Thursday, June 16, 2011

Superwoman Is Not Available. Please Hold For The Next Representative, Or Leave A Message After The Beep.

A while back Preschooler received a little care package in the mail from a friend.  The package included a “letter,” a few stickers, and a tootsie roll.

“Crap!” I thought.  “Now WE have to send something! “ I scanned the room to see what was available.  All I saw was a handful of fortune cookies left over from last night’s Chinese food, and some free address labels from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

I had Preschooler write a letter and draw a picture for her friend.  Then I ate the fortune cookies and paid the utility bill.

I try so hard to do it all.  I’d like my house to be company-ready all the time.  I’d like to plan arts & crafts activities for my kids and arrange spectacular and enriching play-dates and outings.  I want to prepare balanced, healthy, home-made lunches and dinners.  I want to write for my blog, and read other blogs.  I want to work on other writing projects, and plow through the ever-growing pile of books to read.

I am capable of doing all these things. 

But I am not capable of doing all these things all of the time.

If my house is clean, it means I spent the day cleaning instead of playing with my kids.

If my kids are filthy by the end of the day, it means I spent the day outdoors with them, and my house is probably a wreck.

The days I don’t blog are the days I’m actually getting REAL LIFE things done.

And if I make a home-made meal, I miss out on after-dinner family time cleaning up my kitchen.

I know there are solutions to this.  But it took me a full year of stay-at-home parenting to realize how much pre-planning it takes just to be “normal.” 

Take one day a week, and make it your “going out” day.  Plan ahead for something to do with the kids that day.

You can make a home-made dinner in the crock-pot, or put together a casserole ahead of time so all you have to do at the end of the day is heat it up.

If you could just get your house CLEAN, you can keep it that way by just taking a half-hour each day to tidy up.

You can always wash the dishes after the kids are in bed.

Plan for time during the day or evening where Husband can keep the kids out of my hair for half-an-hour so I have time to read, or write, or do something else just for myself.


I take this advice some of the time.  And I'm with it, some of the time.

The rest of the time, I lose my minivan at the zoo, and don't find it for 36 hours.  More on that later.

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25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think my favorite part is where you looked around the house for something to give to your daughter's pen pal. When you said you saw fortune cookies and address stickers ... coffee came out of my nose. I enjoyed this bit of nonsense. Bonus: I only noticed one typo. (I'm an English teacher, it's in my blood.) Regards, MiddleFingerGuy

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@MiddleFingerGuy - where's the typo? I know I should really proof-read, but I usually don't.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@MiddleFingerGuy - Actually, I think I found it. Lose, not loose. And to think I majored in English AND my mom was an English teacher. Plus, I'm willing to bet the whole post is peppered with unnecessary commas. Bad Angela, bad!!

Fox in the City said...

Ah yes, I find that I have a tendancy to overuse the comma as well but hell, it is just a cute little addition to any post!!

I was only off for my mat leaves but I totally sucked as a stay at home mom . . . I could not get a damn thing done. Kudos to all those SAHM's that actually get shit done!
Jenn

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Fox in the city - who knew getting shit done would be such a challenge!

Lindsay Schultz @sayschu said...

Let's all agree that unless you're Angelina Jolie, none of us (parents) are getting our shit done. I can't even remember how to make a blog post.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Lindsay - I'm ok with not being Superwoman. I'm even ok with not being Angelina Jolie. Now if only I could find my van...

Betty Fokker said...

Good Lord! It's like I am reading my "other" self! The string theorists will LOVE this shit.

If I could just get my house CLEAN I could probably stay on top of it. Of course, Hercules would have to divert a river thru it ...

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Betty Fokker - I KNOW! It seems like every time I clean something up, the kids are right behind me making a mess.

Sandra said...

Oh I want a koala bear!...wait, this is about you!
I think your points are so true. I live by what my mother told me when I had my first child: do what keeps you sane.
As for losing the van, really want to hear about that!

Marianna Annadanna said...

I am just now learning not to over-extend myself. Going crazy teaches you things, man. For reals.

Also? Where is the typo?! That's bugging me.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Sandra - your mother gave you some GOOD advice. Also, if I can't have an elephant, I'll take a koala bear or two.

@Marianna - For reals, indeed. Also, when I first published the post I said "I LOOSE my minivan at the zoo." I changed it to "I LOSE my minivan at the zoo" when the typo was pointed out to me. At least, I think that was the typo. Anyways, it makes me wonder how come I kept getting A's in English. I know, proofreading.

Stasha said...

This is me in a nutshell, if I could put the words together as well as you. Apart from the minivan bit. Cause there is no ZOO close bye.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Stasha - The zoo is about 10-15 minutes from my house and I always think, "I know! I'll take the kids to the zoo! Tra-la-la-la!" and each trip to the zoo is a DISASTER.

HarryPotHeadJr said...

Such a cute story. Dude, where's the mini-van? I really hope you get that elephant!! So many funny points, I couldn't tell you what my favorite part was.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@HarryPotHeadJr - Thanks! I will post about the minivan sometime in the near future, I promise!

Mommy2¢ said...

Oh sweetheart - you're doing better than me! At least you can manage to pull it together some of the time...I feel like I'm always dropping the parental & domesticated ball. The way I kinda look at it is at the end of the day as long as my kids still think I'm the coolest, I guess I'm not screwing up too bad! Then again, they are only 4 & 6... LOL ;)

Love your post. New follower! I'm visiting from free fringes.

Carina said...

And here you had me thinking you were going to send cystic fibrosis address labels to Preschooler's little friend... oh I was so disappointed. You did the responsible mom thing.

I know that overwhelmed feeling well. My new job isn't going to help that at all.

MamaMash said...

Awesome! Usually I just wake up and decide something like, "Today I'm going to be really good at doing the dishes."

And then I don't have to be good at that for another couple of weeks, because hey, I proved I could master it THAT time.

Carrie said...

I really wonder how the June Cleavers of the world did it...and do they REALLY exist?

Motherhood is tough.

visiting from lovelinks

Alexis@TroublesomeTots said...

I've simply adopted the motto "letting go." I rarely clean house and have downgraded "homemade meals" to "rotisserie chicken."

I figure someday I'll reclaim the house and go back to rocking the kitchen. In the meantime I would rather have fun than eat well. And if people care that my house isn't "company clean" they probably weren't destined to be my BFF anyway.

But I hear you - letting go isn't always the easiest thing to do :)

Kerry said...

Such a cute post! I don't have kids, but I bet many people can relate. Although it is scary for me to think about having kids some day!

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Well put. Years ago my mother in law, who always intimidated me with her spotless house, told me her biggest regret was worrying about these details instead of spending more time enjoying her kids. Advice took deep to heart : )

Kiddothings said...

So true. It's a challenging balancing act. I'm still trying to balance it all.

Mama, Hear Me Roar said...

You took a year to learn that? Me too! And I'm running with it some of the time too, struggling to be normal.