Identity

“I did not get a Master’s degree in housekeeping!” I stormed at Frank as we argued over how precious weekend time would be spent. I don’t mind doing daily and weekly housecleaning myself, but sometimes it’s a two-person job. I wanted to spend Saturday morning doing some post-Christmas chores as well as some neglected-during-the-holidays household items. Frank, after a long week at work and a post-holiday cold, wanted to hang out, drink coffee, and go to the park with Bea.

This has been one of the hardest parts of staying home. I love hanging out with Bea, reading with her, coloring, and having tea parties. Even on the mundane days, I can see the big picture and realize that we have made the best decision for our family. Frank does a good amount of cooking and, with our new Crock-Pot, I don’t mind preparing a meal during naptime and having it ready for dinner. The cleaning, however, was not something I anticipated being so difficult.

It’s an area where I allow my insecurities about choosing to stay home to flourish. When life is good and I’m confident in my title as “mom,” cleaning the house, doing the laundry, those all somehow fit easily into our weekly routine. When I am feeling unsure about my decision, when I feel that I need a grander title, suddenly having to dust seems like the most demeaning task.

Obviously, this isn’t just about cleaning – we had had similar squabbles before I had Bea, except gender equality was the underlying theme rather than motherhood. The past year and a half, I’ve had to settle in and be comfortable with my role as mother, and to realize that, for this season, it is enough. I know this, but often I don’t feel it, which is when the insecurities arise.

Remembering my One Word for this year, I need to rest in Grace. Grace for myself, when my list of things to do is pushed aside for Lego building and endless tea parties; Grace for Frank as he works hard, struggles to balance life as a husband and father; Grace for my identity as I embrace “just” being a mom.

What parts of your identity do you need Grace? And, more practically: How do you divide household chores with your spouse/partner?

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5 thoughts on “Identity

  1. Hi, Annie

    See, I have the opposite problem. I’m 41 years old and have never been married (or dated for that matter)–a bona fide old fart single. In my world, it seems that people are trying to wrap up my identity in the fact that I am NOT a wife and mom. It’s seen as simply blasphemous to be this old without a gaggle children around. I think society’s pressure to be the “perfect” woman affects us all to the point that we’re never happy no matter what. I’ve been working to change that in my own life.

    1. I know, such a frustrating part of our culture: We are never enough. Am reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly right now, and she talks about how we’ve created a culture of not good enough for women. We need to embrace our Now and own experiences! Working on that with you…

  2. I can totally relate to this, Annie. Thanks for posting and being so honest. I definitely need to give myself grace to “just” be a mom/wife right now (what a precious, invaluable job when I think about it!) Justin and I try to work together on household cleaning. I cook, he does the dishes when he has time in the evening (if he doesn’t work late, etc). I do most of the day-to-day chores and he hits the bigger weekly stuff on the weekends. It’s a balancing act that we are having to continually tweak and discuss. Blessings and grace to you guys!

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