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My blog is a mirror

standard June 10, 2014 3 responses

Twice now, in the last few weeks, I have written a blog post about something going on in my life, something I thought I’d share because I know, for a fact, that many people could and would relate to what I had to say. Then, as I am sometimes wont to do, I left the posts in draft and went about my business for a day or two to see if I still wanted to push them live.

Neither post has seen the light of day. Instead, they’ve pushed me to take a long hard look at how I was behaving. Instead of hitting publish, I’ve chosen to change my ways.

The first post was actually written just over a month ago and was about yelling. Because we all yell, right? I know we do, I talk about it with my friends. Parenting is stressful and often frustrating, and there are times when we yell. It’s a fact of parenthood.

The post was an almost tongue in cheek look at the way a morning had gone from fine to not fine at all in the short span of time between me getting up and all of us getting out the door. I didn’t share it right away because even writing it made me feel uncomfortable.

Why exactly did I feel the need to yell that morning? Because Little L took 30 minutes to eat breakfast and another 20 to put on a dress, two socks, and two shoes? Because she needed to be reminded, again, to brush her teeth? Because we were maybe going to be five minutes late for school?

That night I reread that post and realized just how damaging our near-regular morning routine must be on my shy kid with low self-esteem. The next morning I didn’t yell.

The morning after that I didn’t yell.

I haven’t yelled in the morning since that day.

We still haven’t been late for school. And a couple days ago, my shy retiring kid struck up a conversation with a cashier at the grocery store. Her sister and I looked at each other in utter shock.

Last week I wrote another post about another one of my failings. This time about my near obsessive addiction to television series and the way I seem to be unable to stop chain watching episode after episode until I have blessedly reached the end of the series and can finally get on with my day to day life.

That night, as I went to bed, having once again left the post in draft because I truly didn’t like my conclusions, I asked myself what, of the things I do day in and day out, the things that take up all of my time, with the kids, when I’m alone, when I’m working, and when I’m not, what makes me happy, what makes me feel fulfilled.

Watching TV wasn’t on the list.

I enjoy a well written show. I like knitting in front of the TV. I like a good story probably more than the average person. But, at the end of the day, if I’ve spent my time writing, reading, playing with the kids, spending time with friends, walking the dog, laughing with my husband, I feel fulfilled. If I’ve spent my time watching episode after episode of a TV show, no matter how great a show it might be, I feel antsy and a bit empty.

That post was never published.

I haven’t watched a TV show during the day since I wrote it.

I’ve been tempted. I’ve rationalized that I could stream something while answering emails, while doing research, while editing photos. But I’ve turned on Pandora instead and let the music fill the silence in my office.

I’ve been blogging for a very, very long time now and I’ve never quite realized just how much of a mirror this blog has been for me. It’s helped me see how I parent. It’s helped me discern patterns in my life, which in turn has helped me better recognize and manage any ups and downs that I might face.

I am grateful to this space and to those that visit it for not only helping me become a better writer over the years, but a better person along the way.

Do more of what makes you happy. Carmel McConnell

It’s confession time!

standard September 18, 2009 3 responses

Posting that last Friday Flashback was a bit of a cop-out, because, let’s be honest, I still do most of that stuff, and I’ve added a bunch to the list.

So here it is, my newest, latest, and not so flattering confessions.

– I still only bathe my kids every other day, at best. But I have graduated from wipes baths. But only because they won’t stand for it.

– I work from home now, but I never did manage to figure out a decent housekeeping schedule. So, yeah, laundry still has the best of me, as do all the piles of clutter around the house.

– I really only pretend to care that my house is a mess. As long as it isn’t dirty, I don’t really mind the clutter.

– Except in my room. It drives me nuts in my room. Sadly, that’s where it’s worst.

– I once read about a person who finally cleaned out her car after a long, long time, and who found a dead bird’s wing on the floor of the passenger seat. I love that story. No matter how messy my car gets I always think to myself “at least there isn’t a dismembered bird in here.”

– I clearly have very low standards…

– Some days I’m happy to let my husband go out to a concert or to a ball game in the evening. And it’s not because I relish the alone time. It’s so for once I won’t have to feel guilty about working all evening and ignoring him.

– Then he gets home from the ball game, I’m still working, and he still manages to go to bed before me.

– I never win at the guilt game.

– I married the most awesome man in the world.

– I know that’s not a confession, but I can hear him chat with the girls while he feeds them their dinner and I’m in here blogging. He’s telling them he already put out their clean pajamas. And really, does it get better than this?

– I sometimes blog/twitter/IM while the girls are both at home and awake. It’s hard to unplug.

– All week I have been procrastinating on an important assigment. I have to watch a TV show and write up a review. I love TV. In fact I watch an insane amount of TV. And yet, I have not done this assignment. I have in fact, avoided watching the right kinds of shows. I do not understand this.

– I watch way too much Disney Channel. Some might say I have an odd obsession. No, my kids do not watch it with me. It’s a problem. Also, these are not the shows I’m supposed to be reviewing.

– I watched the Wizards of Waverly Place movie…. and I…. cried. I’m pathetic.

– I often wonder if I made the right career move and I sometimes fantasize about going back to a 9-5 assistant type job where I could punch the clock, do my work, and go home. Then I realize I’d probably still be up all night blogging and I come to my senses.

There. Not so bad, right? I’m sure if I dig deep I could find worse, but, eh, who wants to do that?

Friday Flasback – Confessions from way back

standard September 11, 2009 2 responses

Friday Flashback (back after a bit of a hiatus) is all about bringing to light some of my favorite posts from my archives to breathe new life into them. This post was originally part of the Blog Exchange. I’m reposting it because it makes me laugh to see how much of a slacker mom I was, and how much worse I am today. Trust me, an updated version is coming soon. This was originally published in March 07 at The Wink.
I confess.

I think I am a very average mom. I do some things very well and others I don’t do at all. I am usually fine with this, but every so often I feel the need to apologize, or at least confess.

· I confess that my toddler only gets a bath every other day, if that.
· I confess that I have, more than once, just cleaned her from head to toe with wipes because it was just too late for a “real” bath
· I confess that we don’t have a night time routine, per-se.
· I confess that I have NO intention of taking my daughter’s pacifier away from her when she turns two.
· I confess that we sometimes eat at McDonalds and that C gets her own Happy Meal. (With fries, not apples.)
· I confess that I don’t mind sending C to daycare, and I fully plan on sending this next child as well, even if I don’t work full time. (Or even part time. HA!)
· I confess that if I have an unexpected day off I still send C to daycare and take a personal day for myself.
· I confess that sometimes I get out of work early, but I still pick C up at the appointed time. I relish that time alone.
· I confess that I don’t plan on sending C to preschool until she’s three. I think she’s getting everything she needs socially and educationally from her daycare.
· I confess that I sometimes lie to C about what I’m eating so that I won’t have to share with her.
· I confess that some evenings C’s bedtime is a little earlier than usual, because I just need it to be.
· I confess that I don’t use those plastic table liners and just put C’s food directly on restaurant tables.
· I confess that I never obsessed about giving C non bleached flour, or no processed sugar, or anything like that.
· I confess that a lot of what C eats for dinner comes out of the freezer.

I confess that I’m not the most obsessive, overbearing, over hovering mom. But I have to say when we sit at a restaurant and I watch my 22 month old daughter spoon feeding herself spaghetti, when she says “bless you” when someone sneezes, when she never forgets to say please and thank you, when she shows incredible compassion to people who are hurting or crying, basically when I see what a generally wonderful person she is becoming, well then I have to confess that I might be doing something right.

What Happened to the Girl I Married? A Confession

standard July 18, 2009 2 responses

I have always watched the Stay at Home Mom/Working Mom debate from afar, terrified to get in the middle, horrified by the anger and meanness that permeates the debate. And at the risk of fueling more of that anger I’m going to confess something here… Back when I was a clock punching, 9-5, “working” mom, I secretly and quietly always wondered one thing.

Seriously, what do stay at home moms do all day?

Now that I am a work-at-home mom, who is blessed with all day daycare for her two children, I have found the answer.

And so starts my latest Silicon Valley Moms Blog post, inspired by Michael Miller’s book What Happened to the Girl I Married? Click here to read the rest of the post and the discussion that has already been started in the comments section. I’d love to know what you think!