Sunday, July 13, 2008

My kind of Wonder Woman

***This is an entry into Scribbits Write-Away contest***
***You can find the details to this months contest here***

I had a mom that everyone thought was a Wonder Woman. At least to my child's eyes. She canned, made her own bread, made most things from scratch. Took a woodworking class and built a table, benches, and ultimately an entertainment center. She could sew anything from a tablecloth to an ornate wedding dress. She had a degree in fashion design. On top of which she had six kids. Gave birth to all of us without any meds. Kept her house clean, active at church, got us to our activities. A long time ago, I stopped trying to live up to that.

For a long time, people expected me to be like her. And when I got married and started to have kids, I knew that being that kind of Wonder Woman was not going to work for me. Mostly because the things that got put aside at the expense at doing all these other things.

So, I am not that kind of wonder woman. My home has never been spotless. I have never baked a loaf of bread in my life. I refuse to learn how to sew. I don't care if the bathroom is cleaned perfectly. I don't worry about whether or not the floor has been vacuumed that day.

I have found that there is something better in life. More than having a perfectly clean house, or matching furniture. More than canning or doing all the things that my mother felt were the things she had to do to be a good mom. There IS value in all the things I mentioned, and our talents are so important. But they are not the priority. I would rather that my kids remembered that I was willing to listen and to talk to them. I would rather they knew I loved them no matter what. I would rather have a good relationship with them regardless of their choices in life because I think those types of things matter in the long run. When judgment day comes, we will not be asked if we baked our own bread, mopped our floors every day and always got the laundry done. I think we'll be asked about how we treated people, and what kind of relationships we had. What we spent our time on. If we happily served people around us. If we were willing to set aside the daily stuff for things that were more important. So while I struggle daily to do the things my mother seemed to do without any problem (and can't seem to understand why I cannot/won't do those same things) I work more on my inside. I work on those other things too, but they come as a result of me changing my insides. I want people to see my Wonder Woman-ness in how I relate to my kids, my husband, and those around me. To me, a Wonder Woman is a woman that as her children grow she continues to have a working relationship with them. One that doesn't judge and criticize (not even in her head) from the moment she is with you, to when she leaves. One that you feel safe with. If I can accomplish that before I die, my life will not be wasted.


Scribbit said...

I've felt similar feelings about my role as well--you've put it into words well.

MommyK said...

This is a really great post. Thanks for sharing! I love your blog's new look!

Monica said...

Didn't you just feel great after writing all that? Most people judge a womans value by how clean her house is, can she cook, are her kids clean....yata yata yata. If that's what a "Wonder Woman" is? you can give that title to someone else. I have told Dew that he has to be "better than Superman" because the S-man didn't have kids. At least not in any of the movies I've seen. Wonder Woman has nothing on us though. She never had a hormoneified teenager to try to guide in the right direction. Or the pressures of raising the furtre leaders of the world/church. Terina your kids are great and free thinkers to boot. I think that puts you in the BETTER THAN WONDER WOMAN ranks.

Steve-o said...

Nice post, but ooooh, don't let Sis. Beck see it.

Did you decrease the font size by like 50% in your new layout? I can barely read it without increasing the font size on my own in my browser. Maybe I'm just getting old.

Terina said...

well, i didn't say that i'm not trying to do things that she talked about in her talk. and she never said that our homes had to be perfect. maybe some people assume thats what she meant. but i don't. i'm just saying that there is so much more to being a mother than just vacuuming and making dinner.

Steve-o said...

She didn't come right out and say "perfect", but the things she described come pretty close, if you ask me. In any case, it was pretty controversial to a lot of people. How else would I, of all people, know about it?

I agree with you, though. Being a mother or a wife is a lot more than cleaning the house and hot meals. Those things are nice, though.

emily said...

I've been pondering this same thing just recently.

Nicely said, and well-written. I appreciate your perspective!