October 28, 2011

Fantasty vs. Reality

Have you ever wished you were "that" mom? You know, the one who appears to have it all together. Perfectly manicured nails, stylish hair, perfectly applied make-up. Fit and ready to face the day. Maybe your version of "that" mom prepares organic meals from scratch for her children. Or perhaps "that" mom has a spotless home and well-behaved children. I'd like to welcome you to a not so perfect place called "reality."

This is what my mornings would look like in my fantasy world:
  • 6:00 AM - Wake up to a quiet house. Fix myself a cup of hot tea and nestle down in my sun room for morning devotional reading. Pray, reflect, relax and savor the moment.
  • 6:45 AM - Exercise 
  • 7:30 AM - Shower, get dressed, put on make-up, fix my hair.
  • 8:00 AM - My delightfully cheerful children request permission to get out of bed. They happily eat what I put in front of them. And then read quietly for the next hour. 
  • 9-12 AM - Fun activities with my children: crafts, reading books, playing at the park.
  • 12:00 - I would serve a highly nutritious lunch, incorporating both fruits and vegetables.
  • 1:00 -3 PM Ben naps
  • 3-4 PM - More playing with the children.
  • 4-5 PM - Prepare a delicious and nutrition meal for my family from scratch
  • 5:30 PM - Serve dinner, get everything cleaned up. Enjoy an evening of family time. 
  • 7:30 Ben and Andrew go to sleep
  • 7:30-9:30 - Hang out with the husb
  • 10:00 PM Go to Bed.
  • I wake up three times in the middle of the night to attend to a teething child.
  • 6:00 AM - Husband gets up with the two-year-old in order to help with the sleep I lost getting up with the 6-month-old the night before.
  • 7:30 AM - I am awakened by a two-year-old standing next to my pillow saying "Gick up Mommy, Gick up. ("Get up" for those of you not fluent in toddler speak).
  • 7:45 - Change child's diaper, get him dressed. Turn on Netflix.
  • 8:00 I lay on the couch in a groggy stupor (thanks to the 4 hours of sleep I had the night before) while my oldest watches PBS. 
  • 8:15 AM - The baby wakes up and needs to be fed, changed, and dressed (I'm still in my pajamas.)
  • 10:00 AM - I remember that I haven't eaten breakfast and that I'm quiet hungry. So I grab a handy packet of my son's gummy fruit snacks (They have 10% fruit juice in them, so that should count as a serving of fruit).
  • 11:00 AM - Surf around the web on Facebook or Pintrest while Ben plays happily with his toys.
  • 12:00 - Heat up a hotdog for Ben. (Ketchup is a vegetable, right?) Son refuses to eat what I fix for lunch and demands cookies instead.  Cookies are denied resulting in a kicking and screaming tantrum.
  • 1:00 - Lay Ben down for nap.
  • 1:30 - Take a shower if Andrew is content and finally get dressed for the day (which usually entails a t-shirt and jeans). If I'm lucky, I'll have enough time to blow dry my hair. I don't even bother with the make-up since I won't be leaving the house today. 
  • 2:00 - Surf the web while Ben continues to nap.
  • 3-5: Watch Super Why, Sesame Street, or Fireman Sam
  • 5 PM Heat up a frozen dinner.
  • 6 PM Pile the dishes by the sink with the promise that "I'll clean them later"
  • 7 PM Bathe the kiddos; get their jammies on.
  • 7:30 Lay Ben down 
  • 8:00 Try to find the motivation to do the things I've put off all day long. 
  • 9:00 Facebook or Pintrest while hubby does schoolwork
  • 12:00 - stumble into bed around midnight depending on when I'm able to get Andrew to sleep. 
  • 1:30 - Wake up and attend to an upset teething child.
Rinse and Repeat.

I suppose the frustrating thing for me is that my "Fantasy" is full of obtainable goals and activities. I feasibly COULD do all of those things in the day, but most of the time I don't. It's not that I don't have the time or opportunity, it's that I lack the motivation. I often choose to do "other" things, usually things that are of no value or worth.

At this stage in my life, sleep is as valuable as gold, primarily because it's such a rare commodity. So the likelihood of waking up before my kids get up is slim to none. I'm not going to wake up at 5 AM especially since I don't go to bed until 1 or 2 AM.

I'm just not "that" mom. I don't have it all together all the time. My house is routinely in a state of disorder. I don't always take care of myself physically or spend a lot of time on my appearance. Most times I forget to pluck my eyebrows until I'm in the car and get a good look at myself in the rear-view mirror.

The majority of the time, I'd rather spend an hour on Pintrest than clean out my closets or wash my dishes. I guess I'm normal, but there's always that temptation to compare myself to other moms. I like to think that they have it all together, but I have the sneaking suspicion that there is no such thing as a "perfect mom" or a "perfect wife."

My main thing is that I know that there are things that I can do better. As a recovering perfectionist, I've learned that it's OK not to do everything perfectly. I don't have to be a perfect mom, but I'd like to do better. I'd like to do a better job of taking care of myself, both physically and spiritually. I'd like to do a better job of taking care of my house and family. It's a gradual process which will take a lifetime to improve on.

I think I'm going to try to find just ONE thing to work on this next month. To try to change everything at once would not be realistic. So, I've decided I'm going to eat breakfast every day. I'm going to sit at the table with my Bible and enjoy some tea and toast. Slowly but surely my fantasies can become reality.

1 comment:

  1. Reality 1: You are a mom of two young children who are close in age. Reality 2: There is no such thing as a perfect wife/mother! Reality 3: You are doing a better job than you think!

    I understand the downward spiral moms can find themselves in with the never ending "doing" for others. Maybe showering while BJ is still home will help you feel more awake to start the day even if you don't have time right then to totally "beautify" yourself. Have breakfast and then while Ben plays happily or watches PBS in the morning, maybe you can get one thing, however small, done. Clean the kitchen, fold a load of laundry, etc. It may in "reality" only take 20 minutes but then you can check Facebook/Pinterest, ect. with a little less guilt and feel like you accomplished something for the day. I think I've found myself putting off tasks that really wouldn't take that long to do, if I just did them. Do a couple 15-20 minute tasks throughout the day, (set a timer if you want to and quit when it dings) and you'll be amazed at how much you'll get accomplished.

    Take it, like you said, one step at a time, knowing that this phase of life won't last forever!(I won't tell you that each next phase will have it's own difficulties -- I'll let you live in that fantasy world a little longer!)You're dong a great job. Take care of yourself spiritually and physically and you'll have more to give to your family. Most importantly enjoy those precious little guys (and your "big guy") because time really does have a way of slipping away quickly! Just look at my "baby" the next time you look in the mirror! I Love you and am proud of you!


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