Doubt

I’m a competant professional.  Expert domestic delegator.  Reasonably thoughtful wife.  And active-duty mommy moving steadily up in the ranks towards ‘2-Star Experienced Caretaker, Counselor and Boo-boo kisser.’  It’s a lot of work, but I generally manage to accomplish the mission-critical assignments.  Then there are ‘those’ days.  The ones where I look around and see this:
Laundry scattered on pool table

It's been here for 3 days. I think it's clean. But I should smell it. Just to be sure.

And this:

Kids sword fighting

In theory, this is 'play.' In reality, it is a war to the death. The winner gets Mommy's full attention for at least 3 minutes while she administers the lecture on the perils of puncture wounds. Video would be infinitely more compelling.

And I imagine my boss doing this:

Tina Fey rolliing her eyes

"Really? Did she give up coffee again?" Photo: YouTube, CityTV

And I look like this:

Me, looking a mess

Me, amping up to beat the husband off with a stick.

And then…THEN I notice these:

My crows feet

And I can’t help feeling like I want to eat a half-gallon of Haagen Daaz vanilla ice cream with Hershey’s chocolate syrup and proceed directly to bed. 

Is it just me?  Because Facebook leads me to believe there are women out there managing to fit in a daily run, complete complex work assignments, make shockingly-elaborate princess castle cakes, host weekly game nights, raise perpetually polite and well-behaved offspring and apply makeup.  EYELINER?  EXERCISE?  Where do these women find the time?  I am in awe.

Rationally, I know we all have days when we wonder if we’re doing enough.  Being enough.  Applying enough Olay Definity eye cream.  But for me, these occasional days of doubt are the major downside of working from home.  Don’t get me wrong, for every challenge, there are no fewer than three great perks.  But when your daily commute consists of a 30-second shuffle from the bedroom to the living room, there’s no one to run into in the break room and say, “Last night, I let the kids have peanut butter and Pop Tarts for dinner.  I mean, peanut butter…it’s got protein, right?”

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18 Responses

  1. I relate!

  2. Give it up girl.you are doing a terrific job(jobs)
    What you are experiencing is.OGM is thirty the new 20, forty the new 30.If so then I am only fifty Yeah.!!!
    Every decade brings new and exciting (HA) changes.
    Those little lines around your eyes,. those days when your favorites jeans just do not feel right. They are just moments in time.You will get use to the way the new you looks. One day you will look at pictures of yourself in your thirties and think WOW i looked great why didn’t I appreciate when I had it,.\
    You are that vague wonderful age when people look at you and they can’t put a finger on your age. some where in her thirties.That means 30 or 39. You look fanastic.
    Wear your jeans tight and your skirts short and show some cleavage.Where your bikini with pride.All those Face book chicks are laying on the bed trying to zip there pants up, no matter what they say . As for the one or two that are telling truth,well they are the same girls we hated in grade school,high school, college and motherhood.
    The true test is what will they look like at 60.
    You’ve got good genes and good jeans. Buy more good jeans you”ve earned them And great shoes Come to think of it WHILE YOU ARE OUT SHOPPING FOR YOU not for the kids ,not your hubby!!!! Buy something sexy for just you. Know is the time don’t throw it away with doubt.
    Oh!!! you can thank you grandmother for the good genes.
    The rest is up to you.
    PS I still see men giving you that look when we are out. ENJOY
    You will become invisible to men soon enough.
    Mom .That too has its perks you can run to the Haris Teeter in your bad flowered PJ”s and no one even notices

    • Oh Mother, dear…how grateful I am to have you as my chief counselor and confidante. I know you are right about all of it. Why is it mothers are most generally right? It must be all that life experience 😉 And oh by the way, 60 IS the new 50, so break out the wine, bust out the purple hat and know that you are NOT invisible. xoxo.

  3. I seem to recall starting a blog about how “Having it All” means all of it is dirty. Cause NO ONE TOLD ME THAT PART and now I am bitter and resentful.

    And we get to be the people who tell you “Oh my god, last night I fed the kids Ramen noodles and cream cheese. That’s a well-rounded meal, right?” Just to make you feel better. Or, just to make us feel better. SOMEONE damn well feel better, because otherwise I’m locking myself in a closet. I may lock myself in a closet anyway. Write me, won’t you?

    And “eyeliner”? What is this “eyeliner” of which you speak?

    • Oh girl, don’t go locking yourself in a closet on my account. I FEEL BETTER. I swear! And you’re right. The nice thing about this ‘little’ blogosphere is the identification of a whole community of women working, stressing and succeeding in the same tasks every day. Hope you had fun with the Wizard. Can’t wait to read your thoughts on the whole experience…

    • P.S. Lori, I just dug through my makeup drawer and found something that appears to be eyeliner. I assume that’s what it is because it is brown and crayon-like and was buried next to a very small sharpening utensil that clearly holds the decomposing remains of said pencil. Using a photo of myself circa 1998, I carefully applied it to the ocular region of my face. Turns out, we use it to keep our eyes from fading into the sockets. It’s all coming back to me now…lol.

  4. PS – I like your mom.

    • Thanks 🙂 She is a heck of a mom and one seriously hilarious chick.

  5. Ok – I knew I liked your writing. The photos are a great addition. But, now I think I see a budding stand-up comedian as well. So, you really are going to need an agent!!

    In all seriousness, these stories are fun to read and are the foundation for a great book. I’d like a signed copy please.

    • Ben — For your interest, dedication and unfailing enthusiasm, I hereby promise you no fewer than TWO signed copies of the book that I have not yet outlined, authored or been approached to write. Let’s just hope I don’t use up all my good stuff before some savvy editor starts pestering me to live up to my full potential.

      Seriously…thank you for reading and posting such encouraging sentiments. If I were to need an agent (the very thought of which is making me giggle), you’d be tops on my list. Of course that means you’ll have to keep a steady supply of semi-stale Doritos and Diet Coke on hand just in case I drop by for an afternoon snack. But really, that’s a small price to pay for all the fun we’d have, no?

  6. Peanut Butter is a major source of vitamins and minerals- at least that is what I tell myself when my daughter eats three teaspoons worth on a spoon for lunch. Yup, not even on bread!

    Look at it this way- if you were doing all those things.. makeup, princess cakes, et al.. you wouldn’t have nearly enough time to snap pictures of your kids dueling to death!

    • Dina — Your comment about cake baking vs. picture taking is right on (thank you). As for the peanut-butter-sans-bread thing, I think your daughter may be laying the foundation for a thinnish future. Carbs are evil. I feel sure if I could give up bread entirely, I’d lose the last 10 lbs of baby weight clingning to my midsection. Go on, girl…

  7. Hmmm, will it make you feel better if I tell you I sit writing in my husband’s sweat pants, his work shirt riddled with holes, and a awesome VS tanktop stained with some sort of liquid that obviously missed my mouth? I would wear killer slippers like you, but wait, pretty sure that aroma is cat urine not foot odor…

    Let us not forget I have reached the point where wrinkle cream has been replaced by spackle and a gallon of primer, and it doesn’t end at my eyes. Have perfected the smokey eye, oh wait, those are dark circles… Hair frost currently resides at the ends of my overgrown mop, seems the grey roots have grown to forest proportion.

    My kids lived to tell the tales of the 2×4 duels, blow dart injury, and neither one suffered brain damage from the boxes of Swiss cakes or convenient serve frosting in a can (less dishes if directed straight to the mouth). Besides, I’m assuming those are strawberry/blueberry/cream cheese poptarts right? Balanced meal:berry is fruit serving, antioxidants, vitamins etc, cream cheese is dairy, calcium etc, crunchy goodness is bread, protein from the p butter. See, looks like a balanced meal to me!

    • Lisa — You are cracking me up! Fantastic to know that the odds of offspring survival are good despite an occasional diet of Pop Tarts and peanut butter. Now that I think about it, we DO have protein, fruit, carbs and natural fats. It’s a virtual food pyramid-packed punch! Add to that the fact that sibling rivalry has only resulted in some bumps, bruises and moderately-inappropriate verbal exchanges that include words like ‘butt’ and ‘suck,’ and I almost feel like a success. Whew! You people sure know how to get your rally on. Nicely done, girls. Seriously. I don’t even feel bad about the 1/4″ roots or the holey jeans and ‘Switchflops.’

  8. I’m finally taking time to read through some of my blogs, and I can so relate to this! You are hysterical! My kids had mini powered donuts for breakfast today. I suppose it’s a breakfast food, but not exactly a healthy start to the day. And I’m sitting typing this in the middle of the mess that is my kitchen. But that can wait. My husband can’t understand how I can work at home and not clean all this stuff up! But I’m just so focused on work, I can’t possibly break away to clean!

    By the way, you’re still looking great!! I’ve been coloring my hair for years because I have to. I swear I’m about 50% gray at this point and I’m not even 40 yet!! Plus, I’ve been paying for Weight Watchers online for months thinking it would be my incentive to eat better. Not working. I bought Wii Fit figuring it would help me workout in a fun way. I’m lucky to get on there twice a week for 20 minutes! Oh well.

    • Julie — Why does it not surprise me that you can relate to this post, lol? After checking out your blog, I honestly don’t know how you do it….so ambitiously organizing all those educational activities and play dates for the kids, in addition to everything else! It’s funny what husbands think ought to get accomplished by a work-at-home mom with two kids, huh? Fighting the guilt over what I don’t get done everyday (but think I should) is a near-constant battle. Don’t sweat the gray and the few extra lbs, girl. We’re all right there with you. You’re doing a fabulous job Thanks for taking a look at my stuff. It’s great to hear from you…

  9. You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me.

    • Hey newbie! Welcome to the club! I’ve only been doing this for a month so I’m a total rookie as well. Good luck with your writing…it really is a lot of fun!

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