Sunday, May 3, 2009

Keeping It Real

I came across this blog post on the Ladies Against Feminism website and really enjoyed reading it. I thought you all might like it too.

The delicate net of home, with its everyday doings, projects, gatherings, relationships, laughter, cooking, baking, crafting, plans and friendships is a joy and blessing. However, we cannot forget that home and family means life - real, down-to-earth life. Sometimes this life is not as clean, neat, pretty and peaceful as we wanted it to be, or thought it would be. Sometimes our plans go amiss - and it's normal.

I've had people incredulously ask me if there's "anything at all I dislike about being a homemaker". To this, I can only say: ladies, life at home isn't, nor is it supposed to be, a bed of roses or a never-ending holiday. Homemaking has its frustrations and downfalls, but hey, can't the same be said just about any job? Yes, there will be days when we are unorganized, unmotivated, when things just seem to be falling out of our hands, or an unexpected flu delays our plans. Still, it doesn't change the big picture - the one of making a house into a true, heart-warming home, which is a special, noble, and irreplaceable occupation.

I'm not perfect - and I will never be perfect. I doubt I "have it all together" more than any of you ladies. I'm a young wife and soon-to-be-Mom with a lot to learn and improve about my character, attitude, skills, abilities, organization, planning, and anything you can think of. What I write on my blog rarely conveys my everyday frustrations; instead, I try to focus on the more profound, lingering satisfaction of being a wife and having my own home to tend to. It doesn't mean that I always hop around sweeping the floors with an enthusiastic smile on my face, but I do love my home.

Yes, sometimes I groan when I notice the sink loaded with dishes just when I was about to take an afternoon nap. Yes, sometimes I'm still in the frenzy of cleaning and cooking when my husband comes home, because I've been too tired during the day, and wasted too much time. My life doesn't consist entirely of peaceful bliss, but I do love being a wife and a keeper of my home. The solution isn't running away from home to leave it neglected, just because we are frustrated by the slow and tedious process of making it into the cozy nest we want it to be.

Also, when I talk about the beauty and peace of home, I'm often told, "Oh, just wait until you have that baby! You'll never have a peaceful moment again! You will never be able to spend time together with your husband, or enjoy a quiet dinner together, or do any of the things you love."

As we haven't had our baby yet, it's indeed difficult for me to predict what will happen when this little one joins us, but I can already tell you this: I don't expect we'll have a baby who smiles and coos all day, lets me know she's hungry or needs her diaper to be changed by gentle, delicate sounds, and sleeps throughout the night from the moment she is born. Little ones do keep Mom on her feet, and need, at least for a while, lots of undivided attention. Having a baby will produce a shift in our schedule, availability, mobility, plans, routine, and family dynamics. And yes, from observing other Moms with young babies, I expect that for a while we'll feel as though everything else is put aside. I pray for a gentle, patient and contented spirit to help me be a good mother, but I absolutely cannot guarantee I will never be frustrated or exhausted. Most likely I will be, at least at some point.

However, seasons change. I suspect it might be a bit difficult to look a couple of months ahead after you've just had a sleepless night with a colicky or teething baby, but undeniably, everything comes and goes. Babies eventually start to eat less frequently and sleep in longer stretches. They grow; the older children help around the house and with new little ones; the entire family network is dynamic - it shifts, changes, adjusts, and from more experienced Moms I've heard the advice that it's better to just let go, and go with the flow of whatever needs to be done at the moment.

I'm sure I will never be "Mrs. Perfect Mom". I can already say this with a good degree of certainty, because I'm merely a woman, flesh and blood, a faulty human being. Perhaps many evenings in the near future will include burned dinner, unanswered phone calls, and a crying baby. However, if some peace and stability are eventually to be achieved, where will it happen if not in the realm of home? Will I gain freedom, contentment and peace if I give up the care of my home and tiny baby over to someone else, and instead run around frazzled all day at an outside job? Somehow, I seriously doubt it.

I'm not perfect, just as none of us is perfect. Our family is as real and has as many real-life faults and challenges as you can think of. This journal is of my dreams, hopes, plans, and moments I like to remember and cherish. I'm on an ongoing journey of learning and improvement, and sometimes it feels as though I take two steps forward and one step backward. But as long as I keep it real and preserve, the rewards are sweeter than I could ever have imagined.

Mrs. Anna T.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Pro. 31:27


At May 3, 2009 at 6:54 PM , OpenID debylin said...

Danielle,this was very good. Really puts things into perspective. I like how honest she is about things and how how she try's to keep it real.

At May 4, 2009 at 7:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this Danielle! Brings back pleasant and challenging memories and somehow motivates me to again focus today on what I started to focus on yesterday until I saw weeds amongst the asparagus and raspberries that diverted my afternoon efforts to them....that is, getting my garage sale organized for this weekend! Thanks for this motivating post! God bless you, Danielle.


At May 15, 2009 at 7:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, Danielle. It really applies to me and my struggles in this time of life. With a toddler and a baby I am in a constant struggle to find balance between keeping our home and training the children.

Thankfully I have a Mr. Visionary husband who is able to remind me that training the children is much more important than having clean counter tops and a perfectly organized closet. :).

~Shannon S.~

At September 2, 2009 at 7:36 AM , OpenID onbigturtlecreek said...

I think this applies no matter what stage of life we are in. You'ld think, though, that now that I have grandchildren I'd have it together. :) Some of the best advice I've gotten came from my beloved husband who's gone from home most of the month. He said, "You should always be prepared because you never know when I might come home." Hmmmmmmm, I gotta work on that.



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