Needless to say, I rarely received a "U" on my report cards. If I remember correctly, the rare times I did receive the evil vowel, it was in the "talking without permission" department. Big surprise there, huh? I did receive my fair share of "N's" however, mostly in behavior. Sometimes, though, I would earn an "N" in another area, perhaps a skill I was expected to master. When I received an "N" in these areas, it would motivate me to work harder and bring it up to an "S." I've never been one to stress about being the best, but I've always made it a point to be better. This is an attribute that I have carried into my adult life as well.
I say all of that to introduce today's challenge: something at which I wish I were better (actually that's not even CLOSE to the phrasing on the challenge page, but I refuse to end a sentence in a preposition and I'm anal about subjunctive mood). This blog could seriously stretch on for daaaaaaaays. For the sake of time--both mine and yours, kind reader--I'm going to limit myself to one thing. Okay, two. And a half. No, no, one.
Before I started this challenge, I decided I'd like to be a better writer. I know I'm not the absolute worst writer in the world or no one would take the few minutes out of their day to even read my little blog. I could be so much better, though, if I would take the time to not only write more but to also read more. I felt kind of selfish in choosing writing, however, since it would only benefit me--unless, that is, someone paid me gobs of money to write.
So I decided to choose something else in which I could improve. What about being a mother? No sane person wants to do things that's going to screw their kid up; in fact, most of us want to nurture our children in a way that encourages them to be bright, well-rounded people some day. Even those women who are shoo-ins for "Mom of the Decade" don't get it right all the time, so there's always room to improve and be a better parent. But being a better mother is something that I constantly try to achieve anyway, so I have to believe that I am already improving in this area of my life.
As I spun around in my office chair, trying to decide on the area of my life that (A) needs improvement, (B) would benefit someone else and (C) I'm not currently trying to improve, I couldn't help but notice the dirty dishes beside the sink, the garbage overflowing from the can, the thin layer of dog hair on the floor and the pile of laundry I've neglected for
Don't get me wrong. I have never (and will never) set my child in her Pack-N-Play while I cleaned all day. She is the biggest part of my every waking minute. I would much rather sit in the floor and play with her or read her a book than fold towels or scrub the toilets. When she's awake, I spend a good 95% of my time with her. It's when she's asleep or those times when she's totally absorbed in one of her little toys that I don't make the best use of my time. Sometimes I just need to totally veg--like when she's been super fussy or when she woke me up four times the night before. But sometimes I waste time that I could be working around the house. I play on Facebook (shocker!) or watch TV or read a magazine. I really feel like I should spend that time more wisely and clean. Though being a mom is so much more than a job, I feel like this is my job since I don't work outside of the home anymore. Instead of preparing lessons, teaching class and grading papers, I now raise my child and make my house a home. This is something I've never been able to do in the past since I stayed so busy with my teaching responsibilities. Perhaps that's why I've found it difficult to consistently fulfill my new responsibilities.
I'm sure some of you SAH moms would totally like to choke me right now. You're hoping that your spouse never stumbles across my blog. What kind of person wants to clean more? Please understand, I don't want to clean. That's the problem. I want to want to clean. Fortunately, the less I do, the worse I feel. I feel like a total slacker sometimes, telling myself, "Your family deserves a clean home." And if there's one thing that motivates me, it's guilt.
I think you ought to treat your spouse like you treat your friends. You clean your house for your friends, you make sure they're taken care of, and a spouse comes second. I think you oughtta treat him like a friend.I literally had to set the magazine down and chew on that quote for a few minutes. How many times have I spent hours and hours scrubbing the house in preparation for a party or get-together? How often do I do the "cleaning tornado" around my kitchen and living room when a friend texts to say she's dropping by. Why will I break my back for everyone but my husband? Though I say he's my best friend, in many ways I don't treat him with the same respect I do other people. Go ahead, accuse me of setting back the feminist movement a few hundred years, but I dare you to argue with Mrs. Bush's logic. She's not implying that we should be in servitude to our husbands or anything of the sort. But why should I be so concerned about cleaning my home for someone who will be there for a few hours yet neglect my responsibilities when it comes to the person who lives there each day? (NOTE: For you working moms, this isn't directed so much toward you. You all deserve a maid.)
Let the hate mail begin...