Mmmmmm Cookies

I have two goals for the week.

1. Stop whining!  I don’t know if it’s the “permanence” of the blog or what but I feel like an enormous whiner lately.  Just looking through the last several posts is really making me cringe.  I’m not usually a whiny person.  My boss at work told me the other day that I was the most positive person there.  Those kinds of comments may Sean laugh, of course, but still I most definitely do not want to get the reputation of being a whiner.  So I apologize for the way I’ve been acting for the last few months and I promise to be impressively happy from now on.  (Yes, I know it hasn’t been months but I was paraphrasing a movie [it’s worth 500,000 virtual points to the first to name it] so I had to go with months.  And I would have directly quoted the movie but I couldn’t find the quote on IMDB.  Stupid IMDB.  Not that I’m complaining.)

So that’s it.  No more whining.

2. I’m going to figure out how to enjoy time with my children more.  The princess and the Pea have been off track for three weeks now and we’ve got another one ahead of us and (without complaining) I’m going to tell you that they have not been the easiest weeks of my life.  (In fact it might be interesting to compare the time I’ve been whining with the time they’ve been out of school.)  But I know that they’re not going to be this age forever and I’ve heard that Trace Adkins song about how I’m going to miss these years and all that.  Basically, I’ve virtually surrounded myself with women who do not hate every minute of every day and they stay home with their kids full time, so I believe it can be done.  And I’m gonna do it!

In the spirit of that resolution I helped the Princess make cookies today.  And it really was me helping her rather than the other way around.  And that was good.  And then I let each kid have two cookies while we watched Wall E, which I hadn’t seen yet (cute, if you don’t mind environmentalist propaganda), and no one even spilled his or her milk so that was really good.

But if I’m going to keep this up I need your advice.

How do I keep this up?

The best solution I’ve ever heard is to not try to do other things, just be the mom.  And I like that but the fact is that I have other things the HAVE to be done, like sheet rocking (I will finish tomorrow, or Tuesday, I swear it!), and cleaning, and moming the other kids.

“So how do I do that?” She asks with a big smile on her face.

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18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie
    Nov 23, 2008 @ 23:34:40

    I whine a lot…. meeh
    And I was thinking the new Pride and Prejudice with the whole perfectly and incandescently happy, but I don’t know…

  2. Melanie J
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 00:18:16

    Um….sadly, I have no answer to this. I guess just find the funny.

  3. jillybean
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 01:16:40

    You can do sheet rocking?

    I bow to your greatness.

    Maybe you can have the kids help you with that. Sure it will probably end up taking twice as long, but think of the quality bonding time spent with your kids.

  4. Jen
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 02:17:21

    Apparently (gospel according to Annie) we’re a lot alike. Except I don’t sheetrock. But just in case she’s right (which is possible, since I have these same struggles) let me just say this.

    There are women who truly find joy and satisfaction at providing clean underwear for their families. Then there’s us. No matter how much I try to stay home and “do nothing else” I find myself doing something else. Usually several something-elses. I have finally decided that it’s okay to be this kind of Mom. I just purposely try to find limits and balance, and certain times everyday that are guaranteed kid times. Like homework. I go to my happy place, become Ms. Patience, and we have great homework sessions – as opposed to those times past when I became the Mr. Hyde of Homework because I just wanted to get it over with.

    But it is all easier if you don’t work. Since I get summers off, I have this little fact re-affirmed annually. And, consequentially, every year I get better at the balance thing, so just keep plugging away.

    And good luck.

    And save your money for our shopping trip:)

  5. Jo
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 08:44:50

    Hire my hubby to do your sheetrocking, and then you can enjoy the time with your kids! Taa daaa!
    Whining is allowed on your own blog.

  6. Jaime
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 08:48:43

    Not sure there’s a way to keep from being cliche, but I spent most of my girls younger years finding peace or joy in the little things. The little things that made each one unique and funny or sweet. The little things that showed me they were listening even though I never thought they were. The little (good) things that I saw them emulate or pick up from me that made me feel like I was making a difference or I was worth emulating.

    And I can tell you as your friend that probably has the oldest kids (ironic since we’re the same age!) they really aren’t going to be this age forever. My kids were all challenging in their own ways but one was really challenging and Sean and I just weren’t really ever sure she was going to grow out of it. And literally over one summer it happened silently and unnoticed. Suddenly we were like wait, she’s not complaining all the time! She’s doing her homework and turning it in! Wait she’s actually having a conversation with us instead of being in her own crazy world. Each one of my girls has really turned into a far different young adult/adult than I thought that would. But it’s a crazy, hard ride.

    Your kids are changing everyday. And things aren’t going to be like this forever. And I don’t say that in an “enjoy it now” way. I say it in a “this too shall pass” way. But you will enjoy looking back on things you never thought you’d find funny or think of wistfully. Ok enough, that’s my two cents.

  7. Catherine
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 08:58:50

    I think you’re doing a great job, Al. Deciding to enjoy it is half the battle.

  8. in time out
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 09:38:45

    i think the key wording her is virtually surrounded by women who love it and are good at it. i think it is hard for all moms, and for all dads, who spend time at home, stay at home…mom/dads. i had a mom tell me this week that she was a cement layer, in the heat, the cold, the dirt, and hard labor, and being a mom on a good day is harder than doing cement work on a bad day. be nice to your self. we all struggle, maybe we just don’t show it in our virtual reality world of writing. i need to more. i don’t write as much about it as i should. days are hard. right now i think i am the most neglectful mom there is. a cluttered house, i am constantly doing homework, blogging in between my on line course work. i feel like a chaotic crazy mom. i think i will post this comment on my blog. i am sure you are not the only person who feels this way. or maybe this rambling is all about me. im sorry if it sounds so selfish, and inadequate, and insecure, and deliriously weary. that is the guts of how i feel. take care now.

  9. in time out
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 09:54:41

    alison, i thought i should at least tell you that i did blab about my comment to you on my own blog. once i comment i generally feel that it belongs to the person that i gave it too. i wanted to make sure that you weren’t bothered by anything that i said. so here is what i wrote. if i have offended you in any way please tell me (i will take it off) if you like it I wanted to link it to your post. let me know: mainly i wrote and called it my guts. thank you for inspiring me to think this way today.

    by the way, i noticed your sometimes life is funny, a book for bloggers. did they decide on the title. i like it.

    here, my guts:

    okay, so this morning i am checking on my blog friends before i am off to study, write papers, design power points, and take finals. i come across one and i LOVE her for being so honest. we all feel weary and insecure [not that she said that, i just felt that way about myself thinking about what i read], especially with all these perfect and perfectly happy moms out here. as i rambled on my comment i realized that i probably don’t blog my guts a whole lot here and you all probably think i am perfectly perfect and happy. well, that just isn’t the case. so here is my comment to her, because i don’t think i have the courage to write it twice:

    in response to being the perfect mom, because others are doing it, and to not whining and complaining:

    i think the key wording here is “virtually surrounded” by women who love it and are good at it.

    [i put that in parenthesis on purpose, because i do think the reality of it is that it doesn’t exist, feeling perfectly happy, except on the seriously so blessed blog, which is truly a satire of Mormon mom perfection, i will leave it at that, commenting on my own thoughts.]

    i think it is hard for all moms, and for all dads, who spend time at home, stay at home…mom/dads. i had a mom tell me this week that she was a cement layer, in the heat, the cold, the dirt, and hard labor, and being a mom on a good day is harder than doing cement work on a bad day.

    be nice to your self. we all struggle, maybe we just don’t show it in our virtual reality world of writing. i need to more. i don’t write as much about it as i should. days are hard. right now i think i am the most neglectful mom there is. a cluttered house, i am constantly doing homework, blogging in between my on line course work.

    i feel like a chaotic crazy mom. i think i will post this comment on my blog. i am sure you are not the only person who feels this way. or maybe this rambling is all about me. i’m sorry if it sounds so selfish, and inadequate, and insecure, and deliriously weary. that is the guts of how i feel. take care now.

    so, yes, everyone: please take care. not one of us could honestly say that we never lose our patience, that we don’t struggle and have pain, that we always enjoy every aspect of motherhood, parenthood, it is hard work; it is worth it, but it is hard work.

    it honestly is the “walking in the snow uphill both ways” life. yes, we want our kids to be loved, protected, happy, giggling children with great childhoods to remember. but somedays are tough, and if you need to write your guts you should be able to. i know i need to.

  10. Kristina
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 10:21:06

    I think that this is just one of those things that comes over time. If you have a positive attitude, I think you are most of the way there.

  11. bythelbs
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 11:44:08

    That sounds like a Hugh Grant/Notting Hill line, but I wouldn’t stake my life on it.

    I’m super impressed that you let your child bake cookies. My kids would kill for a mother like you.

  12. LisAway
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 12:11:29

    I don’t have time to read other comments, but here’s what you do. You do your best and blog about the good stuff like helping your kids make cookies and leave out the other stuff. (Oh, I already commented about that I think a while back?) That’s what most people do. I try not to, because heaven knows I’m impatient and not a really great mother most of the time. Why EVER would I try to make people think that I am? I’m just not interested in impressing people, to the point that when people pay me a compliment I feel I have to disillusion them. “No, really it’s not like that!”

  13. the letter Bee
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 13:11:35

    Hey I had fun meeting you the other night! Tell me about your book!

    I loved your comment on my blog, btw. Hahahahahaha

  14. E
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 15:31:39

    I don’t think I’ve ever just sat down and watched a Disney movie with my kids, unless it was a weekend night when Brent really poured on the guilt. I know they would love it, but I can’t really do it; it makes me insane. So you’re way ahead of me. I pretty much have to leave the house (with my kids, I mean) in order to do a very good job of focusing on them. We go the park or the library when we actually have time to sit and read and that works best for me. But you don’t actually need to do that ‘cuz you can watch movies. So why not just stick with that? I say you’re good.

  15. Alison Wonderland
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 17:04:01

    You guys are great! Thanks for all the reassurance. I’m not really doing better today but I’m trying.

    And I FINALLY finished sheetrocking!!!!!

    Oh and 500,000 virtual points to Bythelbs.

  16. lobbie
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 18:57:14

    I have absolutely no advice. Wait, I have LOTS of advice, but none of it is pertinent to what you’re talking about. If you instead wrote a post about trying to direct little kids in a musical I could give you lots of advice, so next time THAT subject comes up I’m here for ya!

  17. Pink Ink
    Nov 24, 2008 @ 23:00:40

    Take up dancing. 🙂

    Well you kind of have to fill your cup so you can give, ya know? Have you filled your cup lately??

  18. Lorie
    Nov 26, 2008 @ 11:06:34

    Ah! If we can’t whine on our own blog, where can we whine!? I know my kids sure don’t listen to me when I do. And the whole you can’t whine but I can really doesn’t work, so I say whine on!

    But hopefully there will be less to whine about! And I am sure you will find some great ways to enjoy time with your kiddos! It is a great season to do it!

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