As I sit here today focused on writing my thoughts, I am listening to the washer churn and the dryer moan. I have the privilege of doing laundry Monday through Thursday. Fortunately, my children are old enough that they have learned to do their own laundry (shameless mommy brag coming…they ask me to teach them). I am responsible for the laundry my husband and I generate which is quite a bit with him traveling and both of us working out daily. But, I have spent the better part of this fifteen year marriage drenched in laundry detergent, bleach and clothes.
Laundry has been a very normal routine in my home. Everyone has a laundry day and I have days throughout the week to get it done. The routine of laundry is part of what creates normalcy, meaning that I know what’s expected and how to get it done in a way that does not break the routine of home. When I get out of routine which all people do, I have to say, the laundry is my biggest dread. I hate the thought of coming in and having piles of laundry. When I was a young mother, God bless, I could never keep it up. My house would have piles of laundry stacked about- some folded, some not. Between the breastfeeding and two toddlers as well as one child in school my laundry life was a mess-literally. Laundry or the lack thereof defined my very existence. When I was working, the laundry was always waiting to be done. Even with help from my hubby, I had my own system and I was the only one who could get it done, right? Wrong!
What laundry taught me was to relax and pace myself. I put so much pressure on myself to be what I thought a mother was supposed to be. You know the images we soak up like sponges as a little girl:
Ms. Becky Home Ecky , Beautiful and Sexy with the baby mouth wrapped around your nipple because you have to breastfeed to provide the most nourishment for each child, make up perfect, great cook and intellectually stimulating plus have the best girlfriends…, right? Wrong!
No matter what I did, I realized one thing, be it the laundry , hair, my cooking, my organization skills or my make up, something would not be done perfectly. Because (deep breath)…I am not perfect. I am a mere mortal – a mommy. I cannot fix all things and sometimes I fail. Sometimes I am not the best I can be. I could be better organized today but I will focus on it tomorrow. I could be a better friend today but I will do better tomorrow.
It is so annoying to constantly receive images and ideas of perfection knowing that it can’t be achieved. I would suggest that as a mother, new, expecting, post partum, or present that you resolve in your heart and mind as I did and forgive yourself in advance for all the things that will go wrong because of you and because of others. I think knowing that you are not perfect gives you permission to acknowledge your imperfections and it allows others to forgive their imperfections as well. Create a circle of unconditional love and laughter with people who can laugh at your quirky mishaps and see your heart, not your faults.
Relax and enjoy the ride