Releasing the Log Jam

Words on Wednesday

It’s Wednesday therefore there should be words … right?

For the past two weeks I haven’t been able to write my typical Wednesday post. The words haven’t been there. Or rather, they’re there but stuck.

Picture a log jam if you will. Too many logs try to pass through a narrow point of a river all at once and they end up stuck. The logs behind just keep crashing into the ones already jammed up and you get a bigger and bigger log jam. Until finally it reaches critical mass and explodes – usually violently and with disastrous results.

Hopefully this word explosion doesn’t have disastrous results!

This month has been hard so far. September means so many things to me personally:

It means the end of summer – my favourite season. πŸ™

It means back to school – hip hip hooray! πŸ™‚

It means my birthday! 43 this year, yikes! πŸ™‚

It means all our crazy activities start up again. πŸ™

It means the clock has officially run out on my “work vacation” a.k.a. no more stay at home status for me! πŸ™

All of these things have resulted in a totally overwhelmed me! πŸ™

To say nothing of the lovely peri-menopause hormones crashing around my system to boot!

The list of things that I am responsible for, supposed to be doing, expected to get done, “it would be nice if you did this too”, is HUGE! It’s so big I’ve completely forgotten half of the items on it already and that is seriously stressing me out!!

It’s also compounded my Mom Guilt to a crushing degree. Make that Mom+Wife Guilt because, let’s face it, the last thing I want to do at the moment is be intimate with my husband and his puppy dog eyes every night when I brush him off yet again, make me want to shove a knife into my own back! I’d love for it to not be “one more chore on my list” but heck, it is. Just calling a spade, a spade here!

Guilt is huge!

I read a really good book by Brene Brown on shame and how society gets shame and guilt confused. In a nutshell, shame is “you are bad because (insert reason here)” while guilt is “you did a bad thing because (insert reason here)”. Guilt is supposed to motivate you to change, to do or be better next time, while shame leads to those death spirals of bad thoughts that end at the bottom of carton of Ben & Jerry’s. Well, they used to for me. Before ice cream made me blow up!

I miss ice cream …

But I digress. Mom Guilt should really be called Mom Shame.

How can you be happy your kids are going back to school? Don’t you know how precious those childhood years are and how quickly they pass? Don’t you want to wrap your sweet little angels in your arms and snuggle them forever?

Well, no actually I don’t. I love my kids but please, for the love of all that is holy, take them away for 6 hours a day and let me pee/think/drink tea/do other adult things in peace and quiet!! (Like, um, working a “real job”!) I teach them all sorts of useful things every day but I could never teach them. Those parents that home school deserve a medal of honour or something. My job as a parent is to get my little angels ready for adulthood. You know, real life with bills, and rejection, and chores! I can’t do that if I blow sunshine up their butts and talk about them like they ARE little angels!

And yes, I do know how precious those years are but wow, are the days ever long! Because even when they are at school I’m still “on”. I’m planning meals, making sure I’ve got the after school which-child-is-going-to-which-activity-at-which-time routine memorized, getting uniforms ready, and generally doing a million and one things behind the scenes that no one ever notices until they’re NOT done and then all hell breaks loose and guess who gets the blame? The Mom!

My kids are completely, 100%, hopelessly over programmed. I know it. My husband knows it. My kids know it. But do we do anything about it?

Nope.

Apparently it’s “for them”! It’s to teach them new skills and keep them active so they’re not on their devices 24/7.

I buy that to some degree but when your 10 year old has 8 – 10 hours of after school activities a week, I think it’s a problem! What happened to “being kids”? Riding bikes, playing on the playground, going over to a friends after school … that kind of thing. Not crying because their soccer practice goes so late they don’t get to eat dinner with the family. True story! We were wondering why she was suddenly not wanting to go to an activity she actually loves, when this came out. Broke my heart!

Because that’s how I feel too!!

I’m expected to plan, shop for, and cook our meals each week. Holy Moly!! Not even taking into consideration things like personal tastes (otherwise known as “what will the 7 year old reject today”) or my own lactose intolerance, that is a big job. Then you add in having to think about what activities are going on each night, when I might have prep time, who may or may not be home at “dinner time”, what will keep for hours until the last person is home to eat it, and what will give us leftovers so my husband can take it for lunch the next day, and you need an advanced degree in Engineering Physics or something!!

Making sure that my 10 year old and I eat together after her soccer practice is one thing I am happy to do. I’m actually looking forward to it. I hope to use that time to check in with her. She’s a tough nut to crack usually. Keeps her emotions close to her chest – mostly because she doesn’t have the words to communicate what she’s feeling to us, but also because she feels things so deeply they hurt. And she can’t bear possibly passing on that hurt to others. Bless her!

Speaking of soccer practice and Mom Shame, here’s a doozy for you – why don’t you stay and watch the practices like the other moms?

Um … oh no you didn’t!! You didn’t just say that to me! (Husband not kids.)

I don’t know why it is that parents feel the need to stick around and watch every second of little Johnny or Betty’s lives but it’s a bit ridiculous. Maybe it’s because we are always driving them and there’s not enough time to drive home, do something useful and then drive back to pick them up? Or maybe they’re terrified their child will get snatched by a stranger the moment they step off the field? I don’t know but I’m not participating in that particular Crazy Party!

Watching my then five year old tear around a gym “learning to play soccer” was not my idea of fun – still isn’t. And now that they are practicing outdoors … did I mention I live on the Wet (not a typo) Coast? We may technically be able to play soccer all year round, but those cold, rainy days from November to March are NOT FUN! Given the choice, I will find something else to do rather than stand on the sidelines freezing my butt off watching my girls run drills. We’ve already established I’m a busy mom, right? So yes, I will take that hour to do my grocery shopping, or figure out my next to do list, or catch up on email, or just sit quietly and read a book! And I refuse to feel guilty about it too. In fact, I will happily make arrangements with other teammates to split up the driving so neither of us feel the need to sit on the sidelines! That’s really the ideal solution.

I do not coach my children because a) I don’t play the sports, and b) we’ve already established I’m more of a “please God, someone take this child away from me for an hour” kind of Mom! (Plus, I’m fostering independence, right? An existence outside of, and completely separate from me!) My husband coaches the kids though. He’s a big team sport kind of person and also, let’s be honest, he loves to tell people what to do, how to do it, and call them out when they are doing it wrong! Go Dad! I’m more of a “organize the EVERYTHING at the kids school” kind of a Mom.

Takes all types, right?

Oh yeah, and in case you’re a math whizz like me (snort) I have three children. My husband and I (i.e two people) physically can’t be there for every single minute of every single practice or game. It’s impossible! So we have to rely on teammates, each other, and our girls willingness to do things without us, just to get to all the stuff!

And since we’re on a math roll …. all these activities for all these children takes a lot of $$. Hence my need to find a job that pays money. And this leads me to my last topic for today …

This blog.

Oh my blog! I had such high hopes for it. Took all sorts of classes on social media, blogging for creatives, and launching an online business. I did all the right things but still … crickets! And now I can honestly say it has become a burden. I have weeks and months when I am uber creative. I crank out the layouts and cards by the bucket load. Happier than a pig in you-know-what! And then I share it and … crickets. Then I have months (like this one) when life is just way too busy to allow serious creative time. So the blog gets neglected and my own personal guilt about that starts to grow.

I have all these hand made cards that (IMHO) are super cute so I figured, “open an Etsy shop and make some money”! Brilliant, right?

You guessed it … crickets.

So after yet another long Etsy conversation with a customer ultimately not willing to pay what my cards are worth, I’d had enough and shut it down. Best. Decision. Ever!

Three years ago we started a Christmas Market at the girls school. I quickly took charge along with two other seasoned Market-eers and we are now gearing up for what is turning out to be our biggest one yet. Last year I even entered into another local Christmas Market to see what would happen. I’ve learned what sells and what doesn’t at these markets and am personally spending a lot of my creative time making things specific to the customers I know from experience will be coming past my booth. But all this market prep along with super crazy life and now getting desperate job hunt, don’t leave a lot of time for writing blog posts.

So I’ve decided to take a break. I don’t know for how long. Probably at least a month or two. Maybe til the new year.

I’m also not going to worry myself about posting the Daily Scrapbook Steals deal. Or sales at Scrapbook.com. Or for that matter, anything else I’m an affiliate for. Because, you know, crickets!

If you find that you are missing me, please tell me! Drop me an email from the link in my side bar. PM me on Facebook or leave a comment on my Facebook page wall. If you’re local, please come to the Holly Elementary Family XMAS Market on November 19 or The Krafted Market at the South Delta Rec Centre on November 27. I’d love to see you, sell you a card or two, and wish you Happy Holidays!

Thanks everyone. If you made it this far then you get a gold star!

See you ….

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Releasing the Log Jam

  1. Here’s to courage to do what feels right. We’ll miss you, but doing what you and your family needs is the most important thing. Good luck with transitions and a job!

  2. You made me feel so much better about my decisions as a mom. I have 4 adult children and 7 adopted ages 8-16. Expectations are high and I’m always feeling guilty about something. I applaud your honesty and your ability to say “enough”!

    • Thank you! You sure have YOUR hands full too! I guess the secret (that I still haven’t totally figured out yet) is to identify the difference between our own expectations and those placed on us by society. As long as WE are satisfied with our daily job performance, the rest of the world can bugger off!! πŸ™‚

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