I've been thinking about perfection lately. No really, a lot. I've joined a gym (I thought hell would have to freeze over before that would happen), I have one kiddo in private school, another in daycare once a week and who's also about to do swimming and dancing lessons, and then I've decided to go back to school. And then the husbeast has got a job offer, which he's taking, to bring him home and away from the fifo life. Should be yippee's all round on that last one, for sure!
But it makes me wonder, because ALL of those above points bring me crashing to my knees in relation to our 'budget'. We're usually great with money, to a point. If you didn't count our whopping mortgage, or the solar panels loan, we are amazingly good on paper! But the reality is, I just cut all our vegies up to make chow mein for dinner, which means we might have enough milk left by this afternoon for a cuppa each. Or I could use it in some baking. The reality of it all was that mashed potato, or baked pasta, or other ideas had some sort of milk or cheese in them, of which I'm out of both.
We have a pretty big budget cut coming when the husbeast changes jobs. In reality it will probably halve, which will be JUST our mortgage per week. That doesn't allow for anything else. But I could wallow in my sorrow, lolling around whining to myself about how my flipflops broke last week and I can't afford another pair for $3 (which did happen, and yeah, I haven't got new ones yet!), or I could make the most of it. I highly recommend this exercise, if you are about to pop up your bunting and have yourself a wee pity party.
Grab your blog, or a piece of paper, and write down these things:
* I have GREAT kids. And they are just getting more and more awesome by the day.
* I have the ability to walk and talk, and I may not have bucketloads of friends, but the ones I have are FANTASTIC.
* I have an amazing life. I do. There's a Xavier Rudd song that always makes me aware of this - it's called Food in the Belly. Here's a link from youtube - Xavier Rudd's food in the belly. If that doesn't cheer up the most mediocre mama, I suggest listening to it twice more.
Now my next hurdle is that my house is NEVER perfect. Ever. Not even one square centimetre of my home is clean at the moment. There is awesome untidyness in every part. But you know what? My kids can still find what they need, I'm not a box of stuff away from my own episode of hoarders, and we all have clean, functional clothes and a kitchen that manages to feed us all.
I've come to a conclusion about all of this. None of it matters, this perfection shit. I do, sew, mend, grow, clean and cook what and when I can. I do the best I can, and if I can't, I'm not beating myself up about it.
Here's a picture to make you feel a whole lot better about it all. I took it earlier this year, when I was cooking something with my son. It really captured what was going on that day. He wanted to cook, I wanted to clean. Guess who won?
I remember that day well. The house looked trashed to me. But look at how lucky I am! See those to sideboards/buffets in the distance? Both of those were free. No shit. Storage? Thanks!!! You can see my dishwasher, and I know some people hate dishwashers - I am not one of those people. Today I've been cooking up a storm, with eggs for breakfast, cereal for the kids as well, apple pancakes for morning tea, banana bread made, noodles and sandwiches and left over pumpkin soup for lunch. Then I prepped my chow mein, and put on a loaf of bread. I've run the dishwasher twice today, and lemmetellya, that sucker holds ALOT of dishes. It also fries bacterial bugs if we get the gastro or a cold, too. And I know there is dispute, but this honestly saves me at least 1 or 2 hours per day - especially today!
Now, you know what else about this photo I love? It has that big badass cookbook in the front. I've had that book since about 13 years ago. It's a Recipe Encyclopedia. You can literally look up an ingredient, and whammo - there is a bit of info! Or look up an item you want to cook - say 'cake' - and there are dozens of recipes on it. With pictures. Lots of pictures! It's flour crunchy, that book, from all the thumbing through and holding of pages. Especially on the cake and biscuits parts!
I think it took about an hour to clean up after that cooking session. And I think we made choc chip cookies. But it doesn't matter, here is a snapshot of the imperfect mother I am. And absent of children too. My guess is they were off eating the cookies....
Happy little campers they are!
So what's my point? I'm trying to get to it, I promise!
Look, just be happy. Or at least keep trying your hardest to be happy. Relax about having people in your life that don't accept you the way you are, or that make you think that you should be more organised, more flush with cash, more tidy. It truly may just be a reflection of their own wishes about themselves. In the long term, look at your self lovingly, not with criticism, and look at your kids with joy, as they look at you.