I asked Queen Mama to guest blog for me because I love her site, Sweet Merciful Crap & Other Things, and even gave her an award! She’s a great twitter pal! I know you’re going to love her when you get to know her!
Susie Kline, one of my very first and favorite fellow tweeters and bloggers (and my wing(wo)man in our mutual quest to conquer the world, empowered by my Pope-blessed Angel token) invited me to guest blog on her site Motherhoot. (A must follow!)
Having only recently started blogging on a dare and never really taken myself seriously despite having a blast writing it, I was equally honored and shocked to be asked and, out of respect and admiration agreed. Not being a professional writer, I can only assume that what immediately followed that decision was what they refer to as writer’s block. My mind went blank. And, not the usual, 2-children, 1-husband brain cell deteriorating, brain-fart blank. No this felt different. What could I possibly talk about that would interest anyone, hold their attention? (I fear that you are all shouting CERTAINLY NOT THIS! right now!) It wasn’t until another very funny and entertaining blogger whom I follow (and strongly urge you to do the same if you don’t already), recently posted this on her Twitter stream that I got an idea:
In short, she is experiencing what I interpreted as, and can assure you, every wife/mother does at one time or another, over-load, exhaustion, burnout. At first when I read it I giggled (tee, hee) and then I cringed (what sound does cringe make??) as I reminisced of those days gone by when I too wondered how I would/could possibly ever get everything done. Constantly, feverishly writing lists for the grocery store, the school, the bank (at one time using different colored inks to designate priority, really!) …….. and the panic that struck if I god-forbid lost the list **gasp** ! Because, I don’t know if you’re anything like me, but the minute something gets written down on paper it is discarded from my memory.
I’m at a different place in my life, where lists now seem insignificant and I’m recognizing that what I thought were the big things are in fact not, and the little things hold much more importance … I’m certain that this is not the first (nor will it be the last) time that you hear this but seriously, believe me when I say you should “Take time to smell enjoy the coffee life!” (be sure to take a big gulp first so you are awake enough to enjoy it and savor the flavor!)
I imagine that many of you, much like my children when I was screaming irately doling out advice with the intention of sparing them the grief from making the same mistakes that I had, are now rolling your eyes and thinking to yourself “easier said than done” “what an ignorant bitch” and, you’d be right (about the “easier…” thing) ! But if you are truly honest with yourself and look back at all the things you’ve stressed over and panicked about, most of it was ridiculously unnecessary…. it all gets done…..eventually ….and, if it doesn’t, most likely it never needed to be in the first place!
I was trying to think of a funny response to this problem because, well simply because I unsuccessfully try like to be funny and that’s what other people prefer, I think…. but have decided instead to approach it seriously and share a little bit of myself, my insight. As a wife of almost 23 years and the mother of 2 outstanding teenagers (a son, 16 next month and a daughter soon to be 20, yikes!!) I can honestly tell you that no matter how hard you try to organize, plan and manage things, life interferes, schedules are disrupted and jeans get dirty!
I don’t profess to be either a prophet or a crystal-ball gazer, I merely speak from experience.
I recently received a tap on the shoulder,….okay, not actually a tap on the shoulder, more like a punch in the stomach… 3 years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent surgery, chemo and radiation and was, it appeared, in remission. Unfortunately, last month we discovered the cancer has returned and,while the doctors are very optimistic; it is, as you can imagine, a shock, an eye opener. Granted, I would have much preferred that tap, or just a knock on the door or perhaps a telegram. It didn’t even have to be one of those fancy singing telegrams, just something a little more subtle. But then, like most of you, I probably would have shoved it in a drawer or tucked it in my pocket and forgotten about it when the chaos and confusion of life resumed and, once again, taken everything for granted. Unfortunately for most of us, it takes a BIG, not-too-subtle sign to open our eyes and this was mine, ours.
I’m not too old young enough to remember those days when I felt it necessary to be Super Mom, Super Wife, Super Daughter. There were the good days when you accomplished all you set out to on your lists and the not-so-good when you felt defeated because you forgot something, requiring it then to be transferred to list for the following day. Some days seemed like years and some years seemed like minutes. It is only in retrospect that I can say crinkle up that list….WAIT! scratch that, you need the list (more-so the older you get), just don’t take it soooo seriously, use it as a reminder, not a jail sentence. There is nothing so important that it can’t wait. (Well, okay if you have go to the bathroom certainly that can’t wait but if that’s on your list you have a much more serious problem),
Admittedly, I revert back occasionally and have to remind myself to take a deep breath and relax. I often conjure up ideas in my head that could make my not-stressing a little easier like disposable socks for example, or self-cleaning toilets! –
(For all you tech-savvy readers out there I hold no patent on these ideas and not only do you have my blessing but I encourage you to run and develop them!… I merely ask that you make them readily available in my area at such time that they are invented and consider naming them, especially the toilet after me (Sweet Merciful Crap, get it?) as recognition for my genius.)
However, until they are invented, I will not lose sleep over a dirty toilet or mismatched socks (okay, maybe I’m not quite there yet, a dirty toilet really skeeves me but seriously, who really cares if your socks match!). And, while there is nothing more comforting than fresh, crisp laundry, I had to smile when I saw that many of the responses to Parenting In Progress’ blog included Febreze, a favorite of mine for freshening up the jeans! (For those who have not yet discovered this gem, I also highly recommend Downy Wrinkle Release!)
If you were to ask my husband or my children to share their happiest memories, I can guarantee not one of them would have anything to do with whether their clothes were clean and/or wrinkle-free! And, I can say with utmost certainty that none of them would be able to tell you what jeans I wore, never mind how many times in a week. [And I’m quite the looker, so if anyone was gonna’ notice someone’s jeans it would be mine! 😉 ]
We are only human perhaps that should read most of us are and, until at least such time as we acquire our own Rosie the Robot (from the Jetsons’??, surely you remember?, aw c’mon, I’m not that old!) no one can or should be expected to do it all. And anyone that says otherwise is annoying lying. So, live life to the fullest, take shortcuts when it makes sense, and don’t take anything for granted you could get hit by a truck tomorrow!
My motto: Don’t pet the sweaty stuff sweat the small stuff! It’s not worth it (not to mention it’ll create more laundry!)
~ Queen Momma