Sunday, November 27, 2011

Get Over It, Already

I used to be that girl.
I used to never miss a workout. Never.
Used to always wear the latest and greatest trends.
I used to be up and with it, technologically speaking.
I used to spend Saturday mornings, after my long run- obviously- cleaning and organizing to oblivion. You could have eaten off of my floor, and all closets were straightened. Always.

All that has changed. 

And that's okay, I just have to once in a while get over it, and quit being a freak about who I was and start being great at who I am.

Becoming a mother definitely changed a lot of my priorities, and becoming a mother of more than one child certainly changed what I considered to be acceptable. When we just had Anna, we were living in town. That in itself created a completely different atmosphere and set of expectations. When we had Josie (who is five today, by the way), we had moved to the country, but Joe wasn't farming. Life was still pretty similar to our life in town, just with one more kid and less sidewalks. 

However, add two more kids and become a farmer's wife, and my life of a so-clean-you-could-eat-off-it floor and my never missed workouts completely changed. 

But who cares, really?

Who's keeping tabs on my weekly mileage for running? Who is going to not ask for a plate at Josie's birthday party tonight and instead eat his/her cake off the floor? Do my kids care if I'm trendy and technologically savvy and showered and exercised?


They want our life. They are pleased with the simplicity of it. They are excited about princess bikes, newly purchased gum, and watching Christmas movies on TV. They are excited to spend time with Joe and me. 

Isn't that what we should all be focusing more upon?

I guess since today is the start of the Advent season, I have started to truly reflect on how I am viewing the holidays, which really shows how I view myself and my life as Emily the Mom and Farmwife. I need to get my picture of myself, and who I am, in clear focus, because my children are truly mirrors of me, from the good parts to all of my insecurities. They can sense when I start to lose sight of it. They know when I'm anxious about company coming, as they start to react to my tension. 

However, they don't care how the stockings are hung and whether the bathroom is cleaned and the house is in order. They would rather just be with me even if I haven't done all that I need to do today because I'm their mom.

I need to remember that. 

I used to be a closet freak show, hiding behind layers of perfection. I created an image of being together, which was really just a facade.

However, as of only recently, I have started to embrace Emily the Mom and Farmwife. I have tried to say, "oh well," to a lot of things, and tried to shut up about stuff in my life that isn't how it should be, because, how do I know how it should be? Emily the Mom and Farmwife is happy to fit in when I can long runs, whether it's by myself on a gravel road or pushing a double stroller full of kids. Emily the Farmwife is happy to see muddy Northerners leaving puddles on the porch floor because that means quality time spent with Daddy. Emily the Mom is happy to look nice, even if it's in an outfit I wore when I was still teaching ( guess I shouldn't worry too much about exercising, if it still fits, right? ). 

Emily of today is still a  freak show, just more willing to shed my layers and be okay with my imperfections, as they are a sign of who I truly am.


  1. You are still working out. The physical caring of three children (and a sometimes needy husband) is more than any long distance run because you do it 24/7 and with all your ability. The physical work of living on the farm is pumping more iron than the health club even owns. As to cleanliness, you are taking great care to keep the minds and spirits of those children to the point of immaculate. So cut yourself some slack. You are in better condition than you have ever been in your life.

  2. I too was a town, actually city gal, who was raised to believe that the perfect, everything in its place, house made the perfect wife and mother. I dropped my Vogue lifestyle of the city life and moved to a cattle farm when I met and married my husband. Well, after 22 years of marriage, 3 children (two in University, one in high school) I have realized that the perfect house was not what produced perfect children.

    I laugh when I look back on how self absorbed I used to be with what others would think if my house was a mess, or I was not dressed and cleaned up to perfection. Sometimes that person still rears her frantic head when we have company coming, my kids laugh at me, but understand once in a while I need perfection (never lasts more than a day).

    When you shed the layers, and let your guard down, its is for a good reason - your family. Many times I get asked, "What did you and your husband do to keep your kids on track - they are so focused?". Well . . . its was not the perfect house, believe me, it was time. I gave them as much time as I could, so yes the housework, and the time for me was what suffered - but what did I gain a true sense of PRIDE!

    Take the time to cheer on your kids at sporting events, they don't need to be superstars, just learn the value of teamwork, get them involved, keep them busy. Get them involved in groups such as 4-H, this takes alot of commitment from a parent, but, is so worth it. Teach them how to volunteer, how giving a bit of your time can make such a difference to another. Read their homework, and discuss how they could make it better - an involved parent makes a better student, promote mandatory family suppers as regular as possible. Drop everything when they or your husband wants to chat, it means you mean more to them than your "maid qualities". Yes, time, you have lots to give, the housework can wait. They grow up so fast - Kudos to you - your on the right track!

  3. Love it, Emily! Excellent post:) I agree with everything you said. Really, that's all kids want is there mom to be there.