Something’s Got to Give

Today was a rough day.

I went running tonight to relax. (now there’s a sentence I never thought I would type…)

It was a good run despite the fact that I’m fighting a slight head cold and have been on a strict after-dinner diet of Breyer’s “light” chocolate chip mint ice cream this week. Yeah, like a 1/2 a cup(ish) a night… (WHY does the grocery story INSIST on selling things like this? and WHY oh why must the serving size be so small? geez.)

Anyway, I went 4 miles and for quite some time of that distance I was actually unaware that I was still going at a 5.7 mph clip. Instead my brain played back the day’s events and tears started to fill my tired eyes. It was not the first time I’d cried today.

School was closed today (for ABSOLUTELY no reason, I might add) and I knew that was a recipe for many little disasters. I was right.

Perhaps it was my initial attitude about B being home all day that got things off to a bad start. (and please note that he is not really the problem but rather his younger brother who is an expert at pushing his big brother’s sensitive buttons and uses his skills frequently).

No matter what all went down, I was NOT the best mother I could have been today. Now granted, they were not the “best” kids either but that doesn’t matter. I am their mother. I am their example. I am the adult. I need to be better. I HAVE to be.

I only get one chance with these little people and part of me feels like sometimes I’m really screwing up royally.

While I was processing all of this during my run I came to the conclusion that I’m trying to do too much. As I think so many of us mother’s are these days.

On any given day, I’m going for a run, taking photos, making a full meal for dinner, trying to teach myself to sew, driving from school to catechism to soccer practice (with two smaller children in tow). I’m Membership VP of the local Moms club and there are meetings and play dates (at my house). I’m blogging and trying to visit other’s blogs, texting, watching t.v., playing words with friends, and on Facebook and Twitter ALL. AT. THE. SAME. TIME.(well, those last few things anyway. I don’t text and drive Mom.)

And I’m over here wanting and yearning for EVERYONE to like me and hoping no one takes anything I say or post or tweet the wrong way.

All the while trying to be SuperMOMandWIFE.

And then I make friends like Angela England, who I met at Bloggy Boot Camp back in October, where she spoke on SEO and I got to see her again last week at Blissdom.  She claims on her main site “The Untrained Housewife” that “my house is often a wreck, my family scrounges for food amongst the science-experiment that is my refrigerator and my attempts at teaching my children are sporadic at best.”  But all I see is that she’s a wonderful mother to her children (that she brings with her to the conferences) and a fabulous multi-tasker.  And earlier today I found out via twitter that she used to be a massage therapist.  And the following tweet exchange happened between us.

I really like her take on it all and I aspire to have the same attitude, you know that being amazing and slightly insane at the same time is all good. :)

But still, I’m thinking that at least for me, something’s definitely got to give.

I’ll let y’all know what it is…

see, they’re still smiling (well, 2/3 of them anyway…) and I’m praying for a better day tomorrow…starting with ME.


  1. I’m so jealous of your running. I need to be running like that again. Good for you. Sorry your day was crappy. I get it. Those at home days can be hard.

  2. Oh hugs hon. It is exhausting. I am feeling refreshed after my trip to Nashville – and interestingly enough…going to a blogging conference has made me really step back from blogging and twitter this week and just hug on these little people running around my legs.

  3. Ok wow, this was a great post. I love how real and honest you are. “I only get one chance with these little people and part of me feels like sometimes I’m really screwing up royally.” Oh yeah, that resonates with me. Thank God they love us anyway and we get a fresh chance every day!
    I am amazed you have what it takes to get up a post like this after a day like that. I think I’m kinda over the blog thing…I just don’t have the energy to write these days!

  4. I think I wrote this a post a few months ago. What gave for me was blogging, meaning I blog less and I no longer feel guilty about it and guess what- the people who read my blog STILL read it. And comment more. Go figure.

    Of course, you know I still run because like your run last night, it’s during my runs that my head clears out and if I have a poor attitude about the day or whatever, that leaves too. It is amazing what endorphins can do for your mind.

    Love you girl, I SO get this post.

  5. Oh Laney. I have been there so many times. This is just such a HARD gig. Motherhood is just TOUGH. And yes, it sounds like you are trying to do TOO MUCH. Must simplify.

    Watching my kids interact with each other lately I discovered that they had learned some bad things from me. They were yelling at each other all the time. They hardly ever spoke to each other except for in a yell. I know that that came from me as sometimes I feel like everything I say comes out in a bark. I had to change that right quick! Not acceptable. I was watching the Duggars (I LOVE them) the other night and watched amazed as the mother corrected her children in a SUPER calm manner and made them repeat a better behavior (a sentence) 10 times each so they know what they should have done in that circumstance. It was an “aha!” moment. Since then I have been teaching my boys a much better way to resolve arguements and I have been so much calmer. It has been lovely around here! I know I will loose my temper again (I have a fiery one!) but hopefully I will get right back on track again. This is how I want to teach my kids.

    It is really tough, Laney. Give yourself some credit! You are a fabulous mom! We have good days and bad days but you just gotta hang in there! You’re doing great! :)

  6. Oh girl. I’m right here with you. I am stuck in survival mode most days. I hate that. I just want to enjoy this life and these little people, not survive it. I’m thinking something has to go, too. Just remember, it’s not the bad days that stick in their memories, it’s the love that you give them. They KNOW you are a great Mommy! Hugs girl!

  7. We all have days like this. Mine started out similiar.

    I love your raw honestly. And the fact that you care, makes you the greatest mom for your kids.



  8. I’ve felt like this so often and my mom’s words ring in my head. “AMY, YOU’RE DOING TOO MUCH.” I’ve really scaled back in the last year including selling one of my sites which has helped SO much. Don’t feel bad for letting the balls drop. You’d rather drop one of those then lose precious time with your kids. Put yourself on a social media or WWF time-out for a few days/weeks if you need to to gain some perspective. Sometimes you just have to say no! Hang in there though, you’re not alone!

  9. I could have written this post (well, minus the running outside part). I struggle with this all the time. I know that I’m not doing what God wants from me, but I am still struggling to put aside the distractions and get serious about doing it. I’m on a retreat team right now and I am so glad, because they are really emphasizing obedience and spiritual discipline and it is just what I need. It helps to have the support of the other women on the retreat team.

    It sounds like you do have too much. I know how hard it is to put aside the social media distractions, but it can be so worth it at times. You’ll figure things out though, be patient with yourself!

  10. I think many of us could have written this.
    Ang is pretty amazing but, what makes her the most amazing — she’s real and she’s not afraid to show it.


  11. We’ve all been there and will be there again…and again! Good thing is, you know yourself and your family’s needs. Some days, we make the right decisions, some days we don’t. On the days we don’t, we need to forgive ourselves and ask forgiveness of those we’ve wronged. On the days that are good? Be thankful. (Also, all that is much easier said than done! But I do try to remember it in my own life.)


  12. I love it. I’m so glad that you are learning to embrace the chaos. Sometimes when I decide to NOT freak out and just “go with the flow” not only is my house a happier place, but my heart is too.

  13. Oh man! What a tough day! (((HUGS))) We do the best we can. Some days it doesn’t feel like it, but no matter what, we did our best! Bad moods happen. Today’s a new day. I hope it’s better!

  14. First of all, your children are beautiful. They are well-nourished, body and soul. Actually, that’s all I want to say, because I know you’re giving these creatures an incredible childhood, full of love. When you don’t have a good day, I think that teaches them permission to embrace bad days as well.

    Perfection is not the goal. Contentment is.

    At least that’s what I keep saying to myself.

  15. Do you have a treadmill? Because if you do, I am so jealous.

    And also, I’m having lots of bad days right now. You are not alone.

  16. huge hug and camaraderie, my friend. we’ll make it through winter! and at least you are running. holy cow, running four miles to relax… i wish i was at that place in my life. phew.

  17. i get ya. I drove out in the snow to the gym today and kept trudging away well past my usual stopping point just because my workout was a break from the rest of my day.
    and more than once I wanted to cry on the treadmill.
    a little insane. sore from my run. and desperate for some sunshine myself.

  18. Gosh. Tough stuff. I have to think that most of us feel this way. For me, I don’t actually enjoy the housewife stuff–cooking, cleaning, play dates, etc. but the circumstances of Charlie’s birth put me in a situation where I didn’t feel like there were other options. Took me a long time to get to this place where I’m OK with the fact that I’m a lousy housewife. I tell people ALL THE TIME that my house is a disaster. There are always cups all over the places, dirty dishes waiting to be attended to and piles of laundry in the same predicament. But even I have to cut back and I’ve given up most of my free writing–focusing only on paid gigs–and I don’t pressure myself to post as much as I used to. Baby steps, I say.

    It’s great that you shared all of this. We all struggle with how we measure up to the idea of “perfect” and it’s good when we let each other know that many of us are in the same boat.

  19. i really feel for you elaine. some days REALLY suck and we aren’t at our best as mothers, and the FIRST thing we do is beat ourselves up about it! DON’T DO THAT! they have long sincew forgotten it, but continue to mull it over – u are a GREAT MUM and they are lucky to have you!!!

  20. I completely understand what you are saying here. I always want to be better than I seem to be, when I should really learn to be happy with who I am.

  21. I adore you, for the record. I hold onto something that a very respected child attachment psychologist said once in a presentation I attended. “You’re children need you to get it right 30% of the time. They don’t need perfect parents, they need good enough parents.”

    I know some would think that’s sad, but I LOVE it.

  22. I think I was meant to read this post today. I’m having one of those days today. I think we must all go through it, even though we put on a brave face and don’t show it. Seriously, thank you for saying this.

  23. You know I just posted something similar b/c you saw it before I came over to see this….

    We ALL have those days. And we ALL think every other mother is doing it better, when in fact? I think those moms are just hiding it really well.

    I’m glad you & Ang hit it off!

    p.s. good for you for going for a run—too cold here, but wish I could do the same!

  24. I’m in the same boat and I don’t know sometimes how to slow the anxiety and be the calm mom. I may never achieve that title, but I am going to try to be more patient even when I feel like I’m at a breaking point. We’re not perfect, but we love them and the fact that we worry about these things speaks volumes! {HUGS}