Monday, April 6, 2009

Holla if you hear me

Did anybody see today's Oprah? I watched it tonight after we watched a Tivoed Chuck {if you are not watching that show, then you are missing out}. My mom mentioned to me this afternoon that there was something about a blogger on there that make boo-koos of money, so it piqued my interest. I told my mom that it was either Dooce or The Pioneer Woman {It was Dooce} and she didn't know, so now I HAD to watch Oprah {twist my arm}.

What I didn't expect it to be was one of the best shows I've ever seen!

It was all about moms and how we have certain expectations from movies, sitcoms, parents, friends or self-imposed expectations and how it's impossible to live up to them.
I think the show that I saw last week discussed a lot of these topics, too, but it was good to hear it again {and again, and again}.

Why do we do it? Why do we kill ourselves to make sure our kids haircuts are cute? Or their lunches are acceptable? Or that they try not to call their teacher "stinky" to her face? {Okay- well, that last one would be rude.}

A lot of it was about the ideals that we put on ourselves, too. We try to pass off that we all have it somewhat together, but in reality working moms cry with guilt on the way to work after dropping their kids off at day care and stay at home moms cry with guilt into their chardonnay at 2:00 hoping their child will TAKE A NAP. Neither has the answer.

And how could we? There is so much we're trying to juggle that we can't think straight. We try to make sure that the laundry is folded, dishes are done, bills are paid, soccer snacks are packed, school projects are complete, teacher gifts are perfect, every committee and volunteer board position has been tended to, thoughtful gifts to friends/ family/ in-laws/ new moms are bought and delivered, Easter outfits are monogrammed and also you need to shower today and look like a model. Got it? And I'd like the rest done by Friday.
I don't know the answer to how to STOP this craziness, but I do know that it's real. And that I never, EVER thought I would be caught up in it.

The ironies are thick:
We try to make sure our kids get to church to learn about God's love, but have just screamed at them for 15 minutes to GET IN THE CAR. {At our house we call this "losing your religion in order to get to church" and it happens about, oh, once a week.} And when you throw God into this crazy motherhood equation aren't we all just trying to raise children who want to love and serve God? Should they learn at such an early age that this involves ironed shirts, DON'T SCUFF YOUR SHOES and IF YOU HIT YOUR BROTHER AGAIN I WILL WEAR YOU OUT IN THE CHURCH PARKING LOT, FOR THE LOVE?

Um, I think I might have seen that in Proverbs, but I'm not sure of the verse...

*Ahem* Back to the show. A lot of moms confessed their dirty secrets. Some of my favorite were peeing in a diaper on a road trip so the kids wouldn't wake up, acting a little crazy as a form of discipline and not bathing your children for 3 weeks.

I think my big confession would be that I've sent Ollie to school in dirty underwear formerly known as clean. Oh, yes. More than once. Sometimes the superhero/ white load just doesn't get through the laundry fast enough. And it's not like they're really THAT dirty, right?
I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of them right now because I'm tired.

There. I said it. I AM TIRED.

This mom stuff is hard. It's the hardest job I've ever had. And I won't even tell you the corny line that it's the most rewarding, because some days- most days, really- nobody tells you thank you. And that's the truth. It's just plain hard and you suck it up with hopes that one day someone will tell you that you made a difference with your children.
{This seems the appropriate place to tell my mom thank you for cleaning up throw up and such. THANK YOU!}
This story is one of my favorites that has been passed around on e-mail many a time and I still love it. {Please know that I did NOT write it, I just wanted to share it with you.}

You might think that some of these things might not apply to you; they don't all apply to me {I will specifically point out here that I have never used a diaper as an adult}. But, I do know that deep down I am just hanging on each day to make sure my kids don't grow up to be serial killers, tax evaders or heathens. And hope that every once in a while they brush their teeth. Amen.


BASSakward Tales said...

you are such an are so are so right...motherhood did not come with a book...nor did it come with preprinted thank you cards that our kids could hand us after we have done something for them....however, it did come with the highest and most awesome reward ever...the little ones crawling up in your lap for some "lovin"...or the other day when i spent the day with my daughter getting ready for the prom...i asked her was the prom great...she said no but spending the day with you was"..that is why we do it...hang in there sister...on a private email i wll confess my secret..hahaha

Hadley said...


Can I just tell you, we gave up on stress as much as possible on Sunday mornings...I let my girls help pick out their clothes for church. And, they've worn rubber rain boots to church with their fanciest dress. and they may or may not have had a bit of cow poop on them still. oh yes i did. this past Sunay, my 4 year old wore thick tights with a little sun dress.

Anyways, yes, we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves, and the guilt is immeasurable. It seems we are always neglecting something. If we are scrubbing bathrooms we are missing out on doing something great with our kids. If we are fingerpainting or baking with the kids, we aren't folding laundry.

Thanks for the awesome post!

LeAnne said...

such an awesome post, hillary!! the expectations we put on ourselves always far outweigh anything put on us by others! at the end of the day (most days), i try to remind myself that they are only little once and i won't get any "do-overs" for these years once they are over! thanks for elevating your blog to such an inspirational level and for reminding the rest of us to keep our eyes on the big picture...No serial killers, No tax evaders, and NO heathens. AMEN!

Becky said...

a lot of times, i forget to brush my kids teeth in the morning. ok...fine. i forget about 4 days a week. the other 3 days, we have somewhere to be, so i remember. somehow, they don't have rotting teeth.

Jenny said...

I agree, I agree, I AGREE! I haven't gotten to the Oprah show on my TiVo, yet. I just caught up on last week's shows yesterday, so I'm a little behind. :-) Can't wait to see it, though! Thanks for bringing in down, Hill. Sometimes the only way to get through it all is to laugh about it.

Anonymous said...

The only way I get through it to is to laugh, and also hearing other mothers stories, and I can totally sympathize! :) Love the post Hillary!

LeAnne said...

hey hill, i'm passing on a blog award to you...yay!! read about it on my blog:)

Susannah said...

I hear ya girlfriend! You are so right! The bad thing is that when I had Anderson, I dropped EVERYTHING, the cooking(Adam does it most of the time) the cleaning every week, now it's every two, and calling people and send cards! Who has a mind anymore, I think I still have baby brain! Is that possible after a whole year?! Probably not... I feel better knowing that other moms cry in the car on the way to work because they have to leave their kiddos.

Melody U. said...

It is funny how after all these years I can still hear your voice as I read your blog. I loved everything that you said and totally agree. I never thought it would be this hard to be a MOM. Aren't we supposed to be playing and having fun all day with them instead of cleaning house, having the perfect meal that is delicious as well as good for them and everyone looking their best at 5:30 in the pm. Yes mam and no sir heard around the table as well, right!. I'm happy to know that I am not the only one who struggles to get it all together, if for just one day a week. Thanks for your honesty. Love ya, Meody Uptain

Lori said...

Amen, sister! I agree that moms are good at putting up a front and it would behoove us all to be a bit more honest about our disappointments and trials (isn't that what blogging is for?).

Gray Matters said...

I really enjoyed reading this post, Hillary. I wish you could teleport your recorded Oprah to my receiver because I didn't get a chance to see it.

I went to dinner with 7 beautiful women last night and as we were sitting around the table I discovered I was the only one not taking some type of prescription medication for either anxiety, depression or a sleep disorder. I was floored - all of these women stay home with their children - all of their husbands make a VERY good living, but they feel so overwhelmed with their lives.

Jennifer said...

What a great post; I hear ya' sista!

We, as mother's, do put so many unrealistic expections on ourselves and all it does is set us up for disappointment. And, we are constantly questioning ourselves about the decisions we make. I know I do anyway. Addie is over 2 and I still question whether or not I should have been a SAHM.

Have a great day!

Emily said...

hill... i'm trying my darndest to catch up on your blog. i, too, am tired tonight and cant put much thought into my comment, but i just wanted to say "thank you"!! sometimes we just need a reminder to slow down and not sweat the small stuff. love ya!

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