Okay Universe, you got me. I give up. You have broken my glasses and dragged my homework through the mud. You have convinced the world that I have cooties and wretched a massive wedgie into my life. You win Universe. I am crying Uncle.
I have been reflecting this past week on balance, or more accurately, my lack of it. Rather than assail you with a whiny tirade of the nearly comical amount of misfortune that has befallen us this week, I am going to focus on my point. Balance. As modern women, we walk a razor fine line of expectation and execution. If you are a career mom, you are expected to excel at your job, pursue that promotion, join the PTA, make it to multiple sporting events all while somehow feeding, clothing and keeping your family from general chaos and maintaining a spotless house.
Stay at home moms don’t have it any easier. I have quite a few friends who stay at home with their families and almost all of them home school or volunteer massive hours at their children’s schools. In some ways many of my SAH mom friends are expected to be perfect wives and mothers, educators, sibling referees, counselors, and lego feud arbitrators…all while maintaining perfect households. For those of you who have never stayed home for long hours with small children (I only worked part time when my kids were little) let me tell you, there are times when you yearn for a cubicle.
So why do we do it? Who is holding us to these expectations? Is it TV? Or social media and movies? Or is it….gasp….ourselves? Women have always been seen as the backbone of the family. Like the generations that came before us, we are the glue that holds our household together. Many of us would probably honestly say that we take care of all the details of family life because we are convinced that no one else will get it right. I see this in my own crazy schedule. I pack everything that I can into the smallest possible time slots; eager to make sure that my family doesn’t miss out on anything.
The truth of the matter is that my husband and children probably wouldn’t mind if I slowed down a bit and took time to wrestle and giggle on the couch instead doing the dishes right after dinner. I have to remember that I have a supportive spouse who is willing to help out (even if he doesn’t always fold the towels in the way that I like) and two children who are perfectly capable of helping with household chores.
So Universe, I hear you. I need to change my ways and seek balance. I will lecture less and smile more. I will let the laundry stay unfolded for another day so I can enjoy watching my kids on the soccer field or snuggle with my hubby on the couch. Now if you’ll excuse me, Universe, I have a big glass of wine and a good book awaiting me in the next room, it’s time to get some “Me” time worked into my schedule.