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I'm the mother of four children who hopes to raise them to be productive, compassionate, humble citizens of our planet...who will also use their turn signals.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is it just me?

And so it begins. My blog. In all honesty, I probably need to be blogging like I need a hole in the head, but Facebook has reconnected me with so many great friends from days gone by and it's been REALLY fun. I have loved having them be a part of my everyday. Being a work-at-home mom sometimes means you are pretty secluded, but Facebook saved me from taking the next step as a shut-in, which obviously would have been my becoming a recipient of Meals on Wheels. It really was getting that bad. Don't judge.

So what will this blog be about, you ask? I guess the short answer is, "I don't know." That's also the long answer, by the way. I'll share my photos, my recipes, fun stuff, and, because I'm a court reporter, the stories from the ugly underbelly of our legal system. I guess it's a good thing that I have the ability to laugh at just about anything, because you need it in this career. But mostly I guess I'll just spout off my thoughts on life. Life as a mother of four, life as a wife, life as a middle-aged woman in suburbia. And that, my friends, is a segue way into my first topic. Being a middle-aged woman in the year 2010.

Is it just me or do you sometimes feel that we got the shaft from that whole lets-burn-our-bras-equal-rights-movement? Don't get me wrong, I wholly believe that women deserve equal rights, equal pay (which we're STILL waiting for), yadda, yadda, yadda, but somewhere along the way I kinda feel like we got SCREWED. My theory was confirmed after my past birthday. I'm very grateful for my gifts, but they highlighted, in my mind, the demands that we all seem to be facing. Let me explain.

I got three gift cards for my birthday. I love gift cards. You use it and it's gone. It's not some dust collector that you move from shelf to shelf for the next three years because you don't have the heart to throw it away. I got a gift card from Ikea (LOVE!), a gift card from Williams-Sonoma (ALSO LOVE), and a gift card from Victoria's Secret (LOVE not so much after 40). It hit home with me that I am supposed to make a lovely home, cook delicious, healthy meals, all while wearing a thong and sporting voluptuous cleavage. Good God, do the demands EVER end?

Here are some of the thoughts that run around my head on a daily basis. It's kind of like a verbal to-do list that you can never complete and that speaks in a condescending tone. Enjoy it with me, won't you?

- We've got to be educated, devoted, sympathetic, and creative mothers.
- We have to make all meals homemade and healthy.
- We've got to be there for our friends and make ourselves available for "girl time".
- Don't forget the housework! I mean, you don't want your house to look like the houses they break into on "COPS" do you?
- What about exercise? If you want to look great and stay healthy, you'd better
fit a workout once or twice a year. Unless you're just a lazy blob and want to die sitting on the couch with the remote in your hand. Or, even worse, while sitting on the toilet.
- And when you're done cooking, be sure you recycle all that trash. And why don't you start
a compost pile? What, do you hate the earth?
- And if you were a REALLY good parent, you'd check Edline EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
- Once you've checked those Edline grades, you'll be helping with more homework. You'll have plenty of time to do the homework after you run out to the compost pile and before you ....
- DO THE LAUNDRY. It's not like you have to go down to the river and beat the clothes on rocks. Sheesh. Live like Nike and "just do it".
- And don't forget to check your email when you've removed your head from the dryer. The personal email, the work email, the email that shows kittens sitting in tea cups. If you don't keep up with these things, you'll never know that someone in Nigeria is trying to send you a million dollars.
- And speaking of a million dollars, have you done your online banking lately? If your family has grown accustomed to electricity and water, you might want to get to that.
- I'm not one to gossip, but a few of the PTA ladies noticed that you didn't sign up to bake anything for Teacher Appreciation. They think you don't like teachers.
- And what about your "wifely" duties? You know if you don't keep your man happy, someone else will. At least that's what that cheatin' husband on Dr. Phil said. Make your appointment for your Brazilian wax, tuck your ankles behind your ears, and take one for the team.
- Speaking of the team, why aren't you coaching any sports this season?
- Since you're not a coach, maybe you can carpool the kids to practice and games. Of course, you'd better drop off those six bags in your car to Goodwill before you pick up those six kids for soccer. And clean out the cup holders. They're gross.

I'm pretty sure you can see where I'm going with this. And it only gets worse once I get out of bed in the morning. Do you feel frazzled, too? Do you feel like you're always juggling? Did the women's movement keep the same items on our plate and just pile another 60 more like I do at a bad buffet? Tell it to me straight.


rockspringmama said...

No it's not just you...ask any conscientious mom and I think you'll find that we feel a huge responsibility to be a good wife, good mom, good daughter, good friend. I don't know when we get to just "be"!! If we didn't laugh about it sometimes, we surely would go crazy...and that's where you come in! Thanks for saying it like it is and with a dose of humor. I'm looking forward to more outposts from your little world!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE it, Steph! I'll be reading it whenever I can. Keep going!

Lauren said...

Steph, I think you've hit the nail on the head with this one. I've often had the same thoughts on the women's movement. It did just add more to a woman's plate. I'm only a "mom" to an 11 1/2 year old Jack Russell terrier and work full time and often feel overwhelmed with it all. I look at my friends and family with kids and can't imagine how they do it all. I do believe women are the stronger sex! No man could do all that!

Quilted Cupcake said...

You go, Steph-- I LOVE it! You really have a gift for this - both perceptive and funny. I see a book and movie deal in your future - the next Julie/Julia!

Can't wait for more.

Tracey said...

GREAT! You said it all and if there is a woman out there who is a wife and mother who does not feel the same way, I sure would like to know her secret. Often I wonder if we also miss out on a lot of those good family moments or quite moments with our husbands because of all the hats we wear.... will we look back with regret? Steph...really great and I look forward to reading your posts. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

all i have to say is "AMEN SISTER TWIN!!!!! "

Maddy said...

Steph, I have to agree about the book and movie deal in your future. Girl, you have a knack and I am SO excited to read your blog. I sat here laughing out loud and my 4 year old kept asking, "What? WHAT W.H.A.T.????" You rule.

Anonymous said...

I'm so impressed with your critique on life...so very true. Being all that you can be and giving so much of yourself to so many, is incredibly exhausting but you seem to be doing it all, quite well. You are absolutely brilliant and I loved you from the first day we met. Remember our carpooling days to TRPA! You always kept me so very amused...loved you!! Keep on keeping us entertained through your blog. This is great! You have a fan base that seems to enjoy everything you are about -- as you should; you're one of a kind! xoxox Lyn vp

Steve said...

How do you find time to watch Dr. Phil???

Anonymous said...

tell it sister!!

Mj in Md said...

LOL! I have to agree with Steve..
>;-D j.k.
Wow..I'm beginning to think maybe it's not so bad working in the city and being away from home 10-11 hours a day!! I'm worn out just reading the pressures...even with the Dr. Phil break. >;-D
Look forward to more, Stephanie! Thanks for taking the time. :-)

Jenn said...

LOVE your blog! Somehow I think you could make a trip to the bathroom sound entertaining.

Dawn said...

Ha Ha...No Steph, it DEFINITELY is not just you! You know as I am reading the blog, I'm like, nodding my head, yep, yep, yep..OMG, is this woman secretly in my brain or what? Great read and thank you by the way because I so need a little comedy through the day. You can bet that I'll be stopping by more so do like Nike and "Just Do It"!

Anonymous said...

Good grief...remind me not to complain about my job anymore! You go Steph! I feel (some) of your pain. We definitely got the "shaft" with the equal rights movement. I still don't make the pay my male coworkers do and I work twice as much as they do! Also, I don't get the "perks"....golf outings, cigar clubs, poker night! What about spa outings, shoe clubs and scrapbooking night???? :D
LOVE IT! Keep on blogging girl!

Kelly said...

Amen! I love your blog- I found it through your very well said comment at "On Clover Lane".
So glad you are blogging- I'll be back:-)

Katie @ makingthishome.com said...

Very thought provoking post. Where would I even start? Maybe just with: you are incredibly inspiring. Whew!

Marianne said...

You are hilarious! Thank you for making me laugh out loud. Seriously, still laughing as I type this. That mental laundry list is too true. Keep the posts coming.