I have decided my New Year’s resolution this year will be focused on my daughters. For their benefit I am resolving NOT to be the perfect wife and mother.
I mean what kind of a role model would I be if I were the perfect wife and mother? I don’t want my daughters to have the stress of being perfect wives and mothers when they are adults just because I was. Or at the very least, if I’m not the perfect wife and mother, they will have room to improve on my skills, or lack thereof.
So in this New Year I will not keep the perfect house. I will back off on my cleaning schedule and leave some dust and dirt behind when I do clean. I won’t make people take their shoes off when they enter my house and I’ll only vacuum from time to time. The dust will gather until my kids can draw in it and I’ll only dust before we have company.
I will let things stack up on the kitchen table and shove stuff around to making little eating spaces or stack it all on the coffee table. Sometimes when the table is too full, we’ll eat in front of the TV.
Dinner will occasionally consist of subs and chips. I’ll buy three family size bags of potato chips and not care if my family eats them all at once. Sometimes I’ll run out of fresh fruit and veggies and will have to use canned. Or better yet, we won’t have a fruit or vegatables with our dinner meal.
I won’t cook dinner as often, when my kids ask me “What’s for dinner?” I’ll tell them we’re having cereal. Some days I’ll let my husband “cook” (fast food anyone?) I’ll let the milk run out and the cupboards get bare every once in awhile. I’ll leave things off the shopping list so the item has to wait until the next shopping day.
From time to time I’ll wait eight days instead of seven to do the laundry and the kids will have to wash a load of their own clothes if they want clean jeans. Sometimes I won’t take the line dried clothes down and fold them until it’s time to do laundry again. If my kids or husband need to wear them in between laundry days they can go get them off the line themselves. If they complain, I’ll suggest they fold them all themselves (but they won’t). I’ll put off changing the bedding for a month and suggest my kids wash their own sheets.
I will lose track of our schedules and be late to pick them up off the bus every once in awhile. I will get lost in my thoughts and miss the turn to their bus stop a few times a month. And sometimes I’ll run late and have to drive them all the way to school.
I’ll forget their lessons or appointments on occasion and have to reschedule or I’ll just be too tired to go. I’ll make my husband run my kids around just so I can put my pajamas on and stay home.
I’ll let my garden go a bit so it looks a little shabby around the edges. And I won’t mow the lawn until it’s ankle deep. I certainly won’t rake up the mowed grass; I’ll just let it sit on the lawn so dogs and people track it in the house. In fact, I’m not going to water the lawn in the summer.
I won’t monitor my kids’ grades and homework, but I will expect them to do their homework on their own and still get good grades, only offering up moral support.
So those are my New Year’s resolutions – Oh wait. I already do all that stuff. But this year I won’t feel guilty about it. What kind of a role model would I be if I felt guilty about not being a perfect wife and mother?
What we’ll do for our kids.
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to writing about the humor amidst the chaos of a family. You can read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website livingwithgleigh.com.