Wednesday, September 9, 2009


My house is clean, with a few things here and there. My homework is about done, done enough for tomorrow. Dinner--whole wheat penne with a cheese and ground turkey mixture in between--is in the oven. Rob is fast asleep, after having worked 7a-7p at Schuyler Ambulance yesterday, 12a-12p overnight at North Seneca, and then I called him at 12:30 pm for a transport...all this to say he has almost 36 hours without sleep, and he works overnight tonight. I ran three miles today, walked two, did grocery shopping, worked for 6 hours when I got called in, and almost feel like I'm on top of my life again.

I am someone who hates being disorganized. I hate dirt, clutter, and cats that scratch my furniture. I hate feeling behind and overwhelmed. I like cozy, clutter-free living rooms, and bookshelves with books in alphabetical order. And for the first time in I-don't-know-how-many-years(ten?) I almost feel like I am there.

Almost. My bookshelves need to be cleaned and organized. I sold six or seven more books online and need to wrap them and ship them. I still need to submit my marriage license and social security form to change my last name, though I don't expect anyone to use it. I am seeing popcorn kernels hiding underneath my desk from where I type, and I need to sweep those. The bathroom needs a quick wipe down and there's a small pile of clothes in the bedroom to be put away.

I could go on. But I won't.

Things will never be perfect. I will never be perfect. My husband, my house, and my marriage will never be perfect, and sometimes we fall far short of these things. I have no need to pretend that I in any way attain perfection, or ever will.

This is what I fear in many of the blogs I read. I talked about this before, but accidentally deleted the post. I have a fascination with fundamentalist Christian blogs, the type where they have 12 kids, all in perfectly matching, home-sewed outfits and arranged by age, homeschool and all their kids get all their schoolwork done every day and then graduate at 16, prepare a full five course dinner every night with vegetables from their own garden and meat they butchered themselves that afternoon, and still find time to clean the house to immaculate perfection, sew slipcovers for all the furniture, exercise and nurse the six-month-old while fighting morning sickness with the next one....and they are still running their home business.
This is such a freaking lie.

Please don't think I'm knocking sewing, homeschooling, gardening or large families. I think I've made it clear that my husband and I have not and will not use any form of birth control(though I wonder if we would rethink that if I woke up tomorrow incredibly fertile). I understand this leads to the possibility that we could have fifteen kids, but considering that I'm 27, have been married six months, and no babies on the horizon yet, I'm not too worried about that possibility.

What I am knocking is people who set themselves up for perfection. No one seriously, at the age of 32, has a multitude of children and homeschools and cooks and gardens and sews and cans and runs a home business all at the same time. It's perfectly possible that you can do these things one at a time, gardening and homeschooling and raising kids in one decade, running a home business and sewing the next decade. No one can do all things at once and do them well...and I'm afraid that, in these cases, it's the children who suffer.
And not just the children--I can only imagine what it would be to be a 28-year-old young mother with several children under the age of 9, and a husband who works long hours and makes $27,000 a year, and she thinks she has to homeschool and keep a neat house and survive on her husband's budget and take her children flower picking and lamb-shearing and can and sew...and guess what, she can't. She's set up for failure by reading these images of perfection. She wakes up late and her kids don't want to do their schoolwork and don't want to do chores and refuse to wear clean clothes, and getting dinner on the table by the time her husband comes home just really doesn't happen, and she feels like a failure as a mother, when, really, she's just plainly normal. But I can only imagine what it must feel like to think you're a failure as a mother, and then read other people's images of perfection.

So I am not perfect. If you are looking for a blog of perfection, this is not it. We work long hours here in this house, and often we are tired and grouchy with each other. Sometimes I spend more time on facebook than talking with my husband. Sometimes I let things slide that I shouldn't, like dishes, and sweeping, and scrubbing the bathroom, just because I hate doing them. Sometimes I get annoyed and upset when everyone else but me is having babies, and I am still chasing around my kittens.

But if you are looking for something where we can be unperfect, but real, this would be the place.


Talitha's Corner said...

I agree with you so much about the fundamentalist blogs (and found your blog while link hopping through comments, hope you don't mind). I too have a fascination with them - a sort of horrified magnetic attraction to reading about people who have such solid and strong beliefs, who have lots of children and refuse to believe there is good in anything but homeschooling. There are strong differences with my own beliefs, and yet still I read...

Unperfect reality sounds good to me!

Trina said...

I am quickly becoming addicted to your blog and your honesty. It is challenging me to be more honest on my blog. It's so refreshing to read...