Monday, July 30, 2007

So. What Don't YOU Do?

You can't have it all, nor can you do it all.

Lately, I've had a lot of FUN - evenings out with my husband, my cousin Kate, and lots of cool women from the blogosphere. Even a weekend away with Matt! I've been downtown more in the last week than I had in the whole year before that. I've been to the theater, parks, a movie, a museum, and an architecture tour; I've had more dinners out than I can count.

I'm home with the kids part-time. I run my own thriving business, working full-time hours. I go out with my husband regularly, and also make time to go out with friends often enough. I do this crazy blog writing. I get real pedicures when I can. I stay in touch with family and friends near and far. I have a new volunteer position at my church and am the Treasurer of our condo association. I'm trying to decide if I would rather pursue a PhD or adopt/foster another child in the next couple of years.

Whoopee! Look at me: I'm Little Miss Perfect!



I don't do it all. In order to have any sanity in my life, there are things that I have let slide. I think we moms - and adults in general - should talk a lot more about what we don't do, because many of us have expectations of ourselves that are way out of whack. If we just understood that no one does all that she thinks she is supposed to be doing, wouldn't we be better off?

Of course, there are things I don't do that I don't feel good about. Since leaving San Francisco, I never got back into my exercise routine. It was just something that got lost in the transition. I have a solid plan to work it back in this fall, and it's already in my schedule, but for now I feel oh-so-yucky.

But it's the other things - the things you aren't doing that don't really bother you - that I want to hear about.

So, let's drop our expectations right now, shall we? I'll get us started:

1. I don't follow the news. I don't watch news (I HATE television news!!) and although I love NPR, I don't have an opportunity to listen to it uninterrupted. We don't get a newspaper. Until recently, we got the Sunday paper but it sat unread each week until we tossed it in the recycling. We had to admit to ourselves that it was time to cancel. The best I do is get the headlines online and occasionally read parts of The New Yorker. Matt fills me in when something big is going on. I really need to get up to speed on the presidential candidates, and I will. But in a regular week, I live in a news vacuum. I don't even know who Paris Hilton is, or what she did.

And it's okay.

2. I don't make real dinners. We eat healthy meals, but they are simple to the extreme. We might have a platter of fresh veggies with burgers. Or "breakfast burritos": scrambled eggs in a tortilla wrap with some black beans and corn. Those are our fancy meals. Quite often, we laugh and remark that dinner prep would sure be easier if we had three microwaves.

And it's okay.

3. I don't clean my own house. This got to be a real problem before we finally gave in and hired someone to help every other week. With our major allergies and disinclination to clean, there is no money better spent. (And let me tell you: the fact that we're forced to clear the house of clutter every other week is almost as helpful as the actual cleaning.)

And it's okay.

4. I don't ever, ever, ever make my kids' (or anyone else's) birthday cakes. I buy them from our favorite bakery or the grocery store.

And it's okay.

5. I don't make my bed. Or the kids' beds. I thought this was something we all let slide until recently!
And it's okay.

6. I don't volunteer at my son's elementary school. But you've already heard about that one.

And it's okay.

Everyone is letting something major slide. So, come on...'fess up! What's on your list?

(PS: You do NOT have to be raising kids to participate in this - non-parents can have just as many challenges in this department as the rest of us!)


Shan said...

I like this topic idea so much I'm going to write a post of my own about it at Mama in Wonderland, so check back later if you're interested. In the meantime, since when are burgers and egg burritos not REAL dinners?! I consider cooking burgers and egg burritos making "real" dinners in my house!

Jordan said...

I think I'm just saying that I don't do anything that involves actually putting two ingredients together. And, of course, those are our "real" dinners - they're just not what I grew up with and what many of our friends eat!

Shan said...

I hear ya. Just give yourself credit where credit is due! ;)

Marketing Mommy said...

Wonderful post. I also don't clean (much)--and my twice monthly cleaning lady visits are worth every penny. Since having kids, I quit volunteering at the animal shelter where I used to do adoptions. I still feel guilty about that.

Cathy said...

I don't know what you're all on about... MY house is spotless.

I go to the gym for two hours a day; I cook only the finest meals (with locally grown organic produce); my tomato plants are eight feet tall; and after a day of enriching activities for Anya I spend my evenings writing a novel that is sure to earn me a hundred million dollars.

Or am I lying?

Actually, my tomato plants ARE eight feet tall. All the rest is nonsense.