Lately I have been thinking a lot about the pressure put on mothers. The expectations that we feel as if we can never live up to.
A spotless house 24/7/365. Perfectly groomed children who sit nicely on the furniture and always remember to say please and thank you. Laundry that is always put away as soon as it comes out of the dryer. Time to sit and drink a cup of coffee without having to reheat it five trillion times. The ability to split yourself amongst many responsibilities without feeling some type of burnout.
While a lot of those expectations stem from what society expects of us- sometimes I truly think that the person with the highest expectations for us is ourselves. As moms, we feel like we have to juggle it all. I can't speak for anyone but as a mom with four little ones- I often feel like I can't complain for fear of someone thinking that I can't handle caring for my kids. Realistic fear? Probably not.
I grew up with a mother who somehow constantly had a spotless house despite having ill health. I wasn't taught how to keep house. I went from being a teenager helping to care for a ill parent, to grieving for that parent, to being a mom at 19, to being a wife and having more little ones.
A lot of times I sit and look around and just feel completely overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. I look at my friends and acquaintances who always have things spotless and wonder how they accomplish it all. In my mind I should be able to do it all.
I should be able to keep a spotless house, get Kasey to all her appointments, homeschool two kids, make sure there's enough therapy getting done both at appointments and at home, make phone calls, cook meals, get the kids to playdates so they aren't watching too much tv and make sure all four kids know how much I truly love them (I truly do, no matter how much of a mess they like to make behind me as I clean).
The truth is though that those are unrealistic expectations. Nobody can do all of that and stay sane and healthy. Nobody can juggle it all without something falling by the wayside. I'm not saying that a clean house isn't important or that any of us should just be dropping all our responsibilities. Maybe we should start having more realistic expectations for ourselves? Stop trying to do it all alone while trying to appear as if we have it all together 24/7.
I don't do "New Years Resolutions" but this year I am going to be doing what I can to cut down on my harsh expectations for myself. I don't want to look back at my life and just see all the ways I failed. I want to know that even if I am not always perfect and my house doesn't look like a magazine- I both did my best AND took care of my own health. I want to enjoy the big and little moments of motherhood while still living in a house that I'm not ashamed of people actually seeing.
This year I will be making some changes. Some of which I am highly nervous about. However, I'm realizing that if I don't do what I can to create breathing room, then I will continue to be a stressed out mom who yells a bit more than she likes.
I will never be a "super mom" or the perfect housewife but I am totally okay with that. I would rather be the mom who isn't too frazzled and stressed to enjoy the day to day moments.
My family deserves that. I deserve that and so do all moms<3