I’m one of those women who do too much. I seem to recall a book by that title several years ago. I haven’t read it, but I have an inkling about what might be inside.
True, I bring much of it on myself. In addition to working full-time and parenting 85% of the time, I’m busy planning a dish for the holiday potluck at work this week, addressing somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 holiday cards, shopping and wrapping gifts, and trying to keep up with the usual chores. I’ve spent the weekend baking three different types of cookies, corralling the children to cut shapes from the dough and, later, to frost, ice, sprinkle, dip and otherwise decorate the cookies that will become gifts for their teachers. This afternoon, we put together little bags and trudged throughout the neighborhood, delivering sweets and cards to neighborhood friends.
I know full well that, as a single woman, I am not expected to send cards, bake cookies or bring a homemade dish for the potluck. I could skip out on a good share of the “extras” I assign myself, yet it would be hard to let go. I have an extended family who I see rarely. Sending a card and photos once a year seems the least I could do in an attempt to stay in touch.
Like so many people my age, I grew up with a stay-at-home mother. She kept a clean home, made healthy, well-balanced meals, decorated a fresh fir-tree each year and baked cookies and such. Those experiences I didn’t get at home, I acquired through community — cookie baking events, crafts and more. While I’ve chosen to parent differently in many ways, I recall many of my childhood events fondly and want to create similar traditions with my own children.
So, while I am beyond wiped out after a busy weekend, it’s balanced by a sense of motherly accomplishment and peace. No one is likely to compare me to Martha, either, but it’s nice to have a few shining domestic moments.