Tuesday, June 26, 2012

UPDATED: My Summer Plans

I wish I could remember March...
I've been a busy, busy beaver this year. Here's what the past nine months have looked like for me.

September:  I packed up my house and moved while my stupid awesome husband was on an intentionally long extended work trip on the other side of the country.
October: We moved. I unpacked and tried to sooth kiddos freaked out by the change.
November: I started writing for Babble.com and was constantly terrified that someone who was a real blogger would tap me on the shoulder and ask me to go away.
December: The Great Hooker Experiment with you guys. The holidays with my family.
January: Start teaching undergrads at a local college. Still writing for Babble. Still blogging here.
February: Blur of working and worrying and not sleeping and trying to juggle while also finding myself constantly weeping. I suspect the crying was due to Ellen's breast cancer, 3 friends telling me that their marriages were ending, and wondering where the hell Kate went.
March: I have no idea what happened in March.
April: Things start to make sense. Ellen was doing awesome. I was starting to wrap my head around work and deal with the horrifying learning curves/the fact that I am slow-witted. Friends going through major life changes seem to be dealing OK. Then Kate and I had a very hard week where we had to figure out what to do next and we were both sad kittens.
May: The Mother Project with you guys. Finals. Still writing for Babble. Still blogging here. Two of my kids have birthdays and birthday parties (because as previously mentioned - I am an idiot).

At some point between Mother Puckers and birthdays, my kids asked me to please stop looking at my phone so much. They were serious. I felt like a turd sandwich. Because they need me all the time and I have been kind of checked out. And I realized that I was so overwhelmed that the entire month of March really was just a blur. I took a good, long look at all three of my babies and they suddenly seemed so big. I gulped and excused myself and ugly cried in the bathroom as quietly as I could.

The Guilt. It is so crushing.

So this summer, I'm not teaching. I'm not writing for Babble. I'm focusing on being their mom ALL THE TIME. I'll still be here, of course, because this is my therapy. I just won't be here every day.


Part of what we try to do here is tell the truth. I've written before about how being a stay at home was (for a long time) my only job and I kind of sucked at it. Because it's really hard and life keeps throwing things at you. The changes just keep coming and it's hard to keep up with them.

I really think it's OK to admit when you're having a bad time with being a parent. Wouldn't life be easier if we would all just admit it, be open about our mistakes and then wake up the next day ready to do a better job? And everyone just accepted that as normal?

My kids need my attention right now. And it will only get worse this summer - trust me. Once school gets out, it's going to be a noisy, messy, clusteriffic, free for all around here. And I can't wait.

xo, Lydia

UPDATE 6/26/12: 
It's now two weeks into summer vacation. Here's what I've learned: I probably won't be writing (hardly) at all until the fall. I'm really sorry. Thing is, I promised my kids NO COMPUTER or blogging during the day. That is their time. And so far, we're having a blast together. Except for all the regular crap of course, but even that stuff isn't really that annoying for some reason. 

But by the time they're all in bed at night, and I'm able to sit down and write. I AM DONE. I really hope you understand and will still want to hang out with me later on - and maybe help some hookers or some mother puckers. See you soon and have a great summer.
 
xo, Lydia


(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

47 comments:

  1. I once confessed to being a flawed Mommy blogger. It was liberating, but not just for me, which was awesome. http://blogunta.blogspot.com.es/2011/02/worst-mom-ever.html

    Good luck "Lydia". Ima be in your neck of the woods soon if you want to get the minis together to run off their crazy at a park or something ;) I'm so glad you're stepping back, you won't regret it! :)

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  2. Hang in there, Lydia! I get a little twitchy thinking about summer too (and we homeschool). We'll get through it, dirt, sweat, forts, popsicles, swimming pools, and all, and be so thankful when we remember back at the wonderful chaos we spent together.

    And the routine of fall isn't that far away either...

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  3. I am so glad you that you are taking some time for those very important things. We will no doubt miss your daily dose of humor, but it will just make the intermittent ones seem even sweeter!

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  4. Once again proving that you may not be supermom but you ARE a absolutely amazing wonderful loving caring put the kids first mom. And really ya can't ask for more! Love you and glad we can be your therapy!

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  5. I just spent two weeks mostly grumpy and hanging out on the couch, so yeah. The kids are learning important skills in feeding themselves and playing with each other and amusing themselves. Yeah. That's it. And conflict resolution!

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  6. Sounds good to me! And as another mommy trying to do better with the kiddos during the summer, put pinterest to use (at night, when they are sleeping and you are nursing a t-box) and look for summer fun ideas - that's what we're doing and the kids LURVE it :)

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  7. How about this........you post when you can and we'll just all be super duper excited about it. You don't owe us anything...... more infrequent posts will just double the excitement when we log on and see a new story.
    You can blog all you want when they are all grown up and living away from home and you have nothing to do. Chances are we"ll all be reading your blog then posting things like "remember when I sucked at this or that.....yes, that was awesome.

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  8. I love this post because of its honesty. After I had my child, I constantly wondered why other moms seemed so much more "together" than I felt. Then, one day, someone said that I was so "together". I thought that person was either blind or was being blatantly facetious. Then I realized that other moms are probably feeling the same feelings of inadequacy that I was feeling, they just weren't openly expressing these feelings. That kind of bothered me because there seemed/seems to be some strange conspiracy/competition between mothers where they had to act like everything was okay and they weren't on the verge of running away/chugging several bottles (or boxes) of wine/randomly screaming incoherently. People, especially new moms, need to hear that being a mother is the hardest, most disgusting, most thankless (and sometimes showerless) job that they will ever have.

    Long story short, we are all here for you. And we'll be waiting patiently for when you have time. Now go be the kick-ass, ninja mom that we all love!

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  9. It's thanks to your blog that your adoring readers know that its ok to struggle all. the. time.

    I've also learned that there's nothing perfect about you with the exception of your smile.

    Mrs. Darling

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  10. People think I'm crazy when I don't choose to work over the summer.... My babies are only little once, and I would like to see every skinned knee and popsicle stained face. Hugs from one overwhelmed and overworked mommy to another!

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  11. Fourteen months ago I left a full time job that had me away from my kids 12 hours a day to stay at home. On the first day home I found Rants from Mommyland. It made me laugh and kept me sane and I can not imagine doing what I do without it. Thank you and good luck this summer!

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  12. Oh the mom guilt. Hits me so hard and essentially without warning. http://www.momintwocultures.com/2012/05/life-would-be-so-much-easier-if-i-was.html

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  13. You know, I love you. I have said it before, and I will most likely say it eleventy billion more times. Thank you for being honest. And real. Because everything you said here. Yep. That. Daily.
    Enjoy the summer. Take the time. Be back to yourself and your momness, you deserve it! :)
    http://www.thedoseofreality.com/2012/04/17/you-want-a-real-mommy-war/

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  14. You are far from the suck. I know this because, in fact, *I* am the suck. Several years ago, I bought a kid on the internet because I couldn't grow one of my own. This poor kid was so abused and neglected in his young life, that it left him without the ability to have normal relationships. At sixteen, he cannot be left unsupervised for any length of time, for any reason. He will either steal something, or try to hurt himself. It was my turn to go to church on Mother's Day, and I just sat there and wept all through Mass. While I was acknowledged as a mother, it's been a long time since I've felt like one. My son doesn't understand how to love or be loved. He doesn't even care to learn. But here we are, still fighting like hell to get him the help he needs and deserves, only to be told that we are on yet another waiting list....

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    Replies
    1. Honey, you aren't the suck, your situation is the luck. The hand that was dealt to you kid is the suck. You are pretty awesome for continuing to love your kid and fight for him. God bless you. I hope instant karma does something nice for you today.

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    2. ::hugs:: Because you are showing love even when you get none in return makes you the best kind of mom. You strive to help your son because that is what he is, your son, whether he was born into your family or not. He may not be able to acknowledge your love, but you better believe you are getting some major karma points! Kudos to you for doing the best that you can and for being there for your son.

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    3. You are not the suck!!! I can't even apologize for my next statement...mothering an adopted child that came with a history of abuse/neglect is SO MUCH MORE BRUTAL than mothering a bio kid. I can say this because I do both. ALL varieties of motherhood are challenging, but the kid that came messed up that you get to love and fight for will suck the life out of you. I am praying for you to have more and more "worth it" moments where you see the progress and the love and less of the anger and hate. You are not alone.

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  15. More hugs being sent your way from TX. Admire what you do and how you write about it -- honesty, humor, and love. Enjoy your summer, and I'll be keeping an eye out for any posts you write.

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  16. It's always nice to have your own fears validated by someone who you think has it all figured out.
    With 1 kid in elementary, and 2 in daycare, 2 parents working, what the shrek were we gonna do about summer for #1? Had part of that convo with the man 6 weeks ago, which he never stuck around to finish. He brings it up this morning as if it isn't a week till school is out and we have all the time in the world to make a decision. Flicked my toothbrush at him and told him I finished the discussion in my head ages ago, and my mom will be tutoring/watching #1 all summer and YES, we are paying her. Then I left for work and snuffled in my soda so the littles wouldn't figure it out. At least they have to be in "school" year round!

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  17. Aw, you aren't slow-witted. You are a mom of 3 kids who have sucked the life and brains out of you when they were breastfeeding. I think you're amazing. You don't have to be perfect--you just have to love them with all your heart, and you already do. s'ok. Now go to the pool and play!

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  18. You know what, Lydia? I not only love you, but every one of us struggling to be the best mom we can be. Raising my grandson is the hardest thing I have ever done. He's 6 1/2 and has a penis, which is a whole different concept then I'm used too! But when he is smelly, dirty, and tired, I know he's had a great day. I hope. And he is going to day camp all summer! Score!

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  19. Have an awesome summer....there are precious few of them with the kids in the house. xo

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  20. think of the field trips to Target!! T BOX!

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  21. thank you for your honesty. that's what we all need. i also know what you mean about the phone. 2 summers ago i had a phone that did one thing: make phone calls. now, i carry my iphone around constantly, even into the bathroom. my family gets less attention now, then ever. it used to be that in the car we had good discussions; now i'm checking FB at stoplights. i need to stop the madness!

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  22. It's good to read that all is not always perfect, but it's even better to see you take that and process it into something so positive. Your kids are going to be so pumped to have you around more, and you're going to get such great fodder for more posts when you get a few spare moments (ha spare moments.)

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  23. Enjoy your kids this summer!! I know that I plan to. You are an amazing woman!

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  24. great post. honest and really heartfelt (what with the "turd sandwich"). i admire you for listening to you kids and taking some time. :o)

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  25. Do what you gotta do, we support you! And really, it's a win-win, because more time with kids = more fodder for rants, which honestly has always been my favorite part of the site. ;) The very first post of yours that I read was the 5 Guys bathroom debacle, and I was hooked!! -Jenny H.

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  26. gotta do whatcha gotta do. we will all be patiently waiting when you can get back here. =) we will never leave because ya'll "get it" and that is *awesome* and we love all of ya'll for that. at least i can finally get some work done at my own blog. lol. you are kinda awesome. don't forget it. =)

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  27. Being a Mom is the hardest thing EVER. I was just crying on Thursday night because my 2 month old and my two year old were both crying for me, my husband with his damn broken foot still has a DAMN BROKEN FOOT and after six weeks of this I am getting worn down. I have gained seven pounds just trying to keep up with everything.

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  28. Here's the thing I have learned about the phone (well, other peoples' phones. I don't know how to use mine's fancy features so it's the kitchen computer for me) ... sometimes in the middle of the madness of children we need to check out for a few minutes. Not so long that we're compelled to put something on the TV (although those 23 minutes are glorious) but just a little mental break to regroup. As long as nobody's bleeding or on fire when you check out and assuming you do ever check back in, no real harm done. Happy summer!

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  29. time to learn the difference between a "human doing" and a human being ...

    and to live your life as the latter, rejecting the crazy consumption and endless miles (and hours) driving polluting machines from activity to activity in the vast exurban social wilderness

    the notion that becoming a successful manager of madhouse busyness marks one as a role model is foolishness gone wild

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  30. I think it's not only okay to admit when we've had a streak of sucky parenting, but absolutely essential. For one thing, you get to find out that not every Mommy spends her day constructing miniature Eiffel towers (reproduced in exact scale! With solar-powered lights!) out of leftover gum wrappers, or baking her own bread (from whole wheat berries! harvested from wheat grown in their backyard! using human compost so they didn't waste water!).

    You get to find out that a lot of us have stupid (I mean, awesome) husbands who aren't around when there's real work to be done (I mean, are busy), and we get kinda stressed about it, too. So we pick up our phones to get in touch with other adults before we go completely ballistic and wind up being headlines on the evening news (I mean, raise our voices to our kids).

    And the kids? They live through it. But who knows what would've happened if you didn't have that phone to keep you sane.

    So don't feel guilty. Feel normal.

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  31. There are seasons for everything. Don't beat yourself up, but be sure to have a good summer with your kids... wear them out, then they'll be begging you to find your own pursuits come fall!

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  32. I can relate to your sentiment 110%! My kids haven't mentioned my phone, but they should b/c I am attached to it way more than I should be. Sometimes, we have to stop working so hard to be super moms (who can mother AND do everything else, and just be a good mom. Or at least give that your best shot :)

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  33. Bask in the glory of skinned knees and band-aids; camp-outs in the back yard and fireflies; thunderstorms and blanket-forts in the living room; popsicle-sticky kisses and little sweaty sun-baked bodies. Lose yourself in a junky beach novel and squish your toes in the sand.
    Enjoy your slice of Heaven.
    Come on back when you want...we'll have the Tbox ready for ya!!

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  34. Just had the conversation with not one, but TWO of my bosses that started something like this: "See, he's 6 and she's 8, and they are whucktastic minis, but they're getting to be bigger whucktastic minis, and then, (gulp, moist eyes, pre-ugly cry) they won't WANT to go on vacations with me anymore, and they'll listen to music I don't understand and then I will be the devil to them. So I need the summer off. Now." And I punctuated that run-on with "damn-near ugly cry face" in both their offices. And, both bosses (both mommas of grown minis), said OK. So I have my babies for the summer, tho, as I have acknowledged to friends, I know they're not babies anymore, not even really minis. But to me they are. Bring on the fireflies, and freezie pops, and sidewalk chalk. I. want. it. all. HUGS to you. Never doubt you are deciding right.

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  35. Yay for you! Your comment 'Wouldn't life be easier if we would all just admit it, be open about our mistakes and then wake up the next day ready to do a better job?' is my daily mantra. I analyze my mommy skills at the end of every single day and either pat myself on the back or vow to do better the next day. It's how I have to roll. It works. Enjoy your summer and the chaos it brings :)

    Michelle/superfan

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  36. Good for you girl. It really takes guts to step away from everything, and blogging is hard to step back from. I started a blog when my son was 9 months old and it consumed me for a long time. Finally I realized I was getting more stress than joy out of it, and I just had to quit. People still ask me (over a year later) why I quit blogging and tell me how much they enjoy my writing, and I feel guilty, like I owe them something. They are my fans, my loyal readers, after all! But writing is hard, especially when people expect you to be funny. I might get back in the saddle one of these days, but I don't regret stepping away! Of course, I sincerely hope you do come back in the fall because I love you!

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  37. You deserve time off with your special babies who are going to grow up in all of ten minutes, so you don't want to miss it. I've been feeling just like you - just taken on a shedload of work and have been unavailable and checked out. Sucks. THE GUILT is crushing.

    Have a revitalising break. I can assure you a squillion times over that your followers are not going anywhere. Despite your belief that you are not a 'real' blogger - you are, in fact, my reason for blogging, and I've been a copywriter for 15 years. You are authentic, funny and plain wonderful. Will miss your daily laughs and will wait patiently for your return.

    Best of luck!

    http://theycallmemummy.com

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  38. Absolutely right! Everything everybody's said is spot on! We love you and your posts, but wouldn't have any of it without your family. They are first always and forever. Whenever you need or want to post, we'll happily read it, love it, identify with it. You. Are. Amazing. Please don't ever forget that. And please keep reminding the rest of us Eiffel Tower impaired mommies that we're doing okay, too. Just when you get the chance. HUGS and ENJOY!!!

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  39. As another wise woman said up above, we will be double-excited when you do find time to post up a bit of your super-funny, inappropriate, true-to-life we've-all-been-there life stories. In the meantime, take care of you and the kids and do what we all do, try to do what's right. I have heard so much lately that every other mother I know struggles with thinking they can't do enough good enough often enough and we're certain we're raising axe-murderers by taking any time for us. Also know that the times I think I have been the best mother EVER (and they are few) are the times when I've realized I've been sadly absent. It's all a big circle. Hugs.

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  40. The minis need us NOW. I totally get this and am trying hard not to ugly cry from this cubicle at my client's office. We understand. Now, go. Enjoy. But wear sunscreen! And hydrate. Seriously.

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  41. Hey Lydia - you rock. This summer will be an awesome time for you to build up some more rant-tastic material for the fall. Your littles need you and you are being awesome by recognizing that! Have a fantastic summer!

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  42. I'm trying to decide if forwarding this to my husband (he's the stay at home that blogs, and catches up with email, and keeps up with his rss feed, and keeps up with current movies [and also organizes two sets of therapy for the kids] in our family) would be Too obvious and naggy...
    Hope you have a great summer :)

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  43. So proud of you, Lyds. Not the Babble and the teaching. The Deciding that it makes more sense to pay attention to that nudge of "I NEED TO NOTICE MY KIDS while they are still small before I regret it later...." That. Proud of you. As women, we are continually told that we can have it all.. we can, but do we want it all? Maybe sometimes. But I know I can only have so much before I lose something else. Even if you have to lose US here... if you keep your family and your kids are healthy and strong, that is GOOD and enough. You are enough...your best is sufficient to the Lord.

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  44. I am proud of you too. You put parenting first and that is why we choose to be SAHM's (right??!!) - I will always be a loyal fan, I mean you did save me through the first year of our daughters life- our first kid ----way too much change all at once. (husband would come home from work at night and I would be glued to lap top ugly cry/laughing over a post here...THEN I would make the mistake of reading it out loud to him as I wiped away my cry/laugh tears- he didn't get it (humpf! ) but I knew I needed honest FUNNY women/moms in my life, like all the time, and being honest and trying to be a good mom is the #1 goal I think for all of us.
    See you in Sept. and know we are all bat shit nuts with you ( with ONE kid, so far, I can barely cook dinner let alone write...AND I too am DONE DONE after putting her down at bed time. XO sister.

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