When I was little I remember my grandmother had a sign up in her house that said: “Mother’s work from son up until son down.” I remember thinking oh how cute and how dramatic. She also had a sign that said “A woman’s work is never done”. She REALLY liked signs. As a kid I really didn’t give much thought to either one of these signs. I read them once or 10 times and never thought about them again, or so I thought. Fast forward 30 (SOMETHING) years and here I am, a mother and I find myself working from son up until son down, no that’s not true from son up until I finally go to bed. No that’s not true either, I work from son up until I finally fall asleep in my bed and hope that said son(s) don’t get up because of a bad dream, or needing a cup of water or having to pee because of the cup of water, so yes the second sign was dead on…A woman’s work is NEVER done!
I’ll let you in on a secret but please don’t tell anyone, before I had kids I thought being a stay at home mom was going to be easier. (GASP!! I know.) I pictured myself to be all June Cleaver(ish), or Carol Brady(ish), or Carol Seaver(ish) or even Elyse Keaton(ish) but no I am not any of these women. I am more like crazy(ish). I spend 4 out of 7 days of the week feeling like a hamster on a wheel. Don’t get me wrong, I chose to be home with my children. I left my career and wouldn’t have it any other way but sometimes I feel like I am well…this.
So it got me thinking. Why did my grandmother always seem so happy? Why did she have time to sit down and watch soap operas or I Love Lucy (I can’t see this show without thinking of her and I love it) This is a woman who had 9 children!!! That’s right 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 CHILDREN!!! She was always relaxed at family parties, and when I say relaxed I mean hanging out at the dining room table laughing (belly laughing) with all the adults. She wasn’t running around the kitchen with her head cut off or chasing kids anywhere. No sir she was enjoying the company at her home. Man how I wish she was still alive so I could ask her how she did it, but she’s not. So here are the ten reasons I think she would tell me that mothers of today are OUT OF OUR MINDS!!
1) Your house cannot nor should it look like a page out of Pottery Barn when you have kids under the age of 10. Stop putting pressure on yourselves to make your homes look unrealistically good. You have little kids embrace the mess!
2) Get off of Pinterest. No really STOP looking at cupcakes you should make from scratch, wallpaper you should hang yourself, and photo albums you should be making. Really just stop.
3) Stop over-scheduling your kids. The number of activities your child participates in should not be the same as his or her age. It’s silly. Give them a ball, send them outside and call it a day.
4) Not every waking moment of your child’s life needs to be a “teachable” moment. It’s okay if breakfast is just a meal you all eat and you don’t practice the ABC’s, algebra & quantum physics. He’s in kindergarten there’s still time.
5) WTF is a play date??! (Ok my grandmother would have never said WTF) but still she would have asked what exactly is a play date dear? Why do we have to plan time for our children to PLAY? Why can’t kids just play? Why can’t we be normal and call it what it is…play time. It’s not a date. It’s playing. No one in this house is dating until at least 15.
6) Stop cleaning. Just stop. Okay don’t completely stop because that would just be gross but my grandmother definitely did not obsess about her floors like I do. She probably didn’t really care when there were 4 boxes of cereal on the table from breakfast right before dinner. She had 9 kids and nobody has time for cereal boxes with 9 kids. No I’m not buying it if anyone says they do.
7) What is this workout you are trying to fit in? Ok ladies I would have fought her a little on this one because I’ll be honest my run whether 20 minutes, an hour or the rare times it longer than that is good for me. It de-stresses me, it makes me see and think clearly again and I need it. However we need to let go of trying to work out until we fit into some stupid pants we bought or to fit into some image we see in a magazine. My Grandmother would have said: If Victoria’s Secret hasn’t called yet they aren’t calling so just stop. Then she would have said those women should really cover up their tushes.
8) Enjoy the simple things. Why are you all working so hard for a nicer car, a bigger house, 4 vacations, and a better wardrobe? Your kids don’t care about any of this. Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’ because guess what they are over extended and in a crap load of debt. Take the kids in the backyard with a tent, make some smores and watch the memories unfold. No really, do it!
9) Stop giving your kids everything they want &/or ask for! (oh but Grandma all the other kids have an IPhone & a TV in their room) No child needs any of that and no child will EVER appreciate the amount of work it takes to get those things if they are handed to them. I come from a generation of 1 TV and the kids didn’t get to pick what we watched. No sir!
10) Why are you having a discussion with your four year old about why they are talking back to you? Hmm good question Grandma. Some things are meant to be discussed but when you ask your child to go wash his hands before dinner it’s not a discussion. Do it and be done with it. ( I need to get better at this one)
The days are long, really long. Men work longer hours than they did back in my grandmother’s time. Women work and take care of the kids and time together seems to be less and less. Let’s bring it back old school. Cancel a play date this weekend, keep them home from soccer, put the vacuum down, and just get out as a family. Go fly a kite, catch a fish, go for a walk, or pack a picnic. You will see a side of your child(ren) that will surprise you. It will surprise you in a good old fashioned I Love Lucy belly laugh way. Find joy in the simplicity. Thanks Grandma.
"Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today." Ernest Hemingway