Written by Stacey Micklevitz
Messy Marriage Team Member
I bear the burden of being a Messy Married Mom. You know the type. My marriage isn’t always perfect, and my kids aren’t always perfect. Maintaining a fulfilling married relationship with my husband, Bryan is difficult enough on its own. Add two tots to the mix, and the perfection meter always seems to read “not quite …”
My daily routine is so boring that it doesn’t even rate high enough to put on paper. Yet, it’s what makes me happy. I am blessed by an adoring husband who busts his tail to support our family, and I have been given the gift of two beautiful boys who beat the odds to come into this world.
So, why do I feel so … inadequate?
I don’t spend enough time with my kids, OR they watch too much TV.
My meals are not healthy enough, OR I feed them too much junk food.
My house is not clean enough, OR I’m too strict to expect them to clean up after themselves.
The worst: I am more attentive to my boys than my husband, or vice-versa.
The Married Mother bar has been set high. But, where do these expectations come from??
I am torn between being the perfect wife and the perfect mother and knowing that the reality is—I cannot be BOTH, and (*gasp!*) I cannot be either!!
Resources like Pinterest and Facebook can be helpful in providing information on how to maintain a tidy house and healthy relationships, but addictions to such resources (who says I’m addicted??) can lead to feelings of inadequacy.
Disregard the abhorrent slogan: “Stop the glorification of busy!” Thanks for the extra dose of guilt.
I don’t glorify busy—I LOATHE it, but life is busy.
I’ve set boundaries, and I work to maintain some downtime for my family. But, society has its agenda, and we married moms are WAY too hard on ourselves for not reaching some sort of abstract benchmark of adequacy for our families.
One thing I’ve noticed that exacerbates this problem: placing the needs/relationships of our children above those of our spouse.
Aside from the near certain resentment resulting from a neglected spouse, such shifts in priorities create an imbalance in family dynamics. Kids will see that their needs are met before those of mom or dad, and they will demand this routine continues despite the damage it causes. Parents who pour their entire beings into raising their children—largely ignoring each other—will find themselves living with a stranger when the nest is empty.
It comes down to BALANCE: I must work to balance—to the best of my ability—the amount of time and attention I give to areas of my life.
It comes down to LIMITS: I must limit the areas of my life that I will allow to absorb my valuable time and attention.
It comes down to SURRENDER: I must remember—above all else—this life, my husband, and my children are a gift from God, given only for the amount of time that He has predetermined.
When I realize that I am not in control of this life, perfection seems less important.
These principles are measured on personal needs determined by every family.
What works for your family?
photo by Phineas H