Friday, November 20, 2009


I kept Emma's eyes red in honor of the new twilight movie ;)

Today I am cleaning. How is that different from yesterday? Good question. I don't know.

There is a sister in our ward, about my mom's age, that I adore. She is moving at the end of December as her husband has been transferred. I am heartbroken. She is like another grandmother to my children, and they adore her. She always makes me feel better about myself, and is so supportive in motherhood, which is probably because she had five kids.

So I talked to her on the phone and told her of my frustration. "I am not having much luck scouring my disaster of a house with Jack clinging to my legs." I was pretty down about it. I will say for the five hundredth time on this blog, I don't do well with chaos.

In record time she was at the door of my house, there to pick him up. Laura was also home, as she is fighting a cold. She scooped them up and put them in her car. I really resisted. I have a need to be independent. I don't like to ask for help. I want to be able to do everything myself. I am always afraid of being the whiny, needy person. But she told me I would actually be doing her a favor, as she misses her grandchildren dearly. See how I told you she ends up making me feel better???

So I have been attacking my kids' closet. Yes, that is closet, not closets. I live, again, in a 100 year old house, and I have THREE small closets in my entire house. So my kids share one closet. It takes a lot of rejiggering to get everything in there in an orderly fashion. So I have been working on that closet and finished Jack's room, with dusting and all the little things involved in a cleaning. I really think I could clean for three straight days and only take two potty breaks in the meantime and maybe then I would be done. And because I am the queen of unfinished projects, I have already started taking out my Christmas decorations, yeesh.

So, while I was working, (daytime tv bugs me) I listened to Dennis Prager. I adore Dennis Prager. He is pretty much the only radio show I ever listen to. He is so thoughtful, and fair, and un-blowhard-y, I can deal. I also love that he only talks about politics for awhile. The rest of the time is on issues... the male/female hour, the happiness hour, etc.

Today was the happiness hour, and the subject was something I've been thinking a lot about lately. It was about what really matters in our children's lives, as opposed to all the things we want to give them. It was about helping your children (and yourself) to learn how to be truly happy, no matter what their situation is in life. I feel like I understand and believe in the concept, but to actually implement it in my own life is difficult because I often struggle with what I like to call The Mother Guilt. As I straightened I tried to really think about what my kids will remember about their childhood, and what will be happy memories for them. I try hard hard hard to really instill in my brain that it will be the happy times we spend together that they will remember, rather than if I bought them every American Girl doll in existence.

Sometimes I feel bad because they don't have what I like to think are important childhood things, like a treehouse, or swingset, or something. Don't laugh at me, I'm serious. But then I have to balance that by remembering that my kids get to run up and down the street barefooted with some great neighborhood kids. They got to play around-the-house freeze tag yesterday until the there was no more light left to be had. I could hear them collapsing with laughter outside while I made dinner.

I saw an Oprah show once where the family never interacted. They came home from work/school with take-out. They each grabbed their respective dinners, then retreated to their own bedrooms where they ate, watched tv, texted their friends (and family members), and played games. They never had family outings or played outside. Sad, isn't it?

So I guess, after listening to his show, my job is just to stop projecting my own feelings/worries/neurosis onto my kids' childhood. I could say this to anyone with great sincerity, but to do it myself, is the harder task. I have to remember that our spending time together, talking, laughing, being, is what will cement their spirits better than my checklist of what I think they should have.

Now, I've got to get back to my bedroom. So I will close this without reading it over and editing my rambling in any way. I hope this made sense.


  1. hmmm Ame - this really hit something inside me... I find this may help me in some of my internal struggles...

  2. So true, every word. My one guilt issue is TV. My kids watch it all day, sometimes. Or rather, its on while they either watch it or go about their business. Its a permanent fixture usually turned on in our home (I'd say, 60% of the time). I keep telling myself, "it will change Michelle, once they get into school and are old enough to go outside and play for hours by themselves or our neighbor friends." And I try to remain focused on the fact that our home is cozy, full of love, laughter, and despite the TV being on, art and good conversations. Thank you for this post, Amy. You have a way of reminding me what is important.


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