The other night while I was making a quick dinner of quesadillas and tomato soup, my 8 year-old matter-of-factly said, “Stay-at-home moms usually make fancier dinners than working moms. Stuff we usually eat for dinner is what they eat for lunch.”
I know she didn’t mean to hit me with a guilt trip, but it landed straight between the eyes. Just as I was getting ready to respond with a comment about not having time to spend an hour making dinner after I get home from work, she asks:
“Why don’t stay-at-home moms fix their hair or put on make-up?”
The guilt-trip left as quickly as it came.
I’m rarely at a loss for words, but this was one of those moments when my mind went into overdrive while I was trying to figure out the best thing to say.
After all, on the weekends it’s not uncommon for me to be in my pajamas through mid-morning and not make myself “presentable” until mid-afternoon.
If I didn’t have to be dressed with hair done and make-up applied by 7:30 a.m. every day, would I?
I’d like to say “yes”, but the truthful answer is “probably not”…especially if the only people who were going to see me that day were my kids and some of their friends.
I managed to make some sort of reply like “Honey, sometimes moms get so busy at home they don’t have time to fix their own hair or put on make-up.”
Then my mind went to President Uchtdorf’s recent LDS conference talk on simplifying your life. For me, a working mom, simplifying my life means preparing quick dinners during the work week. For a stay-at-home mom, it may mean throwing their hair into pony tail and not worrying about make-up.
No need to feel guilty about either one.
Why make ourselves busy…fretting over things that are here today and gone tomorrow? We should free ourselves from those tasks that are not necessary in our day-to-day lives.
Leonardo da Vinci said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
I think I’ll use that line next time I serve a not-so-gourmet dinner of mac-and-cheese with a side of apple sauce.