Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Frazzled Mom is Looking for Her Inner Diva

In Search of My Inner Domestic Diva
          The frazzled mom made great strides in her defrazzlement the other day.  I passed up undecorated artificial wreaths that were half off at Hobby Lobby.  The bad elf on my left shoulder wheedled, 
     “You could decorate these!  You can use all that left over faux fruit, greenery in the attic, even some fresh berries—”  
     The good elf on my other shoulder screamed, 
“YOU IDIOT!  WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?”

          I’m trying to follow my own advice of simplifying my life.  My goal is to decide on two or three priorities this Christmas and to close my eyes and resist anything that falls outside those priorities. 
          I’m trying to squelch my “I can do it all” tendencies and realize I’m not Martha Stewart sweetly serving her rack of lamb with truffle sauce—or whatever goes with rack of lamb which I’ve never made because I’m a frazzled mom. This Chef Boyardee’s idea of homemade biscuits is whacking a tube on the side of the counter.  And I’ve finally mastered the skill of unrolling crescent rolls without tearing all of them up.  Then there’s my delicious frozen meatballs with Ragu.  I’m overjoyed that I can now make things my children love.  However, I refuse to pick up the  spaghetti sauce-crusted plates they leave in the family room.  The next day they have the nerve to actually sit in front of the crusty plate, completely unfazed, and log in to Facebook.
          If I ever transform into Martha Stewart, even after the kids leave for college, Hell will have frozen over.  However, I’d love to think of myself as Sandra Lee, that incredible domestic diva who writes “Semi-Homemade” magazine, who makes us think she slaves in her kitchen when her beautifully decorated red velvet cake is from Betty Crocker. She’s my idol. But I’ve got to face the fact that even striving to be a semi-domestic goddess is not in my cards right now. 
          You can bet your sweet Easy Mac that Sandra Lee’s not in the car from 3:00 to 9:30.  During those 6 1/2 hours, I may have a few minutes in which I come home and whip out a lovely lasagna from Russo’s pizza which I added  mozzarella to that I’m trying to pass off as homemade.  Sandra would be proud.  I also wager she didn’t have to make a 3-D Santa face on a paper plate in the car during morning carpool that her first-grader forgot was due. It’s pretty sad that I can boast about being able to make a 3-D Santa face out of the contents of my purse.  You know—lifesavers stuck in the bottom of my purse for eyes—ketchup from fast-food packets for rosy cheeks—and Sweet ‘n Low for the beard. First I must glob some of the sticky residue in the bottom of the Sonic cup from August onto the plate, sprinkle generously with Sweet ‘n Low, and Voila!—snow white whiskers.  If the motherhood gods are going to stump ME, they’re going to have to do better than that.
But, alas, in reality Peg Bundy is more my speed. You know, “Married With Children.”  On the ladder of domestic divinity, I’m a rung below her, looking up at her tight capris.  At least she manages to wear nice high heels instead of ratty bunny slippers and uses make-up everyday.  But after deep reflection, I bet Martha Stewart and Sandra Lee, probably having grown kids now, were too busy watching their oven timers to watch their daughter make a three-pointer in her basketball game.  There’s give-and-take, and there are seasons in life.  One day the frantic pace will slow down, and I’ll have all the time in the world to learn how to cook a perfect turkey and maybe giblets—whatever that is.  But right now, though I’m forever frazzled, I wouldn’t take anything for the privilege of tying shoes, typing school papers, and tucking in.  Peg Bundy can keep the high heels, and maybe I’ll use my bunny slippers to sweep away the dust bunnies under the couch.  

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