Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My Ugly List

I'm kind of an open book. Whatever, who am I kidding? I am a very open book. I like relating to people through shared experiences. I'm rather emotional, although my husband uses the term "passionate". I don't want to air my dirty laundry, but I also figure that unless I open up about the things that I struggle with I'm not as likely to work them out. And, perhaps you or someone else is struggling with the same thing and need someone to talk to as well...

I often feel like a bad mom. I know that I'm not alone in this. It's easy to give other people grace and say to them, "Don't be so hard on yourself. I think you're awesome!" but for some reason it is so much harder to do that for ourselves. I used to say that I was "domestically deficient." In theory I love the idea of making homemade delicacies every day, decorating my home with only hand made items, and preparing a gourmet dinner each night for my husband. However, there are many, many times that I slap a frozen pizza in the oven, buy clothing from Costco, and decorate with nothing or dollar store merchandise. Ahem.

I find myself wanting to look like this image I have in my head of the "perfect" mom. The goddess of moms. The mom who gardens (and cans). The mama who sews (dresses, curtains, quilts, costumes, clothing, bedding, and purses). The mom who makes a mean chili (and every other dish on the planet). The woman who can hold it down during the day with utmost patience, (and when her husband comes home looks absolutely smoking hot). The mom who is always able to help her friends and the community (even when she's tired and feels like collapsing). The mom who reads books to her kids (2 hours out of every day). The mom who homeschools (with biweekly field trips, unit studies, constant hands on experiences, and multiple languages thrown in the mix).

Be that as it may,  I look at that list above and have to laugh because is there a mom like that?? I mean, I guess anything is possible, but I certainly don't know her!

So, for the sake of being real I made up two lists. I made an "ugly" list - the things that I really do that I don't particularly like about myself. Then, I made a "pretty" list because even though there are things I don't like about myself there are actually some things that I do like about myself - and it's good sometimes to recognize and give credit to these things. 

Here's the "ugly" list:

1. I yell when I'm angry.
2. I get easily distracted by social media (particularly on my phone).
3. I roll my eyes and throw my hands in the air when exasperation strikes.
4. I let my kids watch TV (they're watching it as I type).
5. My laundry system is highly dysfunctional. Right now I have mostly folded laundry all over my Family Room accompanied by some unfolded laundry. (1 1/2 weeks worth). Sigh.
6. I can't stand Toys R Us. It is a torturous place to go.
7. I let my kids pee in the backyard even though we have a downstairs bathroom.
8. Watching my kids get dirty makes my eye twitch. I allow it (even encourage it), but I get all twitchy and angst-y.
9. I get jealous.
10. I care far too much about what other people think.

Here is the "pretty" list:

1. I always say I'm sorry.
2. I invent stories for my kids when they ask me to.
3. I tickle my kids until they laugh so hard that their faces are red and they're dizzy with glee.
4. I say yes, even when I don't always feel like it.
5. I push my kids on the swings.
6. I take my kids to the Library.
7. I play Hide n Seek with my kids and enjoy every minute of it.
8. I ask my kids about things like Batman and Pokemon, because even though I'm not interested in it - they are.
9. I tell my kids how awesome their dad is - every day.
10.  I spend every day with my kids and for my kids.

I'm never going to be that "perfect mom" image I have in my head. Even if I'm the perfect version of me, I'm still going to be fallible because let's face it, I'm human. There is no perfect man, woman, child - or mom. Those moments of frailty, raw authenticity, brokenness, and genuineness are what open up the doors to relationships with others. Shining the light on our inadequacies, while it may be hard allows other people to identify with you.

Also, God doesn't make mistakes. He didn't make a mistake giving these precious little ones to me. He knew I wasn't going to be perfect when He chose me to be a mom. If I stop focusing on all of my insecurities and blemishes and concentrate more on what I do that is good and right everyone will profit from it.

I'm going to take this list and put it in a spot where I can see it, because sometimes I need some encouragement and it's good to see the positive.

What are some of your "real" qualities? What silly things do you like to do? What is something ridiculous that bothers you, or something that you strive to do? I'd love to know. We're all in this together. None of us is perfect. Thankfully, we have a heaping dose of grace with which to cover everything on our "ugly list" though!

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