After a nap and one too many chocolate chip muffins (and I don't know how many handfuls of leftover Halloween candy) I laid awake last night cataloging my faults. This is typical behavior for me. I am frequently stricken with insomnia. My husband is too, but he deals with it by watching all the DVD extras he hadn't gotten around to viewing yet. He seemed a bit disturbed when I told him that my sleeplessness always comes coupled with crippling anxiety. The only way I seem to be able to deal with this is to write about it. It is the one thing I can do. Sometimes I feel like I am going to burst because I want to do things. I want to sew, make jewelry, sing, paint, garden, not to mention cook perfectly healthy meals in my perfectly clean house, but lack of funds and lack of talent make some of these things impossible right now. But as long as I have words and a tablet to scratch them on there is something I can do.
I am reminded of the great author Madeline L'Engle who told her children they could have a normal mother or they could have her. I have tried for 6 years to be a normal wife and a normal mother. I told myself that when I could manage my household I could finally do the things I wanted to do. I told myself things would change. Things have not changed.
The one thing that has changed is learning to accept myself. That is not to say I am not still striving constantly. But I had to learn who I actually am and stop comparing myself to people who are NOTHING like me.
So, who am I?
My kitchen may be in a constant state of disarray, but it's because I am cooking meals for my loved ones. If you are sick, or you just had a baby, or are in otherwise need of culinary comfort you can be sure I will make something for you too.
I may suffer from open-mouth insert-foot disease, but I can be counted on to keep the conversation going when surrounded my introverts.
My house may be a disaster, but I try to keep my children and myself as clean and well-dressed as I possibly can.
My kids might watch tv, but at least Bugs Bunny is giving them a liberal arts education.
I'm not sure why God chose to give me three beautiful, intelligent, amazing children. I feel I am constantly inadequate to parent them. But I read to them. I cuddle them. I try to answer all their questions. I may be waging a constant war with myself over the things I feel I can't do, but I feel confident that the one thing I will be able to do is raise children with a good moral compass.
Because that is what my darling, messy, eccentric parents did for me.