...because we all have our motley moments!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


We have a joke in our family. One day our cat was sleeping while the boys and I were petting her and I said, "Cameron is a lazybones!" Ethan got the giggles and now every time he wakes me up in the morning he says, "Mom, get up! You're bein' a lazybones!" It's cute, and he means nothing by it, but it kind of hits a nerve because sometimes I really feel like I'm a lazy person. However, lately I've been paying attention to my average day, and maybe I'm not so lazy. Usually my days go like this:
Todd gets me up (he's already been up with Micah for over an hour) so he can go work out. I eat breakfast, then Ethan gets up and I make him breakfast and prod him to get dressed. I get Micah dressed, make sure to get him to the potty before any accidents occur, then brush both boys' teeth. I also get myself dressed, then we head out the door to drop Ethan off at preschool. After the drop-off, Micah and I go to the Y where I work out. We go home and I "piddle" around the house - dishes, laundry, etc., stopping occasionally to take Micah to the potty and check my email and Facebook. Oh, and get him a snack and have a snack myself, if I remember. If I have time, I take a shower, then we're off to pick Ethan up. Once we get home, it's lunch insanity because I'm usually fixing 3 different meals (Micah is picky and I've encouraged it and I just don't have time today to discuss this issue). Micah then goes to bed and Ethan watches some TV or plays until I put him in front of a movie for his rest time.
This is the point in the day where I get lazy. Sometimes I move laundry along, but most days I catch up on shows on my DVR, play around on the computer, do some crossword puzzles, or fall asleep reading on the couch. There are so many things I could be doing. I could be organizing the thousands of pictures on my computer. I could be transferring old video camera tapes to my computer. I could be organizing the pile of crap that sits on our bookshelf. Sometimes I work out, if I didn't get a chance to that morning, but the truth is, I am quite selfish with this time. I don't want to do any of those things, except work out, but only because that's something I do for me, not for anyone else.
Once Micah's up from his nap, the afternoon is filled with playing, reading, going outside, breaking up fights, and cooking supper. After the boys eat an early supper we usually go to the Y for Youth Super Sports or tae kwon do or t-ball practice or Grandma's. When we get home, it's bedtime rodeo. And then I collapse on the couch again.
I don't know if it's our society or my parents or what that makes me think I have to be busy or doing something "productive" all the time. But I'm not going to feel that way anymore, dangit! I'm exhausted when bedtime comes around, and it's not because I take an hour each afternoon to rest on the couch. Today is Ethan's last day of preschool, which should give me even more time to be lazy, except that we have swimming lessons and VBS and, and, and, and...I don't think there's much time to be lazy if you're even an average mom. I also think it's okay to teach your kids to slow down and rest for a short time every day, even when you're a grown-up.


Donna said...

Liz, this is a great post because it's so easy for those of us who stay home with the kids to feel like we're not accomplishing anything unless you can see the results. On the days when I've played games, read books, taken walks, built a fort in the living room, made lunch, made snacks, picked Ben up from school, gone swimming at the Y, made dinner, said prayers, sung songs, and laid the kids down for naps or bedtime, it's easy to feel like I got nothing done. What do I have to show for it? Two sleeping kids and one exhausted Mama.

Why do I feel like the floor has to be clean or the house picked up in order to prove I've accomplished something? Paul doesn't expect that. I just feel like I need to do something quantifiable. But when I brought this up with him today, he agreed that all that other stuff I do with the kids is actually the important stuff. I'm sure Todd would agree.
Yet I still feel like I have to DO something with visible results in order to "accomplish" something in my day. I'm putting this on myself. I guess it's time to lower my own expectations. I am NOT Superwoman. I am just a regular girl with a finite amount of energy to expend in a day. Once it's spent, that's it. It's gone. And I'd rather my kids remember how much fun we had learning new things and going on adventures, not how clean our house always was or how stressed Mommy always seemed.

Karly said...

I can TOTALLY relate to this post. So often I find myself feeling guilty for not doing more than I am. I think, gosh, I guess I am just lazy. But then I think about my daily schedule and it is absolutely insane! And then I think, you know what, I don't have time to be lazy. Seriously. The reason I do not get more done is because my life is INSANE!

And I find that when I do take the time to relax or do something for myself, it actually makes me more productive the rest of the day! So I think having a little down time when your kids are resting is brilliant, and not lazy. I mean, even Wal-mart workers are entitled to their 45 minute lunch plus 2-15 minute breaks when they work an 8 hour shift. The fact that we work 24 hour shifts should entitle us to MUCH more!

Liz said...

Good point, Karly. People with "real jobs" are expected to take breaks. Why shouldn't stay-at-home moms, too???
I do have to give kudos to my wonderful husband, who, when he read this post, said, "Honey, you are really productive!"

Lindsay said...

My mom is actually the one that told me once to make a list when I feel this way. Kind of like your post. Just make a list of EVERYTHING you do in a day no matter how little it might be. Between picking up random items, feeding kids 3 times a day, taking them to the potty/changing dipers, school drop-off and pick-up, laundry, wiping the table after each meal, laundry, making beds....whatever it may be, when you write it down you realize that you aren't lazy at all. In fact you got a lot done, it's just not visible as Donna mentioned. I have even taught my older girls that mommy gets a "rest time" every afternoon. This applies more in the summer when they are home, but even Sage now knows that when Capri is napping, I am "resting". And I am like you I catch up on DVR shows, read books sitting outside, play on the computer, flip through a magazine...... it's really important for my sanity. I really learned this when I was dealing with PPD.

Oh and just a warning, but I think it gets a bit harder as they get older. The girls now have after school activies (even though I limit those), and church activies, birthday parties, book clubs, homework help, "needed" library trips...... that make it just that much busier.

Donna said...

Lindsay, you're so right. As our kids get older, some things do get easier, but life just seems to get more complicated (less bottom wiping, but more sheet-changing, for example). I feel like I "busied" my life away this year!

I must admit, I feel this sense of guilty pleasure whenever I sign in at B's school. The computer keeps track of my volunteer hours, so seeing that number is totally gratifying. I want to shout to the secretaries in the office "See? SEE?! 27 hours...kabam!" I don't know what I would get out of that, other than a few baffled stares, but still, it matters to me. The hours I actually spent preparing my materials, researching the right books to read, finding or making up enrichment activities that went along with my story theme...I could easily double that number. Okay, I actually DO double that number in my head. It's a sickness, but I have to know my time went somewhere productive all year long!