5/10/07

Supermomitis

The past couple weeks I’ve really struggled with a case of supermomitis. You know what I mean, right? The feeling like I have to be an amazing mom who does arts and crafts with my daughter, doesn’t let her watch too much tv, teaches her the alphabet and her numbers, cooks all our meals, does laundry, doesn’t leave clean laundry on the couch for more than a day waiting to be folded, ensures everything in the house is in its rightful place, ensures everything in the house even has a rightful place, does the dishes, plays with the dog, arranges play dates, keeps up with the grocery shopping, takes a shower, spends quality time with her husband, gets birthday cards and mother’s day cards in the mail on time, speaks to her friends and maybe, just maybe has a spare minute or two to read a book or write a blog. And I just can’t do it all. If I stay on top of keeping up with the house, then I do that at the expense of my daughter (either giving her my undivided attention or letting her watch TV). The advice or comments I have recently received have come from people who do not have kids or do not have toddlers. I mean, really, when their kids were little could they keep an immaculate house?

The truth is, I want my house to be a little more orderly. I’m already on a rampage to clean stuff out (whenever I can find some spare time…) and make better use of our space. But I’m trying to figure out how much of my stress is due to this mythological supermom and how much of it I can actually do something about.

So I’m looking for comments here. What are your thoughts or advice? How do you maintain an orderly house? How do you combat the idea of the supermom (or do you even ever struggle with it?)?

6 comments:

Llama Momma said...

You are not alone! I still have bouts of "Supermomitis," but here is my personal strategy:

1) How clean and orderly does my family need our home to be to feel good and to function and not be emberassed if a friend stops by?

2) Set aside an hour a couple of times a week (or on the weekend) to organize something. Organizing our toys and crafts in a way that my kids can put stuff away has gone a long way in keeping the house tidy. I bought a big cube shelf at IKEA with baskets that fit in the cubbies. (And filled half of the cubbies w/ baskets, half without.) I took pictures of their toys, and taped the picture on the basket, so they knew exactly where to put stuff away.

3) I get my kids involved in the cleaning up / picking up. My boys are older than your daughter, but if you turn on some fun music and give her a cleaning rag and a spray bottle of water, she may really enjoy "cleaning time."

4) Balance. Go back to #1. How clean do things need to be? Often, I just give the bathroom a few swipes with a LYSOL wipe and call it good.

5) Okay. I'm going to be vulnerable here. Don't hate me. I'm just keepin' it real. Every other week, I pay two ladies to come in and deep clean my house. (Ducking while you throw dirty socks at me...) Now, i still have to clean the bathrooms (daily w/ 2 boys), and sweep and vacuum, and do laundry, but I don't worry about dusting or vacuuming the upstairs in between. Plus, it motivates me to put everything away before they come. This isn't an option everyone can afford, but it's really not as expensive as I thought it would be and it has made a huge difference in my life! I BUY time every other week. :-)

I could go on and on here. (And I'm afraid I have!) You are not alone in this struggle! It has gotten easier for me in some ways over the years as a Mom. I really don't care as much what others think. In fact, just yesterday I was hosting a Bible study in my home. I was up at 5:30 to pray and prepare my soul. The house was tidy and above-average clean. But after feeding all the boys, making sure they're dressed, dressing myself, and getting baby down for his morning nap, I ran out of time to unload the dishwasher and clean up from breakfast. But, the study doesn't meet in the kitchen, so I just left it. I had a pride-attack moments before the women arrived, and then I prayed: "Lord, maybe someone coming today needs to see this mess. Maybe they need to know that they are not the only one who cannot do it all."

Hugs.

One More Writer said...

I was definitely NOT supermom! With three kids in three and a half years, I struggled in all areas of mommyhood. I didn't do it well, but I did learn a few things:

1) watching tv won't warp them for life. I have some great teenagers who often spent hours as toddlers and preschoolers watching pbs or Disney movies.

2) immaculate houses only make mom crazy--not only in getting them to be immaculate, but keeping them that way. I did finally make a list of cleaning chores to do each day of the week. So say on Tuesdays, I knew that even if my kitchen was a wreck, my bathrooms were clean. Rarely did I have the entire house clean and straight at the same time, but each room was clean and stragiht at some point.

3) I hated cooking (still do), so my best friend and I (with 6 toddlers and preschoolers between us) would get together one long day every 6 or 8 weeks and cook all day long and each have many meals to put in the freezer. (Easy meals, if you want examples, let me know.) This eliminated one unavoidable, everyday chore.

Hope some of that helps!

Sars said...

Tina, you are supermom already. Stop trying to acheive a status that's already yours. M is healthy, happy, loved and growing more and more every day. Your husband and friends think you're a rockstar (because you are.) Do you need to revisit Gal. 1:10?

I know you'll keep analyzing and amending your habits, but do it to make your life more enjoyable, not to measure up to some invisible standard. Laundry is important. But what's more important is that you're a great wife and mom and a wonderful friend.

Craver Vii said...

I just heard this week that:

"A clean house is a sign of a broken computer."

spaghettipie said...

LM - Wow...thank you so much for being so thoughtful. I appreciate your input.

OMW - Thanks for your input as well! I'm seriously considering implementing Trish Berg's Supper Swap idea. I did batch cooking for a while, but it got a little old (granted, we did it through a company, not with friends).

Sars - You're such an encouragement to me. Thanks.

Craver - Oh, I needed that. I laughed out loud.

Katie said...

This coming from the "non-mom" BUT I will say that your house looked normal to me (hello I live alone and my place is always in a state of messiness); your daughter is amazing and fun and smart and that is all because of what you DO do with her not because of all the stuff you don't get around to doing, and lastly I think you are an amazing servant hearted woman who has a great heart that I always enjoy getting to spend a few moments with.

So no advice just some words of encouragement from someone who gets to take a peek at your life now and then.