The Martha Stewart Complex

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The Martha Stewart Empire began the same year I had my first baby, (at least that’s when I became aware of Martha Stewart and her beautiful, meticulous world). This was unfortunate for me because it nearly ruined my first few years as a new mommy. Why? It set an unachievable standard for women who thought we could do it all.

I went from working girl in San Francisco with a career as an Events Planner with up-to-date clothes and money to burn – to – a stay at home mom in the burbs COVERED in spit up and sweat and scraping by on one income. Ouch!

I searched for a way to gain control of my life again and found it one day at the grocery store checkout. There it was, a glossy magazine with photos of beautiful Swedish furniture, an article on “Cleaning Toilets 101”, and a photo shoot of the quaint nanny’s quarters of a famous publisher. “I can do this,” I thought to myself. “I can be the best wife, mother, maid, volunteer, and chef ever!” I purchased the Martha Stewart Living Magazine and quickly sent in my $19 check for a year’s subscription. Big mistake.

I quickly developed a bad case of the Martha Stewart Complex and I was exhausted, unhappy, chubby, and failing miserably at being perfect. The pressure was immense, the fun was infinitesimal. My lemon meringue pie was lumpy, my husband’s shirts looked like they were ironed by a monkey, my knitted cap was crooked, and I could never make a hospital corner adequately. Worse of all, the fun and excitement had evaporated from life, just like the glaze l’orange sauce that I attempted to pour over my Poulet Parfait.

I had a beautiful daughter who did not care if her toys were arranged by theme, or her blanket was made of the finest cashmere. She wanted to explore, get dirty, look at books, play Polly Pockets and most of all, be with her mom and dad. It was time to get rid of Menacing Martha and have some fun again!

write by Mulham Odeh

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