’ve been somewhat transparent about how I fit everything in, but my kids are young and things change all the time, so I’m constantly readjusting my priorities and how I spend my time. And sometimes it just feels crazy no matter how hard I try.

Also: the feeling of “I just can’t keep it together” isn’t exactly unique to this phase of my life; it has been something I’ve felt on and off all of my life, it’s just that now instead of comparing myself to those annoying classmates in high school who seemed to be good at everything and feeling a sense of despair, or getting frustrated when I bounced a check or forgot to pay my bills back when I was first working after college, it’s now all about figuring out what things I need to focus on and what things to let slide. Like for instance right now there are three little people who need most of my attention most of the time, so that’s really priority numero uno. Jess runs the MBR show work-wise, just in case you were wondering, and THANK GOODNESS for that because otherwise I would really go off the deep end. I’m lucky to have someone so capable.

Anyway, it’s no bigs, just wanted to share. So many of you are also “in the trenches” — whatever that may mean for you — and I reckon many of you know how that feels. I hope you have a fun and relaxing weekend!!!


46 thoughts on “if you need me I’m the one curled up in a ball under the bed

  1. I just came out from under the bed for a quick blog feed check & wanted to say thanks & stay strong! Crawling back under now….

  2. I’ve only got two kids and I feel this way almost every day! Hang in there! I will admit I’m also one of your long time readers who thinks ‘how does Rae do it all?’ I think you’re doing a fabulous job. The juggling act is so hard! xx

  3. I’m in the same trench as you! I’ve got a 5, 3, 2 & 10 month bunch running around me at all times, and sometimes I want to hide under the bed too. People say “Oh, how do you do it?!” And I’m like “do what?” cuz most likely the only things I managed to complete that day were to feed & clothe my children & maybe empty the dishwasher. 😛

  4. I am right there with you!!! Curled up with a blankie, and hopefully a good book!!! Took some time today and just played baseball with my 3 year old – it was FABULOUS. I said, you know what – all of this work, all of these dishes, this laundry, that dirty bathroom….they can wait. Playing baseball, that simply must happen right NOW. It was the best time, and I even had one of those time-stopping-beauty-of-the-moment-seeing-dust-in-the-air-sparkling moments during it. We all need to just take TIME – whether it is a on hour baseball game, a one week vacation, or a trip by ourselves to Target. Time to regroup and remember who we are and what is important on the inside. I am so happy you are doing what is best for you at this moment!!! Sorry for writing a novel – lol.

  5. Right there with you. I have a 4-month-old, and a 6- and 4-year-old and I have to be honest – having three kids is kicking my butt big time. I have a huge mental list of crap that needs to get done every day and I may accomplish one or two things on that list PER WEEK. Thanks for keeping it real and letting those of us in the trenches with you that it isn’t perfect and that that is okay. {hugs}

  6. I keep looking at my 7-year old son and thinking, you know, his mom should really clean his fingernails. Yeah, she still hasn’t done it. Slacker mom. 😉

  7. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I can’t contain the chaos of three kids and modern life. So it’s a matter of picking and choosing. And cleaning a toilet or two while brushing my teeth.

  8. I’ve been feeling the same way lately. I have a 4 mo and a 2 1/2 yo. Why do their nails grow so fast?!?!

  9. I spent last evening volunteering at Art Night at my kids’ elementary school teaching kids how to finger knit. It was two hours holding little hands and showing them how to loop yarn over those grubby (and I mean GRUBBY!!!) little fingers and wishing I had nail clippers for all of them.
    I think the hardest thing about being the main stay-at-home parent and balancing that with part time work (esp freelance/at-home stuff like you do and like I do – I’m a musician professionally) is that your mind is constantly being pulled away from whatever it is you’re doing at the moment. You constantly think about all the stuff you have to take care of, whether it’s important work-related emails or writing while you’re making dinner or what to make for dinner while you’re dealing with the important work-related things. It’s just hard to focus and prioritize from moment to moment and then the result is you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything by the end of the day even though you really have, assuming your family is clothed and fed and nobody fired you.
    Anyway, thanks for the honesty. And there’s nothing wrong with hiring babysitters. No one should have to do this stuff all on their own (it takes a village, even if you have to pay some people from that village…)

  10. Thank you, thank you thank you thank you… You can’t imagine how much this helps, to hear that others feel this way too and that it’s not just me with my unorganized self and my unfinished projects and fingernails long enough to climb trees.. I hope you will feel less overwhelmed soon for all of our sakes 🙂

  11. Oh, Rae, I just want to encourage you that it gets so much easier. It really does. Especially when they are old enough to help more. Also, I really enjoyed your post about work-life balance that you linked to. I had such a similar experience. I taught at UW (Madison) as a TA and also worked as an research assistant, so I was pretty much bored to tears after I had Jude (our first). It was so, so hard. And there was a bit of an identity crisis for me because I really enjoyed working and yet getting my PhD as I had planned would have been a lot to manage with a baby and no family support. It really wasn’t until I discovered sewing when Indigo (our second) was 18 months old that I was truly satisfied as a stay at home mom. I really needed that outlet and am so thankful for it. 🙂 You’ve done a great thing with your patterns. I am so glad you had the courage to try!

  12. Thank you for keeping it real!
    Still, you do a fabulous job!!
    Just never forget that.
    Even when under the bed.
    And thats true for all the ladies here!!

  13. yep, same here, but chin up. I bet that’s a universal mom-feeling + the pressure we all feel these days that every aspect of our life has to be perfect (work, household, kids, and than some…) it’s just unrealistic. Don’t worry, we’re all just wingin’ it 😉

  14. UGH! It’s so frustrating that there are only 24 hours in a day!
    I’m just got over the sinus then into the chest bronchitis and it really kicked the crap outta me! I really shouldn’t complain my life is ok today….and TODAY IS ALL WE HAVE!
    Don’t know about you but I’m grateful all I have to deal with is ONE DAY!
    Blessings to all and have an awesome weekend!

  15. Right before I read this post I was stressing about fingernail trimming. I have two kids and work almost full time as a doctor–it is super super hard to be a mom of any kind and I find working mom-hood to be really hard. My husband works from home so when I walk in the door, he vanishes to get his work done and I’m always on the go…and yet somehow I think that I need one more baby. The fumes from their freshly washed hair must be adding my brain. Anyway, thanks for the post that hit so close to home. Onward!!

  16. I feel that way myself a lot these days. I remember before my 4th how nice it was when they were all in school and I had time everyday for hours to accomplish things but now with my cute baby as my sidekick I can never accomplish anything it seems. his sweet little kisses and slobbery loves sure make up for it!

  17. Thank you for writing and sharing such an honest post… sometimes we all lose sight of the fact that the real world is not a curated collection of perfect moments like Pinterest, Instagram, and even our blogs can make it seem. As the soon to be mom of twins (40 weeks on Monday!), I’m reassured that being creative and being a real mom (with all the ups and downs) is possible (though maybe not always glamorous)when I read posts like yours!

  18. I have no kids, but I feel like I’m constantly looking down at my OWN fingernails and realizing that I’ve let them get to a state that is completely unacceptable! Keeping everything together is just hard.

    • Yeah it’s true. I’ve always had times when I felt this way, kids or no. It’s more about your own state of mind than the people around you I think.

  19. 3yo, 9 yo and 12 yo, working full time. this weekend I was thinking to myself…one of my goals should be to have hot dogs at least twice a week (though I hate hot dogs) so that I can keep my sanity. I’m also thankful that we live in Alaska where I can easily get away with 2 baths a week for smaller kids…and I have to admit that I often feel like the teachers at school probably wonder why my children and long (and somewhat dirty) fingernails…eeek. Three is definitely more, just like everyone told us, right? Thanks for your blog…I only read three blogs…and your new schedule works perfectly for me! I don’t get ‘behind’. 🙂

  20. Three is the most difficult, at least it was for me. I have 5 now, and the stage where #3 was a baby was by far the most tiring. I’m not sure why, or how, but it just was. “Bon courage” from Quebec!

  21. Hugs to you, Rae. I can definitely relate, although I only have 2, I am sure 3 adds another level of crazy. It definitely gets easier in a lot of ways as they get older and honestly it gets here before you know it. If you are like me, you will miss those days when they wanted your attention all the time. Now I feel like I have to beg them for it! For me, I try to avoid comparing myself to others and just do my best and be satisfied with that, but it can be hard sometimes. Glad to know you are in the same boat as the rest of us!

  22. Is there room under that bed? I’m feeling my age (40) and the ages of my children (5 and 1.5) acutely these days. The big one started school this year and the little one started daycare. Oh, and my husband went back to school and his schedule is 2:30-9:30pm M-F for 6 mos. Since September we’ve not been a week without a doctor’s visit, a walk-in clinic visit, someone fighting a fever, someone throwing up, and someone needing yet another dose of medicine. I’m out of sick time and vacation time at work and so I’ve decreed that if anyone else gets sick, I’m running away and joining the circus.

  23. Ha! When I initially posted that comment, WordPress gave me an error message that said, “You’re posting comments too quickly, slow down.”

    • I know — I’m getting that error message a lot lately too. Not sure what the problem is!! SORRY!! But so funny about how it related to your previous comment, and yes, it’s good to slow down! 🙂

  24. So nice to see these posts … I’m barely holding to together working full time and juggling 7 month twins (surprise!) and a 3 year old. Three kids seriously kick everyone’s butt!! My husband and I literally give eachother high fives every night for making it another day!

  25. Thanks for that Rae! It’s so easy to compare yourself to other mom-bloggers and feel like you have accomplished nothing, but like you said most of the time they only post the super cool wowee zowee stuff. I must remember that we are all juggling many hats, but the ones we should never drop are the family hats!

  26. People cut their children’s nails? I’m like, chew your own damn nails, kids. Not even on my radar, at least not since the newborn who claws his own face phase.

    Also, if you’re going to curl up in fetal position, ON the bed is so much nicer than under it. Under the covers is nice too. Hang in there, and thanks for keeping it real! 🙂

  27. As a mom of three, including twins, I promise the hardest part really truly doesn’t last forever – AND having three is super worth it.

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