Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On Jane Austen and Mothering

A friend pointed me to a very clever, crafty-mom blog the other day.
I've found a few of these blogs from women who sculpt, sew, cook gourmet meals, write novels, do clever things with their kids, plus bring in the bacon, too.
I got to thinking - is this a joke for gullible folks like myself?
I am seriously slack-jawed at these women who manage to do it all.

For I already attain to a world
where myself and my (ten) children in snowy white frocks (which I've made) live in a Jane Austen setting,
where we all frolic in delighted states of repose -
running, sitting and laughing happily in front of our small and slightly rundown manor house (near-castle),
wherein the children rarely cry, and if so, it lasts but a minute before their mama circumvents disaster,
all the while sketching and painting Mary Cassatt-quality works of the little darlings
(who never vomit or poop).
I teach them to sing in the style of Maria from The Sound of Music,
and spend spare hours scribbling away on manuscripts like Jo in Little Women, all the while looking surprisingly shapely for one who has borne ten children.
Let us not forget my dabbles in the illuminated works of the Bible, my triathlon training,
my regular visits to the sick and poor with baskets of homemade/hand-picked apple berry plumcot whole-grain antioxidant-laden muffins and pies and breads and hand-plucked roast hens.
And of course I try to live perfectly, patiently, lovingly. At all times.
The fantasy comes crashing down when profanity slips from my mouth after hearing my daughter confess she's peed in the restaurant high chair. To add to the joy, my other daughter has dumped the basket of tortilla chips on her head.

And that's only one small moment
of many such failures in my real world
that never quite lives up to the other one.

Jane Austen, watching me from afar, just fainted.
Someone is reviving her with smelling salts and escorting her to a chair.


BJW said...

Well, Faithy, I just so happen to think you are your own version of Jane Austin. Only better and sweeter and more lovely. I mean really, no one else I know recites nurseries rhymes with such finesse, writes fabulously crafted and clever novels (and I would know), or makes such exquisite plum jam (which I just had on my toast). I could go on. Your darling darlings all think so too. One night when you visited here, I asked your girls about you. To which they both proclaimed their love for their mama and how she was the best person in the world. Hear! Hear!

(Amy Watson - on BJW's blogspot account)

Faith Pray said...

Thank you sweet Amy - on bjw's blogspot acct! You give me hope that I too can achieve Sense as well as Sensibility in my life.
I will begin knitting you a baby sweater made from willow fibres as soon as I log off!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Whiskers on kittens and nachos on noggins...

Jan Morrison said...

I'm a stranger to these parts and am on a self-inflicted blog diet having od'd on too much blogging about my perfect life - see Crazy Jane. You are comparing your insides to others' outsides - a common problem, that I too suffer from (see my blog on naked dolly guilt). There is no end to how we can disparage ourselves - it is an ode to our creativity that we can do so. I already adore you and soon as my unnoticed blog diet is over (Monday) I will add you to my roll - YAY! I am an older person than you and am a stepmother to (gasp) teenagers. My bio-kids are entering their forties so this is a shocking miscalculation on my part. By the way, I stopped practising my button accordion to respond to this item! Yes, I look so good on the outside - chickens, novels on the go, teenage angst to deal with, just made risotto, but inside baby! Whewwww! Inside I am a quivering pile of guilt. But enough of that, one more bit of practice and then my sweetheart and I will watch another four episodes of West Wing - our drug of choice.
Later my dear.

Faith Pray said...

Thank you Jan! Just hearing that you made risotto and raise chickens and teenagers is enough in itself to command some serious respect from these quarters. But add your guilt-quivering inner life, the blog diet and the button accordian, and I am sold!

Richard - "I AM being serious" - to quote Groundhog Day

Rayna M. Iyer said...

A lot of people think I have it all - a full time job in a non-profit (see, selfless service, and professional woman in one stroke) and two boys (6 & 4), and I still find time to read, write, run, photograph, and garden.
I too think I have it all, but I think that not because of what I do, but because of who I am - a happy and content person.

From the little I know you, you are happy, and find pleasure in the small things in life- you are far, far more successful in what matters than some of the women you think have it all.


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