Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tell me about it


By Carolyn Hax
Wednesday, May 23, 2007; C10


Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group . . .

Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.

Tacoma, Wash.

Relax and enjoy. You're funny.

Or you're lying about having friends with kids.

Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.

Internet searches?

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Time for an update

Thought it was time for an update. I find when I wait too long to update I forget so many things. Things are good here. Steven just finished his Masters degree and has been applying for teaching jobs this past week. Send good thoughts our way for that, and that he gets something close that he doesn't have to drive far. His grandmother (Granny Kitch to those who know her) is getting worse and worse, they thought for sure she wouldn't make it past this weekend. But so far she is still hanging on. Keep her in your prayers as well, that she will not suffer anymore. While you are praying please keep the family of Gary and Carrie Oliver in your thoughts. Gary is one of my professors at JBU. Their 22 year old son was killed this week while hunting. I do not have details right now. This family has been through so much. Dr. Oliver battled cancer a couple years ago and beat it, his wife has been battling pancreatic cancer for quite some time. Yet through all of this their faith in God is still so strong. If you would like to check out Carrie's site go to

I start summer semester this week. Just my practicum class for now. I do have group in July, so I still get a wee bit of a rest. I am doing a play therapy practicum this semester. They are trying something new with that, so I am hoping that will be a blast. It will be great seeing how I work with a lot of children. Still at Vista and CARE clinic. Derby is going good, got my skates, trying to figure out all the trinkets and gadgets that go along with maintaining them. Even told Steven to get me some outdoor skates for Mother's Day so I can get more skating in. I usually just get a massage because I can't think of anything else I want. Although I could use one of those too, lol.

The weekend of the 18th I am heading to Oklahoma to do 2 presentations at my old high school on Internet safety. Thank you Kelsey for getting that all set up. Also that weekend is when my sister graduates from high school. Her plans afterwards are to attend East Central University, which is where I got my undergrad from. She also is planning on getting married in July I believe. So busy summer there. Not sure what all will be happening this summer really. We will probably be getting our Non-Profit status this summer as well. About dang time, what over 2 years in the making. We have lots of ideas once things start moving.

Well I swear there was something else…this is what happens when I talk to my mom about once a month, I forget half the stuff I was going to say, oh well. That's enough for now.