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Honesty, it’s a bitch

I hear a lot about moms who really have their shit together (which reminds me; a lot of descriptions of my blog warn about foul language – what the fuck is that all about?). I’m not one of them. This morning my babysitter called fifteen minutes after she was supposed to be here to tell me she couldn’t come. Some bullshit about a car accident the night before…luckily no one was hurt…car totaled…blah blah blah…all I heard was NOT COMING OVER. Sometimes that’s all it takes to put me into a total tail spin. I’m walking on a tightrope here and, really, the tiniest unforseeable things can upset me these days.

I know that it’s like this for a lot of us. And I also know that some people don’t even have a regular babysitter so those people may be reading this thinking “yeah, Stef, I hear the tiniest violin playing the saddest song for you.” But, I have a book due in a couple of months, I edit a website, I have a 2-year-old who for some weird reason seems to want actual attention from me. It seems that sitting on the couch in a vegetative state watching Wonderpets isn’t enough entertainment. No, she wants me on the couch with her enjoying every moment. Or worse, she wants to actually go places and do things. So I feel mama guilt. And I try to step it up. But I’m really tired.

Worse, I never thought I’d be one of those moms who can barely be bothered to get dressed half the time. I truly have little use for make-up because I only bother to put it on on the rare occasion I leave the house at night without a child. Truth be told, I definitely don’t shower as much as the National Health Department would deem fit, many days don’t brush my teeth until noon, flossing is now a luxury not a given and I haven’t even put on a pair of jeans in I don’t know how long. I’ve become that women. The pale faced, ponytailed, sweats wearin’, old t-shirt sporting MOM. I used to be kind of cute. I think I still am when I catch a glimps of myself all done up but, I just don’t have the energy.

I have fleeting thoughts every morning of actually making an effort and then something happens. A diaper needs immediate changing, the trash needs to go out, the phone starts ringing and before you know it, it’s 3 o’ clock and I still look like poop. I really thought it would be different. I envisioned myself unchanged, just with a child in tow. But, that was unrealistic as it turns out.

Sometimes I go to the park and see women in full make-up, their skinny jeans and their hair blown-dry and possibly curled a bit. I just don’t know how they make that happen. Is it magic? Do they have a live-in stylist?

Does anyone else relate or am I just lazy?

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on June 13, 2007 12:35 amUncategorized27 comments  

27 Comments

  1. Kelsey said,

    Jeans? What are these jeans you speak of? Also — what is this skinny you speak of? I am right there with you. (Our daughters are almost exactly the same age.) If it’s any indication of the state of being around here, I have not had an honest hair cut in over a year. I think there are a lot of us out there. And I think it’s just fine.

    P.S. I loved your book and wish I’d read it much sooner! Can’t wait for number two.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 1:15 am

  2. CM said,

    I’ve come to the conclusion that everybody must be fronting. There is no way everyone’s house is clean, everyone’s bikini is waxed, and everyone’s kid’s are eating three well balanced meals that include tofu. There is just not enough time or energy. Even with an au pair, a chef, a trainer, a village. It’s just impossible. Skinny jean girls have closets full of mess and their kids are watching wonder pets alone (something that occurs in my house quite often and I still don’t look cute) while they apply lip gloss in preparation to go out and be seen by me. The mom with spit-up and stubble.
    But it makes us that much cuter when we do finally shower and go out grown-up style! It’s like a Before & After!

    | June 13, 2007 @ 1:44 am

  3. Jane is Dating said,

    are you kidding me? YOu just totally reminded me of way back when I was a ‘tennis’ mom. You see my nanny wasn’t showing up and I had a tournament to play damn it! So I have my 1 year old tugging at my ankle socks when I get a call- my nanny had a heart attack. I remember thinking: SON OF A BITCH!!! this is not a good time to have this for ME!! can you freaking believe that? now I laugh as to how selfish and superficial that was but hey tennis was my way to decompress (with being in a bad relationship and all) but anyways that’s not the same as your story but I thought it was funny. I always hear the words that affect ME personally first and everything else is a filler.

    And what else- oh my life now…I haven’t bought nice underwear in like forever, I shave my legs because the hairs poke me and I try to do it at the office (I get there before anyone), I’ve actually had to eat while on the can (multi-tasking) and believe me that is hard to do, and you know what I just realized, I’m not making a lick of sense. blah blah blah.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 2:32 am

  4. momomax said,

    everyone is indeed fronting. I do it too when my perfect friends ask how I’m doing. When I say “FINE”, it really means that my apt is disgusting, I am on day four of shower strike…wut, I don’t sweat that much, and my son is still wearing the yogurt encrusted pj’s from the night before.

    I was psyched to see that you tweaked out an update about your new book. I just finished no. 1 and I loved it. I laughed my ass off and am only upset at the fact that you didn’t write it soon enough. (you slacker) If I had read it while I was pregnant, I seriously would have been a lot less insane.

    I don’t know when you’re going to start talking about the thing you blurted out on a comment you left me, but that may be a hyuge contributing factor to your park slope mommy condiiton.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 3:14 am

  5. KTP said,

    My cleaning lady called about an hour ago to say she can’t come tomorrow because she had a tooth filled today and it hurts and I almost said but that doesn’t mean you can’t clean my house and then I realized that means I don’t have to pick up before she comes tomorrow morning and oh well I’ll just live in filth for one more week who cares.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 4:28 am

  6. Anonymous said,

    my secret weapon: the baseball hat! It’s either hat or make-up. Never both. …when your kid is older they can veg on the couch while you can get some more things done…lazy but true

    | June 13, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

  7. Mamma said,

    I hate those women!

    | June 13, 2007 @ 1:12 pm

  8. Megan (Velveteen Mind) said,

    You just described my life and I love you for it. Oh yeah, this is why I squander so much time reading and writing blog posts. Gives me an opportunity to step back, take a breath, and know that “no frontin’ necessary.”

    As I write this, I’m waiting for our babysitter to show up. She usually calls about 15 minutes late to tell me she’s going to be late. This is after we’ve been sitting around for 30 minutes expecting her “any minute now.”

    I just can’t feel guilty about any of this. Right? I am swamped with work for my little online store, behind on my writing, and I’m averaging three showers a week. Something had to give and I didn’t want it to be my children’s intellect. So I brought in in-house reinforcements twice a week. So sue me.

    By the way, my key beauty secret? Yeah, uh, I just promise myself that I won’t wear my husband’s t-shirts. That’s it. That’s my high beauty standard.

    So, what’s this about a book? I have to stop blogging within your blog and find out about your book! Found you through Plain Jane Mom.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

  9. Yellow Fence said,

    I hate those moms at the park. My kid always has Cheerios stuck to his shirt, I have on 2 different shoes, and I’m pretty sure I forgot to brush my teeth most of the time. Pop in a DVD and get crackin on that book. I can’t wait to read it!!!

    Shannon

    | June 13, 2007 @ 1:35 pm

  10. kara said,

    I too think it’s a front. I’m also one of those moms at the park whose kids are still in pajama tops and have pieces of their breakfast on their shirt. I can barely get it together to get myself dressed, let alone a 2 year old and a 1 year old. I’m always throwing things together and throwing things under the couch, in the playroom or under the bed to make it seem like I’m semi-together…but I’m really not.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

  11. gmcountrymama said,

    I have a favorite T that I wear A LOT. It is so soft and comfy and I think it is cool because it has a picture of a coffee cup on it and it says “start me up”. I think its cute, but I am sure everyone thinks I am loser because I wear it all the time.
    I also bought a huge pair of dark sunglasses which I try and wear any time I have no makeup on, which is most of the time.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

  12. Kelly said,

    Those women at the park…it’s an illusion! They’re skinny b/c they don’t have time to eat (a concept I don’t quite understand!;)), and they’re pristine looking because something else has gone to crap. At least that’s what I tell myself…ever day!

    | June 13, 2007 @ 5:26 pm

  13. Denise said,

    Why do I waste so much time and energy beating myself up for being the only one who feels this way??? Stef, you are SO spot on. I needed an enormous break today, so the twins are eating toaster waffles and watching tv. THAT’S IT. I just can’t do it today.
    PLUS, you are way beyond cute, girlfriend. On my best day I couldn’t look like you do on your worst. So there.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 5:44 pm

  14. dana said,

    Sometimes, I see those same women in full make-up all purrrty and such and they remind me of aliens. They just seem so out of place.

    I barely have time for breakfast, let alone putting my face back on.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 6:24 pm

  15. Misty said,

    So been there and done that. It took until my children were 4 for me to see the shower each day. I had to forcefully drag myself through the motions. It got better, I actually dressed UP! I looked important, and I felt even better. Now, 4 years later, I’m steadily going back to the sweats, shorts, and aeropostyle crap with words on my ass. I do not know what is up with that…

    | June 13, 2007 @ 7:34 pm

  16. Antique Mommy said,

    I realized when I started keeping my toothbrush by the kitchen sink that I might have time management issues. The side of motherhood as you described it is the one that no one ever tells you about when you’re pregnant.

    And those done-up moms at the park? They’re from Stepford.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 7:39 pm

  17. Julie said,

    I work from home 3 days a week – sweats/tees or shorts/tees is my uniform those days. My oldest (5) said the other day when I was getting dressed to go into the office, “oh, I get it – you only wear makeup when you go to work”. She also told me my patterned pants looked like pj bottoms so apparently even when I try I fail.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 7:41 pm

  18. Carrcakes said,

    I have a new daily routine where I focus my energy on grooming at least one part of my body. Today, for example, I shaved my armpits. And you know what, they look hot!

    | June 13, 2007 @ 7:44 pm

  19. Amy said,

    Totally agree with cm – I let my make-up age on the shelf in the bathroom, like a fine wine. Then when I role it out and actually apply it, it is all ohhhs and ahhhs…

    Anytime hair gel is utilized, my hubby gets down right frisky. It’s like eating a pan of oysters in our house.

    For the sake of his aging heart and prostate, I try not to spruce up too often.

    I’m a giver afterall

    | June 13, 2007 @ 7:45 pm

  20. PDX Mama said,

    Relieved to know it’s not just me who doesn’t always shower as much as I should. I’m truly lazy in that regard! And long hair is better for lazy people too – just whip it up in a pony tail & you’re good to go.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 9:33 pm

  21. Catwoman said,

    The only reason I shower every day and wear make up on most days now is because I work outside of home.

    I did the whole work from home thing and it nearly killed me! Showers were impossible to come by and I nearly killed hubby more than once for asking me why I was still in my pj’s at 5:30 p.m. and what had I done all day.

    And the only make up I wear now is some foundation mixed in to my moisturizer. And I wouldn’t do that if I hadn’t realized that I have to moisturize and I can save a whole minute by just mixing the foundation in that.

    My idea of looking cute these days is not having a prune juice stain from my constipated toddler’s sippy cup on my shirt.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 9:37 pm

  22. andi said,

    You’re not lazy – those other women are just bitches. Bitches who practice voodoo, me suspects.

    | June 13, 2007 @ 10:37 pm

  23. kiwidebra said,

    Well, as someone who worked from home before having a baby, it’s hard to pinpoint when my not caring how I look set in. For me, dressing up involves mascara and Dr. Pepper lip smacker. I console myself that those women who are completely dressed up at the park a)have full time staff doing everything else for them, b)have lost control of everything else in their lives, or c)are robots. Besides, I’d much rather hang out with someone who’s smelly and messy because they’re too busy living. Much more interesting conversation!

    | June 14, 2007 @ 8:07 pm

  24. surcie said,

    I’m totally relating, too. I always feel like I’m in the minority, with my makeupless face and t-shirt–like I’m a total slacker compared to the other moms I see at the park. But I’m convinced it’s all smoke and mirrors. They have to LOOK like they’ve got their sh*t together in order to convince themselves and everyone else that they do. They’re probably getting up an hour earlier than I am. I’ll take the sleep.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 5:43 pm

  25. Sarah said,

    Truth be told, I usually do get myself somewhat presentable each day, even if I don’t leave the house. Why? Because it keeps me sane, and helps me buy into my own pretense that I have my shit together.
    I don’t wear makeup anymore, but I never wore much to begin with. It’s all about doing whatever you can to stay SANE. For me, it’s doing my hair. Every day. Without fail. Straightener, pomade, the whole bit. If I can at least do that, I feel like I can make it through the day and maybe make it through another episode of Dora without shooting the TV.

    | June 17, 2007 @ 12:24 am

  26. Burrus Boys said,

    I’m right there with you honey. I overheard some woman making reference to “those awful moms who have their kids in mother’s day out three days a week.” Bee-otch, if I could afford five days a week, they’d never see me Monday through Friday from 9 to 1. Does that make me a bad mom? Maybe, but at least my pupils arem’t the size of pot-holes, you over-medicated Martha Stewart wannabe. Wow! didn’t mean to let so much out on that one. Love your blog!

    | June 18, 2007 @ 12:39 am

  27. Jo said,

    Once upon a time I could wear the cute clothes, makeup all the time, and blah blah blah. Now? My family is lucky if I change out of my jammies! lol.

    Skinny? *sigh* I remember skinny. Now I flip skinny off as she passes by. :)

    | July 1, 2007 @ 12:15 am

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