I must live an extremely sheltered life because, honestly, I’m just shocked that there are women today who base their self worth on their weight, how often they are available for sex, how clean their houses are kept, and how advanced their children are.
I have news for you. There is always more work to be done. If you judge yourself by external standards, you will never measure up. Nothing you do will ever be enough.
I only have one life.
I’m not willing to spend it in an endless cycle of resentment and drudgery. I’m not willing to subject my family to the unhappiness and disappointment that would follow if I tried to live up to someone else’s list of standards.
I have a lot to get done each day. There are animals to feed, children to educate, meals to cook, soap to make, yarn to ship, errands to run….
I never get everything accomplished.
And I never will.
I only have this one lifetime, but I refuse to judge myself. I refuse to entertain society’s expectations about what it means to be a wife, a mother, a woman.
My kitchen is a wreck due to a late-night soap making session and too many meals.
It was a wreck yesterday too. I could have cleaned it. I had the day off. Well, I was off once I fed and watered animals, fed the baby goats their bottles, milked, and made cheese. The point is – I had plenty of time to clean the kitchen, but I didn’t.
Instead, I spun two new skeins of yarn and watched movies with my five year old and let the new lamb play in the house and enjoyed a glass of wine. I’m not ashamed.
I only have this one lifetime. I can’t do it all.
A marriage where you are judged by your appearance and your ability to clean is no kind of marriage, and a childhood where you are valued for your academic progress and sports prowess is no kind of childhood.
I may be experiencing some middle age spread to my waistline.
I may have a kitchen that looks like a tornado went through it.
I might even have let the kids play hooky and stream an entire season of TV, but you know what? I’m happy.
My husband feels valued and knows that I am always here to listen and support him.
My children are happy and enjoyable. My adult children are accomplished, and they like themselves.
Every once in a while, someone will tell me that the happiest memories of their childhood were spent in my messy house where people are free to be creative, take risks, and be themselves.
This morning I am going to the feed store and out for Mexican food with my family. Afterwards, I may clean my kitchen, but if I do, it will be because I have the time and cleaning the kitchen is what I choose to do with that time. It won’t be because a clean kitchen makes me a better wife or a more valuable woman.
I won’t give the smallest amount of head space to impossible, superficial standards of self-worth.
And I’m not ashamed.
Genevieve–is a former public and private school teacher who has five children and has been homeschooling for the past thirteen years. In her free time she provides slave labor to Dancing Dog Dairy, making goat milk soap and handspun yarn, which can be seen on Our Facebook Page and at Dancing Dog Dairy .