In the Interest of Full Disclosure

I’ve been told that sometimes it seems like everything is sunshine and rainbows in my life, by what I post here on ye ole blog.  I think I’ve posted some pretty big downers from time to time, but I suppose I do try to avoid the real nitty gritty in an effort not to run everyone off with my whining.  And of course there is plenty that I can’t share because it would compromise the privacy of my personal relationships.  But I can assure you, if you were ever in doubt, that it is NOT always sunshine and rainbows around my house.  In fact, there is often a big, dark, grumpy cloud hanging over our roof — namely me.

Yesterday, for instance, motherhood kicked my butt. I looked about like this at the end of the day, except without the makeup and the perfectly tousled hair.


It should have been a good day.  I had all three of my chilluns in school for over two hours.  I had an exciting opportunity come thru my email (more about that in a few weeks).  I had a productive day in terms of design work.  And yet…

I couldn’t get my act together.  The outstanding amount of laundry and housework that glared at me on all sides seemed insurmountable, so I holed up in my office, climbing over an assortment of toys and clothes to get to my computer, and worked until it was time to get the kids from school.

The minute I had both girls in the car, the bickering ensued.  My kindergartner proudly showed me a piece of artwork she had begun in school, but it wasn’t complete so I informed her that she could finish it at home.  That thoughtless declaration resulted in a trip to Staples in my unshowered, sweatpants-clad state because of course we didn’t have the necessary supplies, and believe it or not I was TRYING to be a “good mom.”  So I skulked through the store, hoping I wouldn’t see anyone I knew, as we collected a year’s worth of art supplies in our basket.

When we arrived home, the housework, surprisingly, hadn’t disappeared.  To make matters worse, the girls alternated between squabbling with each other and making their lunch requests as they broke into the art supplies and proceeded to create their masterpieces.  Of course, this required me to unscrew, unplug, and unearth all manner of glue and glitter and ink devices.  Soon the clutter and dirty dishes that beckoned were compounded by remnants of abandoned art projects.

Yes, I know I should have made them clean up.  I know I should have started plugging away at the chores that had my name on them.  I realize that I could have made my life a lot easier by simply diving in and doing the next thing.  But that’s not what I do when I’m overwhelmed.  No, that would be far too productive.  I prefer the more inefficient procrastination method.

I didn’t get a shower until 5PM, and then it was only the trip to the dentist that inspired me.  Otherwise my husband would have returned home to a wife with a bare face and day-old hair (or was it two-day-old hair?)  Which really, would be nothing new to him, the poor guy.  Because in all honesty, days like yesterday are not that unusual around here.  Oh I’m a prize, yes I am.

In fact, after one such day a few weeks ago, I said to my husband in a fit of frustration,  “I don’t want to be a stay at home mom anymore!”

He looked at my quizzically and said as only a guy could, “You mean you want to go back to teaching?”

I had to laugh.  Hasn’t he learned by now that there is rarely such a rational progression of thoughts in my head?

“No!” I exclaimed in exasperation.  “I want to sit at my computer and design blogs and put the kids in daycare!”

“Mmmm,” I believe was his response as light dawned and he realized I was just making one of those crazy statements women make when they need to vent and have no plans to follow through on their declarations.

And at that point, he probably did what he did yesterday when he arrived home and found his kids bickering and his house turned inside out and his frazzled wife at the stove, elbow-deep in salmon marinade.  It’s what guys do best, after all — fix things.

When we were engaged, we read the book called Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (a good read, by the way) and there was a part of the book that explained that men will always handle a stressful situation by trying to fix it, while women will handle a stressful situation by venting about it.  His point was that sometimes a woman just wants her husband to listen to her vent without offering a solution to fix things.  And while that is a good piece of information to keep tucked away for future use, in this instance, the male inclination to fix things is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Soon the kids were picking up their toys, the bickering turned to cheerful banter, and the next thing I knew the phone rang with the welcome news about my dental appointment being cancelled.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

I wish I could say that today was better, and it was — by a smidgen.  Let’s put it this way, I am counting down the minutes until I can put the kids to bed, pour a glass of wine, and fire up my laptop for another American Idol recap.

I’m not writing this because I want sympathy.  There are people who have REAL problems, and I’m not one of them.  But if you’re sitting out there, and you’ve had a bad day or a bad week for no specific reason other than life is kicking your butt, well, you’re not alone.

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38 thoughts on “In the Interest of Full Disclosure

  1. Well I, for one, find this to be refreshing. It so often feels like *I* am the only mother who is not enjoying every single minute of staying home.

    Especially the last week.

    You mentioned daycare?! Oh boy did that sounds appealing on Monday. I was in tears.

    I love such an honest post. Thanks.
    And I hope tomorrow is yet a better day!

  2. I’ll be posting about a dental visit in just a few minutes. And my house is in similar disarray, and I handle it by doing nothing about it. Because I’m obviously very mature and responsible.

  3. Ahh yes, I can appreciate this. Nevermind the fact that my children have been home from school 30 minutes and 2 major meltdowns have occurred…I’m just escaping to the blogosphere with a cup of coffee for a quick mental break. Crud…why is Hannah Montana music blaring again?!

  4. You know it’s a really bad day when “the dentist” is your inspiration to take a shower and comb your hair! 😉 (Have loved your tweets!)

  5. From what I understand, ISO is letting light into your camera, so when there is too much, it makes the pics really grainy….they don’t look very good when they are like that 🙁

  6. I think there must be something with the phases of the moon these days. But for a few minor details, I could have written this post yesterday. Thanks for saving me the trouble.

  7. I had the same day today!!! It started out nice enough, but quickly snowballed into one disaster after another. Ugh. But, we get a new day each morning, God willing…right? 🙂

  8. I appreciate your honesty. I have days like that. A lot! The crazy thing is that I always assume everyone else has it “all together,” whatever THAT means. I find myself thinking I’m the ONLY one who has days like this…

  9. I have been counting the mintues till my 3 year olds bed time for WEEKS – My other daughter is a saint in the evening but the little one…I have no words…just know that you are NOT alone.

  10. I thought of you today while I stayed in sweats all day long….first time in ages. I think its the weather and the fact that is March….we need sunshine and warm temps…
    Also, the marshmallow peeps seem to be helping me through the day today. You might want to give it a try.

  11. I’m there, oh, say about every 28 days. 🙂 Can I tell you how happy it makes me when I can get out of the shower and know that I’m not going anywhere and I don’t have to put on make up and I can just wear my yoga pants (which is funny because I’ve never ever done yoga) all day. My poor man…I wonder what he thinks when he walks in the door and sees what I look like. I wonder if he’s sorry he made this choice…

  12. I am right there with ya!! This morning one son climbed on top of the chest of drawers so another son threw the daughter’s shoe at him which then broke not one but TWO figurine music boxes I’m had since I was a kid. Then in the afternoon the oldest son cut a string off of the baby swing mobile – while I was standing there watching him. THEN right as my husband came home the oldest son figured out how to open the gate for the back yard, enticed the younger son OUT of said yard and proceeded to shut the gate. I’m with you. Can I send ’em all to daycare and spend the day quietly with my laptop?

  13. All I can say is FINALLY! I’ve only been reading blogs for a few months but so many times I’ll be sitting here going through exactly what you’ve just described and feel like a complete failure because of all the seemingly perfect posts I’m reading wondering all the while why I can’t be like that! I so needed this post and the assurance that there are others out there that aren’t “perfect” either. Please, please, please do more posts like these because this is the reality of life. I think you should do a new carnival…”Bring on the Whine Wednesdays”! I’ll bring the cheese!

  14. As sick as it sounds, it’s only b/c I know I’m not the only one who gets my butt kicked by motherhood that I can go on some days. Thanks for being real.

    And I thought I was the only one who threatened to go back to work!

  15. Well, my husband has been listening to a new scheme of mine everyday this week. I’ve been trying to figure out how to make enough money to justify quitting my totally unsatisfying work as a Teacher-On-Call so I can stay at home and blog and make cards! Trust me, he’s heard some doozies! And I only have one kid and a big dog to worry about…

  16. It is wonderful to know that I am not the only person who has days like this. I am always amazed by you and and other stay at home mom’s, I am such a better parent when I go to work. How awful does that sound, but true.

    We each have our days, and yours was yesterday. Thanks for being real about it!!

  17. I can totally relate to this post. Is there something in the air this week…because I’m feeling the same way even up here in Alaska.

    Hang in there, girlfriend. And pour me a glass of wine!


  18. I have SO been there and have SO done that. There are days when I shower and get dressed within minutes of the Hubs arriving home, only so he doesn’t know I spent most of the day doing a whole lotta nothin’ in my cozy clothes.

    And to quote you “But that’s not what I do when I’m overwhelmed. No, that would be far too productive. I prefer the more inefficient procrastination method.” Ding ding ding! we have a winner!! Right here. I do the exact same thing, and lately it seems to not take much for me to just shut down and not do anything at all! Cuz’ hanging out on Facebook and reading blogs is more fun isn’t it?

    Thanks for keeping it real.

  19. “one of those crazy statements women make when they need to vent and have no plans to follow through on their declarations” – I am so guilty of this myself. I chuckled when I read it because I do it all the time.

    I understand exactly where you are coming from. I feel like I am sinking deeper everyday.

    Hope you have a better day today!

  20. Misery loves company. Glad I’m not alone. I can’t seem to get back in the swing of things after Spring Break last week.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  21. Sounds like your week has been as good as mine. Layoffs, my “friend” coming back after nearly two years of being pregnant or breastfeeding, losing a library audiobook, finding AEK with my engagement ring and wedding band… There is just something about March – it always seems like the longest, most painful month of the year.

    Here’s to a better April! (and warmer weather)

  22. I don’t know where to start.. I can relate as I know so many others can. I loved the “motherhood kicking my butt” comment. That is a perfect way to put it. I’m going to remember that one. I know what you mean about putting negative stuff on your blog, I feel the same way but your friends reading it care about you and want to help. Also sometimes it’s good to know you are not alone. So keep being honest!

  23. I love the honesty in your blog. These are the blogs I enjoy! We all have had our bad days for sure! I passed your blog onto a friend of mine that is a stay at home mom would also love your blog!

  24. Yeah, no matter what choice we make, motherhood is HARD WORK. And there are pluses and negatives to every choice.

    I would HAVE to have to get myself and 3 kids out of the house every morning. I’m so glad I can do some work here and help with the family finances a bit. And yet, balancing work and kids at home and the house is… difficult. There are days I wish I could work unfettered.

    I also remember the days when I didn’t work at all and I was bored. So… there is no one perfect situation, I don’t suppose. 🙂

  25. I think we can ALL relate to this post! I try to write about funny, silly things on my blog but honestly it’s not all sunshine and roses at my house either. And I go into an office four days a week and there are SO many times when I just want to pull my youngest out of daycare and try to work from home but then I know that’s easier said than done, too!

    And now I must get back to my insanely messy house and busy day. 🙂

  26. Um, yeah, I could have totally written this post! One (no, two) day old hair? Check. No make-up? Check. “Comfy” (read – ratty) clothes? Check. Easily overwhelmed at the sight of housework? Check. Procrastinate because of being overwhelmed? Check. Wish everyone would just shut-up and leave me alone (wait, you didn’t actually say that but I will!)? Check!

    My husband has the fix-it tendency, too. He’s done really well learning when it will actually be helpful to start fixing and when I just want to vent and moan and complain!

    Glad your day is somewhat better! Enjoy your wine and AI time. FWIW – bedtime (theirs) is my favorite time of day.

  27. I totally hear you Jo-Lynne and can relate to what you are saying. I’ve been having some crazy days lately where I just want to fly to a deserted island and be all by myself. I like that your blog stays upbeat and light because we all have enough stress in our lives than to read everybody elses on the internet. Not that I’m saying you shouldn’t be real on the blog, but I must admit that I wouldn’t read somebody’s blog where the author just complained and whined all the time. Take some time for yourself and remember that if we don’t take care of us then we can’t take care of others. Tomorrow is Sunday and I’m thinking it’s time for your mall trip!!! Keep smiling!!

  28. Oh I hearya.

    When people used to say to me, “Parenting is the hardest job in the world,” I didn’t realize that was code for “IT IS FRIGGIN BORING MOST OF THE TIME.”

    Clean up!
    Wash your hands!
    Don’t touch that!
    Clean up!
    Two hands!
    Did you clean up?
    Did you wash your hands?
    With soap?
    Why did you touch that?
    Did you not hear me?
    Agh! get a paper towel!


  29. We all have bad days…bad moments. Being a SAHM/WAHM is hard work and we deserve some quietude and a nice glass of wine at the end of the night. Well, you can enjoy the wine. I’ll have to settle for a piece of dark chocolate since I’m nursing and all… 😉

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