Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Pretend Image of It All

I sit here, melted chocolate chips and peanut butter swirled together, wondering about life.

Sure, it is 11:30 and I need to be in bed. I have a huge day tomorrow. Ty has "meet the teacher night" for first grade. The van needs an alignment. The children will want me to care for them. Here I am though, thinking about SAHM-life.

I got up early today. I cleaned tons of the house - window screens, curtains, vacuumed. I sold some maternity clothes online. Ty and I purchased, labeled, and stuffed a book bag with school supplies. I read books, talked about shapes, and intervened in fights. I also prepared meals and snacks. My kitchen is pretty clean right now.

An overall accomplished day. Why do I feel like I did nothing?

Is it because I don't get a paycheck? Is it because I grew up with an image of Clair Huxtable and Angela Bower? Did I form some weird super-human-mom-worker image in my mind, sometime during my impressionable youth or worse, the inspirational college years?

Where did this image of a mom come from? This mom must be pretend. The mom who comes down the stairs with perfect hair, body, and makeup, grabs a cup of coffee, tousles the kids' hair, kisses her husband, and leaves for work. The mom who has such a high-paying job she can leave for her kids' school activities early and grab dinner on the way home. The mom who stays up late but gets up early and starts all over and still looks great.

It's a bogus image of motherhood. Why do women think that can exist? When does this pretend image exercise? spend time with her husband? do laundry? scrub floors?

I guess she has a maid, or a live-in nanny like Angela.

This pretend image of it all, the image that my fellow moms and I strive for and lament because we can never chase her down, did we make her up? We must have. Can we disregard her? Can we erase this formulation we concocted in our heads?

Can we please just forget her?