I admit, I’m not supermom. Or superwoman. Or super anything. I’m just tired. Really tired. Probably not anymore tired than any other working mom, but I’m finally admitting it. So I’ve asked for help. (Ouch, did I just say that out loud?) I’m sitting in my basement, on a day off, organizing the basement, wrapping gifts, checking my work e-mails, and apparently, blogging as well. OK, so I’m not doing it all at once, but I’ve started a bit of everything.
But upstairs, there is a wonderful professional housecleaner taking care of business. What an odd, yet somewhat liberating experience. For the past twenty minutes or so my Dyson has been singing across my floors. I can hear the steam mop dancing across the floors now. Apparently, my cleaning supplies are completely comfortable letting someone else handle them. Who would have thought? I feel lighter. Freer. In control of all the other things that still have to get done for the holidays.
Lately my kids have been going through a dada phase. Dada has to get them dressed. They have to sit on dada’s lap. Dada has to make the chocolate milk. I have to admit, it hurts a bit. That’s what mama is for. And when I offer to “help” dada out, the kids throw a fit that he’s not doing it.
I take pride in taking care of my kids and family. It’s hard to juggle it all, but I get a real sense of satisfaction from feeling like I’m “doing it all”. Dropping and picking up the kids, getting the kids stuff ready at night, getting them dressed, getting them bathed, keeping up with the house, making dinner, and working. So much pride, that asking for help is nonexistent in my world. That would be like admitting defeat. And how odd that I’m just now noticing that “I get a sense of satisfaction” because “I’m doing it all”. I can’t possibly even try to pretend that “it’s best for my family” or “my kids are better cared for” or “it’s the way it should be”. No, it’s a self-created neuroticism that drives me to this state of “yes, I can”.
I think that much of this is instinctive for a mom. I am sure that I can find some historical/evolutionary context if I really wanted to. Let’s face it, whether you work or not, you find yourself trying to be the center of it all, the coordinator of the family, the master of ceremonies. It’s really hard to take a step back and realize that help is ok.
My husband has come to terms with the fact that I will not ask for help. Even when he proactively offers, I refuse. “I’ll do the sippy cups”, he says to me, trying to be helpful. “No, I got it – no problem,” I refuse. He now just inserts himself where he thinks I need it – whether it be an extra hand with the sippies, picking up the kids a few days a week, or getting the kids dressed in the morning. What is it that makes us moms feel so self-righteous in pretending to be supermom? What are we trying to prove? Seriously!
Anyhow, I’ve decided to give up. At least for today. My floors will shine, my appliances will gleam, and not a speck of dirt will be found on the baseboard. And I will be happier, more centered, and ready for family time this evening. And that has to be a good thing.
Now…about that mess in the basement…and the gifts that need wrapping…and are there some work things I forgot to clear up…and what’s on my shopping list? OK, baby steps ; – )