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A Modeled Mom

Jun
29
2006

Don’t tell my kids, but I’m glad too that it’s summer and we don’t have to get up for school in the morning. I know parents are supposed to be the ones happily greeting the day and dragging their kids out of bed, but gee, getting up for school is still a real drag.
All those early mornings of my own school years were painful, and I was delighted when I could finally arrange my own schedule in college. Good thing when I got pregnant I didn’t think about the fact that having kids was going to launch me back into the dictates of a school schedule, because dreading that would have been worse than thinking about giving birth. And school goes on a lot longer too.
I also hate cleaning, which puts me in the company of many other fine moms. I do appreciate living in a clean, orderly house, I just don’t like the personal effort needed to get to the neat state. And yes, you can hire people to clean, but without daily slave service there’s still a lot of housekeeping to do to fight child-induced chaos. So before kids, I accepted my standards (deplorably low, as anyone I’ve ever lived with will attest to, and as has been mentioned to me occasionally), and used the shovel when things got out of hand. But it does seem unfair to subject my innocent children to the worst of my unbridled sloppiness; liking a bit of order seems to be a natural human thing. So while I haven’t been brainwashed to Stepford Wife level, I do try a bit harder these days to fight the mess.
I’m not a big fan of schedules either. Some days you’re just hungry at different times, and some days you feel like getting into cooking and some days you don’t, and some days call for a morning shower and others an evening bath, and whatever. But, it’s those darn kids again, who supposedly do better with some sort of reliable schedule, who’ve inspired attempts at some consistency.
Speaking of cooking, there are days I’d be happy with potato chips and cookies for dinner, and if someone else wants to occasionally do the same, who am I to fault them? But if I do that as a mom, I’m not only a bad example, I’ve got kids who will figure it’s only fair for them to get the same thing. So it’s veggie push time (or at least hiding the chips).
In my pre-child state, I was a late-sleeping, slovenly, unscheduled junk food hound. (Man, those were the days.) Post-child I’m the same. But I do have good intentions. Much as I’d like to support my natural state, I’m afraid there’s no way around the idea that some extra conventional effort is required to keep a household with kids functioning. (Even with spousal efforts of course.) And I’d hate to think I’m teaching my kids the same bad habits as I have. (After all, how old do they have to be before they can clean the house on their own?) Sure, I don’t want to head from reasonable household control to stereotypical ‘50’s-style-housewife standards (not without a mess of ‘50s-style cocktails at least), but I haven’t even gotten to the edge of that slippery slope. So I make a bit of an effort, often. Who needs self-help books when you’ve got kids?

Share  Posted by Deborah Klosky at 5:17 PM | Permalink

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