Monday, September 17, 2012

Burnt Toast

While reading The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs by Kristina Hopkinson, I realized that while it's a funny, exaggerated novel about a woman who begins secretly cataloging her husband's pros and cons, there's a lot of truth in it! Of course, I never do this but if I did, I could probably attest to many of her gripes. First of all, let me just say for the record, I'm speaking about MOST women. If you are in a balanced and blissful category all your own, ignore this. Oh, and also?? I kind of hate you.
Most of my days are spent juggling, negotiating and looking at the clock in hopes help will arrive swiftly via my knight on a shining Harley. And then it's time for dinner, and reading and baths and the whole thing starts again. If I'm lucky to squeeze in some "me" time, I'd consider that a good day. Between all the demands of a home, a couple kids and a hubby, I'm all but spent by nightfall. Sure, my darling husband could pitch in more, bathe the children, read to them and tuck them into bed with witty stories instead of catching  up on TV or tinkering in the garage but my kids are a bit attached and mommy has created a monster. I have this funny little thing called "mommy guilt" that creeps in whenever I fail to do everything myself. Madness, isn't it?? The very thing I long for, a little help, a little quiet, a little break, I push away for fear that a ball will drop.
It's not just time that us moms lack, it's also a bit of self-worth that somehow decreases as demands increase. Somehow we just fall lower and lower on the to-do list. I sacrifice time and money on pedicures and haircuts from days long ago for extras like karate lessons and outings with the kids. I give up sleep (and my sanity!) to comfort scared, thirsty children in the middle of the night. I have perfected the three-minute shower, the thrown-together ensemble and no longer scrutinize my meals, appearance, or housekeeping routine. I get the important stuff done and move on. Yes, I eat a lot of burnt toast. Doesn't every mom do this? Give up her portion when there's not enough, sacrifice her piece of the pie or the last bit of spending money for someone else's need? Oh, and forget about a hot meal. When you eat last, once everyone's been served, it just doesn't happen. I think it's natural, normal, primal. But it doesn't mean we have to be doormats. It's time to put ourselves a little higher on the list. Wear clothes that make you feel good, serve yourself first and take a little time to do something you love while someone else watches the kids for a couple hours.
It's not going to make a big difference to them but will make a huge one to you! Imagine taking an extra-long shower in peace, grocery shopping without little octopus arms reaching at everything within sight or sitting and reading a book. Just because. I'm taking small steps in hopes that my children will see that...hello! I'm a person too. With feelings! Maybe they will respect me a little more and do the same for themselves when they are parents. I want to be a really good example so excuse me while I go do my nails!

1 comment:

  1. Now you gotta treat yourself by making these lemon bars...seriously so good!