Sunday, February 01, 2009

On My Mind: Keepin' It Real

Last week Stefani wrote a post about her "real life", the one with hot dogs on the floor, and laundry piles everywhere. You know, the life we crop out of the blog photos. She opened a flickr group for those "real life" photos, and when I had a minute I added a few photos to the group. (The one above would be the constant glob of dried up oatmeal on my kitchen table.)

I am as guilty as the next girl of cropping out a mess. But, I do try to keep it real around here. There are ugly bits of this journey too, and not blogging them feels disingenuous.

After all, when you are all gone from this place (the blog specifically), it will still be here as a record of my journey for both myself and my child.
But there are certainly smaller, less monumental, messy moments that don't make it onto the blog. And things on my mind that I often cannot find the time to say here.

Since I have been tagged a few times on facebook for a 25 random things about me meme, I thought I would do it here instead, in the spirit of "keepin' it real."

1. There are always dishes in the sink. Always.
2. Despite the fact that I do have a dishwasher.
3. I took Jack to the thrift store this week and on the way out the door he said to me, "Mom, how come all they had in there was crap?"
4. I am overly vain about Jack's appearance.
5. Myself? Hmmmph, I can hardly be bothered to wear deodorant most of the time.
6. I am usually incredibly torn about having another child.
7. I love Jack to bits, but most of the time I am pretty sure he is all I can handle.
8. Until I see those cute little dresses in Target.
9. I generally come to my senses as soon as we leave Target.
10. But I do still have doubt.
11. Mothering is so NOT an easy job for me, I really have to work at it.
12. Blogging is also not always an easy job for me.
13. I actually keep lists of blog ideas.
14. I think blogging would be easier if this blog were more specific: just thrift or just craft or just mamahood.
15. Despite the fact that it would be easier, it wouldn't be *me*, and I will never make that change.
16. I have never gotten along with my inlaws.
17. It started before they even met me, if that is possible.
18. I am pretty sure I never will get along with them.
19. I have a whole new attitude about that this year though.
20. This is all despite the fact that Dave and I rarely argue.
21. Jack came bounding in my room this morning demanding I get dressed immediately to go bowling.
22. I sent them bowling without me.
23. I am a little sad I didn't go.
24. But not sad enough to not revel in the absolute silence in the house right now.
25. Jack wakes me up every morning before 6 am.
26. That means I need a 10 minute nap in the afternoon.
27. That seems to be what the latest inlaw problem is about.
28. My having taken a nap almost a year ago.
29. It actually makes me laugh to think about it.
30. Who knew a nap could be controversial?
31. Dave and I have both been missing Florida a lot lately.
32. We moved here because we thought it's a better place for a kid.
33. We talk about moving back once Jack is grown.
34. I think I would be happy to move from state to state once every three years or so, try out all of the 50 states.
35. Just for fun.
36. As I am sitting here writing this the filthy footprints on the wood floor by the front door are driving me insane.
37. I will likely let them drive me insane for a week before I bother to mop them.
38. I would rather be sewing than mopping, and something's gotta give.
39. My grandfather's health is failing fast.
40. Not a single family member other than Dave and I do ANYTHING to help him.
41. He needs us to do everything at this point: get his mail, mail his bills, do his shopping, take out his trash, do his laundry, keep up his house, etc.
42. It is really wearing me thin.
43. I am not sure how much longer I can keep up with 2 houses, one 4 year old and one 87 year old man.
44. It's taken me 18 months just to convince him to let meals on wheels help me get him fed every day.
45. When Jack is acting like a hard head, I really, really, really hope he is not going to end up as hard headed as my grandfather.
46. Or my brother.
47. Or even myself.
48. I am working with him every day to help him be better at accepting help, expressing his emotions and dealing with them.
49. I guess it all goes back to that mothering be hard thing, eh?
50. Who am I kidding? Life is good, but messy. Always.

How about you? Have any messes you want to talk about?


  1. I've joined that Flickr group too and it's great isn't it!!

  2. #11. Me niether. Separating what my life would be without my boys is not possible...they have changed me in so many ways (or given me the courage and inspiration to do so, really). But it is work...because it is real work to GROW as a person rather than beat you ideas onto a little kid and expect it to work for them too.

    #10. I can't have anymore natural born children but refuse to close the door on having another child.

    #14. Yep. But like you, I can't do it. That's why mine is called Tis My Life. I'm sure I'd have more followers if I had a niche, but my blog isn't about them. It took me awhile to accept this, because I need validation. :P I do not pimp my blog or belong to any groups right now eventhough I could fit into many. I'm sure this has limited my readership...but....
    #34. See, hoemschooling would have its benefits...serious it is on the plus side for me (on my decision list). We wouldn't be limited by the system to travel and explore hands on. Now we would be limited by money, case we have a windfall.

    And I am sorry to hear about your grandfather. That's one of the reasons I can't move away dad. He is stubborn and his health is failinf slowly. I want to hate him sometimes, but I can't. I love him and would sacrifice everything but my immediate family to do whatever he needs. But to convince that man to do what's in his best interest...ARGH!!!! So I look at all perspectives and try to work with him the best I can. Maybe I just might learn something. ;)

  3. there are some real big messes in my life, but to think about them really gets me down. so i try to do some psychological cropping every day just to remain sane.

    hope you have a great week. :)

  4. This is one great list of 25 things. You are one really cool dude!! I am so happy to be able to get the real scoop. I should do a list like this on my blog; but am not brave enough. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Well, there is the "crafter-math" of my most recent projects all over our bedroom. Doesn't bother me a bit, but the hubby is getting irritated by it. Should be cleaning while watching the super bowl. But, I am blogging.

  6. LOL Your honestly is sweetly hilarious :)

    Most of my messes would be too lengthy to list!

  7. thank you thank you thank you for keeping it real. i have crumbs under my kitchen table ALL THE TIME. they drive me crazy. but i let them stay.

  8. I saw the "getting real" post on someones blog and almost cried! I can SO relate. I have to tell you...these could have been written by me:
    1,4,5,6,7,11,16,17,20,26,36,49 and most of all number 50.
    I'll have to check out that flickr group. Thanks for this post Sarah....I admire you for it!

  9. tammyCA7:14 PM

    How come your messy kitchen even looks artistic? lol. Love your little cabinet with the vintage tablecloths. Yeah, there's a lot of messy stuff in my life...being a mother to a very challenging autistic/learning disabled girl - I want to run away. How will I deal with diapering her when she is a teen if she doesn't get it now at age nearly 8? Her screeching/loudness is the most annoying thing (she's primarily non-verbal)...if not for the other half I'd have her placed in a grp home now 'cuz she is that hard to take care of...on top of all that I have problems with my eye (I'm legally blind in the other) - the retina has all this debris floating in it (floaters), theres holes in the retina that 'cause me to see constant after images/sparks of light...had all kinds of tests in the last 2 yrs and there is nothing to be done to fix it. I only pray I don't lose my sight completely the way things are going...what would I do then? I try to dispel that depressing thought. Too much has been dumped on me in this life (I have other problems)....well, enough of this - going thru the change of life now doesn't help matters either.
    well, there's the screaming again.

  10. I can only leave a brief comment because I hear the baby grumbling, but this was a fabulous post. Very real, and totally awesome!

  11. I loved this post Sarah. The cabinet to the left of your sink is awesome. My sink used to be like that and still is at times even tho with less people living in this house it shouldn't be...but it is.

  12. I could make lots of comments on this post, but I'll limit myself to the sink picture. Although I know you were trying to focus on the dishes in the sink, my thought was, Wow, I really like Sarah's kitchen! (and especially that little glass cabinet - towels? tablecloths inside? and that pretty green color?) Anyway - just goes to prove that even when we're being self-critical (or just realistic), others might be looking at what you have that's great.

  13. your list made me laugh.....we have a lot in common. i too would stare a footprints on the floor and leave them for about a week waiting to see if anyone else would clean them, and it would drive me crazy. BUT not crazy enough to mop it up right away. i too always have a sinkful of dishes, but would kill for a dishwasher. i told hubby when we got married, i didnt do dishes. apparently he thought i was kidding

  14. Wow, it looks like this post resonates with many people, including me. I especially relate to your comment about having another child. I've been battling that decision for years... my daughter is now 16 and we STILL decided to give it one more shot and see if nature would take its course (it didn't work). All I can say is if you EVER think you'll regret not having another child, have one. I would never recommend having an only child - this is from experience. She is lonely and has no one to fight with except me.
    I also laughed at your comment about in-laws. Mine do not like me, never have, and the feeling is mutual. I also think they made up their mind before they met me, and they complain about the stupidest things!
    Anyway, I LOVED this post. I think we all try to look good on our blogs and you really kept it real!

  15. Hi sweetie! I am glad you still find time to blog about all subjects,I will blog again soon.
    Kinder graduation may change your indecision about child # 2 it did me and it was the best decision ever (for me),but I must admit I always thought I would only have one child until that teary graduation ceremony.
    After a Cuh-RAZY several weeks ,things are finally calming for me agian,so yeah ....messes are a constant and it makes me grumpy!
    All the best and keep an open mind for baby #2!

  16. Oh my gosh I love this post. It is like letting it allllll hang out. I read every single bit (I'm a skimmer, that is one of my secrets). You make me feel sane. I love your being real though. I always like that. It is good to be real to our kids, too. So they don't think life is easy or majic. Cuz it ain't! My mess - no one did the dishes last night. My kids shove things in drawers. Sometimes I open a drawer for a potholder and find a book. Or a sock. I don't get that. So yeah, my cupboards and drawers in the kitchen could use a little cleaning. I hate to admit I like my job so I don't have to be home and be a homemaker all the time. I like to sew but I don't love cleaning and I tolerate cooking, mostly. I do fight with my husband about once a month. And I get resentful. And I don't really care for some of the people I work with. I hope they don't read your blog comments. THough I think I'm safe. And really I hope no one reads this! Ok enough.

  17. Regarding the second child. I had the same feelings for a couple years -- okay maybe like 4 years. Now Maddie is 8 and magically I have let it all go and am so much happier.

  18. Anonymous7:16 AM

    It must have felt good to be so real. I would be to scared to start for fear that I would not be able to stop.

  19. Yeah... Life is messy.. alot of the time. Here it is the same with 2 empty nesters!! I am always saying where does all this mess come from, we are just 2...hummm maybe partly the fact I do not LIVE and BREATH house work any more!!! Not that it is filthy but a lil pile here a lil pile there. I worked hard most of my life so figure if I take a bit of time here an there for some simple joys so be it. Raising kids is hard!! Helping out our sick and elderly parents is hard!! My advice to you is don't second guess just do what feels right for you! So keepin it real here today we are having left overs from my weeks cooking!!! I call this time off, well excpet come clean up time. Only because I do hate to wake up to sink full of dishes! I ran screaming from the PC when I saw yours triping over the 2 bags of things I need to put away but don't bother me being there !!Ha!!


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