14 January 2010

The Mommy Image

I had an idea, midst Laundry Moutain, about what it means to keep up this image. How we, as mothers and women, strive to be a little better than a "good mom".

We do it in different ways. Some go out of their way to perfect the Thanksgiving Turkey. Another makes it a point to vaccuum every other day. My mother's laundry never piles up, and my grandmother's house could pass any "white glove test". I think I may still be developing mine.

But where do we get these images?

Many women worry about their appereances, especially the younger crowds. We get size 5'8" models in a size 0 dress with expensive size 6 shoes. All of which is available for sell in that size range. Magazines dripping with tiny, gorgeous, kept actresses and stars. The same even go for commercials aimed at us. The image portrayed is a cookie-cutter mom with a tasteful sweater, well-done hair, glossy nails and perfect teeth.

It's the image we get on how to "play house", or rather... be a "work-in-home" mother, that might be a little more frightening. The ones from magazines like Better Homes and Gardens or Southern Living, those images that grind into our psyches - that we must have freshly painted walls, sparkling kitchens, gleaming refrigerators and pantries with clean lines.

None of those "mommy images" show the occasional sink full of dishes (because someone forgot to unload it per request) or the 3 laundry piles in 2 different rooms, each a foot tall. They can not see my SUV's floormat montage of crayola madness (gorgeous, really), the 8 pairs of mismatched socks and 50 receipts.

We have to learn to accept we are the average, the "norm" for what other actual moms are doing out there. The ones that have weekly meltdowns about the sheer number of toys throughout the house. Moms that request the take-out meal (read: fast food) because they simply can't find the desire/energy/ingredients. Those of us that let the pre-schooler "help" put away the laundry, even if that means you might not finish before bed.

3 comments:

  1. these days I'm just happy to say we've had baths and brushed teeth! lol

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  2. I quite prefer my "normal", less-than-status-quo mothering abilities. To hell with those kept women and their button-up sweaters. What matters most to my child is my undivided attention and my willingness to see the world through his eyes... and, really, what matters most to me is exactly what makes him happy. To that, I'm successful...headband or no headband.

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  3. I will never have a magazine worthy house (unless it's the 'before' picture, lol) and I am OK with that!

    The only standards that actual matter are the ones set forth by the bible. While I am sadly lacking in some of those, I certainly have stopped worrying about the standards put on us by the world (or other mothers, as the case may be).

    And we count it a good day if teeth are brushed...baths are optional! :0)

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