June Cleaver. Housewife extraordinaire. Perfectly put together in every way, and always ready with a witty, but wise, statement for her kids and husbands’ mistakes and sticky situations. Pearl necklace and all, she is the ultimate stay-at-home mom.
And the ultimate source of my jealousy.
I know she is just a TV personality and that all of those witty statements were well-thought-out and written for the show. And that someone else did her make-up and her hair, picked out her wardrobe, and carefully ironed it for her everyday. I know that June Cleaver, the June Cleaver on TV, doesn’t really exist.
But I am afraid that I compare myself to her, or the idea of her, nonetheless.
I strive for perfection and doing things well all of the time. Keeping up with the household chores, the kid, the socializing, the budget, the shopping, and having dinner ready every night are part of the things that stress me out. But everyone says that stay-at-home moms should not worry about these things.
“It’s not worth it,” they say.
“Let it go, you can’t do it all,” they say.
“You still need to do something for you.”
“You and your husband are most important.”
“Your kids are most important.”
“Who cares if your floors are dirty?”
I’m not sure June Cleaver is the most attainable goal. But I’m not sure I want a disaster zone of a home, where the world revolves around my kids, as my goal either. There has to be a balance, and a healthy one.
My family needs to know they are important to me. But it is just as important that they learn boundaries, and a level of self-sufficiency – I won’t be around to do it all for them all of the time. My husband needs my attention and support sometimes too, but I also need sleep in order to give that to him. I need to take time for me, but sometimes I need to sacrifice that (the world doesn’t revolve around me either) and give time to someone else.
And I don’t think it’s wrong to have June Cleaver as my guide and idol. I do want to be like her. Well-composed, and handling stressful situations like it’s nothing. What is so wrong about that? But perfection is never a good thing to be concerned about on a daily basis, because we can’t achieve it. We can and should strive to always do things the very best that we can, but we cannot fault ourselves when we aren’t perfect.
So what is the balance?
When do I give up me, and when do I make everyone else wait? If you’re wondering whether I have an answer for you, I don’t. I’m still on this journey myself. And it is a journey. I’m learning everyday to give up some things and invest more in others. But that is all part of being a mom, and part of being human.
We learn from our mistakes, and use them to shape us into who we want to become. And I am never satisfied with staying the same, because I don’t know it all, so how can who I am be the best possible version of me?
I am not perfect. I’m no June Cleaver, but that’s okay for now.