I have a secret that is distressing to me. I don’t talk about it, and only a fraction of the people I know, know this about me: as much as I’m obsessed with cleanliness and order, my house is a trashed disgusting mess of a place. There are papers and dishes and clothes everywhere.* I may have exaggerated slightly for purposes of this blog post, but not much!
People are very kind to me, and when I relate a story to them about my kids or my family they constantly are telling me what a great mom I am. They are saying what a great dad Mr. Wonderful is. They are affirming me in ways that I so desperately need to be adfirmed, and it makes me feel great. And then I think about the fact that my living room couch has 40 blankets on it, or that both girls have lost library books in the stack next to the armchair this week.
A young mother came into my work tonight, and was in desperation with her three young girls. She was freaking out because she did not know how to be a stay at home mom, and get anything done. Her husband had told her that she has the easiest job there is, and that she should just be happy and get the house cleaned up. That kind of made me really mad.
She asked me how I balance my work with my family life. I get asked that by many people, and many people think I have everything together. They think that I have perfect house, perfect family, a nice car and that everything is wonderful. Well guess what… it’s not all sunshine and roses.
Don’t get me wrong: much of my life is just about as good as things can get. But in order to train my kids appropriately and work full time, it means something has to be let go. And apparently folding laundry, and sweeping the living room floor are those things that have to be let go. Do I wish things were cleaner in here? Yes I do. Do I wish I had been able to stain the woodwork in the living room this summer? Yes I do. Is my life pretty awesome, though?
Uh huh. I just can’t do everything, all at once. I’m tired and I want to spend time with Mr. Wonderful too. So my secret isn’t so secret. Whatevs. My kids are fed, happy and wearing clean clothes and they are being taught about Jesus. Those are the things that truly matter to me.