Friday, February 13, 2009

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree...

This week has been a bit discouraging. Motherhood is wearing me out. And I can't find the time I need in between child-rearing, child-educating, home-keeping, and a working-a-lot-right-now husband to get my bedroom finished. (Sneak-peek at the bottom of this post.)

Misplaced priorities? Check. Selfishly pursuing my own agenda? Check. Wanting to swat away all small children who get in my way? Check.

I want to be June Cleaver. Instead, I wish I had a meat cleaver.

But I was reminded today how the Father's mercies are new every morning.  

My 7-year-old daughter, Blondie, sweetly came to my bedside and inquired about my breakfast plans. When I came out to the kitchen, she had lovingly placed a plate of waffles and glass of soy milk on the table for me.

But that's not all...

She also fixed waffles for Brownie. And Cupcake. And herself.

But that's not all...

She cleaned up the kitchen, hand washing and drying all the dishes.

But that's not all...

She enthusiastically jumped into her schoolwork with an attitude I have not seen in months.

And in the midst of it all, I found this.


I have never instructed her in the ways of to-do lists. I don't know that she's ever seen me make one. And oh, I have made many. 

If to-do lists had magical powers to morph the list-maker into an individual of productivity and effectiveness, I would be leader of the free world. I've even listed tasks I've already completed just for the satisfaction of checking more items off. (Sick and twisted, I know.)

That's because I'm a Wannabe Type A. (Well, a recovering Wannabe Type A.) 

And now I'm afraid she is too.

She has started countless art projects and failed to finish them because something else distracted her. Or she couldn't get it exactly right so she walked away distraught and in tears. Or she had all this creative energy and wanted to do something but she couldn't decide on the perfect project. So she did nothing, paralyzed by her perfectionism. Just like me. 

And I, as her mother, want to protect her from years of frustrating failure and self-loathing due to unfinished projects, unkept schedules, and thousands of wasted dollars on day-timers and organizing gadgets. I want her to accept herself, whether she's organized and focused or free-spirited and easily-distracted.

I want to save her from herself. 

But deep down, I know I cannot.

I'm nearly 36 and I've only recently begun figuring myself out. I've accepted some of my less-than-desirable character traits. I've stopped trying to please every dang person on the planet. I've surrendered to just being me. Not the me I want to be, but the me I really am. 

And while achieving such self-awareness years ago would have saved me (and those around me) much heartache, I know the journey was part of the destination.

It will be for her too. Sigh.

And while I can serve as a knowledgeable guide, she will have to travel her own path...

And she will be better for it. 

Just as I am.


(Sneak peek at the almost-free-and-not-quite-finished-bedroom-re-do. Honestly, I should be jailed for such blatant hyphenation.)

BEFORE (experimenting with art and a color scheme that just wasn't coming together):

AFTER (took out all the color and going for the monochromatic look):


More to come...


  1. Pray. Pray. Pray. It's the best thing we can do for the. But you already knew that.

    It makes me so sad when I see the traits in my children that have caused me problems throughout my life. I don't want them to struggle with the things that I've struggled with. But I suppose struggles are a part of life. At least I can offer some help with these particular issues.


  2. The greatest thing motherhood has taught me is grace. And it sounds like that might be what He's teaching you too. Perfection is so overrated. And it sounds like you beat yourself up at every turn. You are wonderful. I say you are. God says you are. I know your hubbie says you are. And your mom too. Oh, not to mention your three darlings. There, that is 7 people. You can not argue with that. And that is an order!
    You are wonderful.
    You are loved.
    You look like Jesus to me.
    Rest, child, rest.

  3. What's the problem?!? The world's most wonderful seven-year-old completed at least 25% of her to-do list before lunchtime!! I do hope she found time for the "play outside" item.

    Fabulous blog, honey. You are miles (yea, even furlongs) ahead of me, and your journey hasn't been nearly as lengthy as mine. I do so applaud your "let's-be-honest-and-transparent/seize-the-learnable moment" mentality. (I believe I'm beginning to see where you get your hyperhyphenation writing style!)

    Can't wait to see the finished product. I'm referring to the bedroom, not the wonderful seven-year-old or her 35-year-old mother. Like the rest of us, you'll never be finished until your finished!

    MOM (Nana)

  4. Oops! Just realized the typo in the last line. "You're" instead of "your".

    Love you forever,

  5. Hang in there- your bedroom looks fantastic! I really got a kick out of the June Cleaver comment!!!

  6. Marian,
    I love what you have done in your room. Simply gorgeous. You know who would be most proud of you, Norman!!! And by the way, I want you to know that I NEED dates with not only Will, but also with Blondie, Brownie, and what was the other???? Your Old Aunt craves time with them too. So maybe you wont have to use the meat cleaver after all!!!!!! I'm ready to be abused by your little ones, just say the word, OK??!!!!!

    From your loving Aunt Martha

  7. I meant to also tell you. Norman always said that if you get the first 3 things on your to do list done then you have done a good days work. So I wanted to pass that along to you and Mallory.

  8. I can relate to everything you wrote. It is hard seeing my daughter having the same tendencies as I have that have caused me so much grief. Hopefully she will make it through a little smoother than I will.

  9. Hang in there... motherhood is a tough row to hoe sometimes. I love your room! The lack of color is what is so amazing about it. And you have really made up for it with texture in your headboard and bedding. It's really coming together beautifully!

  10. I so understand what you mean...

    This couple of past weeks I have been worn out by motherhood. And felt guilty for feeling that way. I am exhausted..physically, emotionally. I just want a couple of days where I don't have someone who needs my attention/help and FIVE MINUTES of peace...
    You put it so beautifully...if I had blogged about it, it would have come across as complaining.

    On another note, you are teaching your daughter an important lesson. To care about others. It touched me to read that she loved you so much and wanted to make your day a little easier. How blessed are you? :)

    And your bedroom is looking quite serene! I gave up trying to use color too and went with grey/silver/mercury and black. Once I get my bedspread sewn (in my spare time...haha) it will be so much more restful.

    Anyway, can't wait to see the reveal on your master bedroom!


  11. Wow..I hadn't checked in in a while and it was so much fun to read a few posts. I CANNOT get over little blondie's list.
    How precious. I mean seriously amazing!! And did I mention that blondie is drop dead gorgeous. The Apple didn't fall far from the tree there either.
    I love you from afar!! I miss you. Your words encourage me and make me laugh hard, and I am SO impressed with your decorating skills!!! Looks truly amazing. YOu have come a long way girl. I love your headboard in your bedroom, where did you get it??
    Amazing, you are.

  12. Thanks so much for being so honest and real! Love your blog! Your bedroom looks beautiful!
    In His Service!
    Kara - Texas Jer. 29:11-13


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