Monday, October 1, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays

[Updated note: I know in my head and heart I'm not failing. I just want to do better and would love your tips if you've got any!]

As the Carpenters so eloquently put it, rainy days and Mondays always keep me down... though it's not literally raining outside, as I mentioned before, our whole family is a bit under the weather. Just work with me here...Today is one of those days where I have plenty to do, but my mind keeps getting in my way. The guilt spiral keeps looming and that is debilitating. Germs can mess with your mind. Here's what they've got me thinking about today.

1) My kids eat too much processed foods. Chemicals are in everything, but way too often Li'l G is eating pre-prepared meals (even if they are designed for toddlers) and processed meats. I would really, really like to be one of those moms who can make everything from scratch and have her meals planned out, but I'm not. Fail.

2) Li'l G watches WAY too much TV, especially when I am sick or busy. It's just too easy to flip on the tube and let her watch her cartoons. While she has learned quite a lot in both language and counting, her attention span could use a little help, and let's face it - the boob tube is called that for a reason. I've been getting better about that, but on a day where a) I don't feel well and b) I don't want to pass along other germs, it has been a tv-rific day. Fail.

3) I did not/am not still breastfeeding. Yes, I know, we've covered this before, and I was over it. Well, it turns out maybe I wasn't actually ever over it, I just learned to deal with it. On a day like today, I'm not over it. Baby J is gaining weight quickly, and yes, the doctor says that is good and fine, but I know the studies that show that bottle fed babies are more prone to obesity than breastfed babies. Have I set up my children to battle weight problems? Having done this all my teen/adult life, it really scares me. Did I just not try hard enough, or was I really not able to breastfeed? Maybe I just gave up too quickly at the sign of adversity, per usual. Fail.

4) Did you know there is a diaper shortage looming? Yeah. Well, if I had made a go of cloth diapers, perhaps I wouldn't worry about this. Yet, there is one more thing I don't have the discipline to do. (Add this to the impending bacon shortage and I may just have to throw in the towel!)So not only are we ruining the environment, now we may not be able to get disposable diapers as easily (or economically) and I'll have to contend with my lack of discipline in the cloth diaper department. Fail.

5) Our family is not in the 1% - we are part of the 99% just like 99% of you. And let's face it, we're not poor, but we don't really have a lot of disposable income (unlike the diapers). So when we made the decision for me to stop working full time, the Hubbers took on a second job. While he loves what he does, the extra work is taking a toll on him emotionally and spiritually (amidst some other family happenings at the moment). Now that I've left, I really have no desire to go back to work full time there. Maybe if something intriguing came along, but with daycare costs it just isn't usually worth it. Then again, with healthcare costs, maybe it would be. Either way, I didn't like being a full-time working mom, and I feel like I'm drowning as a part-time stay-at-home mom, so I can't lighten the load on the Hubbers when he is home. Fail.

6) I want so badly to be the fun mom, but too often I'm the "knock-it-off" mom. I'm distracted, I'm over-scrupulous as to what Li'l G is doing (does it really matter if she tore a page out of her coloring book or took a crayon to the tv stand?) and it keeps me from being proactively fun. I look at what my stay-at-home moms are doing (or part time SAHMs on their days home), and I feel again like I am drowning. I WANT to take my kids to the zoo. I WANT to have picnics in the park or go outside and draw on the sidewalk and blow bubbles at the passing cars. I WANT to have a clean house and be playing with my kids while dinner is on the stove. But I don't. Right now we're sick, so it's just not going to happen. Other days, I'm just too tired. I'm tired of being tired and un-fun. Fail.

7) I'm not going to claim to have ever been an organized person. Generally speaking I live in an organized mess. I used to claim it was a work of genius because I was too busy thinking to get organized. Yet, I know the mess (and it's no longer an organized mess), is causing me stress and discontent. I think some of the other issues would disappear if I could just conquer the clutter, but as it is not my strength, I get started, see the magnitude of what I need to do, and get overwhelmed. Fail.

While I realize the article I linked to a couple weeks ago mentioned that the only failure is to stop trying, on this day I don't buy it. I want to try harder. I want to be fun. I want to feel like I am a good wife and mother and employee, and I just don't right now. So answer me this...

  1. What low-key interactive activities do you do with your kids when you (or they) are sick?
  2. What easy meal plans or recipes have your found for your kids that minimize the amount of processed and pre-packaged food they eat?
  3. If you couldn't (or decided not to) breastfeed or use cloth diapers, did you feel guilty about it? If so, how did you deal with that...I mean really, truly deal with it - not bury it and just shove it away like me?
  4. When you are exhausted and/or sick, what gives you a good energy boost (don't say exercise, don't say exercise, don't say...yeah, ok.)?
  5. How do you get (and stay) organized quickly?
  6. And finally, how do you keep from losing it all?!?


  1. I am so grateful the internet wasn't an explosion when my kids were babies. There are too many things out there making mothers feel inadequate, FB, pinterest, blogs.. You are normal. What you see out there is fantasy. Moms on FB mostly just post the fun things.. they don't mention that 2 seconds after that cute picture they took of Susie and mommy baking cookies, she had a total meltdown and the cookies burnt. I could go on and on.. nobody's life is as good as it looks online. You made a decision not to breastfeed, whether it was a choice or out of necessity, it doesn't matter. Breastfeeding is not for everyone. You are a loving mom with a good values and morals. Please stop being so hard on yourself. Turn off all the noise around you and wallow in your goodness and blessings.

  2. and.. btw, I wanted to write more, but life just got in the way :) xo

  3. Thanks, Patricia! :) It's sometimes a fine line between "hard on myself" and just wanting to do better because I see the blemishes more than others do.