We've all met them. Sometimes we hate them. Most of the time we wish we were like them. They seem to have it all together, juggling their children's activities (most of the time they are leaders in their children's groups), volunteer efforts at the base chapel, baking cookies for their husband's unit, and still having time to prepare delicious and nutritiously grounded meals for their families every night.
Sometimes they also have the nerve to hold a job on the side. And yet they never seem to call in sick. And they always seem to be in a good mood and nice to everyone.
I am not one of those women.
I saw a catalog last week that was advertising a door mat which said, "The house was clean last week. Sorry you missed it." Which sums it up pretty well for me. About two or three times a week, I will stay up about three hours past my children's bed times in order to scrub, dust (okay, that's a lie. I never dust. I hate to dust. I just kind of blow on the level surfaces), put toys away, wipie down cabinets, and sweep/mop the floor.
Somehow, by the time I wake up before my children the next morning, the "Filth Fairies" have been at work and my house looks like I belong to a cult that believes living in general clutter and dirtiness prevents childhood disease. Now would also be a good time to mention that my father's side of the family is German, and so I have this odd genetic need to have everything squeaky clean and put into it's proper order and place. Before our house was graced with four children and a dog, I used to label the drawers in our house as to what belonged in each one.
I have also become a master at the illusion of cleaning. For instance, no one outside of my family is allowed in my bedroom or master bathroom. Thus, I don't clean them very often. My eldest daughter describes them as "toxic". This is also where we put everything that we aren't using, might someday need, but need to get out of the way so visitors don't see. This means the main areas of the house look less cluttered than the house really is.
I do try to be supportive of hubby's unit when he is home, and so I try to send some kind of snacks to their weekly meetings. Usually, it is cookies. Here's my deep, dark secret: I buy the refrigerated cookie dough rather than baking them from scratch. I just make sure to buy the cookie dough that looks like they could have been made from scratch. Once, I even bought store cookies, put them in a container, and tried to pass them off as mine.
I am not even going to get into the volunteering thing. I have done it, I will do it again. I even WANT to do it. But I am not always in a good mood about it. I have taken "talking to myself" to a whole new level.
In fact, speaking of moods, mine can get quite foul. I do envy those women who seem to always radiate a loving and sweet disposition and always have a nice thing to say to and about everyone. My innate sarcasm has been a great enemy of mine; most especially since I realized that not everyone "gets" sarcasm. Oops. Sorry hubby. I didn't mean to say that to the last commander...
But back to the foul moods. There are times when being a military wife makes me want to, at alternate times, launch full scale assaults on certain civilians who don't "get it", other military wives who are passing gossip about the neighborhood and really hurting morale, hubby's command and some of their more ridiculous acts, quite often the news media, and sometimes just the whole world in general.
As much as I'd like to be one of those sweet and loving women who never seem to be affected by the vagaries of the world, I don't think it is in the cards for me. So when I feel an urge to read Sun Tzu and apply his teachings to the way I conduct my day-to-day life, I have to find alternatives.
Chocolate. And good friends. There is nothing in the world that those two won't cure eventually.