Friday, April 16, 2010


Recently, I asked for help! I know in this day of SUPER moms, mini vans, and play dates, asking for help is unheard of! Everyone puts on their designer jeans, a full face of makeup, heels and a cute top to drop their child off at school. Everyone is smiling and happy at all times, and they MOST DEFINITELY speak to their husbands in a pleasant voice at whatever hour they will grace you with their presence! It is taboo to admit that you have had enough, that you can't do it alone anymore, your cup runneth over, etc.

Well, loyal blog readers, I am here to tell you that I am NOOOOOOOOO SUPER MOM! My daughter looks at me weird if I wear make up, I wear the same two or three pair of black pants and a rotation of 5 t shirts all week long, and I MOST DEFINITELY do not wear heels-flip flops 12 months a year! If you follow me on twitter, you know that I have MOST DEFINITELY not been in a good place lately. Pat has been working RIDICULOUS hours, I feel like a chef, chauffeur, nurse, maid, accountant, assistant, personal shopper, and anything else I may have left off. I am bitter and unhappy. I am not really enjoying my life because I am too busy worrying about what I have to do next or hating on the fact that I am doing it all alone!

SOOOOOOOOO, I turned to my fabulous friend, Claire, mom to 2.5 girls, who also has a husband that works long hours, but the thing that is different between Claire and I is that she doesn't really seem as bothered or frustrated by it as I do. I texted her. . .asking her what the secret was, and would you believe it, she has a SECRET! I asked her if I could share the email she sent, and she happily agreed! It may be nothing new to you, you may have heard it before, but sometimes it is nice just to have a little reminder!

Here's what Claire had to say:

I know that it is so easy to look at all the piles of CRAP around us and start to feel really sorry for ourselves. I do it on a weekly basis at least. ;o) But, I have a little phrase -- almost a mantra -- that I always have to tell myself, and you may have heard me say it before. "My response is MY responsibility." The reality is that all I can truly control is my response to the things that happen around me. I can't control my children's actions or words, I can't control how much work Justin (her husband) has this week, or if he gets so absorbed in what he is doing that he forgets to call and tell me he's not going to be home for dinner. All I CAN control is how I choose to respond to these things. Sometimes I fail, miserably. But, after practice - most the time I can get myself to a reasonable place. My stress level is much lower when I choose not to get upset in the first place. Because WHY do I get angry? Because something I value has been taken away, whether that be a clean living room floor, or a second person to share the bedtime routine with. It has inconvenienced ME and then I get angry. Also, I find that it helps to think of the situations I have been in that are worse, or the people I know that are going through things I can't imagine dealing with. Those thoughts help me to respond more appropriately. Then, my good response breeds a better mood in the house, and then feeds my good responses, because I am just in a better place.

All this might sound ridiculous and you might be rolling your eyes or wanting to smack the computer right now - which is fine! This is just what has worked in my life, and though it certainly isn't an overnight solution - over time, it has done good things for our family. You are right to feel frustrated, annoyed, even angry. No one can deal with all the daily junk we do and not be! I am not saying to pretend those feelings don't exist! Just to respond out of love and thankfulness when you are addressing issues. And when they are things out of every one's control, then I go scream into a pillow before choosing how to respond to my family. ;o)

I am sure we have all had our moments, and for some reason the time and place of this email SPOKE to me! I am hoping to implement this mantra into my own life soon. I am sure LAUGHING every time Pat starts to tell me about his scorpion sting issues (more to come on that tomorrow) he has been having, isn't EXACTLY what she was talking about, but it sure is better than the alternative! :-p


the swope family said...

I love you! For your honesty, for your sense of humor, just for you. I love Claire, too! Thank you for sharing this. I think it will help everyone who reads it if they choose to give it a try!

And, by the way, you are a super mom!! :)


Karissa said...

What fabulous advice!! Very well put Claire! I love it! I love you to Col! Miss you!

Katie Thomson said...

I too love this advice.
There are definitely days when it's hard but I know there are people out there in worse situations! I just have to remember that my husband is coming home, whether it's at the time I like or not.
There is a family at my school where the dad is serving his third duty over seas. He is gone for a year at a time and they have FIVE kids. He is serving our country and the mom is by herself. I just have to be thankful that Rylee and I get to see Paul everyday.

Spirit's Breeze Photography personal blog said...

The first thing as mothers and individuals we can do is stop comparing ourselves to others. I walk into my sons school with a big tattoo and nose ring, mind you it is Baptist. All the moms are chatting and look at me with THAT look. I brush it off most of the time. Perfection does not exsist and any mom dressed up in heels that early either has a job OR is just crazy LOL I can't remember the last time I put heels on!
Even though most of the time we disagree and I very seldom visit your blog, I am in the same place. My joy of being a SAHM has been lost for a while. Does that make me feel guilty YES! I am human though. Do we define ourself as just that, a mom? Or are we still Colleen, Nicole the person before kids which easily gets lost. I suppose first and foremost we are children of God and the one thing in my age I know for sure is if I am not happy, no one is! ;-)