Friday, September 22, 2006

She made it seem easy

She never once complained about getting up early. Or getting her children out of bed. There was always a warm breakfast waiting. Lunches were always made, or the lunch money was tucked neatly beside the plate. The laundry was always folded and put away. And she made the beds. Garbage out on the curb by 6 am. All this at home, and then she went off to work. She was prepared, she was scheduled. The house ran smoothly. Dinner was always at 6, and she always remembered to put out the meat to thaw. Even when she didn't want to cook, there was always something nutritious. The family sat around the table for dinner. Kitchen dishes were always washed, floors were always vacuumed. She went to the grocery store every other week, and that was it. The kids had nap times, bed times, which were ruled with an iron fist. She dropped off and picked up, and never, ever forgot picture money. Doctor visits, county health department for shots. She went to church on Sunday, she taught lessons, and organized relief society socials. She did her visiting teaching every month by the 15th. She quilted. Cross-stitched. She canned peaches and made jam. She sewed Sunday dresses, and had birthday parties.

She made it look so easy.

Was she the typical super mom? She must have had a time turner to get all that done in a single day. She didn't have a nanny, and her children really didn't help out that much. How did she do it. I don't' know, I don't think there was an option of NOT doing it. She just did it. Every day.

She made it seem so easy.

And now that I am all grown up, I struggle every day. The laundry is a burden, the lunch making is a chore. The dishes pile up, and my mopboards are disgusting. The dusting doesn't get done, and I always forget the meat.

I feel like a failure, I don't' even go beyond my own home for employment, and yet, I cannot keep up with my domestic duties. How did she do it?

I have a dishwasher. A super capacity washing machine. I have cool little gadgets that can mop and sweep at the same time. I've got disposable toilet cleaners. Prepackaged food. I've got a husband who helps, and half as many children.

Of course, in the 14 years that I remember, I never did see her smile. So maybe accomplishing all these feats didn't really make her happy. Maybe she fell into bed every night as exhausted as I am. Maybe she had sleepless nights with sick children. Maybe she did have heartburn and indigestion. Maybe she resented her husband for just doing his one job, and not having to worry about keeping the family together. Was it any wonder that she would just leave? She'd take the car for a ride by herself. She must have hated the ironing, or the dishes. She had to have relished in summer vacation. She must have gotten burned out. Bored with doing the everyday menial tasks. Did she regret having her children? Did she yearn for a life without the drudgery?

But I never heard her complain.

Is my generation a bunch of spoiled brats?


APRIL said...

It's weird. My mom seemed to be wonder mom. She cooked. She cleaned. Well, my sister cooks. I clean (well, I used to). Now I just wonder what my younger sister is going to "inherit" from my mom.

scraphappymama said...

I can totally relate. I stand in awe at my mother and grandma. I don't know how they did it. Maybe I am just spoiled and selfish?!?!? I want to be better, I want to do it all, but then I get tired and stop. Mmmm!?!?!?

ABC Momma said...

Good question. My mom wasn't very happy either, but she was oh so productive. Finding a balance is the challenge.