Sometimes, in my weaker moments as a wife and mother, I become envious of all of my friends. I don't get jealous of everything, just the parts that are in direct conflict with whatever is falling apart in my world. They don't take apart the vacuum to try to fix it -- they just go get another one. They don't have to clean peanut butter off of their ceilings -- ever. They are coordinated to do Zumba and yoga and they go to the gym every day. They never walk into church 25 minutes late with snot on the leg of their pants and not a clue how it got there -- their kids are in cordinating outfits, well-rested, with Bibles in hand. Their houses are clean, their kids are well-behaved, and their husbands coach little league.
I have a friend who is the mother of 2 little kids and about a size 4. She's that friend whom, although I love her, she seems to have it all together and can wear a flour sack and still look adorable, which makes the green-eyed monster in me rattle his cage. She and I were discussing this fact the other day, and she said "Oh, I get so busy sometimes that its often mid-afternoon before I realize that I have forgotten to eat!" Now, her attempt in saying this to me was to illustrate that she doesn't have it all together despite how it may appear.....this is not what I got from it. There are many things that I forget to do -- I forget that there are clothes in the washing machine and they sour, I forget that my kids were supposed to take something to school, I forget that I needed to pay a bill, etc. But I NEVER forget to eat. Ever. I may forget that I already ate, and eat again, or I may forget that I was going carb-free this week and eat a sandwich, but I have never in my nearly 37 years of living forgotten to eat all together. I liken this ability to forget food to those people who say that they are "addicted to running." If I were addicted to running and could forget to eat, I would not be in a constant battle with my bathroom scale. The only way I could become addicted to running is if I were also addicted to being chased by scary clowns with bloody knives and fangs. Seriously, I'd rather get arrested than run from the cops.
I have another friend whose husband is OCD. She keeps her house spotless despite the fact that she has 2 kids and works part time. She says its because her husband insists on it, but I don't think that Gary "insisting on it" would result in anything other than me laughing at him. I have OCD. I also have 4 kids. This is how my OCD works: I set out to clean the toilet in the hall bathroom. Nothing too ambitious, gonna just accomplish this one simple thing. Then my OCD kicks in. I think "Why would you clean the toilet if you aren't going to clean the tub and the sink? And why would you clean the tub, sink, and toilet if you aren't going to clean the floor? Why would you clean the floor in the bathroom if you aren't going to clean the floors in the rest of the house? I mean, you're just going to track dirt in from every other room. But before I can clean the floors, I have to pick up all the crap that is on them and put it away. And organize it. And some of that "stuff" on the floor is laundry. And why would you clean the floors before dusting? I'll never get all of that done, I wonder what's new on Facebook...." Every once in awhile, I get focused on cleaning and actually accomplish something, but I have to put my virtual blinders on. Gary will come home and say "I thought you said you cleaned all day?" And I'll say "I DID! Did you not see how awesome the inside of the fridge looks??!" Because sometimes, I need to just channel my OCD into ONE project that will take a great deal of time and effort and that usually gets over-looked. It might be the fridge, or the desk, or ONE kid's room, or the garage, but it takes all day and that particular corner of my universe will look amazing for at least 30 minutes or so before someone realizes that "one of these things is not like the others" and messes it up. Generally I keep my house clean enough to ward off 6 legged invaders and keep everyone from getting sick. Clorox Ready Wipes and a can of Lysol are my best friends. My life IS a Swiffer Wet-Jet commercial. And I daily prove that there are things that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser cannot erase.
Finally, I have a friend who home schools her kids and makes or grows all of their food from scratch -- no boxed, processed, or pre-made foods. I have no idea how this amazing woman is still sane. Her kids never wore disposable diapers, never ate a Pop-Tart, and don't watch TV. They are all incredibly advanced for their age -- walked early, talked early, read early, etc. They are NOT socially awkward or introverts, but highly intelligent and play well with other kids. She never judges other moms, but she does try to keep us informed about things. Some of the stuff she has shared about certain foods or products has caused even me to forgo their convenience for something that doesn't cause cancer or brain damage. I would love to be able to criticize her, even sarcastically, but usually I am just in awe. She searches for local dairies to buy raw milk, feeds her kids well-balanced meals and snacks, and uses homeopathic remedies. Meanwhile, I'm usually trying to figure out if the ketchup and pickles on my kids' cheeseburgers constitute a vegetable serving and if their pudding for desert counts as a milk.
My friend's are awesome. They lift me up when I'm down, they tell me that my version of normal seems fine to them, and they call me a "hero" or a "super woman" when that is the last thing I feel like. They make me want to be better at everything -- better wife, better mom, better woman. They completely understand that sarcasm is the way I deal with my own inadequacies and they don't take it personally when I tease them about the things that they are better at than I am. In fact, my very best friends will listen to me recount some horror story about a mess my kids have made and then say something like "Well, just spray it with Lysol" because they know that I probably already have and that I welcome their sarcastic judgeyness from time to time -- it keeps me humble.