Starting with complaints, ending with body-building

I used to think I’d grow up and be a stay-at-home mom.

I imagined sewing dresses and kneading fresh bread dough and growing dahlias in my lush back yard.

I never anticipated how distracted I would be as a mother.  I had no idea how many of my hours would be devoted to earning money and tending to dull but necessary tasks.  How was I so delusional?  I’m going to have to blame too many episodes of “Little House on the Prairie.”

Or “The Brady Bunch.”

Or someone or something that picked me up and dumped me right into this family where I am nothing like I thought I would be.  Where are my dahlias?  What happened to baking bread with yeast?  And let’s not even contemplate how long my sewing machine has been broken and neglected.

So, while I would like to just complain about how hard it is to be a work-at-home mother, I can’t.  I am grateful for my job that allows me to be at home with my kids, even though I joke that I ought to get hazard pay for working in my family room in the midst of the occasional chaos.  The Noise!  The Noise!

I want to complain about all the years I did childcare in my own home for other families, but I can’t.  I am grateful that I could care of other little ones while caring for my own.  Those days were long but how short the years turned out to be.

But I have to say that it’s hard, way harder than I ever expected to tend to my house and my kids and my self and my marriage and my brain.

How do people do this?

How do I do this?

I wish I were doing a better job.  I wish I could be in more places at the same time.  I wish I weren’t so distracted and fractured and impatient.

(Tonight, I am watching infomercials as usual since it’s so late . . . and tonight’s temptation is P90X.  I’m just about convinced to order it so I can have rock hard abs.  Because I TOTALLY have an hour a day to work out to a DVD and I wouldn’t AT ALL feel like an idiot doing the work-out while my teenagers and their friends wandered in and out watching me.  Then I could enter a body-building competition and get a spray tan and hey, why not?)

Good night.

5 thoughts on “Starting with complaints, ending with body-building

  1. I watched those P90X commercials a bunch of times, then saw the “Ten Minute Trainer” by the same guy. I ordered the 10-minute one, but only have done it a few times. Just like you, I knew I wouldn’t spend an hour a day on it. But 10 minutes I could do. Once every six months or so ……. 🙂

    I continue to enjoy your blog.

    Rachel in Idaho


  2. I can so relate to this post.

    Except….I was never going to be a stay at home mom. I thought I would go to work, and come home to my perfect and adoring family.

    Here I am home, wondering how to tend to “my house, and my kids and my self and my marriage and my brain.” How would I tend to my job too? You ARE doing that. I don’t know how YOU do it.


  3. You are amazing. Really. And you write amazingly well! I wish I had half your talent! And a job like yours! I’m going to be pounding the pavement looking for a job soon and I would so love to work at home but I really have no idea how to go about finding something like that…

    I did the P90X and I highly recommend it. I’ll be going through it again. Thing is, you do have to be committed. One hundred percent. It does take an hour a day, some days more, and you need to follow the eating plan. It’s sensible and normal…nothing crazy or unhealthy, but it’s important to stick to it because you will need the energy of healthy foods for the workouts. I found that if I ate sugary stuff before I worked out I totally fizzled out and had no energy to finish the workouts. Sometimes I cheated and drank an energy drink but that’s probably not a good idea… You need weights or bands and a pull up bar, which we have because my husband is super into it. (And he looks and feels better than he ever has. Seriously. He could do a commercial. And it would be true!)

    So if you don’t have that hour plus a day, or don’t want to be immobilized with soreness for the first week or two (!) I recommend Debbie Sieber’s Slim in 6, put out the the same beachbody dot com people. I have done that one too. You only need a band. The first phase of her workouts is less than half an hour, then you move up to a 45 minute workout, then the final phase is just under an hour. It’s not nearly as intense as P90X, but it’s a very good workout and I think a good place to start if you want to do the workout video thing.


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