Thursday, February 3, 2011

Martha-Stewart Syndrome

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I've gotta share a part of an email from one of my best and oldest friends (the kind that aren't afraid to tell you how it is!) that was both a wake up call and a relief...

"I'm slightly relieved to hear that you're human. I had to quit reading your blog for a little while, and only look at baby pictures because, as I was feeling overwhelmed and like a failure.. you had a newborn, who never cried, and had eliminated processed food from your diet, and were spending only $20 a week on groceries, and making your own furniture, and buying 100% organic, all the while always smiling and being completely in love with your husband...You're amazing :)"

It was a wake up call because I felt terrible that by sharing some things I'm excited and passionate about, I am apparently coming across as a "one-of-those-women" and making someone else feel inadaquate. That is NEVER my intention in anything I do in my life and home or blog.

I really want to view being a stay-at-home Mom as my job and do the best I can. Some days that means making homemade bagels and a big batch of homemade baby food and washing a load of cloth diapers and having a hot meal waiting for my husband in our clean "some" I mean maybe that's happened once in the past 7 months. Probably not exhausted Mommy brain can't think back that far.

Most days though it's just me struggling to survive the day at home with the baby and not go crazy...with both of us in our pajamas all day (both covered in spit up because I just don't care enough to change either), me eating cereal and cheese and crackers all day because I don't have the energy to come up with any real food to eat. The house a toys everywhere, loads of dirty and clean unfolded laundry everywhere, dishes pouring out of the sink, and (if my "perfect" husband isn't on a trip or working a 24/48 hr shift) me and my husband snapping at each other over something involving the baby or the house.

The email was also a relief though because not one of those things my friend mentioned I do is true, and I realized that if my friend thinks I have it all together and a perfect life...then maybe all those other women I think have the perfect life don't either!

I call it the Martha-Stewart Syndrome. For some reason, I think all of us women tend to look at other women and think they have it all together and have this perfect, magical life..with a perfectly decorated, perfectly clean, perfectly organized house, and perfect kids, doing perfect crafts all day, and making perfect meals at night for their perfect husband....and that we need to measure up to and keep up with that!

I'm starting to realize that doesn't exist why do I always compare myself to this mythical woman and make myself feel inadequate on a daily basis??

....just don't think that just because I came to this realization that I'm cured of the sickness! But it's a start!! :)


Brittany Tally said...

Thank you for being real, T! It takes guts! And I totally agree. I think maybe because women as creatures are naturally competitive with one another. We kinda can't help it. Everyone is out to out perfect each other. I am far from perfect and I don't want to pretend that I am. Instead of comparing myself with a seemingly perfect woman, I am going to think how exhausting it must be to put that front up all the time. No one has it all together, and if you think that you do, well congratulations, you are one of a kind!

What I think we need to start doing is stop being so hard on ourselves. I can really beat myself up for being "lazy", not doing this or that, and just not being as productive as I want to be. But what I need to start doing is looking at all the things I am getting done. No maybe I didn't get the house completely spotless, but I do keep the house is decent shape and that is big thing considering it would be so easy to let it fall to shambles. And I somehow manage to stay pretty upbeat and positive considering I have a husband who is never home, and again it would be so easy to fall apart. They may seem like little things at first, but they're really not. Both taking care of an entire household every day and keeping my sanity in check, every day, are big things! Tiffany, you might not get around to getting your kitchen floor polished, but you are raising a child! I hope you out of anyone isn't being hard on yourself. Raising a little person who is completely dependent on you is the single biggest thing you can do it life!

So in summary, I think what we all need to do is stop being so hard on ourselves!

Stephanie said...

Amen, sistas! This is a great post, T. Way to be honest and real. You are both doing an amazing job and I am so impressed with what strong, hard working, dedicated wives and mother you are! Just keep focusing on what you HAVE accomplished and not on what didn't get accomplished that day. There's always tomorrow after all :)

Brittany Tally said...

I call it the "looking in the mirror syndrome". You know how when you look in the mirror your eyes automatically go straight to the things you hate about yourself? You're hair cut you're not happy with, the giant zit on your face, the fact that you look fat in EVERYTHING! Why do we do that? It is so sad. Why can't we look in the mirror and for once think "Wow, I do have a great smile!" instead of "Wow, my butt is huge!"

Why do we have a tendency to focus on all the negative? The things we don't like about ourselves? All they things we aren't getting done?

Here's a challenge I'm leaving for you guys. Next time you look in the mirror focus on one thing you really like about yourself. And don't say there isn't anything! Find at least one thing that you can love and find the beauty in yourself. Then just maybe we will get in the habit of not dreading looking in the mirror. Maybe we will start to look in the mirror and love what we see! Then maybe we can start to look at our lives and see all the things we ARE doing! Instead of everything we're not.

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