Thursday, August 21, 2014

Confessions of an Imperfect Homemaker

Listen, I love Pinterest and beautifully, artfully displayed things as much as the next person.  However, I live in the real world and I don't think the average mom can live up to the standards set forth by pin boards, or the blog articles the picture links lead us to.

I can only speak for myself, but those blog post lead me to one conclusion - I'M DOING IT WRONG Well, maybe wrong is too strong a word, but I come away feeling inferior.

I've been a [stay at home] mom for nearly 20 years.  I have four children who are now 19, 18, 17 and 15. I turn 50 in less than two months, and in all those years as a mom, nearly half a century on earth, I have never known anyone who is excellent at everything, but that is the message [most of] the mom/homemaking blogs I've read in the past couple of years would have us believe- Go perfect or go home.

We must cook exceptional food; on a budget, in a perfectly turned out, updated kitchen, which somehow never gets dirty, because we are organizing whizzes who have meticulous lists, printed out on gorgeously embellished paper in attractive notebooks, that keep us on task - allowing us to clean as we go. Or something like that, I guess.  And get this - once we leave the kitchen - no one goes in after us to make a mess.  We have that under control.  With mind-control  powers, I suppose - that's how we keep our kids in lock-step.

All of our well disciplined children are now in bed, having done their homework, gotten all school correspondence signed, and packed neatly back into their backpacks, brushed their teeth, and set out their model-perfect, matched outfits for the next day.

Since all the kids are in bed, we have time for a little DIY. We walk in, turn on the gorgeous chandelier in our fully decked, and, need I even mention, meticulously tidy craft room, where we whip up a creation worthy of Martha Stewart.  Then, we take stunning, flawlessly lit, professional quality photos of said creation.  Whereupon, we write a blog post about it, posting the link (with our aforementioned stunning photo) to Pinterest.

We should still have a few hours left in the day to concoct a batch of homemade fabric softener to add to our collections of other homemade cleaning products, which are all displayed, in elegant, matching containers with fun, cute labels, that occupy a shelf in our resplendent laundry room.

Now it's time for bed.  We glide into our immaculate master bedroom, complete with the lavender scented, freshly iron sheets on the bed, where we fall asleep dreaming of rainbows, unicorns and kittens.  No tossing and turning, thinking of things we need to get done tomorrow before driving the kids to school, for us- that has been taken care of via our meticulously thought out, varied, nutritious, bento box lunches neatly stacked in our never gummy or messy refrigerator - lined up in rows for each child for the week.

Yeah right!

I consider myself pretty handy with a glue gun.  I know my way around the kitchen, a mop bucket, cleaning rag, et al. I can manage time pretty well.  And, making do on a tight budget is a particular specialty of mine.  I turned out some pretty great children too, if I do say so myself.

Can I just say this?  I really need to get it off my chest: a lot of the past 20 years wasn't pretty.  It was chaotic, messy and sometimes downright unbearable.  And I'm not ashamed to admit it.

So, In the spirit of full disclosure and complete honest, I am posting a couple of [fairly recent] photos of my homelife.  Feast your eyes on the mess of life, complements of my flawed children (okay, and myself too, sometimes), and allow yourself to give up on perfection, because, girlfriend, there is no.such.thing. The best we can strive for is - clean enough to be sanitary, messy enough to be fun.

I could go on, but you get the idea...