Everything to Everybody (or We’re All Superwomen, Right?)

When I started this blog, the idea was to post three to five times a week. Hubby thought that was a tad ambitious, but I said I wanted it to be alive and consistent. Well, consistency has never been one of my strong suits, and here it’s been a week with no posts at all.

Remember my mom? Being about as coordinated as I am, she tripped over her ottoman and broke her wrist. So for the past couple of weeks, especially last week, I’ve been playing chauffeur, nurse, helper, maid, etc. to my mom.

She has kept me very busy.

That’s what kids are for, right? …to take care of their parents in their old age? I think I read that somewhere. And I hope when it’s my turn to be the one who needs help, my kids will happily and not begrudgingly do the same for me.

Really, I don’t mind that much. We have fun. I mean, I’d run her all over the city three days a week, and relax and love the weekends with Hubby and the kids and pets…if the house and laundry and bills and everything else magically kept themselves up.

But they don’t. I have to find a way to do everything and be everything to everyone who needs me. (Cue the laughter/big sigh/guffaw/head shake/etc. of all those who read this and feel the same way, at the same time knowing it’s impossible, and that we should just cut ourselves some slack.)

I love being with people, and I love to help people, but I also LOVE to be alone. I can’t get any work done if other people are here. I’m too easily distracted. I have to be alone and in the zone. I’m a Mary who loves to just hang out, but with a Martha in my head making me feel guilty for all the work that’s not getting done while I’m being social. (Luke 10:38-42)

Jesus says, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” but I often wonder, if Martha had sat at Jesus’ feet instead of cooking, and in a little while everyone was hungry…what then? They couldn’t call for pizza delivery.

I’m guessing Martha was a perfectionist (and a bit of a martyr) and Jesus was telling her to get her priorities in order, not to be so consumed with making everything perfect to exclusion of fellowship with those around her. The keyword is “Balance”.

Balance sounds good, but my gears take a real long time to shift. Hubby tells me I should do a little of this and a little of that every day. I can see where he’s right, but I don’t operate that way. It takes me so long to get started on anything that once I do, I don’t want to stop. But I’m working on this balance thing.

So here I am, on one of the two days I have by myself at home this week, and I’m putting on the blinders and not seeing the mess to do some writing. And then the plan is to do some cleaning. And some laundry. And some organizing. And some ironing. And some…well, you get my drift.

I need a clone.

Reason #2 or “That’s What Mom’s Are For”

My younger son (I have two.) lives in a condo near the University of Texas campus. For the past two years, he lived in a dorm on campus where they clean everything but your room for you, so I when he moved to the condo I wondered how he’d do at keeping his bathroom clean. The answer is…he just tries not to get it dirty. As a result, the bathroom is neat and uncluttered, but with a nice buildup of bathroom dirt…if you get my drift. So, being a mom, I was anxious to find an excuse to clean it myself, one that wouldn’t embarrass him too much.

My time came when he had to have minor surgery a couple of months ago. He was slightly incapacitated. The roomates were gone. Perfect timing. I’m going in!

When I finished, and the bathroom shone like the sun, I put all the tools I had used under the bathroom sink, so he’d know where to find them when he felt better and could clean the bathroom himself. I asked him if he wanted me to show him how I cleaned it, just give him a quick overview of which sprays and foams go where and what to use to scrub each area.


I guess inhaling the chemicals while cleaning must have intoxicated me slightly. I had visions of him donning rubber gloves and with sponge in one hand and toilet brush in the other, taming his bathroom on a regular basis as he shouts, “This is for you, Mom!”

I realized then that I had ill equipped my boys for the real world of living in a clean environment. I meant to! I tried! “Come on. Let’s clean the bathroom together. You’re going to have to know how to do this stuff when you move away from home.”


I did take them into the bathroom with me a few times, and show them how to do it. Made them clean it themselves a few times, too. And when it wasn’t perfect, I had flashbacks of my mom telling me my attempts weren’t good enough. Ugh.

It’s quite the mental wrestling match trying to figure out how to tell them, “No, see there are still streaks on the mirror, and look at all the cleanser that’s still in the sink. You need to…” without sounding like “It’s never good enough! You’re not good enough!”

And we all know, because we’re all guilty of thinking this; it’s just easier and faster and more peaceful to do the job yourself than to have a family meltdown over a streaky mirror.

So I didn’t teach them the finer points of housekeeping. So their future wives won’t be as happy with me as I envisioned them being when the boys were too little to operate a spray can of bathroom cleaner, and I planned that by the time they were 14 they’d be so good at it, they’d be cleaning the house for me every Saturday. So what?

So that’s reason number two for starting this blog. If my boys don’t know the mechanics of keeping a home spotless, I imagine there are others out there that upon moving into their own space are saying, “I wish I’d listened when Mom tried to teach me this stuff.”

In the future, I hope to cover the ins and outs of cleaning each room, and other homemaking joys and responsibilities, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise. Then, like they do with much that they don’t know, those that seek can find the answers online, here.