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Thursday, August 30, 2007

This Generation of Motherhood

Born in 1972 to a military dad and a domestic mom, I experienced a lot in my short life-different cultures and lifestyles. What most interesting to me was my own mother's unique ability to do 'anything' well.

My mother is the queen of all crafts. She's an artist, who designs her own patterns and creates the most beautiful stained glass art. She's a expert seamstress, who can whip up a valance and drapes in a jiffy or master the complicated art of quilting at it's highest level. She's a master gardener who always won 'best garden or yard' when I was growing up. She's literally trained as a master gardener! She's a whiz in the kitchen, cooking up the most incredible creations you've ever tasted. As we moved to state to state...or country to country, she would learn and perfect every local cuisine.

Her mother before her, my adorable Grama, was a home economics teacher who raised and fed 3 kids and all their friends. Her home was open to anyone who was hungry, and most people always ended up at their kitchen table. They had their choice of eating homemade breads, jams from her own vineyard, and fresh vegetables, which were grown in her own garden, cookies, and real home style cooking. My Grama made all the kids' clothes, cooked all their meals from scratch, and was a medical genius. Her home was immaculate and I often wondered when she had time for sleep. She even went back to get her masters in the 1940's, while raising her 3 children and maintaining the home. She was a truly amazing and loving woman, who had it all together.

I come from a long line of self sufficient, how-to wise, and ingenious women, who did it all.

Then I look around me and see my home, cluttered and crazy, and wonder how I stack up.

I often wonder why I am not just like my mother and grandmother. I feel lacking in the many arts of domesticity. I'm a good cook, but often don't have the time with my full time job...especially since my husband's food allergies/special diet leaves me with little options for feeding my family. So 'if' I had time to cook it would be two separate meals, vs. one for all three of us.

I have so many time constraints that the weekend is reserved for cleaning, so during the week I feel overwhelmed with the prospect of it. My husband's job is so demanding, he's rarely even home. So when he is...his time is dedicated to the outdoor responsibilities. Some days I feel that it's all an uphill battle.

So I choose one thing to do each day...vacuum...laundry...dishes...etc, however these are things I rarely get help with. My husband is really good about doing dishes and taking out the trash, but to see him try to vacuum or dust would be a miracle. He feels he does it all around the house, but he's never here to do it...so I'm not sure how his thought process stacks up evenly on that one.

I have a sewing machine...but do I use it? No...I have good intentions and even have some squares cut out for a T-shirt quilt, which is stacked in my closet. However it's been in my closet for 4 years, and hasn't yet been touched to turn it into the final project. I know I'm not the only mother in today's age that is in the same boat. I read a blog today that confirmed I'm one of at least a few of the same mind.

My mother had two kids, and my grandmother three. I love having my one, and wonder if I could ever handle more. I know they say you always adjust, but I can't fathom the clutter with two kids. I'm on a mission to get clutter control...banish the little toys that have no place...secretly donate the toys which aren't a favorite anymore...and firmly put my foot down when my son wants to drag out more toys out than he's put up. We've been working on the last one for a year now...hopefully it will kick in gear without me asking him.

When I compare myself to the mother's who have come before me, in my family, I feel so minute. Yet I know I'm a very giving loving mom, who has the patience of Job...most days. I adore my son and he knows how loved he is. He helps with the chores, and is responsible for things in our home. I just wish I had it together like my grandmother did and my mother does.

I think I'm missing my Grandmother a lot too today. I've felt her and my Grandfather's presence a lot in the past 3 weeks, so I guess that's what's prompted these thoughts today.

Any other mother's out there with the same thoughts? Or is it just me???
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