Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On Perfection

About two months ago several of the blogs I read offered an answer to "How do you do it all?" The ladies who run these blogs are, in fact, miraculously brilliant homemakers. I just assumed (and pretty much still do) that some women are born with Olympian-style talents for the role. I am DEFINITELY not one of those women, and no one would EVER mistake me for one. But oh how I sometimes wish I were... Nevertheless, I was relieved to read how these aforementioned bloggers responded the the inquiries.

To sum them up, they reported that time is, of course, finite, so there are things they DO and things they DON'T DO. Some even ventured as far as making lists to expose their realities. I decided it would be a good pick-me-up exercise to try this myself. Expert critic that I am, I'm pretty sure that my "don't do" tally far outweighs my "do" tally. But some relief comes in the fact that I indeed have a list of things I do and things I do well. For example, I make a fantastic butter-cream frosting, I make a to-die-for cinnamon applesauce, and I show unprecedented and unbelievable patience with my toddler. I don't scrapbook, crochet (although I'm considering classes,) get up early, or immediately get dirty dishes into the dishwasher. There are more to each list, of course, but I am not the measuring stick of perfection as are the IMAGES of the bloggers I read.

My second source of forgiveness for my imperfections as a homemaker came, unexpectedly, from a magazine article. It's so cliche, who knew some actual wisdom could be imparted by a magazine's quiz? Perhaps it's not quite wisdom, but I found some relief therein. The quiz was something along the lines of "Find out who you really are so you can be you really are." I'm sure it was more eloquently written. I thought it was a bit of a joke until I hit a category of questions that identified my nature EXACTLY. WHO KNEW I WASN'T ALONE? Not I.

The article concluded that I fall into the category of the "Intellectual." No, it doesn't describe my IQ. Instead, it describes what gives me energy, how I enjoy spending my time, and my natural tendencies. By reading ABOUT myself, I had a moment of epiphany: who I am is a LEARNER. I will ALWAYS be a learner. I love to research, and write, and spend my time getting the most thorough IDEAS of my area of interest.

People who are able to translate their natures directly into a career are, and rightly so, lauded for their recognizable talents therein. Some of us, however, have natures that are more hidden under the layers of our jobs, families, and obligations. To IDENTIFY our natures, even if only to ourselves, is to RELIEVE ourselves of the guilt of what we are not. We may have convoluted ways of contributing or shining, but we each have a nature that has immense value to those around us.

I am a LEARNER. I will fulfill my mission in life THROUGH this natural tendency that I possess. And by embracing who I AM I will free myself, and enjoy myself, and hope that you will enjoy me.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oh Em Gee!

Yep, I MADE these, the PJ pants! I was gifted a series of sewing classes, and it totally paid off. Lots of fun. Translation: if I can do this you can DEFINITELY do it. I have the patience of a famished lion. Oh, yes, and if you're on my holiday gift list, you just MIGHT be getting some too!

(I'm pretty sure that sewing these pants and making a fantastic butter-cream icing are my ONLY Martha Stewart "ish" feats in the last year of being a stay-at-home-mom. Hey, I'm a work in progress.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Confession on His Birthday

My title is "Homemaker Exposed." Here is my maximum exposure, a shame-filled truth wherein I hope I am not alone:

I tried not to love him.

When my son was born, I realized that the expression "such a miracle" is not trite as I had believed, but rather true in biblical proportions. Part me, part Ryan, part God and His creation, my son is most deeply a miracle. But he is separate from me. I cannot completely protect him. I cannot completely heal him. He is left in God's hands, and I am left to recognize my own mortality, my own vulnerability. And it scared me. It still does.

I had resolved to protect myself from these fears. How? Well, I had pondered this for years prior to my son, and I had determined to "hedge" my losses should I endure one. Translation: I used to believe that the more children I had, the more bearable a loss, illness, or incapacity of a single child would be. I thought I could intellectualize and ration my love. I was wrong.

Although my son is healthy, and although I do not know how many more children my body can bare, my son's first year has taught me this:

Having a child is giving myself to God, losing my sense of power. In return, God gives me an appreciation for the daily mundanes that I have never before felt. God shares Himself in a way I have never before understood. And I lose my sense of "I."

Happy birthday my son, and thank you.