Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dispelling the "Perfect Mom" myth...

Yes you read that right, I said dispelling the "Perfect Mom" myth.

I am starting a new series that is a little off the "organizing blog post" path because this all kind of goes with the organizing process, but is not just tips and techniques. This series gets a little more 'behind the scenes" of organizing by dealing with our emotions first.

As a Professional Organizer probably the most frequently asked question I get, especially when I am speaking to groups is this: "So is your house and family perfectly organized?" followed by: "is your junk drawers perfect with cute labels on them?, is your laundry perfectly caught up? Do your kids have your natural organizing gene?

The answer?? No.  That is because organizing is a process not a destination. Furthermore in the land of Pinterest, homemaking & organizing blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Etsy etc. it is super easy to feel overwhelmed, under-qualified, like you don't measure up, uninspiring, like you are falling behind, even lazy.  In a world filled with social media and blogs the idea is that they are supposed to be encouraging, inspiring, and a great place to share ideas. No matter what era you were born in, most of us Moms all have a little or a lot of that "June Cleaver" mentality that we should all have it together all of the time.

Let's think about that for a moment shall we?  June Cleaver always had her house spotless, the laundry was always done &  she ironed her family's clothes, even their sheets and table cloths, her kids cloths always matched, and they always knew where their toys, back packs, and lunch bags were, and always did as they were asked with a "Yes Ma'am or Yes Sir" and neither of her boys had special needs or any medical issues other then a cold occasionally which was always cured with the from scratch chicken soup she made fresh that morning, she always had time to listen to Ward talk about his day at the office and any problems he had with a smile and witty answer, she even looked great when she answered the phone and her kids never interrupted her while she was on it or visiting with friends. She had a great relationship with her husband where their arguments were no more then a slight frown, an "Oh Ward you behave" comment, and solved in 30 minutes or less. They never went to bed angry, and he adored her and never appeared to look at another female, all her friends were married and they always played bridge or had tea and visited while their perfectly behaved kids played outside or upstairs and never interrupted them. She always made dinner from scratch and had it on the table at 6pm, and greeted Ward at the door with a smile and drink in hand all while looking beautiful, with perfectly coiffed hair, a pretty dress, and her trademark pearls. Let's face it she was Supermom

That sounds idealistic doesn't it? Sort of. Let's think about this: She also did not work outside the home, she had to ask her husband for money for everything including groceries, she did not take care of the bills he did and she had no say. She also never went out, had to do all the laundry herself, cleaned the toilets and house all day, had no outside interests, and I am not sure she even new how to drive. She was not expected to have a job, but was expected to save money and be frugal. Truth be told...she had a wardrobe dept pick out those darling outfits she wore, and an entire crew to set up her perfect kitchen. Her witty answers, and respectful husband and boys replies were all carefully crafted by writers, and hey she was paid to appear perfect.  So really she did not "do it all" as it appeared.
Does that stop me from inspiring to be more like her character? Nope!

I admit I wish I had it all together like she appeared too, and there is areas I excel in and a lot of areas I "try" to excel in and fail. I have a 3 children whom I adore, and who are smart, witty, funny, but who also seem to forget each and every time I have showed them how to do their laundry, who's room is not exactly Pinterest Worthy, who even though they are homeschooled, still don't always get their work done. One of my children has special needs, and to be honest, their is a guilt that goes along with that even though common sense and logic tells me I did nothing to "cause" the issues. There is many successful days with that child but there is many days where there is issues we deal with that are related to the needs that are overwhelming and frustrating. My husband and I have been married for 15 years and while I would not trade him or our marriage for anything, it is not perfect and we have been through many ups and downs. I do have to work. I teach preschool part time as I build my organizing business, I choose to homeschool, and appear to have a lot going for me, does that mean that I juggle it all well all the time? I don't. There is guilt and frustration that goes with that. There is also a lot of  pride and happiness that goes along with my life as well. I do love that one of my passions is cooking and I have freezer cooking down well, I am great at time management, and love to organize (hence my job) the areas I have organized I like and it keeps my sanity. The other thing that has helped me lately is that recently I was chosen among another group of moms to be part of a launch team for Jill Savage's new book "No More Perfect Moms". The book itself comes out in February but as a team member I have been able to get an advanced copy and what I can say is "WOW". It is so liberating and really is amazing. Jill knows exactly how all of us feel in today's high pressure world.  To quote Jill directly :
"Our expectations are often what keep us from enjoying our real lives, our real families, our real bodies, and our real houses. ... More often than not, we need to change our perspective to better cope with real life. We need to change unrealistic expectations to realistic expectations."
{Jill Savage in No More Perfect Moms}
As I go through this book I will be blogging on it and when it releases I encourage everyone to get a copy.  You can also go to Jill's site and sign up for the 31 days email challenge which has daily inspiration, encouragement, and motivation right here: 31 day email challenge

Happy Organizing!

1 comment:

  1. Jen, I understand your frustrations! While my children were growing up I had to work and the frustrations were endless! I strived to be "perfect" at everything I did and it just always felt I was coming apart at the seams! I'm excited to that you are blogging about this book and can't wait for the next installment!