A Perfect Wife and mother

My days tend to be pretty relaxed, by necessity. If they’re crammed full of doing doing doing, going here and there making sure this gets done tightening drawer pullscleaningshoppinglaundryobligationnotimetoeatbreathe…it all turns into anxiety over ONOwhatdidiforgetiforgotsomethingimportantbutidon’tknowhatONO…which feeds itself and becomes a monster that then morphs into No Sleep Panic Attacks One Right After The Other…ad nauseum and the next thing you know I’m at the psychiatrist’s office getting readjusted and then entire balance of the household universe is upset. Somewhere in there I’ll start worrying about the boys and convinced that their lives are doomed and Terry’s doomed and we’re ALL DOOOOOMED.

and you know what, that sucks.

I see women, mothers of the kids #4 goes to school with, and they have daytime jobs, get the multiple kids to and from this and that, cook meals, do laundry, keep a tidy house, basically fill every waking moment with productive activity. I read proverbs 31 about The Perfect Woman who does all that *and* spins her own wool and flax *and* runs a business.

It’s enough to give a girl a complex.

Used to be, I could Do It All. When I had 3 preschool children, we were always on time, they were always dressed and clean, snacks packed, shoes tied and dinner in the crock pot. The house was tidy, I had a lovely rose garden and vegetable beds. Appointments were kept, lunches were had with friends and I was Dependable.

I’ve learned to deal with not being able to Do It All, but sometimes it gets to me. At church Sunday,for Mother’s Day, the associate preacher read Proverbs 31, and the whole time I kept thinking of Erma Bombeck’s essay on Mother’s day. I can’t find it online, but she talks about the imperfect ones, the sick, drug addled mothers, the ones who drink too much or leave their kids or work 2 jobs because they don’t like being around their children. I like that better than Provebs 31. I wonder if any other woman in that sanctuary Sunday felt like I did-damaged, imperfect, like she was being held to an impossible standard. The preacher’s wife was sitting right in front of me, and he went on about how hard she worked and what a wonderful wife and mother she was, and I wondered if she ever felt like screaming, or did she ever hide under the covers with a bag of cheetoes and a trashy novel.

the fact is, I do the best I can, most of the time. i know my boundaries. I *wish* I could be more…whatever it is that I’m not…and don’t try to be encouraging and tell me I’m a wonderful wife/mother…because I’m not but I do the best I can, most of the time. I’m not a cupcake baking take my kid to soccer/karate/piano balanced meal cooking perfect housekeeping pearl wearing perfect wife and mother. I don’t even try to be, but sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have that kind of energy and drive, to be able to schedule every minute doing something beneficial, instead of having to schedule in down time all day long, because if down time doesn’t happen, the spiral of activity gets faster and faster and I won’t be able to stop it until a disaster happens and there’s a messy mental crash, which upsets everyone’s applecart for weeks.

yeah yeah, stop wishing for something you aren’t and start appreciating what you are…i hear that. Most of the time I’m fine with it all, it is what it is and at least I canget done what needs to be done, but sometimes…it just doesn’t seem like enough.

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About rootietoot

I do what I can.
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3 Responses to A Perfect Wife and mother

  1. JerseyChick says:

    You know, I’ll bet the associate preacher isn’t under any delusions that the preacher’s wife works hard All The Time, or that she’s wonderful All The Time.
    You work hard. You are a wonderful wife and mom. You also have flaws and parts that need healing. Me, too.
    Mother’s Day is just a chance to focus on the good parts for a few hours. A chance to celebrate our good times- For the men, the children- and you and me. Calvin and Wesley and McGuilterson have officially approved 6 hours per year of focussing on what we do right. It’s not sin.

    What, are you going to give up Christmas because you got/gave a bad present one year?

  2. Jo says:

    I’m stating the obvious: there is no perfect woman, mother, or human out there. Really.

    And even the ones that *appear* perfect? I bet when they’re 85, they’ll say to themselves, “I wish I’d spent more time just relaxing and having fun, instead of trying to be all the time.”

  3. Bella Rum says:

    Mothers are the hardest on themselves. I keep telling my daughter-in-law that none of us are perfect. We mostly muddle along. My son will be 37 in June, and he’s beginning to mention childhood memories. It’s that age where we try to put it all in perspective. Some of his memories surprise me. I can’t even remember some of them. Some of his memories are good, but not all, but he doesn’t seem to pass judgement on us. So I guess we didn’t damage him too much. 🙂 In the end, I guess that’s all the imperfect mom can hope for. We want them to walk upright, work at something, produce beautiful grandchildren when the time is right, and not judge us too harshly. The beautiful grandchildren are the best part, and you have all that ahead of you. Trust me. You’ll feel like you’re a much better grandmother than mother. I’m like the freakin’ best at it.

    P.S. This was a great Mother’s Day post, Rootie. Honest… like we’ve all come to expect of you.

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