In my perfect mommy career world:
- The kitchen sink would forever be empty and free of dirty, grimy dishes from home cooked meals.
- The laundry would never stay in the basket after leaving the dryer, shirts would magically hang themselves and the clothes inside our dresser drawers would look like a mall retail store shelf.
- My floors would sweep themselves and I’d never have to clean up another glass of spilled milk.
- My kitchen counters and table tops would sparkle – no more sticky or crumby messes.
- My hair would be runway ready as soon as I wake up and applying make-up would take seconds.
- The t.v. would never have smudges from the drool smeared hands poking at it.
- The carpet in my mini-van would be clean enough to sleep on without getting Cheerios or Goldfish stuck to my face.
- My guest bedroom would function as such instead of being a dumping ground for things I don’t want to put away right now.
- Pictures would be in scrapbooks and home movies on DVDs instead of taking up precious GB storage on my phone or PC.
- My kitchen pantry and fridge would remain stocked so I never have to go grocery shopping with whiny, hungry kids.
- And emergencies would never happen!
Sounds perfect, right?
Except, if that perfect world existed, I probably wouldn’t have children. And, honestly, I probably wouldn’t have a husband either.
Yet, despite the fact that we all know how impossible perfect is to achieve, and how having kids definitely throws a wrench into those plans, we feel pressured to appear as though our life is perfect. We feel like we should always look presentable, even if it’s just in the school carpool lane, grocery store, or doctor’s office. We see images in the media (think reality t.v. and HGTV Magazine) of homes that are immaculately decorated (and not baby or toddler proof, mind you), and we think that’s how people with families should live. We become overwhelmed and consumed with chores and projects to appear perfect, to live up to the glossy magazine page, but at what cost and for who?
My mommy career is fast approaching it’s 10-year anniversary and if there is anything that I’ve learned in those 10 years, it is this: perfect is not a goal moms can achieve, at least not the perfect world I described.
But, Lauren, my house is a disaster right now. And I’m still wearing pajamas.
Of course it is and of course you are. People actually live there. People eat there. People sleep there. And those people are your family.
There will always be something to clean or organize or sow or fix or mail out or put in storage or sell on LetGo or …
See what I mean?
You will never catch up on your do to list and while it sounds depressing to hear that, it really isn’t.
You know why?
Because every other mom, no matter how put together she looks, has a laundry list of things to do, too.
Stressing out about the way you or your home looks isn’t anywhere near as important as loving your family. Laughing and playing with them, having conversations with them – those are the things that matter.
Step back and take a deep breath, mama. Live in the moment, not in the future perfect world that you are attempting to create. Accept that your mission is to raise a family and while cleaning is a tiny part of that mission, the main goal is to instill good morals and values into your children. Raise them to be caring, loving and kind people. Show them that physical appearances don’t show a person’s true character. Teach them that it’s what’s inside that counts.
Hopefully, if we do it right, our cultural mindset will shift and our children won’t feel pressured to be perfect by the media.
And that world, my mama friends, sounds like a perfect world to me.