Monday, January 10, 2011

No Super Mom Here

Growing up I dreamed of being a wife and mom. I wrote out my name as Mrs. John Smith (or whomever the love of my life was at the moment) on spiraled paper and came up with baby names for the children we'd have - 2 boys and 2 girls of course. I'd fantasize about the perfect home we'd have to raise our children in and the amazing wonderful life we'd life. I was going to be a Super Mom and have the life I always dreamed of as a child.

Then I grew up. As often happens, my life took many unexpected turns and by the time I was married and finally having children after years of infertility, I realized how ill equipped I was. I didn't know the first thing about mother hood or cooking or cleaning, etc. I simply had been playing house. So I started looking at the moms in my church that seemed to have it all together and I began taking mental notes. Their homes were spotless, their children well behaved, their meals home cooked and they seemed to have time for everyone and everything.

Thus the definition on how to become a super mom began formulating in my mind. It was fairly unconscious but it happened none-the-less. I was still working when I had Salem but quickly went part-time as we dealt with her health issues during her fragile first year of life.

I left work to become a full-time stay at home mom when she 16 months old. My dream come true. But the super mom part of the dream often became a part of an ongoing nightmare. I struggled to keep the house clean and the laundry done. I was tired and struggled with what eventually became a rigorous speech/PT schedule and it only got harder when Raina came along. Throw potty training and nursing a newborn at the same time in the mix while Brian was working long hours and I guarantee you would NEVER have thought super mom when you looked at me. Or perhaps you would have because I hid behind a well groomed mask. But I guarantee you I was a super fake.

Now Salem is 8 and Raina is 5 1/2 and I am learning an important lesson - I wasn't meant to be a super mom. (Yes I can be a slow learner). That nagging sense of trying to be one still lingers. If you don't know me well and come to my house today you'd be welcomed into a nice clean living room. Every night the girls toys go up and the two rooms you see when you come in are clean.But if you REALLY know me you come in through the side gate of our yard and into the back door of the kitchen and what you see depends on the day. It might be a nice clean kitchen if I have had time to clean. If not who knows. If it's laundry day you might see laundry all over my kitchen floor as my laundry room is really a closet in the midst of my kitchen. And to the right of my kitchen is my office which is in a constant state of disarray to my husband's eye but actually I know where everything I need is. Usually.

For the most part I am ok those close to me seeing this. I still want things to be perfect. I still struggle with how to be a Proverbs 31 woman and what that really means. But in an effort to make the "main things" the "the main things", I decided I could be the best mom and wife possible by being simply being present in the present rather than the empty headed muti-tasking I had often done to simply get it all done.

My home can be warm and inviting without being spotless although you might see me cringe if you ask to see my bedroom. My goal is to concentrate on the relationships with my husband and daughters. More importantly I want to believe in the memories I am making with them. That matters so much more than what I got done on any given day. My to do schedule certainly won't completely go away, but some things can wait or be said no to. My girls won't remember a spotless house unless I turn mommy dearest on them. But they will remember me spending time with them as they play the Wii, as we scrapbook, as we play, or as we do whatever we do that day.

I am often guilty of tuning out. Thus, my goal in 2011 is to tune in. You won't find a super mom here. I didn't even get this new year's post posted until January 10 (my goal was the 1st of course). But you may find a mom who just wants to be the best mom she can be while sharing how she's figuring out the whole Proverbs 31 thing. You might also find some stories of how this ex-super mom wanna be became a the wife and mom God called her to be as she shares her successes, misfires and lousy moments.

For those that may have read my 90 days of solitude blog - I am sure that will creep in here. That's why it in the archives. I know that those 90 days of solitude coupled with my long surgical recovery last year brought me to the place where I am today.


Mrs. E January 10, 2011 at 10:35 AM  

Being a super mommy isn't just about how clean your house is or the home cooked meals on the table every day. My kids think I am a super mommy when I get lazy and sit with them and watch a movie. You have the right idea. Your a super mommy. :)

Sarah January 10, 2011 at 10:36 AM  

That's what has always drawn me to you -- your authenticity. Love to hear from you.

Also -- I got really hung up on your 2nd sentence about writing your name as "Mrs. Love of my Life". It made me think back to how many different boys I did that to -- and how THANKFUL I am that I am NOT "Mrs. Love of my Life" to THOSE loves. Thank you, God, for saving us from ourselves! :-)

Smartie Duck January 10, 2011 at 11:41 AM  

"present in the present" what a beautiful concept. Beautiful words from a great wife, mom and friend.

sheri January 12, 2011 at 10:11 AM  

I didn't learn that until my kids were grown. I really tried when my kids were little but the harder I tried the worse I got. I did a lot of other things well but if I could change anything now, it would be to go back and build better memories with my kids...where I was truly present with them, enjoying and cherishing those moments I can never have again now. I'm so thankful you are learning while there's still time toI make those beautiful child memories. As for me, I'm learning it now even though mine are grown. I can't go back but it's never to late to begin making beautiful memories...Thanks for sharing your heart so openly, Leah.

humbled81 January 12, 2011 at 9:07 PM  

Hey lady! I have started a new movie blog! I would love it of you followed it!

Kathleen Summers February 1, 2011 at 3:06 PM  

Oh, I can so relate! My house is a disaster and I haven't showered and my to-do list is sooooooooo long.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity February 2, 2011 at 6:34 PM  

Amen. I think a real supermom is one who does her best, tries hard to do what's right, and doesn't hurt her children even we she really wants to. We do ourselves a big disservice when we assume we're supposed to fit some idealistic mold.

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My "other" blog is more about day to day life with my husband and kids and rants and raves about a variety of subjects. Hope on over.

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