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Every year, I optimistically make my New Year’s resolutions and choose a word to symbolize something I plan to work on during the year. One year I picked “focus.” Another, “patience.” Though I give a valiant effort, I’ve usually given up on my word by mid-March. Despite this, I try again every year, hoping to do better than last year. Hoping to become the perfect mom, perfect boss, perfect attorney, and perfect wife.

Most recently, I picked “balance.” I planned to wake at 5 a.m. daily and read. I would write in my journal and then exercise. I’d eat a healthy breakfast, prepared by yours truly, and feed the kids wholesome, home-cooked meals. I would crush it at the office and then come home and do wonderful educational activities with the kids, all while having dinner on the table when my husband got home. We would laugh and everything would be so perfect. If only I had better balance! Then I could have it all!

As I reflect on that choice, I have to laugh because it clearly didn’t stick. Spend 15 minutes with me, and you’ll see the true hot mess I really am.

I feel more unbalanced this year than ever before. 

But this year, I didn’t pick a word—it picked me. Truthfully in the bustle of my crazy life, I forgot to choose an aspirational word this year.

The only word I can use to describe me this year is tired.

I’m in survival mode, willing myself to get through each day without collapsing from the sheer magnitude of the weight on my shoulders. It’s exhausting, and I am tired.

RELATED: A Mother’s Mind Never Rests, Because We Carry The Mental Load

I often think of my day-to-day life as juggling teacups. With controlled, calm movements, they glide through the air, effortlessly. People watch me from the outside and see beautiful arcs as the glistening teacups soar through a beautiful blue sky. Seamless. But under the surface, one small hiccup, one flinch, one misstep, and they all come crashing down around me. The once elegant and pretty teacup has become sharp shards of broken glass.

I don’t have the luxury of being human, of making mistakes, of having feelings, or the teacups will come crashing down around me.  

Juggling raising my two kids and their activities and schoolwork, growing my business and moving up in my field, having a healthy, positive marriage and finding time to be a wife to my husband, the housework, the cooking, visiting family, having friends, self-care, volunteer work, and our pets . . . is exhausting. I feel like I am expected to handle all of this and to do so with a smile. 

Being in charge of a household and two tiny humans is exhausting. Being on all the time is exhausting. Being a momma, whether you work in or out of the home is exhausting. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, momma.

It’s OK to be tired.

This past year has taught me it’s OK not to be perfect. I am a beautiful imperfection. My dishes are never done. The laundry is piled all over the house. My kids don’t bathe every single day, and sometimes I am too tired to brush their teeth before bed. They eat Pop-Tarts for breakfast, and we are unequivocally late every single day. 

RELATED: Feeling Like All You Can Do This Year is Survive, Mama? Do That.

This past year I learned that having something be done, even if not perfect, is better than not doing it at all. Bathing the kids every other day is better than not bathing them. Doing some of the laundry is better than not having done any at all. Having something for breakfast is better than not feeding my kids. 

It’s definitely not perfect, but it is a beautiful, messy life. It’s my beautiful, messy life. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Alicia K. Albertson

Alicia K. Albertson is a mom of two kiddos, two dogs, and two cats. She is partner at a law firm and a wife to Nathan. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with her family. 

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