One Room Challenge: Week 5: Why I Wanted To Quit
This post isn’t about the dining room at all, nor is it about my cute (new!) puppy up there, it’s about my struggles.
The first few weeks of the One Room Challenge took off with exciting momentum. I was thinking up beautiful ideas for my dining room, and boxes with pretty furniture inside were arriving every week. I landed a collaboration with Minted, setting the tone for the room with an oversized beautiful piece of framed art. (Blog post about that coming soon! Can’t spoil it now and give you TOO many sneak peaks!).
Then… I got hit with kids home on 3 different spring break weeks in a row (different schools 🙄) and I stalled out as I hit the 5th week of this 6 week challenge. The room was at about 75% completion- and I was discouraged because I didn’t think the sideboard was going to arrive by the reveal day. Overwhelmed with motherhood duties, I ignored the room for a good 10 days. Birthdays, sick children, hosting family, adopting a puppy (!!), a weekend spent shuffling the kids from birthday parties to several sports activities followed by a cookout… I was falling asleep nightly as soon as my head hit the pillow.
One afternoon I stood looking at my not quite finished dining room and wondering if this was the best I could do... I started telling myself that being a mother was enough for now, there will be time for my own dreams some other year. I started comparing myself and my skills to people who design for a living, people without 4 small children, or people with more experience. I didn’t stop there though- I also was thinking about all the women who DO have big families and busy lives and still complete huge projects and wow the world. I remembered the woman I met years ago when Robbie was just born- she has 4 kids and runs her own interior design firm in the next city over from me. The day after her 4th was born she was on the phone taking calls, newborn in her arms. I remember sitting there with my first and only infant at the time and wondering how she was even talking on the phone. How do all the other moms in the world get stuff done and why can’t I complete anything?
The room was beautiful, already a complete transformation from where it started, and yet I felt like a failure.
I was drowning in motherhood duties, spreading myself too thin, and feeling sorry for myself. I wanted out. I wanted to wave the white flag and go blow bubbles in the backyard with my kids, and have nobody fault me for it.
The thing is, nobody would have faulted me for it if I did quit to go blow bubbles with my kids!
But more than I wanted to throw in the towel, I truly didn’t want to have an “almost finished” post up at the end of the 6 weeks.
I wanted to design this room from start to completion for me. If I’m laying it all out there, part of the reason I want it to be a success is to just plain feel good about myself. Similar to how much pleasure designing our own home gave me. My love of home design is my own thing- it has nothing to do with being a mother- and I like that. Of course being a mother alone IS enough, I don’t need to also do anything else (and I barely can), but I want desperately to keep some very small piece of my life just for me. The room didn’t need to be perfect, but I wanted it done.
I also wanted to finish this room for my 7 year old “blogging assistant”, who follows me around with her notebook and calls me the worlds’ greatest blogger until I have to make her stop. No way was I showing her it was “good enough” without being done.
I also wanted to design this room for you. Because I knew it had all the potential to turn out so lovely.
So obviously, quitting wasn’t really an option. I was letting my todo list overwhelm me, and I needed to remember it’s not that serious. This blog does bring our family income, but I am blessed in that this blog, my love for design and keeping my home beautiful comes purely out of my own passion. I might even call this blog my passion project, if I was somebody who used terms like that. If I am only showing up in this space because I enjoy doing this and want to inspire others, comparison only serves to dim my own light. There is no deadline that means anything other than what I want it to mean. And if it’s important for me to get the room finished and honor my commitments, I needed to simplify so that I could reach my goal.
I made peace with myself for the small things I wanted to do in the room that weren’t going to be feasible (who really cares). I celebrated the successes I did make- which were major! I moved around some dates with other blogging commitments to feel less overwhelmed. I had our sitter watch the kids in the afternoon and I ran some errands, and I made a decision to keep the entry rug that was causing me design paralysis.
At the end of the week, when I got the email that the sideboard would actually arrive in time, I felt the tide shifting. The room would still have been beautiful without the sideboard, but it felt like a sign. I was going to actually pull this all off!
Moms. Be easy on yourself. Give yourself some grace. Remember why you are here- wherever you are in life - in the first place. Celebrate your successes that got you to where you are now. And quit trying to do it all at 200%- just simplify so you can finish!
I am here in this space purely for my love of interior design, my obsession with all things pleasing to the eye, and my personal goal to inspire others to make their home a beautiful reflection of their family….. and although I may need to scale down sometimes, I won’t be quitting anytime soon. :)
Read about the other readers’ beautiful transformations here.