Thursday, August 1, 2013

Better at This

I penned this one day while thinking of all the housework waiting for me at home, perpetually waiting for me, thinking of the piles of laundry, of the mess throughout, stressing over never getting it right, worrying over what lessons I am teaching my daughter about keeping a home.

I realized that somewhere in my mind I thought there was a magic switch that would turn on once I became a mom that would automatically make things like keeping a clean house, planning & cooking meals, and maintaining a beautiful flowerbed second nature.

I mean, if you had asked me, I would say "of course there's no magic switch", but the day-to-day reality of these things is so far from what I had expected, that clearly some little corner of my mind harbored this "magic switch" theory.

I was wrong. So very wrong.

If you've been following me for any time at all you know this has been a constant struggle for me. A constant battle. And if I lose a day of housework, just one day, due to busyness of life, or illness, or vacation... well, one lost day equals a month of catch up. There is no wiggle room for me to lose a day of housework.

So many days I feel like all is lost.

I try to console myself with what I did accomplish each day, listing out my accomplishments, but looking around it seems so small compared with what is left to do. Every day. Fighting a losing battle.

As I wash & fold load after load of laundry, struggling to keep my husband in clean uniforms, me in clean work clothes, and Jena in... well, in clean clothes - the mess piles up in the living room.

As I shift my focus to the living room, the kitchen sink overflows with dishes.

As I wash the dishes, the shower starts begging for a good scrub.

As I scrub the shower, my family complains for lack of clean clothes.

And thus the vicious cycle begins again.

It feels like a battle I can never win. Not just win, but not lose.

I hate that our house is messy. Hate it.

I also hate subsisting on 5 hours a sleep per night as I stay up past midnight, trying to get more chores done, and get up at 5:30am, to do more in the morning before work.

I have tried, for five years, to try to figure out how to fit in working full-time outside the home, handling all of the child care, most of the pet care, most of the errand-running, the vast majority of the cooking, and all of the housework. I know it my head that it's physically impossible, it can't be done, as there are only so many hours in a day.

But that knowledge alone does not keep me from feeling like I am failing my family, like I am failing myself, like I am not good at this wife & mother thing.

I push these feelings aside most of the time, but then once in a while, they come out. And sometimes when they do... I write.

As always, thanks for checking in.


'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

It happens... reality has a way of sneaking into our lives. We all seem to expect so much from ourselves and we don't want to allow any negativity in to detract from our truly positive inner voice.
No matter how badly we want to smile and work through it all it's good to share our own realities with others just so we can all see that nobody else's life is magazine perfect either.
While I do think that striving to do better is a worthwhile endevour, there's nothing wrong with admitting to and sharing our real life experiences- especially when it's done in a way that will reach out to others and further a goal of shared human bonds as you have done here. As women, I feel we really can't ever get too much understanding from one another as we each strive to have the best life we can within the different ways we choose to fulfill our life dreams.

S said...

Boy, can I relate to this post. I still don't know how working moms do this. . . even though I've been one myself for over a year now.

You are definitely not alone in feeling this way!

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