Friday, February 20, 2015

I don't make my bed...and I am still a productive member of society!

Several months ago, I read at least 4 different articles/blog posts by women about why they make their bed and how that sets the tone for their entire day.  I totally get what they were trying to say, but somehow articles like that can sometimes get under my skin and start to make me feel guilty.  I think women are far too good at comparing themselves to others and feeling like they don't measure up (See the quote just below by President Uchtdorf.)  So this post has actually been simmering in the back of my mind for months.   

 "God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect. Let me add God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not. And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others - usually our weaknesses to their strengths. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

I don't make my bed.  Or at least not very often.  I usually try to make it on weekends.  But Monday-Friday, it doesn't happen.  I get up before my husband on weekdays.  I read for a short while (about 20 minutes...that helps me maintain my sanity).  Then I get myself ready for the day.  Then I cook breakfast, wake my children, feed my family, get us all ready and the younger girls and I leave by 7:45 for school/work.    I work all day (as a teacher), pick my kids up, cook dinner, help with homework, supervise piano/violin practice, escort them to lessons, listen to my youngest read, read to all three, get them ready for bed and tuck them each in.  I am an imperfect mom, but I love my kids and they know it.  I feed them two healthy home cooked meals nearly every day (they usually eat school lunch...we all prefer that!).  I read to them, play with them, talk with them and listen to them.  I lose my temper more often than I would like.  I pray with them.  I teach them.  My kids know they are loved.  Sometimes they tell me I am the best mom ever. Other times, they tell me I am the worst mom ever.  Pretty sure that all comes with the territory.  I try to be helpful and kind to other moms, other women and people in general. I fall short more often than I would like. I read A LOT.  I don't sleep enough.  I try to keep the living room and kitchen clean most of the time...these are the rooms we spend most of our time living in and the two rooms that guests are most likely to see.  So I put my emphasis there.  However, on Saturdays, we all work together to clean the whole house.  I work full time and I think/hope I am a pretty good teacher.  Not perfect. But good. I care deeply about my students and try to give them the best education I can.

After my kids are in bed, I almost always have some house work to do and even more school work to do.  I am not a lazy person. I just put many other things ahead of making the bed. I have friends who always make their beds that are very organized and are wonderful mothers and wonderful women.  I have friends who probably never make their beds and whose homes are lived in ...and they are wonderful mothers and wonderful women.  Ultimately, there are so many demands on our time, that we are all doing a juggling act.  Which balls I choose to juggle may be different than the balls you juggle...either due to choice or circumstance.  And the balls we juggle now may not be the balls we juggle in 5 years or 10.  But in my experience, all of us are trying to juggle our own balls to the best of our ability.  I sure appreciate it when I drop one of my balls (which happens far more often than I would like) when someone helps me pick it back up and helps me get it back in the rotation. It isn't helpful when others notice I have dropped a ball and point it out to me and demean my juggling ability.   

I love this quote:  
When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:
Stop it!  --President Uchtdorf

And this goes for far more than just whether we make our beds/keep a clean home.  This expands to include whether a woman chooses to educate her child via private school, public school, charter school or  homeschool.  (I know well educated children who have used each of these methods...and women who have prayerfully sought how to educate their children who have decided on each one of these methods.  What is right for my child may not be right for yours.  Or even what is right for one of my children may not be right for all of my children.)  This includes moms who breastfeed and moms who bottle feed and moms who do some of both. This includes women with no children, 1 child, 3 children or 8.  This includes women who work and women who stay home. This includes the decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate your child.  (I don't want to start a debate about vaccination.  But I do want to say that people who decide to vaccinate are trying to protect their children, not poison them. And those who choose not to often have legitimate reasons...a prior negative reaction or other reasons.  They are not crazy and their children don't deserve to die because they weren't vaccinated.  That's all I will say on that. I know and love people on both sides of this issue and it isn't as clear cut as many believe.  So can't we choose to be kind and assume that most parents are doing the best they can in their situation?) This includes whether you choose to vote Republican or Democrat or something else.  We can choose to disagree without being disagreeable.  We can help others to juggle their balls even if their balls differ from our own.  If we all chose to be a little kinder, this world would be so much better.  And it isn't even that hard, really.  So make your bed tomorrow morning.  Or don't.  I don't care.  But do hug and kiss those you love and say a kind word to someone you meet.  Because those are the things that really matter.