Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Guilt, Pocket Frogs, and 'Having It All'

I like to consider myself to be a pretty awesome mom. I wouldn't be too impressed, though. I also consider staying up really late and whiling away hours at a time with my kids while we play Pocket Frogs on our iPods/Phones to be a worthwhile activity. I am, shall we say, a bit eccentric in my parenting style. Well, lets just get it out there...I'm eccentric in most areas of my life. I've come to terms with my quirkiness and unconventionality. My kids, being innocently unaware of anything to the contrary think I'm a great mom just the way I am. I admit that their opinion is the one that ultimately matters the most to me. Honestly, that unconditional love from my kids is like the fuel in my engine. Really keeps me going, especially on the days when I don't feel much like 'going' if you know what I mean.

This summer has most definitely been lazy, a bit hazy and completely crazy at times. I've had a lot to deal with. Recovering from surgery, various bizarre setbacks and a MRSA Staph infection that really wiped out what few reserves I had begun to build up. I am on the mend and doing much better but after emerging from the cave that is my bedroom and squinting painfully into the light that is my household responsibilities, I felt akin to a vampire (no, I don't believe in vampires but like the metaphor) emerging into sunlight for the first time. "Aaaaiiiiieeeeggghhhh!!" Is sort of the sound that the little voice in my head makes as I survey my little kingdom and see it in ruins all around me. I've wanted to fold my proverbial cape over my eyes and retreat into the safety and darkness of my cave on more than one occasion. Actually, in the interest of truthfulness, on more than one occasion, I've done just that.

Daily, I hear that little voice in my head saying things like "Seriously...get your act together. Have you seen the pantry? You used to keep everything organized by color and alphabetized, for Pete's sake!" Or "Hey, how about you make up your bed for the first time since MAY? Whadda ya think?" And "You stay home all day with your kids. Other women have full time jobs and still find a way to keep up with everything and keep orderly, pristine homes. They are out there having it all. Marriage, career, kids, household...I mean, what exactly do you DO?" You get the drift...

After listening to this dialogue for a couple of minutes, I usually tell the little voice to bite me and just zip it. Lucky for me, like a stubborn strain of bacteria, I have become increasingly immune to the negative little voice inside my head and am resistant to take it all that seriously. The loving, positive little voice is getting much more air time these days. Denial? Maybe. Whatever works, right? Here's the thing...I do feel guilty at times. I wish I could do more. Wish I were more motivated or that I had my  usual mommy-mojo back. Sometimes I feel like a failure. I pray for strength and wisdom.  And then I guess I snap out of it and realize that I'm really doing the best that I can with the cards I've been dealt. Grace washes over me and I just let it go. I see things more clearly and realize that my kids don't give a rat's rump about an unorganized pantry or unmade bed or having a pristine home. They just want me to  put on my jammies and play computer games with them. They want my time and attention. My husband wants me to rest and get my strength back as the doctor has ordered. He doesn't care that his kingdom is a little messy. He just wants his queen back. The only one who's been putting pressure on me is, I'm working on that but old habits die hard, you know? Say a little prayer for me, will you?

Thankfully, there's a vacation to Colorado on my horizon. I really need a change of scenery. Getting ready for a trip is a lot of work but I'm really motivated to get the heck out of my cave for a while. I'm 'going to grandma's' and I know we will all be spoiled rotten and nurtured like crazy. I've gotta tell you...I'm going to eat it up like candy.

Yes, there are superwomen out there 'Doing it All' and 'Having it All.' I will always admire them wistfully from afar. But honestly? They can have it all. I really don't want it. I'll just be on the sidelines in my jammies silently cheering them on and happily munching popcorn as my kids and I advance to the highest levels to be attained on Pocket Frogs.

After all, summer will be over soon enough and the realities of life will take over. The memories, though...we'll have those for a lifetime. Ribbit, ribbit... :o)



  1. Hi Cat,

    Beautiful note! And a good reminder to all moms that making memories with our kids and husband is way more important than a pristine home!


  2. Love your honesty, Cat. I'll be on the sidelines in my granny jammies cheering with you!

  3. Amen Sista! My boys and I are thoroughly enjoying our summer hanging out together. We also like playing video games and watching Family Feud together (yep, I said Family Feud). The best parts of the whole thing are the memories, the laughter and the conversation that happens. They grow up way too fast. I say play now, clean when you can!


  4. So great to know I'm not alone. Pajama-clad mommies unite!! Making great memories is the most important thing I'll ever make for my kids. It's the only thing that will last them a lifetime.


  5. Your trip to Colorado will complete the mending. Sometimes I wish that it were possible to back to when my children were little and living at home. That was certainly the golden period of my life. My youngest is now 40, still awesome but it's not the same.

    1. Thomas,

      I wonder sometimes what I will do with myself when my kids are grown and gone. I know I'll be missing all of the things I've been complaining about!


  6. The relationship you have with your kiddos is such a sweet thing to see - and from a mommy that is a little further ahead in the kids ages, you are SOOO right about the memories - my kids and I laugh all the time about some of the funny, goofy things we did to just have FUN!!! Keep making the memories - the house will still be there waiting when the time is right:0) Love you, girlfriend! ~ Amy H

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