You know those women who "have it all"? They have perfect, clean children who wear matching clothes, a blissful marriage, an immaculate house, they plan, cook, and serve delicious meals every day, teach Sunday School, and workout, have perfect teeth, all while weighing 105 pounds, and dressing like a model. Why can't I do that? I must say, I do have perfect children, although they aren't always clean, and their clothes rarely match. My house is never clean, and I am far from 105 pounds. I think I took the advice I heard when I was pregnant with Noah too seriously, "You can be the perfect wife, the perfect mom, the perfect teacher, or the perfect house keeper/cook. Pick one and let the rest take care of itself." Or "Don't clean your house while your kids are little, it's like shoveling when it's still snowing." Or "When you are on your deathbed, you'll never say you wished you spent more time working (well it was either working, or working out- I took it as working out)." The piece of advice I could have taken too seriously could have been, "Make sure you take time to do something for yourself every day." Or "If you can't answer the question,'what do you do for fun daily?' something is terribly wrong." The last two came from my therapist. But now I get bitch-be-gone pills, so I shouldn't have to have fun, or time to myself to be happy. Cooking, cleaning, working out, getting braces and a whitening procedure should by all means make me ecstatic. The last piece of wisdom I got wasn't exactly advice, but a keen observation, "Sara. You are a terrible cook." It was always OK with me to not be the "woman who has it all", and be happy to ignore my imperfections. However, as I look around, EVERYONE is the woman who "has it all" except me. I'm just a frumpy, old, fat, boring, bad housewife with crocked, yellow teeth with a cavity. I used to think, they just APPEAR to be the woman who "has it all", and there is some aspect of their life that is not perfect. Nope. Now I know, they really are perfect, and I am damn jealous. So this week I decided to fake being perfect and the woman who has it all. On Monday I worked all day, making money- that's a good thing. Tuesday I stripped wallpaper until my arm was about to fall off. Wednesday I decided to organize all of my recipes, make a monthly menu of delicious and nutritious meals for supper. The menu includes two brand new recipes each week, no take-outs, and ALL meals including preparation and at least seven ingredients. On Wednesday I also went to the store to get a brace for my sore wrist, got home, realized I bought it for my RIGHT hand and I needed it for my LEFT, so I had to take it back. The cashier was a dumb-$hit. He wasn't going to let me have an even exchange, but after a ten minute discussion with the store manager he finally did, but refused to give me a receipt. I was perfect woman who has it all during that time because I wore make-up to the store, something I didn't think I needed before, but have been told maybe I should start wearing more last week. I matched, and I didn't have one mean or impatient thought. I went to two different grocery stores looking for the "Sunmart broccoli cashew salad" because it WAS on the Wednesday menu, so I better find it or make it. On Thursday I literally cleaned all damn day long. On Friday I spent the day shopping for the month's worth of recipes, as well as cooking to freeze meals to pop in the oven once school starts. I also made appointments, registered the kids for school, bought some school supplies, got an estimate for a new fence, and looked into finding three places to call about siding on Monday. I still have to finish the wallpaper, paint the entryway, the big wall in the upstairs living room, paint both bathrooms, the entire downstairs entertainment area, hallway, and my bedroom. School starts in 17 days. I can't "have it all" now, what will I do when school starts? I haven't even started laundry yet. I've been in the kitchen making all of these nutritious and delicious meals, so I spend at least an hour a day cleaning the kitchen. Speaking of the wonderful meals, I literally sat at the table tonight getting more and more mad with tears in my eyes because I made roasted garlic potatoes (I had to learn how to press garlic in order to get "fresh minced"), corn on the cob, and baked chicken that I marinated for half of the day. No one mentioned how delicious my meal was. I had to sit on my hands to avoid throwing the damn chicken across the room. I think just to make me more mad, the grown-up child even had the nerve to mention my need to lose weight.
This week I have not gone into the pool once, read my book, or watched any TV- even at night because the grown-up child at my house refuses to watch anything that remotely interests me, so I work on the dumb wall. I go to bed exhausted, and get up at 7:00, because the same grown-up thinks the dogs should be locked in the kitchen so they can bark and bark and bark and bark because he's awake. Did I "have it all" this week? Defiantly more than any other week. Ethan wasn't always clean, but I can only nag him for so long. I didn't work-out, or weigh 105 pounds. I still have snaggly, yellow teeth with a cavity, and a crappy wardrobe, but I totally did the "house-wife" stuff. Why can't I do it? Seriously? Everyone else has their act together. I find it really hard. Cooking isn't worth the taste of the food, and it certainly isn't worth having to spend so much time cleaning up. I spent the whole day cleaning on Thursday, by Friday morning it needed it again. My house is NEVER clean and I have to keep it up by myself. I don't want to teach Sunday School. I teach Monday- Friday, why would I want to do it for free on Sunday too? Would the mailman deliver the mail for free on Sundays? No, and I would never expect him to. I secretly thinks he doesn't deliver it on Saturday either, and he just takes the it home until Monday. I don't want to work out, first of all, when would I have time? I literally only sit down when I eat my damn cooking. Also, working out isn't fun. And I'm tired. There goes the 105 pound dream, and the "non- frumpy" clothing. I can't afford braces. I'll be lucky to get my cavity filled before I go broke buying those little flossing picks to pick the stupid food out of my teeth. Food was never a big part of my life- but being the "woman with it all"- it is a major theme and I don't like it. Everyone else who "has it all" is blissfully happy. Why is it so hard, and makes me so sad? Am I just lazy? All I think of is, "Maybe tomorrow I can go in the pool, or read, or nap." But I know I can't. I have to do laundry, finish the DAMN WALL, and of course COOK, and clean. I swear, there must be some "mess up and dirty the house fairy" that stops by each night. My mom was a happy home-maker. Sure, I made supper every night (maybe the reason I hate cooking) from the age of 11 until I moved out, but she made two other big meals a day, plus baked a cake, bars and two batches of cookies each week for the 3:00 meal. I vacuumed, cleaned the bathrooms, did laundry and took out the garbage every Saturday while looking for the blue handled scissors, but she kept the house clean during the week. Her house was so clean you could eat off the floors. Today as I unpacked the dishwasher I realized my plates aren't even clean enough to eat off of. So, if any of you know how I can "have it all" and be happy, please let me know. I need to be let in on the secret. During the week, I also spent a lot of time thinking about what it meant to "have it all" when I was little. Louise Jefferson from the "Jefferson's" had it all. She didn't work outside the house. She had Florence doing all of the cleaning, cooking, ironing and shopping. She was far from 105 pounds, but George loved her just the way she was. She probably wore dentures, and was drunk most of the time, but it didn't matter because she wore sparkly dresses. Back in the 80's we felt bad for the mom's (Alice and One Day at a Time) who had to work outside the home. We never expected them to cook, let alone clean, have perfect children, and a perfect body. When will society go back to the good ol' days of thinkin' ? Maybe I was just born in the wrong generation.