Is anyone else nodding in agreement here? I have been married for six and a half years and truly suck at certain household qualities. I remember my mom being pretty darn awesome in all areas. Anyone feel like they can’t measure up to their own mom? I do. What is up with that? My friend and I were talking over tea and asked, “Did our moms not teach us certain things?” I don’t know how to sew, iron, clean a house very well, etc. I know these aren’t life dependent tasks, but when you get married you hope to become a contributing partner to your marriage.
At first, it was pretty easy, when it was just the hubby and I…I worked as a teacher, but my hours were pretty great. I had more than enough time to come home, make a delicious, homemade meal, maybe even an appetizer, cocktail and dessert to go with it. Hubby would get home from his long hours as a football coach, and we’d dive into dinner together. Then go settle on the couch for a show or two.
I had plenty of time to throw a load of laundry into the washing machine and get it folded before creases formed in his work pants. I had time to wipe down the countertops all in one swoop before running off with adult ADHD to another urgent matter. I could make sure the bathroom was decent, tidy up the house. Plain and simple: I had time.
Once I became a mom, and a working mom at that. Being a good housewife became a little more of a burden. When our first was a baby, I could get away with getting most chores done without much sweat. Once she became mobile, I had to squeeze everything in during naps…which for a working mom happened on the weekends. Suddenly I didn’t want to be consuming my time with laundry and cleaning when I had limited time with my growing baby. So, the laundry piled, the dishes gathered, and the dust formed.
Then I started working from home, I had every reason to get all the chores done and then some. Right? Wrong. I still had to work, I had other responsibilities to tend to during my day. I might be able to squeeze in a load of laundry, and the kitchen stayed pretty clean, but it wasn’t a cake walk.
Now I am a stay-at-home mom. I have a business I am trying to grow, but I am also focusing on my health. There are times I look around at the end of the day and wonder…what do I do all day long? The laundry I started at the beginning of the day is still wadded up on the couch, the dishes are allllllllll over the counter, crumbs are covering the floor, toys are everywhere.
This is where the mom guilt, the wife guilt all start to rise within my chest. I wonder if I am enough. If what I do every day, in and out is enough. Last night I got the kids to bed at an early hour, so I felt the best way to use my time was to tidy up the kitchen. My sweet husband walks in at some point, and says, “forget it, just come to bed to relax.” Bless him. (Of course, he has his chores too.) But deep within me is a woman who strives to be a good housewife, thanks to the 1950s that image always pops into my head. I don’t want to suck, I just think there are certain qualities of being dare I say “domestic” that just don’t come to me easily.
I don’t know what the magic answer is. I do know that gratitude is imperative. It is so easy to get bogged down with all the stuff every day, but many don’t have these first world problems. We should be grateful we have clothes to wash and fold, grateful we have food that has nourished our kid’s bodies, grateful our kids have a plethora of toys to play with, grateful for the comfort of a safe home.
At the end of the day, we are absolutely enough. The fact that we strive to be better is a resounding bell to say that we are more than enough. Each day we may do a little more or a little less. The most important thing each day is that love and joy are being experienced…so if the dishes pile up, it is okay to leave them for the next day. If the laundry sits (I am staring at a pile now) on the couch for one more day, that is okay too. Moms hold the most important job of all, it is time consuming, stressful, tiring, and the greatest adventure of them all. One day we will come full circle, back to an empty home where we have time to fix that gorgeous meal with a perfectly tidy house. Until then we are moms, whether we work outside of the home, at home or rearing children is our job… that is where our hearts need to be.