Friday, February 11, 2011

I Am Not a Domestic Goddess

During the time I've been a stay-at-home mom, I've struggled with trying to live up to expectations. Are they my expectations of myself, or society's expectations of me? I'm not sure, but I'm also not sure it matters which it is. Either way, I've fretted about living up to certain expectations, and I have especially fretted over feeling like I'm failing.

I remember my last semester of college, sitting in class and dreaming about finally being able to be home with my son full-time. I was excited about spending more time with him, of course, but I also had visions of accomplishing so many other things. A perfect house! Homeschooling! Scrapbooking! Candle-making! Baking! Cooking everything from scratch! Making my own jewelry! Yes, I was going to be Homemaker Extraordinaire! A regular Domestic Goddess!

You can laugh. For that matter, I am laughing... but only a little. Because to be honest, I am still trying to live up to these kinds of expectations of myself.

I sometimes feel like, in other people's eyes, this is the perfect picture of the stay-at-home mom. Someone who is endlessly patient with the children, who keeps a wonderfully clean and perfectly decorated home, who is always cooking and baking, who is creative and crafty.

And some people are all those things, and they are great at it! I'm just... not. I don't like to cook, and I only occasionally like to bake. My attempt at homeschooling went awry very quickly. I spend too much time online. My home is rarely perfect, and even when it is, it doesn't last long because I am home with a toddler. As for being crafty... meh. I like the idea of it, but I rarely have the patience or dedication for it, or the money. I do have interests and talents, but they aren't of the baking and crafting variety. I love to read and write, I am interested in personality theory, psychology, counseling, sociology, and spirituality. I want to go back to school for a master's degree, and in a few years, I want to start a career.

For a while, I was reading several "mom blogs" and I finally had to cut way down on the number I was reading. They were reinforcing these expectations I was putting on myself. Lots of cooking, baking, crafting, homeschooling, and so on. No offense to moms who happen to blog about those things; if you love it and are good at it, awesome! The issue I'm having is totally me. I was putting pressure on myself and telling myself I was a failure for not being all those things I was reading about.

So where does that leave me? Am I a failure if I let go of these expectations? Or am I finally succeeding at accepting myself for who I am? And to address the question from my last post, do I know who I am outside of being a mom? I think embracing my own talents and interests is a step in the right direction.


  1. I agree. I think that is a step in the right direction. Do you plan on having a garden again this year? You really seemed to enjoy it last year. I'm planning on another one myself. So excited. :)

  2. As our preacher once said, "Church activities are like a buffet. There are a lot of different things to choose from. You don't eat one of everything at a restaurant because you don't have enough room in your body and not every dish appeals to you. So you shouldn't feel guilty when you aren't at church every time the doors are open for something because there is not time or energy to do it all. Pick the things that appeal most to you and give them the priorities."

    I think the same thing applies in life. We have different interests - - - at different seasons of our life. There are things I did years ago - - crafts, etc. - - - that I don't care about now. You are probably getting ready for a new 'season'. God allows us some some discontent so we will be ready for the next step HE has prepared for us.

  3. I am far from the domestic goddess, and the gap between the mother/wife I had imagined being, and the mother/wife I turned out to be caused me much heartache and problems. I thought I was a failure. I wasn't, I am just different. I don't bake often, my house is never spotless, I can't decorate, and I hate scrapbooking! But my kids are loved, my house is full of love, joy, and laughter.

  4. "my kids are loved, my house is full of love, joy, and laughter."
    C'mon over.

  5. The last line of your post-fo shiz. I think you're dead-on accurate there. :)

    I have to constantly be creating something, or else my head might literally explode, but I absolutely agree that it's not what makes me a good mother. What makes me a good mother is getting up in the morning, doing the best I can do that day (however that plays out), going to bed, and getting up and doing it all over again.

    Everything else is just personality icing. Love it the core. Right on. <3