You know what? I am fed up. I am tired. Ladies, we are all guilty of what I am about to write and it is time for it to stop.
What has gotten me all riled up, ruffled my feathers and helped me onto my soapbox? The comparing of ourselves to each other, the judgments we put forth onto each other...the super-erroneous belief that any one of us truly "has it all together."
I am laying it all on the line, here. I DO NOT have it all together and frankly I am ashamed for all previous attempts to appear as such. Any time I have behaved out of the fear of the rolling eyes of others, made choices because of how pious or holy I might be seen, hidden the dark secrets of the pursuit of self, well, I express my deepest apologies. I stand in defiance of the social pressure and the ridiculous codes that are unspoken but well-understood by wives and moms. We allow the grade of passing to be nothing but 100%, and why? I declare today, I will not do it any more.
So ladies, here's to the time I allowed my kids to watch the "Transformers Movie," ignorant of the fact that it was rated PG13. Not only did my two oldest watch it, so did 5 other little boys who were spending the night as guests of my oldest, most of whom have not been back to our house. As a direct result of this movie, I was asked by my children while riding in the car home from school what "Master-bathing" was. In my innocence, I thought they had seen a Re-Bath truck. You know the company, the one that can reglaze, reglamorize your bathroom? Oh, but no, after the third time of hearing the word, "Master-Bathing" it dawned on me. My voice went up about 3 octaves and I nearly lost control of the car. Imagine my delight upon hearing the answer to my panic-muttered question, "Where did you hear that word?" Sadie repeated, verbatum the four lines prior to and the four lines post the "word in question." Ethan blurted out...It was in Transformers, Mom, you know, the movie you let us watch at the sleepover? If you really want to know how bad this movie is, click here for the parental guide that I most definitely should have read. I am horrified.
While I am at it, here are some more confessions...Here's to unwanted facial hair and the battle it takes to have it removed. Here's to starving myself a day here or there to maintain a ridiculous weight that I didn't even have in high school. Here's to insane contemplations of getting cosmetic procedures at 37 that didn't exist 10 years ago.
Here's to the time I accidentally left my middle child at home ALONE for at least 30 minutes when she was only 3 years old. She survived. I survived. But it was terrible.
I buy clothes at Wal-Mart, wash my face with regular bath soap about 75% of the time and eat a hot dog, loaded, with fries and a Diet Cheerwine every Tuesday at the Dog House on Main Street. I use harsh chemicals to clean my house because I love the smell and haven't invested the time or money into shopping organic.
I try to recycle but every once in a while just chuck the bag at the main dumpster at the dump. And, I have used the dumpsters at High Point's largest church for my bags of refuse when I realized that the trash dump was closed and I had a car load of stink. Because of regular trash dump runs, I had a mouse living in my van, make that thriving in my van, for over a week. My van is filthy, littered with fast food nibbles and stained in varying shades of muck that I don't even want to know its origins.
I claim to be active on doctor's forms and insurance forms, but I never exercise. Even though my back surgeon gave me the green light to go skiing, I still use my back surgery for many excuses to get out of moving anything remotely heavy or for doing any yard work. Basically, I am lying.
I have been "working" on the same bible study for over a year now, despite the "glowing reviews" that I give to other people about it. It is good, I just haven't finished it. In fact, I have led numerous bible studies, counseled and mentored ladies, but have yet to read the entire bible. Sure, I strongly desire to read all of it, but haven't. I have about 5 scriptures memorized and repeatedly use them with as much authority as I can muster.
I don't volunteer at my kid's school very often and think that is just fine. And, frankly, I don't particularly like watching other people's kids, though the older they get, it is easier.
Pets and plants have a very low survival rate in our house. The stories coming from the house of horrors are disturbing, I'll admit it. Cats, dogs, hermit crabs, love birds...none are immune.
My kids have sat in front of the television ALL afternoon watching junk that should have never been produced under the umbrella of children's television. Additional abominations include their repeated references from infomercials, like "peel and press crown molding," the "snuggly," the mini hamburger "sliders" maker. They have a strange affection for Billy Mayes and complain that he yells through the tv. And, we have interesting conversations that center around the difference between Nationwide, State Farm and how you can save 15% on Geico Insurance. All courtesy of their television viewing.
When they were younger, I let my kids stay in diapers long after they should have been changed, let them eat stuff dropped on the floor, and lied to them about dates for birthday parties that they were not going to attend. My kids occasionally go to bed and to school without their teeth brushed or hair combed. Every morning I give thought to allowing the kids to skip school and for all of us to just sleep in. If not for the fact that we carpool, I might just do it, too. This school year, I struggled with serious, serious pride issues because my oldest got his first B this year, eliminating him from the much publicized all-A honor roll for the 2nd quarter. Pathetic.
I don't like doing crafts with my kids. There, I said it. The idea of created permanent works of collectible art is very utopian. But, in fact, the mess, the chaos and the end results are never worth the effort in my mind. I do it solely out of peer pressure.
I have regifted, parked illegally and not put my shopping cart back into the corral. I rarely separate my lights and darks while doing laundry and feign ignorance when my husband complains that all his undershirts are dingy. I have read only two complete novels in the last year.
I have yelled at, screamed at and berated my children. I have had days where I hated being a mother, hated my children and plotted my get away plan.
Projects? Do I have half-finished projects? There is a set of unfinished chairs in our basement that I have "promised" to polyurethane since before Jay and I even met. Our financial files are a mess despite the purchase of a new filing system in the last couple of months. I have three long years and growing of photos waiting to be archived. I have a room full of scrapbooking supplies which no human could ever possibly consume. Yet, I continue to pick-up a roll of ribbon on sale or a pack of the latest paper designs.
My second to the last spiritual gift, according to every assessment I have ever taken, is mercy. Therefore, if my child comes to me, multiple times with the same issue, chances are, I am tuning him/her out. I just don't have it to give. Most likely, I exhibit the same behavior to the adults in my life.
I sometimes listen to non-Christian music, drink a beer or two on the weekends and enjoy a night out on the town. We have "skipped" church a couple of times in the last several months and I don't think that changes my status with God. I am tired of running that performance race as well. God knows my heart. I talk to Him every day. He knows I love Him.
I ask, where is our confidence, ladies? Just what is the ruler by which we measure ourselves? There are going to be successful days and days of massive failure. But averaging it out, I think I am doing the best I can with what I know. I will strive to improve, gain a little more insight, but always with that knowledge that I will never achieve perfection. I will never again measure my success in my home by the yardstick from another home.
Whew! I feel a lot better. Here's your chance. Get it all out. Post it in the comments section, anonymously if you want. And never, never again feel the guilt of your actions because you didn't do what Miss So-and-so did.