I am a stay at home mom. My job is to take care of my family. For me that has always meant keeping up with the laundry, providing nice home cooked meals, and making sure that my house is spic and span. It’s my job and it’s what I do. I’ve always been okay with that. Until recently, when I realized that something was missing.
These days, I find little time to actually play with and enjoy my children. Too often I find myself being short tempered, telling them no and not being much fun. All because I have an idea of how my house should look.
That makes me sad. My self imposed job duties are getting in the way of my actual job which is just being, mom. My kids don’t really care about the laundry, the home cooked meals or whether the floors are mopped regularly or not. I’m the only one who cares about that.
Once of my friends on Facebook recently posted something that spoke to my heart. She said “Be a happy mom. Choose to be happy and have fun with your kids. Stop trying to be perfect.”
As I read it, I felt like she was talking to me because lately, I have not been a happy mom. I’ve been too busy trying to keep things “perfect”. I don’t desire to be a cool mom or even the best mom but I deserve(as do my kids) to be a happy mom.
So, why aren’t I?
Being a stay at home mom, I feel like I will be judged if my house isn’t perfect at all times. Who am I worried will do the judging? My husband, my friends, the mailman? My husband has already told me that he doesn’t care if the house isn’t perfect. My home is tidier than 90% of the people I know(and I’m not judging them) and I’m pretty sure the mailman isn’t coming over for tea or a play date.
“Perfect” is making me tired. I’m not a better mom because my floors are clean. I’m not a better mom because my kids rooms look like they are never played in. This isn’t a museum, it is a house. Where we live, where we love, where we should PLAY!
I want my kids to look back at their childhood with fond memories but if I keep up my current habits, they are going to look back with memories how I cleaned more than played. How I was always frustrated and how I yelled at them for ruining all of my hard work. I don’t want to look back at this moment in time and wish I had taken the time to enjoy the little things. Housework will still be there waiting long after they have left our home.
Am I saying I want to let my house go completely? Heck no! Listen, it is in my nature to like order. I cannot change that about myself. I cannot relax if my house is a total mess. I am my best “me” when I can sit back and enjoy a clean, organized space. Plus, I think it is important for children to respect the home they live in. I believe that chores are necessary to teach value and team work. I think there has to be a middle ground and I am going to work on being okay with a house that is “clean enough”.
I’ve got to learn to choose my battles. Can I deal with a ton of dishes in the sink? Probably not. However, I can learn to let the dust settle on the furniture longer than I am used to. I can turn my head to a few dirty paw prints on the tile but dirty toilets, that’s not going to happen!
I don’t expect that I will change over night. I can almost guarantee that there will be a “my house is not clean enough” meltdown at least a couple of times this Summer. But you know what, as long as I am being a happy mom in between those meltdowns, I can deal with that and I bet my kids can, too.
Here is to more picnics at the park, getting my hair wet at the pool, dirty bare feet, puzzles on the living room floor and plain ol’ good, Summer fun!!
Do you find yourself struggling with perfection or have you found a happy balance?
What is one chore that is a must for you? What is one that you can be a little more laid back with?