Tag Archive | guest post

So Damn Good Enough

I don’t know about you, but I am hitting the summer slump, and despite the sunny, beautiful days, I feel the blues tugging at my soul.   Lucky for me and anyone else feeling not-so-chipper, we have a phenomenal post today on the subject of being good enough at the work we do in our homes and the elusive quest for an affirmation or two.  Please help me welcome Karen Bannister to the pages of Outlaw Mama for the Kiss My (Gl)Ass ceiling series on work in all its many facets.

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By Karen Bannister

My kids asked to watch television this morning, while they waited for me to prepare their lunch. I allowed it; I don’t mind television in our house. As I flipped it on to find their favourite channel, a show I never watch filled the screen. It was a talk show, one that really wouldn’t ever interest me, but the day’s topic caught my eye and drew my attention: “When mom goes on strike” or something to that effect. A quick Google search confirmed what I saw, but only watched briefly while my children waited patiently for Franklin the Turtle.

A “Crazy Working Mom” decided enough was enough and she was going on strike, in the home. Her three pre-teen daughters would have to clean up after themselves. It was an experiment, of sorts, because she didn’t tell them about what she was doing. She just waited to see how long it took them to break down, and cave in on cleaning. She blogged about it, of course.

It went viral. Because isn’t it every hardworking mom’s fantasy – to just one day give up and see what happens? Remember that joke about the man who says his wife doesn’t do anything during the day and then he comes home and the kids are naked, or something, and there is no dinner and the house is a mess? And she says “I did nothing today”? A fantasy, right?

I long for affirmation, congratulations and spoken acknowledgement of the blood, sweat and tears I pour into my household. I am so bold to point it out to anyone who will listen: how under-appreciated I sometimes feel. I sneak it into fights with my husband; always this generates the same response: but I do appreciate you. I do say it. All the time. To other people. And I am left wondering, is that true?

One day my sister-in-law said “I don’t know how you do it.” It left me reeling; better than being told “You look beautiful” more gratifying then the mark on my master’s thesis, that one simple sentence made me beam (and stutter over some kind of verbiage that only diminished the whole thing, cause that’s my self-abusive way). How do I do it? I want to shout that from my bedroom window each night as I roll into bed, exhausted. I want to tell the neighbours I pass on my evening run: How do I do it, she asked. Well I do it and I do it damn well.

Cause I do it “good enough”. My baby is crawling around me right now. I am not playing Peek-a-boo with him or asking him to map the geography of Africa or even drum me a song on the tupperware bowl. I am typing a blog entry and letting him find his feet.

I didn’t make supper tonight, or much of one. I boiled up a few eggs threw in some french toast and called it a night. But I am capable of three course meals and I do often make them, when the spirit hits me. When time allows. I like cooking, when I can find my feet.

I am easily distracted and often think about my future goals and how and when I will achieve them. I suffer from “the grass is always greener”; as a stay-at-home mom I long for break-room talks and coffee breaks, a deadline or important memo. I can become preoccupied, easily, with the next big thing and occasionally, OK all the time, forget to live here and now.

But I have to remind myself, I am good enough. My kids are happy, well-adjusted and (mostly) clean. They have a home, a bed to sleep in and clothes to wear. I try to teach them to be polite, to always say please and thank you, to mind the physical and emotional needs of others, to use their words and not their hands, to say nice things and express gratitude and exude respect. I try to show them I am not a maid or a short order cook and hope that in the long run the rules I attempt to situate in our lives pay off in future situations. I give them hugs. I hope I say “I love you” enough. But I am not perfect, not even amazing. (Just my mom thinks so – thanks mom.) I constantly compare myself to other women, second guess my attempts at authority, apologize to my husband for the woman he married, bemoan my desire for a “break” and of course my persistent need for affirmation can be tiresome. And maybe I should be playing with my baby this second.

I used to attend a support group of women with Postpartum Depression; I have had this beast, many times. Our mantra was “You care and that makes you a good mom.”

This poor woman I saw on television was, of course, blasted with negative comments. “Shouldn’t she have kids who knew to clean up after themselves?” It is so easy to throw stones. When I think a woman is amazing, I hope I always tell her. This is the harder part. (And there are so many women I think are amazing.) Because we are all so damn good (enough).

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Karen Bannister is a West Coast mom of three. She is the managing editor of The Momoir Project, a community of women writers, as well as the online parenting resource WeeWelcome.ca. She is currently reinvigorating her own blog mymommyreads.wordpress.com

If you want to feature your musings on work here, send me an email at Christie.o.tate@gmail.com, and we’ll get you in the line-up.

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Guest Post: Outlaw Mama’s Therapist Speaks

Ya’ll, here’s my first ever guest post, and it’s from my therapist.  OH MY GOD, what will he say about me? Aren’t there laws prohibiting this? HIPAA anyone?

Let’s just sort that out later in a court of law.  For now, enjoy my first ever guest post from my very own Sigmund Freud.

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Under Analysis

Outlaw Mama in her 1950’s pumps digs deep with her therapist. (Image credit: http://www.styleture.com/2011/05/25)

Dear Readers of Outlaw Mama’s Blog,

As I write this post, I am listening to the holiday mix that “Outlaw Mama” (hereinafter “OM”)gave me on the fourth night of Hanukkah.  I am enjoying the peppy beat of Chumbawamba.

OM wanted me to write this post to set the record straight about. . . about… something. Crap, I can’t remember what.  Hell, I don’t listen to everything she says. Good lord, who could?  You guys have the option of not reading her posts or stopping half way through.  Me? I’m stuck in a room with her for over an hour. Twice a week. Can you blame me for tuning her out?

I assume she wanted me to attest to her mental health, and on that subject, I am pleading the Fifth.  A lot of things come to mind when I think of OM, but frankly, mental health isn’t one of them.  On the upside, she’s a therapist’s dream because she’s got a lot of issues.  Not as many as she thinks she has, but enough for me to keep up my second home, so I’m not complaining.

It would be wrong for me to show up on her blog and diss her for all the world to read. She’s actually a great patient, and not just because she pays on time and does most of the talking. (I am 60% deaf in both ears so I’ve only ever heard every 4th word she says, and that’s plenty, believe me.)

She daily often sends me links to her blog posts, and I would never admit it to her, but I read them all.  It’s hard to get past all of her spelling and grammatical errors.  Anyone else distracted by those?  Maybe every now and then one of you should remind her of the virtues of a rigorous proofread.  Then again, what do I know? I’m just a Yale graduate (BA/BS degrees in linguistics and chemistry, summa cum laude) and University of Chicago Medical School graduate (in just 3 years, top honors and chief resident), so what do I know?

Don’t you love that she’s such a shit talker?  You guys must know that as well as I do. I love that about her, even if her language can be embarrassingly crude sometimes.  You didn’t know her in 2002, but she was in a phase where she called everyone a “pervy wanker.”  That got annoying.

Anyway, I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to thank all of you for listening to her and giving her some damn good advice.  Each of you has made my job infinitely easier.  Please do me the favor of keeping up the good work, because, as she has mentioned, I am entering my twilight professionally, and will be taking more and more vacations, which isn’t sitting well with our OM.  But, a man must reap the rewards of a long and happy career.  She’ll need all of you to fall back on during the lapses in her therapeutic treatment.  I would share my fee with all of you, but it’s all tied up in my Cayman accounts.

Best of luck to all of you in your endeavors.  Keep reading OM– you’re changing her life for the better.  While I hate sharing the credit for making her life happy and rewarding, I know that I must.  You have all done something I never could do– turned on the lights for her and ignited her passion.  Don’t tell her I said that– she thinks I did it.  We know the truth.  Let’s keep it between us.

Sincerely,

OM’s Therapist

Summer Running FAIL

Generally, when I think of running during the summer months, the song that comes to mind is Flock of Seagulls’ I Ran (So Far Away).

This summer, the more appropriate song for my running is Otis Reddings’ Sitting On the Dock of the Bay.

For more about the fears I confronted and the lessons I learned this summer when my butt injury prevented me from running a single step, click here for my guest post over at Mom Running On Empty.

This isn't me, but she sure looks hurt.  (image from http://www.physiotherapyworks.ie/sports_injuries.aspx)

This isn’t me, but she sure looks hurt. (image from http://www.physiotherapyworks.ie/sports_injuries.aspx)

 

 

Obama-Care and Sex Explained

Please tell me that you get your news from a reputable source and not from me. If you seriously clicked here to find out about the Supreme Court’s healthcare ruling, then you should put yourself in time out or force yourself to watch Fox News all day.  Shame on you.

I did, however, make a June 28 resolution to read the whole 200-page opinion.  I am going to get on top of this by going to the primary source, and maybe I will pepper future posts with erudite allusions to the decision.  In the meantime, I am going to see which of the Justices have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts so I can follow them, just like I follow Ashton and Kelly Ripa.

But I don’t want to leave you empty-handed, which is why I am directing you to my guest post that appears today on a website I really love: Just Be Enough.  My guest post is all about sex, so check it out here.  If you hate clicking, I will summarize my post: it’s a steamy mix of positions and dirty talk– or how it’s hard to make time for my marriage when I have two small kids.

The bedroom is for sleeping

The bedroom is for sleeping

Have a great weekend and feel free to tell me how you are letting yourself off the hook today and how you are enough. For today.