It’s funny how the urge to write ebbs and flows like the ocean tide in its own beautiful rhythm.
I am feeling very good lately. Not giddy. Just peaceful and content, in some everyday life sort-of way. The kind of even-keel mood I always thought was unattainable for me without Prozac.
And it’s good. It’s all good.
Today was a milestone, of sorts, for me and my relationship with my former husband. He came by to pick something up, and I was on my way out. He said hello to the daughter who was leaving with me, then went to the door to say hello to the others. The boy was sick on the couch after throwing up all night last night (that has to be the absolute worst part of parenting, in my opinion), so I yelled for him to go on in, because I knew Joey wouldn’t make it to the door.
He looked very surprised, but took me up on the offer.
Now, this was important for at least a couple of reasons. One was that I don’t really trust him. I’m trying to get back some basic level of it, because I think it makes things nicer between us. But the other reason has to do with my housekeeping insecurities. I used to get lectured a lot about that, but he will never know what it’s like to clean up full-time on a regular basis after anyone but himself, who’s always at work or on the golf course, anyway.
It only bothered me a little that the house is a disaster area. I always think one day I will clean it, and keep it clean, and then I can invite anyone over any time, without embarrassment. How many years have I been saying that?
Truth? I’m not such a good housekeeper. I’ve seen worse, but I’m really not anywhere close to the June-Cleaver-type.
I wonder how many of us are out there – the everything-appears-perfectly-normal-on-the-outside
but-my-house-is-a-wreck-and-I’m-ashamed people. Not people – women. Because it seems to be okay for a man to be a slob. Sorry boys, but we expect it. Not so for the ladies. We should know better. We should do better.
My former father-in-law’s abusive words to me during the divorce process still ring in my ears every time I clean my toilets. Millions of women across America keep clean toilets, Lisa, why can’t you? What’s the matter with you?
And I wonder… am I really the only one? Does that make me a bad person? Does it make me “less than” simply because I have dust on the furniture and piles of paper on every available surface?
I have spent years trying to “get better.” I have tried every organization plan in existence to try to “get my act together.” And please don’t tell me about FlyLady, because as dear as I think she is, even her system only helps just a little bit.
Is it okay to just accept that it’s not my forte? I mean, as long as my kids have clean clothes and can find their beds to sleep, is it really so awful? Does it make me a horrible mother?
I don’t know… today I really feel more accepting and tolerant of it. Of course, I think I will always try to have a neater, cleaner house. Just like I will probably always try to have a leaner, more fit body. But self-acceptance must come at some point.
Maybe today was a start. 🙂