There was a time where I was more than a bit neurotic when it came to housework. Part of it was my upbringing. I don’t often remember being allowed to have friends over…unless we played outside. My mother was a clean freak who stood over us while we did our chores…dusting, vacuuming, the application and polishing off of that gawd awful paste wax on old battleship linoleum. I can remember dusting the same shelf five times because I wasn’t doing it right. A tyrant in a house dress and apron, my mother ran a tight ship.
Some of that rubbed off on me….unfortunately. I remember standing over my teenagers making them wipe the counter over and over again because they hadn’t done it right. A tyrant in a business suit and earrings. I am so very sorry for those times….I remember one evening my husband wanted to go visiting right after dinner and I burst into tears because I hadn’t yet done the dishes. Ridiculous? Absolutely! Difficult to stop? Unquestionably.
It took me years to get to a place where my house didn’t have to be spotless, perfect. I still have to work on it.
But there is a flip side to this desire for perfection which is just as bad.
Everyday I see posts on social media or hear people, women especially, justify living in a cluttered, dirty house. “You’re not a good mom if your house is clean and organized”. That’s as delusional as the search for perfection. It’s an excuse and a cop-out …no matter how busy you are your home can be tidy and clean.
Making your bed everyday does not make you less of a woman or a man. Picking up after yourself and expecting the same from anyone that lives in your home doesn’t mean you are less fun, less caring, or that your priorities are screwed up.
There are lots of other things that are vague or thinly disguised excuses that annoy me.
Where does it say in the rule book of life that in order to be a kind, decent person you must be poor? There are kind and generous people in all walks of life, just are there are users and abusers. Because I have worked hard my whole life and done well, I am not a thoughtful and caring person? Just because I won’t bail you out of your own laziness and spend thrift ways makes ME the one to be loathed? Nonsense.
Why do we look at the fit, healthy Mom and try to belittle her?From Facebook to Moms and Tots groups across the country, we post her image and ridicule her efforts and toned, fit body. She works hard at staying fit and healthy AND is as engaged and loving with her children as we are…the difference is she stopped making excuses. She knows that to be the best she can be for her children means that she must be healthy to live a long, active life. Caring for yourself doesn’t make you an unfit parent….it makes you a shining example for your children. Go get off the couch, turn off social media and the gossip club and join her. The reason we feel so inclined to discredit others is our own unhappiness.
So go ahead. Put your sweat pants back on, hike up your shirt to show your tummy that has stretch marks from carrying your three children…and by all means be proud of yourself…but for God’s sake….stop criticizing the Moms that work at being fit and healthy. It doesn’t help make you a better Mom, it makes you a jealous, mean-spirited crank that I find annoying.