Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Imperfect Perfection.

When we were first married, I was on the job hunt and Husby was mowing lawns before he went to work as a Forensic Scientist. For a solid 2 months, our sole income was that of his mowing gig. I stayed home and applied for jobs, interviewed for jobs and prayed a lot - for a job. But when I wasn't doing those things, I was living my dream as a stay-at-home wife. And LOVING it.

Our little apartment never had a chance to get dirty because I was like June Cleaver on steroids, dusting and mopping and scrubbing and organizing. I was a total freak about vacuum lines and if we were expecting company, I insisted Husby walk around the perimeter of the room so as not to mess up my vacuum lines. I had a notebook of our budget that I wrote in religiously. I made the bed (WITH the dozen pillows) every morning and I showered and put on my make-up every day, though I didn't always go somewhere. I cooked a giant supper every night with 2 or 3 sides, even though it was just the two of us. And I often had a dessert waiting to be devoured.

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(Our apartment at Christmas.)

I vividly remember standing in the middle of the living room, ironing a table cloth so that supper would be nice and inviting when Husby came home. I always put out candlesticks on the table and played dinner music ... almost every single night!

The laundry basket was always empty and the house smelled of macintosh apples, courtesy of Yankee candles. Our tiny, cozy apartment was my new territory and quite frankly, I dominated it.

And then ... I got a job.

Slowly but surely, the dust began to settle, the bathtub had rings, the cabinets were in disarray, the carpets hadn't seen a vacuum line in ages and don't even think about the dinner table donning a table cloth. We were lucky if I threw something in the crock pot! My priorities had changed and my energy was zapped at the end of the day. My home reflected that and it made me crazy.

I cried on a weekly basis because of the mountains of laundry we had ... and the lack of space we had to store anything. I often thought back to my short stint of homemaking and couldn't wait to get back to it. I felt like I wasn't giving all I had to being who I truly wanted to be and the things I desired to do, and it was very frustrating. I was doing what I needed to do (work outside the home) at that point in our lives, but my heart wasn't in it. My heart was at home ... dreaming of home cooked meals and a baby.

Later down the road, after we reached several goals and life plans, the baby became our reality and I was finally able to live out my dream. At home. Creating a peaceful nest and nurturing the ones I love. The other night as I stood in the kitchen balancing the pots on the stove and the dishes in the oven all while tripping over dinosaurs and soccer balls, I started laughing and reminiscing to Husby about the first few months of marriage.

The thought of ironing a table cloth without the prospect of guests now seems absurd ... and candlesticks? They only come out for special occasions. Oh, and our "dinner music" is now Levi screaming his ABC's or the Itsy Bitsy Spider in between bites. :)

Our days now do not resemble at all the perfection of that little apartment - there are always toys strewn about, a load or two of laundry in the hamper and always a closet that needs cleaned out. But whenever I'm frustrated or just worn from the daily grind of home making, I always think back on those sweet little days of "practice". And I pray for a bit of the same enthusiasm I had years ago, but with realizing that my priorities are totally different than they were then.

All I had TO do was clean, organize and cook. Now, I have much bigger and better things to fill my day. And if that means the laundry sits while I read books to Levi - so be it. If the dishes sit in the sink after supper while we play outside as a family - so be it. If vacuuming is put off another day because I'm playing Super Weebie with my boy - so be it. THESE moments are the desire of my heart. The house may not always look like it did back then and our dinners may not be candle lit, but my home has never felt more warm ... cozy ... inviting ... my home has never felt more like home.

I'm so thankful for those sweet carefree days of old that I cherish with Husby. We look back on them and laugh all the time. But truly, looking back, it feels like I was "playing house". Now, I'm actually living it.

Living it and loving it.

Footprints in the carpet, and all.

:)

37 comments:

  1. I love living it! That is a great way to put mommyhood.

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  2. I love it!! I used to iron my table linens too. The other day I made a point to TELL my 3 1/2 year old what an iron was because I was pretty sure she had never seen one before...lol :)

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  3. I can totally relate! I am not working outside the home, but with our little 8 month old boy all I have time for is the basics!

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  4. Oh, and at this exact moment, we don't even OWN an iron! LOL

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  5. What a beautiful post! I couldn't agree more.

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  6. What a lovely post! All things happen in God's time for sure! :)

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  7. That is exactly how I feel! We are in the "I have to work full time, but I can't wait to stay home and have babies" stage. In our world now where it's normal and expected for both parents to work, nobody seems to understand my desire to stay home. They think I'm just lazy. So, thanks. I needed to hear that :)

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  8. I've had some sort of job since the day we got married but I laugh when I look back. Before I had my son there was rarely a paper out of place. Now thomas the train and friends are strewn throughout the house but even in the midst of the chaos I love my life.

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  9. Wonderful post, Whitney! I enjoy reading your blog so much, but I think this is the first time I've commented. Hope you'll visit my blog soon.
    My daughter~in~law, Kari, is Kenny S's cousin. Their whole family is excited about them moving closer to home.

    Smiles,
    Carol

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  10. You're such a good story teller! I'm on a job hunt now and it's not fun!

    Emily http://www.mywordsinterestslife.blogspot.com

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  11. I've never had the luxury to play house-wife but I think I would love it :) I don't have the time or energy to keep the spotless home that I would love to have, and I try hard to deal with it but honestly a messy home drives me insane!! I look forward to the days when it won't... :)

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  12. I like knowing that I'm not the only mama who ignores the chores to play and enjoy my family. I do work outside the home, so I have to make the most out of the time I have with my little guy. My house is messier and things are a bit more disorganized, but I figure that it will get cleaned eventually. But I will never be able to get time back with my husband and son - and that's priceless!

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  13. Amen sista! One of my favorite quotes is to only put off until tomorrow what you are O having left undone forever.

    We arent promised tomorrow, and If today was my last day, I would rather spend it living and making memories. Those dishes, laundry, and even blogging can wait. Life comes first.

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  14. I can totally relate to that! In my unemployment during our first months of marriage, I actually ironed SHEETS! A whole queen-sized set!

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  15. That is hillarious that you would do all of that!!! I can't believe it! But I love this post! So sweet and SO TRUE!

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  16. I'm a new reader and this is a great post! My husband and I are still in the "we both have to work" phase, but I am dying to be able to stay home and take care of my house and my family. My heart is at home and not in my job. Hopefully one day soon I'll be able to live out that dream!

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  17. Beautiful! You certainly have your priorities right...family time before dishes/laundry/whatever. You posts are so encouraging and make me look forward even more to the day when I get to realize my dream of being a stay-at-home mommy.

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  18. aww I struggled with the whole 'perfect image' thing for a while too. Then, when Peanut, came, I got really upset at not doing it all and then got over it. Now if laundry isn't done but Peanut is giggling, I could care less ;)

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  19. Oh God Whitney. You write what I WANT to write. You're just better at it. I LOVED this post from the bottom of my heart. I love that we're living it. Warms my heart for us both.

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  20. This post is so sweet! It is funny how priorities shift and change as we grow and change as a mom, wife, and woman.

    Levi is very lucky to have you as a mom and I know he will appreciate those special moments and memories with you much more than he would a spotless house with vacuum lines! :)

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  21. Great post, Whit. And even better that this is your life, your reality now. I so appreciate the wife and mom you are to those 2 special guys!

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  22. Whitney, you are such an inspiration to me, and have been since day 1 of reading your blog. Thank you for being YOU! :)

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  23. Thanks for sharing this! I had a short stint of being a stay at home wife too and really loved it. Then, after teaching for 3 years, we had a baby and I've been able to stay home. Such a blessing! Things can be crazy and tough a lot of days, but this time is precious to me and your post reminded me to savor these moments!! selphpartyof3.blogspot.com

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  24. Aww sweetest post ever. I'm quite looking forward to my upcoming maternity leave when I can play the SAHM for a year. I'm not sure if it's something Id want to do forever (I couldn't if I wanted to) but it'll be fun for awhile at least.

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  25. So, last night, as we were going to sleep we had to make the bed {we always have to make the bed at night because both our dogs sleep in it during the day, and, let's be honest, it's just never made up}. Anyways, as we were putting the new sheet on the bed my husband looked at me, with a straight face, said, "You didn't iron the sheets like I asked you to". I literally just laughed. He was, of course, joking. Whitney, your passion for homemaking is both challenging and encouraging to me. Thank you.

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  27. Whitney, I can completely, completely, completely relate to this post! I remember how spotless our first duplex was and how there was a candle burning on every surface. Now, candles are put away (and are only on higher surfaces) due to those tiny toddler hands. I often miss those delicious smells of Yankee Candles and the structure of my June Cleaverness...but you are right! That was playing house and now we are living and loving it! Thank you for the inspiration!!!

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  28. Love this post! I think we all of visions of what "mommyhood" or "being a housewife" is but when it really comes down to it, it is not the ironed tablecloths or vacuum lines. It is so much more and even more knowing that things like house chores can wait but the kids and the hubs need attention and enjoying!

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  29. I am ---- close to being in the mommy shoes, and I cannot wait!!

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  30. I was also a neat freak when hubs and I first got married, then we had a daughter and she came first along with work. Now I say a clean house is a sign of a wasted life ;)

    love the entry xo

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  31. Beautiful post. I sooo miss my maternity days with my baby. Enjoy that time at home. I'm excited at that chance again!

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

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