Monday, August 9, 2010

Are You Going to Wear THAT?

There was a time when I would think about what I was going to wear more than five minutes before I had to put my clothes on. There was even a time when I would sometimes change my clothes simply because I didn't like the way they looked on me at any given moment. Those days are gone.

Today, I decide what to wear based on three things:
1) Is it clean?
2) If it isn't clean, is there at least no obvious spit up marks or stains?
3) If there are stains or spit up, will it be covered by another item of clothing I'll be wearing?

I know I have lost at least three friends by posting this. Okay, maybe our friendship isn't ruined, but they will be spending a lot less time with me in public.

It's not that I don't care about my appearance. I do. I actually care a lot about my clothes and what they say about me. It's just that I don't care about my appearance as much as I care about other things. Like coloring with my daughter. Or getting my son to smile at me just before he spits up on the last clean shirt I own.

So many moms will tell you how busy they are, and that they "just don't have time" to do certain things. I am about to let you in on a big mom secret: this is not true. They do have time.

Oh, it's not that they are liars, but what they mean is that they don't prioritize certain things. I could look just swell, and have a perfectly clean home - if I wanted to. (Okay, maybe the "clean home" part is a bit of a stretch, seeing as how I have a small tasmanian devil that follows my every footstep, flinging toys, food, shoes, clothing and anything else she can find in the wake of my cleaning up.)

Moms have many jobs, but the number one job of a SAHM is not to be a perfect housewife. She stays home so she can raise her children. If she wanted a perfect house, she'd ship her children off to boarding school so she could focus on the umpteen million other things that women have to do, like being a wife, cook, menu planner, house cleaner, laundry expert, personal shopper, and all the other things required to run a home. This is also why moms who work outside of the home frequently use every convenience they are able to afford, including eating out, housekeepers, dry cleaners and anything else that will save time. Because we all prioritize our children over the mundane daily tasks that steal our attention and require our time.

So, sometimes my clothes will be a little wrinkled. And you may find a stain peeking out from under my jacket. My nail polish may be chipped a little (okay, a lot), and I may not have any make-up on. But that's okay. Today, I saw my daughter flash a smile that would make the cover of Parenting magazine. My son thinks I'm beautiful no matter what I'm wearing. My husband, bless him, still finds me desirable. Today the sweet sound of laughter filled our living room when daddy was playing peek-a-boo with Gracie, and Mark got the giggles watching his sister run from one end of the room to the other. I read "Goodnight Moon" to my daughter, while she snuggled up as close as she could get and squealed with delight when she found the little mouse on each page.

In just a few short months, I will no longer have spit up on my clothing because my son will no longer be nursing.

In just a few short years, my clothes will no longer have jelly stains from chubby little fingers that couldn't wait to be cleaned before giving me a hug.

I know that all too soon I will be left with a closet full of clean, wrinkle-free clothes, and only the memories of my children clinging to me with affection.

So if you see me at the store, and when I turn to leave there is a white spot of spit up on my left shoulder, and a perfect little peanut butter handprint on my hind end, just smile and think, "There goes a mom."


Tracey said...

There's a mouse on every page? Wow. You're right. I need to prioritize better.

Not Blessed Mama said...

Well said!