Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Signed, Pantsless in Pennsylvania

Today instead of a confession, we start with a disclaimer: This post is really depressing. For real. It's like what would happen if you created a bitching club and merged it with Whiners Anonymous and then took away everybody's Zoloft.
As for the title, yes I am aware that I live in New Jersey, but I am from PA and the title just sounds so much better than Pantsless in NJ, don't ya think?
Plus with Jersey Shore and Jerseylicious and Mob Wives and all that crap- Pantsless in NJ sounds like just another day of bad reality t.v., right?

So here I am, in New Jersey not Pennsylvania, sitting around being secretly jealous of other moms- ok not so secretly since I'm blogging about it. So really just sitting around being blatantly jealous of other moms. I'm not talking about celebrity moms or New York Times best selling book published moms- though they hold a special place of jealousy for me- for now I just mean every mom. Yes, every mom on Earth, everywhere period.
Why? Mostly because I feel like they are all getting so much more done in life than I am. I feel like they're all in some secret club of getting-doneness (shut up- I told you before- my blog, my made up words) that I am not a part of.
I just know every one's house is cleaner than mine.
I just know every one's bills are all filed away neatly in a cabinet and not tossed in a box (AKA vortex) next to the desk in the basement FOR FIVE YEARS.
I just know that they all have time to APPLY MAKEUP and comb their hair and put on actual non yoga pants or pajama bottom type clothes.
And I don't get it. What am I doing wrong? Or better yet, what am I not doing wrong?
Yeah I have 3 kids. Yeah I have 2 dogs that are like having an extra kid most days. Yeah I write, I blog, I cook, I clean, I wash fold put away and repeat...repeat...repeat...repeat... but big deal.. so do a GAZILLION other women.
I know moms with 5 and 6 kids who still find the time to go to the gym every day. The gym. Hello? Seriously?
I know stay at home moms who have 4 kids home with them ALL DAY and yet whenever you seem to drop by, everything seems to be perfectly in its place and neat and tidy. So tidy that I wanna "accidentally" spill my cup of Starbucks all over the freshly mopped floor. 
I know working moms who work all week, take care of dinner, kids, etc. after they get home and still have the energy to go to book clubs one night a week, and take the kids to the zoo and the park on the weekends.
I try not to obsess over this- as a matter of fact I have made not obsessing over it a mission in my life- to a point where, well, I am obsessing over not obsessing over it.
What the hell am I doing wrong? Or what drugs am I not taking? 
Because for real- I feel like all I do ALL DAY LONG in pick up clothes, put away toys, wash dishes, and feed people. 
I feel like the house is always a mess. 
I have a list of projects as long as my arm, knowing full well that none of them will ever get done. How am I supposed to re stain the dining room set when I can’t even get the stains out of the baseball uniforms?
Every day I set out with a plan- a plan of what I could feasibly get done that day. Maybe it’s pulling up all the weeds in the garden. Maybe it’s reorganizing the filing cabinet so that maybe, you know, files can actually go in it. 
But at the end of the day, I have done the same things every single day. I’ve gotten up, fed dressed and sent off the kids. Put in laundry. Emptied the dishwasher. Switched laundry. Made the beds. Folded laundry. Planned dinner. Put away laundry. Retrieved child 1. Made lunch. Probably more laundry. Retrieved other children. Helped with homework. Pretty sure there's laundry involved here. Made dinner. I'm starting to see dryer sheets in my sleep. Cleaned up from dinner. Gotten everyone ready for bed. I swear to *** I am gonna break this ****ing washing machine.
And even if I could pull myself away from the treadmill of domesticity that I ride every day, I still have my doubts that there’d be a shred of difference. 
You see, I seldom have a moment to complete a task before the children are bellowing for something. When I do decide to take a moment to say, write this blog post, I will inevitably hear the cries of all 3 kids on at least 2 different occasions. Usually the cries are proceeded by moooooom I want..... mooooooom I need..... or mooooom so and so did......... and there goes the neighborhood! I am off again riding the treadmill. By the time dust settles, most of the time I have forgotten what I had started to do, or like in the case of this post, have had to come back to it 12 or 13 times just to get it done. 
Most of this mind you, is my own doing. I would probably get more done if I actually waited until the end of the day to go around and clean EVERYTHING up at once instead of doing it every 15-20 minutes throughout the entire day. I’m not exactly sure who I am afraid will see a “mess” or why i care, but apparently I do.
Not to mention if I didn’t have a fear of leaving my kids unsupervised for more than 3 minutes at a time for fear of what they are going to mess up/ get into/ destroy. 
And don’t even get me started on prioritizing or organizing. (What do you mean sitting up pinning pictures of nice kitchens on Pinterest until 1 a.m. isn't a priority?) For real? By then it’s too late to get anything REAL done anyway. 
Half the time I feel like I am just getting by, living day to day, just trying to get through to the next one without the house falling down around me. Geez, it sounds a lot suckier than it is really. 
It’s just that some days I just feel like a machine. Like I am living life on auto-pilot and I don’t know how to steer myself anymore. Can we say- priorities- out- of- whack? I mean, I don't even bother to appropriately dress myself most days. I mean, I just have to get back into my pajamas later anyway! As long as there's no dishes in the sink, no dog hair on the floor, who cares if I haven't washed my hair in 3 days, right? 
Hell, I walk around pantless half the time because if I start getting dressed, the bellows begin. It’s like they sense the fabric softener hitting my body. (I bet you were beginning to wonder where I was going with the whole title thing, weren't ya?)
So as I wander the house pantsless, with kids screaming at each other, begging for snacks, and whatever else kids do, I wonder... CAN I BE THE ONLY ONE? PLEASE DEAR LORD DO NOT LET ME THE ONLY ONE!!! But, I fear that I am. The only pantsless, exhausted, frustrated, haven't had a manicure in 8 years, mom. The only mom that is so time deprived and organizationally challenged that she literally can't even put her pants on.
If it weren't so pathetic, I just might cry. But instead I will laugh. I laugh because there’s really nothing else to do. I’ll laugh because frowning gives you wrinkles way faster. I’ll laugh because I wrote this entire post pantless. And I laugh because after torturing me with the most inane requests for hours and hours on end finally...FINALLY.... one of the kids looks up at me and says, “MOM! Where are your pants?!” 


Wendy said...

Thank you, Michelle, for being brave enough to articulate my struggle. As a mom who works outside the home, that "treadmill" is such a common theme. Ask Mike, too, and he will tell you the same thing! I am grateful for your honesty and courage. And no, you are not the only one! The rest of the moms are just taking meth to get it all done! :)

SherilinR said...

i'm on that same pantsless bandwagon. i usually have pants on these days because i live with my in-laws & they frown on seeing my butt, but i still feel like all i ever do in my whole life is fix food and take care of people. and cats. and i only have one kid! my house is never clean (which my unfortunate youtube videos can attest to) but i do manage to shower almost every day. even if i do put dirty clothes back on my body.

Barb @ A Life in Balance said...

Hugs! I'm just like you though I've got 5 kids. Most days I feel like I've just made it through the day. I cannot tell you the last time I read to my kids.

Funny thing is, someone thinks I'm doing okay because I was nominated for president and activity secretary of our home and school association. I feel so undeserving. If they only knew....

Pammy pam said...

you totally need to kick Zoloft to the curb and try another antidepressant. and also a mood stabilizer. Zoloft sucks. donkey dong.

you do not hafta be superwoman. i was and all my hair fell out and i lost my memory. or maybe the prozac did that; i can't remember.

I stopped cooking, except on rare occasions. i get out of bed and work because i have a son in college and Temple doesn't take allergy pills as a form of payment; which i have plenty of.

cut yourself some slack. give in and take care of yourself. whatever that need is that you have. meet it. get help. you deserve it.

Sarah Hughes said...

I work full time, have a cleaning lady that comes and my house is still a HUGE MESS!!!! My 3 hamperss are always filled with dirty laundry and the clean clothes usually don't leave the laundry basket until someone wears them. I get take out most nights and there is always dog hair some place. This is all fine by me though because when I am gone I want to be remembered as a mom that played with my kids as much as I could and not a mom that kept a very well organized house. Put your pants on and go to the playground!!! The rest will be fine

dieMutti said...

THANK YOU for this! I was having a very-down-on-myself-because-of-all-that-I-will-never-get-done sort of day... I find myself feeling like that often. Especially when I think about others who do more than me even with more on their plate (full-time job, four perfect kids, crafty awesome Etsy shop? Not me...). Comforting to know others feel like I do. And while I do want to be known as the fun mom who played with the kids, I grew up in a decently clean, but clutter-filled, un-decorated home and was embarrassed to have friends over. I am hoping to find a happy medium, but am not sure when that will happen... For now, thanks for having my back today. Sounds like we need to hang out in our non-clean houses. Too bad I live in Texas :)

Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} said...

OMG. I love this post. Every bit of it. I feel THE SAME WAY so much of the time. OMG. Except I am selfish and I do get my pedicures and I do put my clothes on b/c I have to, dangit, I have to take a picture and post it. But sometimes I don't get dressed until 3:00. Can't have the kids getting off the bus and finding Mom in her pjs!!! LOL

The laundry. The dishes. The dinner. OMG. It never ends. I hate it. That is why I spend so much time online - avoiding housework!!!

Stop by anytime. I can promise you my house will be a wreck. It is only tidy on Thursdays, for the one hour after the cleaning lady leaves.

YES. I have a cleaning lady. See, told you I am selfish. HA!

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Jamie said...

I have to say I am laughing because I feel your pain. What's really funny is when my kids were younger everyone told me don't worry it will get better. Unfortunitly for me it hasn't. I work fulltime, have 2 teen daughters and a husband I consider my third child. The bellowing has never stopped, but instead it also comes with the rolling of the eyes and the wonderfully articulate come backs that I just have to smile at because yes, they got it from me!. Hang in there soon they will be off to college and all you will have bellowing at you are the college tuiton bills!

momsrus said...

Ha! You are my new best friend!!! I could have wrote this post exactly word-for-word.

Write-on sister!


bigfamilytinyhouse said...

Oh honey. You're the mom I've been looking for... go read this post I wrote on a friend's blog. I can't post it on mine yet, she still has the rights to that post, but let's go rip our hair out...together.


Leashing The Chaos said...

lol, I was in stitches by the first paragraph...where would we be without our zoloft?