I call her a UHO. Unproven Housekeeping Object. She arises before dawn, dresses beautifully, complete with makeup and pressed clothes – even accessories. Joyfully she glances at her perfectly organized meal plan and begins working on breakfast for her family. As it is cooking, she starts in on the days chores so they do not get out of her control. In perfect time she wakes up the rest of the house and feeds them. As squabbles and discipline problems arise she is able to carefully handle them with a clear mind and stable emotions. She delights in the fact that she is able to homeschool her children and loves every single minute of it. Her husband is thrilled with the site of her – she finds time to exercise and only feeds her family organic, whole foods 100% of the time. No processed or sugar-infested junk in this house!
Before going to bed, this UHO can look around her house and breath the relaxing breath of a job well done. Her floors sparkle, her sinks shine. The closets are neatly packed with folded and pressed clothes and the laundry baskets are empty. Why, you could put her house in Home & Garden magazine right now!
She never loses her temper, and if she does it is only but for a brief while. She loves every minute of staying home and caring for her family and helping her husband in every way she can.
What the freak ever.
If you are a stay at home mom, does any of this ring true with you?
I stay in bed as long as humanly possible. I open my eyes grudgingly to the sound of my 3 year old saying, “Mommy, can I make oatmeal?” and am half tempted to say yes, but remember what happened the last time I said that. I get out of bed and pour her a bowl of Super-duper-sugar-high-crap and sit to wake up. I hear the baby crying and go get her. Then, after pouring David a bowl of the same sugar stuff I turn on PBS and nurse baby on the couch. After waking up a bit I remember I need to get dressed, so I throw on some clean pants and shirt and brush my hair. The ransacking begins – the toys are dumped out and “mine!” SCREAMMMM cryyyy waillll, starts. Referee. Call somebody. Breathe. Wish preschool was 5 days a week.
I breath and eat a granola bar. Then I try and make cleaning a game. This lasts for a good while and we get something done. Then baby cries. Change diaper and nurse time. Splash! Cry…..”No no baby David!” Put baby Lucy down to clean up havoc in bathroom.
Put on a movie. Let it play on repeat. Remind yourself that 4 hours of television won’t harm children as much as you want to harm them, so they are good. Then dinner? oh yeah….um, pop in a frozen pizza.
It changes day to day. Some days are better than others. Some mornings I wake up before everyone and am dressed before they are! I can actually drink a cup of coffee before they are done eating their cereal and God refreshes my mind. Others I feel like sanity is a bone hanging in front of my nose like a dog on the race track.
That woman I am constantly comparing myself to? Doesn’t exist. UHO. In the craziness I find time to laugh, and the laughter releases endorphins that help me cope with the impending “my world is going to end cause she has my toy” scenarios. Lizzie’s current favorite movie is “Despicable Me” and she dances with the little girls on it. At the end of the movie I get up and we all boogie!
We play tag, we laugh. We eat cereal on a bowl that I had to handwash over a pile of other dirty dishes. We snuggle on a couch overloaded with laundry. And we read books in a toy room that is a walking hazard. But she will remember the snuggles, not the couch; the books, not the sticky floor. And that UHO? She only exists on my mind, not my children’s. To them, I am the perfect mother and so are you to yours!