Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Time For Extra Time

Originally published March 31st, 2010

So did anyone else see the Dr. Phil episode entitled, "Are moms really that busy?" I didn't get to see the whole thing (still no Tivo). It was about a new study by John Robinson, a sociologist at the University of Maryland. He says, "Women have time. Women have at least 30 hours of leisure every week. In fact, women have more leisure now than they did in the 1960s, even though more women are working outside the home."

Excuse me? does this make any sense whatsoever? If more of us are filling up our days with additional work, how do we have additional leisure time? Brigid Schulte of the Washington Post published an interesting article about her participation in his time analysis. I enjoyed her commentary and laughed at his results. His INTERPRETATION of "leisure time" is what is completely wrong, crazy, and idiotic.

He counted her time waiting for a tow truck as leisure! Whenever I get asked, "What do you like to do for leisure?" I always say, "Oh, I love waiting for tow trucks." So maybe this goofball can count, but he's counting the wrong things! And he's counting many of the wrongs things often left up to mothers. Wrapping a birthday present, cooking dinner, feeding a baby. Basically, any time you spend not working at a job you're getting paid for. And the kicker here? What else is going on while you're attempting the ACTUAL leisure activities? I say "attempting" because it usual takes a few tries to complete any activity at my house. Let's say writing this blog is leisure time. Do I count the two times I stopped to take Grayson to the potty, the third time he didn't make it and had to be cleaned up, and nursing Brielle as part of my blog writing leisure time? Oh, wait. There's no hourly rate for that. My WHOLE LIFE is leisure time then. And all you working folk, when you're doing laundry or paying bills or mowing your lawn, things we all have to do that you don't get paid for... That's also leisure time. Leisure time. What a lame-o.

Monday, December 26, 2011

MORE Potty Training Moments...and Poop Socks

I just happened to come across my last post, yes, from a year ago. I noticed it was about potty training, which is something we are beginning to deal with again. No, not with the same child, THANK GOODNESS. We had just ended the process with Grayson at that time and now Brielle is interested. A little sooner than the boys were too, I think. Partly because she's seen them do it and partly because she can't figure out why it doesn't work the same way for her.

It's all similar to Dallon's experience when she was born. Dallon was five, almost six, and made an awesome diaper fetcher. One day, while witnessing a newborn poop explosion, he asked, "Where's her penis??" I matter-of-factly explained that she didn't have one. "She's a girl. Girls don't have penises." His level of shock was impressive, annnnd pretty hilarious. The news had to be shared. He took off in a frenzied rush to find his brothers, yelling, "HEY!! GUYS!!! SHE DOESN'T HAVE A PENIS!!" I had some further explaining to do later but the point is, Brielle can't figure out why they DO have one... OR where hers could be. She has a very "where's mine?" attitude about the missing appendage.

She routinely tries to stand in front of the toilet, or places a cup in front of her pants when she has to go. She's often seen Grayson take care of business that way since we have to allow him an alternative route of relief on occasion. It has prevented having to haul everyone back into Costco or Target when he's mentioned nothing about needing to go while we were in there. (You mothers of little boys know what I'm talking about.) Anyway, all this confusion/discussion about how/what comes out the front, makes her want to quickly remove a diaper with what comes out the back. So much so, that while trying to unload Christmas groceries (yes, on Christmas Eve) and deal with sick Grayson, she decided to remove her diaper BEFORE anything actually happened. After all, who wants to have "what comes out the back" squooshed and cold on your warm rear end?

She had managed to place her little gift right in front of the TV, but had the courtesy to step in it first so that I could see her beautiful poop path to the kitchen. I couldn't believe Grayson had missed her doing all this, since he had been laying on the couch WATCHING TV with his throw up bowl when it happened. The pile she left had to be blocking his view, but on this occasion he chose NOT to tattle. Thanks for listening to mommy about the tattling, honey.

Standing there in the kitchen, trying to figure out whether to run her to the bath before she made a bigger mess, or start cleaning up the mess she just made before someone else unwittingly made it a bigger one, I recalled a similar situation with Grayson a few years back. So I took a deep breath and told myself this has all happened before, as us experienced mothers do. (Haha! Are you ever an "experienced" mother??) There's always SOMETHING new these little people can throw at you, so to me, it's an oxymoron. Part of the job description is that you can't ever be a total ninja mom master because they WILL continue to challenge any newly acquired skills.

Anyway, when Grayson was about two, he had decided to do the same thing. But he REALLY stepped in it. MORE than twice, if memory serves. And then trotted his poop covered feet across my family room in a clover leaf pattern. Jordan had made the initial discovery, looked at his poopy bare feet and asked, "WHY are you wearing POOP SOCKS all over the family room?!?" So that's why "poop socks" was coined at my house and why it is still used on occasion.

I decided to share this moment since my last post related, and now that I have a few kids, I know this is going on in other homes too. These situations are why I was just explaining to a friend that having small children is very similar to running a mental hospital. Basically, toddlers are all on a suicide watch. You have to secure sharp objects, medications, anything flammable... You even have to ensure there is no possible route of escape and that the residence is properly locked down! And... you have to be prepared to deal with poop socks.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Potty Training Moments

Maybe I'll start posting on here on a regular basis...hahaha!! Yeah, right! I did want to post one more thing. This actually happened a while ago, but I have been telling myself that I have to write it down. I wish I could remember when exactly, but I know Grayson was about three and a half because it was the summer after Brielle was born.

I was sitting in the car with Grayson and feeding Brielle in the back seat of our van. We were at the park and the bigger kids were playing on the jungle gym in front of me when Grayson said, "Mommy, I have to go poop!"

"Do you think you can hold it for just a minute while I finish feeding your sister?" I asked.

"Yeah, I can hold it." he said.

"Okay, try really hard to hold it! I'll hurry." Then as a little bit of an afterthought I added, "Squeeze your cheeks together." We were finishing up potty training at the time so I didn't want any relapses. I turned around to give Brielle a few more bites and then turned back to see how Grayson was doing. He was looking out the window, watching his brothers, with both hands on either side of his face and his mouth squished up between those hands. I instantly realized what he was doing. "Squeezing his ‘cheeks’ together."

One of the funniest moments I have had with my children.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mothering Madness

I haven't posted on this thing in years but my friend, Tiffany, inspired me to document some of my thoughts about keeping your house clean and raising your children. AT THE SAME TIME. I was just going to "comment" on her adorable blog but apparently, I had too much to say. Since it wouldn't allow me to post it, I decided to put it here. Let me just start with, "I feel ya sister!!" To see her blog and the other awesome comments, click here.

I was just telling Jordan he was going to have to drop me off at the loony bin and he could stop by in a few months and we would talk then. Some of you already know this, but let me break it down. We had five children in seven years with a set of twins in there. (Four boys within four years, by the way.) Our youngest is a girl that is a year and a half and for some reason I thought we had maybe gotten to a point where going back to school would be an option. Now Jordan and I are both trying to finish up. It's so lame! What was I thinking?

Sometimes I think that it was easier when there were three of them in diapers at the same time, but then I remember what my house looked like. I remember my sisters-in-law commenting on how it only gets harder as your kids get bigger. I also remember thinking that they must have been on drugs to cope at the time and they just don't remember it accurately. I'm so glad I can remember my messy house as proof of the difficulty. It's not AS messy now, so it MUST be getting easier. I don't have teenagers yet so maybe it does get harder later? But I really can't imagine that being the case. You may worry more about their decisions, especially when they start driving, but it's not the same mental exhaustion created by the little one's needs for food and clothing and comfort and entertainment and EVERYTHING.

My kids can get themselves a drink or a snack (well, most of them), some of them know not to drink the bleach or stick their hands in the toilet, and a select few can wipe their own rear ends when the occassion calls for it. So, my point is that you just had a new baby and babies are new for a while. And nursing one takes a lot of time and no one else can do it since we don't live in the seventeenth century. Although I can't say I haven't thought about placing an ad for a wet nurse just to see what happens. And after they're done being babies, you end up with a toddler and we all know how that can go. I think mine is busy playing with a Lego box full of choking hazards while I type this.

I totally understand feeling like you're going crazy. Like, for real. CRAZY. So many people are commenting because so many people understand! And it's comforting to me that I'm not the only one, so thank you everyone for airing your dirty laundry! I wish I had it figured out and I could post some great tips along with these wonderful ladies, but I don't. Some days I look at my house and just say, "Not today." Sometimes I understand how hoarders begin their madness. I too, really have a desire for perfection and reality is, it never will be. Since it's not attainable, why even start? I feel that way sometimes then I freak out even more and start throwing away anything that's not nailed down or too heavy to move. If there's less stuff in the house, there’s less stuff to be picked up, right? I think my biggest frustration is that I never get to see anything accomplished. There are no tangible fruits to my labors. If I spend time with the kids and we have a mommy moment all I see later is all the stuff that's not done. I can't check those intangible things off a list. Sometimes I have Jordan take all the kids somewhere for a while and I get some things done without any distractions. Which is really good most of the time, but if they go do something fun I get kinda upset that I'm not going along. Those times I usually end up going along and leaving the mess since it WILL ALWAYS BE THERE awaiting my return.

I saw this episode of Oprah when the twins were little. She was interviewing this woman who wrote a book about motherhood that ended up being very controversial. This author was exposing what she considered "the truth” about motherhood and how we, as mothers, feel too guilty to complain about our situations or admit that it’s difficult because it would be like saying we don’t want our children. So no one ever talks about it, mothers don’t realize everyone is in the same boat, and young girls grow up with unrealistic expectations about what motherhood is going to be like. Then, when they have difficulty themselves they feel like a failure.

If I remember right, her point was that we needed to discuss the difficulties and learn from each other’s struggles because we all have our moments. I’m not sure why it ended up being so controversial. (Didn't the same type of thing already happen in the 50's? When women decided that trying to make their husbands sound smarter than themselves and wearing a dress with a matching bow and having dinner on the table the second he walked in was incredibly LAME? And there was really no reason to act like life was so perfect? I guess it didn't tranfer to the children or the housekeeping.) A lot of women in the audience were very upset about her comments but I jumped right on board with the author. While sitting there with two seven month old babies and pregnant with a third, I was so thankful to hear I wasn’t the only one that thought, “This is hard sometimes.” And while I ADORE my children and the truly amazing little people that they are, I cannot keep my whole house clean all at once or all the time. Or really, even part of the time. I hope this doesn't sound like my kids are the issue cause they're not. But I guess, cleaning up their messes kinda is. It's like what Tiffany said about mothering and housekeeping. She loves them both but it's so hard to do them at the same time! Well, I don't know if I can say I love housekeeping...

I've heard that saying "picking up after kids is like shoveling snow in a blizzard" and I appreciate whoever reminded me of it. I think I'm going to paint it on my front door. Anyway, I guess I'm done with my rantings. Thanks Tiffany, and everyone else, for reminding me that part of the reason I don’t have it all figured out is because it really is difficult. And that when company stops by without calling, I am in no way obligated to answer the door.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hello to all you people who might actually take the time to read this. Not sure if you just really have A LOT of time on your hands or you find our craziness entertaining. Either way, here it is. Da da da daaaaaaa! My first official blog post. Usually, I start to do this and get way to busy picking a new template to ever post anything, "but today is a new day".

I'm going to have to start with current activities because it would be way too overwhelming to try and back track. The only new news is that Grayson, who is an adorable two years, had his first experience on the potty tonight. It was a success. The other five of us stood over him and threw him a huge party once the task was completed. I think our whooping and hollering scared him a little bit.

Well, that's all for our eventful Sunday.