Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Perfection... Or Not

I remember coming home from school and watching shows like "The Cosby Show" and "Family Ties" (I realize I am dating myself now) and imagining how perfect they were. How wonderful that life was. A lawyer of a mom, a doctor of a dad whose office was in their house so they were home, as was the case for The Cosby Show.  Their house was spotless (other than a few episodes that showed us Theo's room or Denise's once in awhile); their kids were well dressed, well fed not very spoiled.  Cliff and Claire were an example of discipline, stability and love all wrapped up in incredibly disciplining, life-lesson teaching hilarity.  I wanted that life.

I figured I could be the mom with the amazing career, married to an amazing man with an amazing career, with great children, and a great house and two cars and I would never have to worry about how we were going to pay a mortgage, car payments, insurance, school fees, college tuition, utility bills and keep our children in clean, properly fitting, non-holey clothes and shoes.  Oh yeah, and my house would be immaculate and my parents and my in-laws would be fabulous and we would have wonderful family dinners and any little problem we did have would be solved in a half an hour...or right after the next commercial break.  {right?}

Truth is, I don't live a Hollywoodized life.  My husband and I argue at times - sometimes it's over the dumbest things.  My children, as wonderful as they are, can sometimes grate on my last nerve and find me talking to them with a voice full of frustration, not oozing with love.  I wake up most mornings, especially when BigB is gone for the week, wondering if my 6 year old son has wet the bed - again.  BigB and I have even gone to bed still feeling perturbed with each other {gasp}.

At this time, we don't have the finances to go out and buy our children brand new wardrobes and I think they have both grown 4 inches in the last couple of months so, my kids (Bug especially) do, occasionally, leave the house with pants that leave me reminded of Steve Erkel {Did I do tha-at?}. Most days I am happy to get Bug to leave the house wearing socks so it isn't a big deal to me if one is navy with white stripes and the other white with orange stripes.

At this moment, I have a dishwasher full of clean dishes and a counter speckled with tonight's supper dishes, and there is a small mountain of laundry that I have dubbed Mount Laundruvius waiting for me in front of my laundry room (and it is perfectly content to lie there and procreate at this very instant).  There are days I feel there are no where near enough hours in the day to get all the things done that I need to get done and yes, I could be doing some of those things right now but I am choosing to ignore the looming dish fiasco to connect with my internet friends, to share with you all that we can not measure ourselves to the lives  TV shows and movies set for us.  It isn't real.  I know of no family that actually lives like that - none.

My "to-do" list is longer than my "is-done" list.  My cupboards aren't as full as I would like them to be.  My children aren't dressed as cutely or as matchingly as I would like to see them and my bedroom is the one room in this house that, when company drops by, we clean it simply by shutting the door because there is, at this time, no hope for that disaster zone.  My husband and I do not end the day by getting into our matching silk pajamas, climbing into our cozy bed together, reading novels or talking about how it was a perfect end to a perfect day, kiss each other and lie down with our perfectly coiffed hair.  Most times one of us is in bed long before the other.  I am usually in pajama pants and a t-shirt, and I am lucky if they are the same color; I'm just glad they fit {grin}.

But (and this is a big but), I am happy with my life.  There are things that could make it easier or filled with a few more comforts but, in reality, they don't matter to me.  My focus, our focus is not on creating some illusion of perfection.  Our focus is to raise our children to the absolute best of our ability with whatever resources we have at the time.  I don't want to create some outward sense of perfection, some illusion that others will feel they have to live up to {Yes, I am not washing my dishes so you feel better about yourself.  You. Are. Welcome.  Grin}.  Our focus is to raise our children in a God-centered life where what we do benefits not only us but first and foremost, God. 

I watched a video from Focus on the Family today as they talked with some christian mamas, like MckMama, and one of the moms, Tammy Maltby, said this, "Be intentional about loving the people in your home."  It really struck me and reminded me of something our Worship Pastor said, Worship God on purpose. Make it count and make it mean something."

I choose to do both of these, even through my imperfections because what others may see as imperfections in me are, in some cases, me putting my priorities in a different order than theirs (not better different).  My priority is to have my children in a Christian school where there is a monthly tuition.  My priority is to have them learn how doing things for the benefit of others is so much better than worrying about and focusing on ourselves.  My priority is for them to be in a church that teaches The Bible, Kingdom principles and restoring honor to God.  My priority is not to impress Martha Stewart (although that would be cool) but to spend my time doing things to help others (and my children are right there with me helping or reading a book or something but they are there).  I don't want to appear like I have it all together.  The only "together" I have is  a God who strengthens me, a family who loves me on purpose (and who I love on purpose) and a terrific group of IRL friends and bloggy world friends who lift me up when it seems like life has, temporarily, pulled the carpet out from under me, who share in my joys, my sorrows, my "hooray" moments, my epic life.  I don't want to strive to be perfect but I want to be perfected with a pure heart and pure motives.

So, let's throw off the charade we have created for ourselves.  I know I don't want to present myself to you as perfect (I don't think I have...) as I am far from it. Maybe I could start by cleaning my room...{wink}

1 comment:

  1. Amen!!!! He provies for our needs, and all the other stuff is just wordly wants:O) Keep up the good work mama!