Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just Good Enough

As it says in my profile I am a self proclaimed just good enough stay at home mom. I try to be the best mom that I can be but often find myself comparing my mom skills to those of others. And I often feel that I am lacking in some way. I love to go into someone else's house and see how clean it is and how their children have matching adorable outfits, food free faces and pretty hair dos. But I always leave feeling lacking in some way.

I am working really hard on not doing this anymore. And that is why I am proclaiming that I am just good enough. And what does that mean? Well for me it means the following:
* yes I clean my house, but no I do not make it spotless. If you move furniture there is a high possiblity you will find dust bunnies. Not big enough to eat a small dog perhaps, but they are big enough. But if you are in the mood to move the furniture you get what you get.
* my kids may dress themselves and not match. Yes they will be in weather appropriate clothes. And their hair will be combed. But matching clothes? Well who wants to argue with a 4-year old who thinks pink polka dots match with lime green and yellow plaid? Not me!
* there may be some food on my kids clothes. I really TRY to teach them to eat neatly, but I don't love laundry so if they spill a little they may wear it for the rest of the day. Does this mean that I let them roll in their food or spill and entire glass of milk and continue to wear that outfit? Of course not. But a few dribbles of pb&j are just not worth an outfit change.
* I cook my own meals but I don't make everything from scratch. I do not buy precooked meat (too expensive) but I do buy box mixes for many types of bakes goodies. And those tubes of crescent rolls? Yup I buy them as well. Frozen veggies that are prepped? Those are for me as well, sorry kids I don't buy all my produce fresh.
*Ironing only happens when I cannot get away without doing it.
*My bed gets made daily but I don't bother with Madeline's. What is the point? Half the time playing involves taking everying off and leaving it on the floor for a picnic. And then there is nap time.
* I love to do crafts, but I always keep them simple. I do not have the time or patience or skill to make complicated things. And I do not like it when things don't turn out just right. For my sanity, and the sanity of those who live with me, I stick to keeping it simple.
* I lie when toys that annoy me have their batteries run out. We never have the batteries that fix that toy, sorry kids.
* I love having a playroom because it means I can close the door and ignore the mess.
* I do wash the laundry each week (usually when it takes over the closet where we throw our dirty clothes) but they don't often get put away for a few days.

There are many things that are important to me, and I choose to focus my energy on those. I would rather spend time with my kids than put away clothes. I would rather do a quick sweep on the kitchen floor and give myself some rest than scrub the floor with a mop every week. I would rather make a messy craft with my kids that looks like a child completed it to hang on the wall then spend time working on something I will never be quite happy with on my own. And those dust bunnies? Honestly are my kids going to remember that mommy vaccumed almost daily (due to dog fur, not by choice) but did not often move the couches to make sure everything is clean? If they do then I messed up somewhere along the line!

I used to feel that since I am at home all day my house should reflect that. And over time I have realized that my home does reflect that I am home all day. It is not spotless, but it looks lived in. It looks like kids are home and we have occasional playgroups as well. It is not spotless by any means, but it is clean and functional. It is warm and welcoming. And as long as I have kids at home I am happy to settle for clean and functional if not spotless and neat.

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