I still remember the moment my friend told me she’d just finished cleaning all the baseboards in her house. It was right after I had cleared a walking path through the mountain of toys in my living room. 

Cleaning the baseboards in my house wasn’t at the bottom of my listit wasn’t on my list at all. In fact, in the two years since we moved into our home, I haven’t touched our baseboards. I’m also grateful our kitchen tile is just the right shade to mask muddy footprints and spills. And I’m just starting to tackle the insides of our closets.

Judge if you must. It’s just the season we’re in.

I’d like to say my inability to keep up with deep cleaning is the only thing that sets me apart from my fellow mothers, but that would be a lie. 

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At the ages of one and three, my kids aren’t enrolled in sports. We do, however, love to go for walks, ride bikes, and splash around in the inflatable pool in our backyard. 

It’s just the season we’re in.

We don’t go to church. We do, however, preach kindness, show compassion, and treat others as we’d like to be treated.

It’s just the season we’re in

We opt to treat our kids to Culver’s once a weekend for lunch in exchange for no dirty dishes or time spent in the kitchen.

It’s just the season we’re in.

Our 3-year-old is still in diapers, and our 1-year-old still nurses a pacifier, despite their peers having mastered the transition. 

It’s just the season we’re in. 

We’re an early-to-bed, early-to-rise family, so we’re never out past 6 p.m. on the weeknights.

It’s just the season we’re in. 

Our kids find more joy stuffing themselves into an empty laundry basket or trying on each other’s shoes than they do playing with their actual toys.

It’s just the season we’re in.

I know this won’t always be the case. I know our season will evolve to become more ambitious and hurried. I’ll know we’ll accomplish more, stay up later, and branch out. 

And I know that because of the season we recently graduated from, the newborn season—also known as, survival season. The season when I was lucky to squeeze in a shower, when breaking away for a workout was impossible, when any dinner that took longer than 10 minutes to prepare was out of the question. Forget the baseboards, I was lucky if the dishes made it into the dishwasher. 

From the moment I became a mother, milestones and comparison have continued to plague me. I see what other families are taking on and I feel inadequate and embarrassed. 

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But I failed to recognize those other families were in a different season.

I also failed to stop and observe the smiles and delight of my children that indicate we’re doing just fine.

Maybe your season is dictated by the ages of your children. Maybe it’s the demands of your job, your financial situation, or an illness. Maybe what others consider sheltered is what you consider appreciating the simple things in life.

Whatever the reason, you don’t owe anyoneparticularly yourselfan explanation. You are allowed, and should feel empowered, to live within your season. 

After all, you’ve got your whole life to clean the baseboards.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Jess Lisbeth

Jess is a wife and mother of two who resides with her family in Northeast Wisconsin. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she has spent nearly 20 years lending her copywriting skills to various corporate entities and currently serves on the marketing team for a Wisconsin-based health system. When she isn’t busy writing, she enjoys following Wisconsin sports, fulfilling her addiction to Dave Matthews Band, and spending time with family.