Who Are We Doing This For??

Having children changes you. There is no getting around it. Before I had three children there were at least a dozen times a month that my living room was clean. Not clean, clean. You couldn’t eat off my coffee table without a placemat but at least we had a workable coffee table. Now what we have is a “coloring book, empty straw cup, Happy Meal toy, markers and dirty pretzel holding area.” It’s embarrassing. And it’s not getting better like I thought it would. When the twins were infants and Elby was three I kept telling myself and anyone who saw the inside of my house, “Oh, sorry it’s a pig sty but we have all this baby crap and where do you put it? It will get much better in a year or so. Ha ha ha.” Yeah, ha ha ha. It didn’t. At that time my living room was an ocean of Desitin tubes, baby bottles, breast pump paraphanalia, baby food jars, diapers, exersaucers, bouncy seats, empty Xanax bottles…you know the drill. Now it’s just as bad but with different crap!

Before I had kids, although I was never neat to begin with, at least the producers of Hoarders wouldn’t have salivated at my living conditions. Now I’m afraid that the Chinese food delivery guy is judging the state of my house.

And the inside of my minivan? Oh lord. I swore I wouldn’t be that lady with the half empty ice melted Diet Coke in my cupholder, random art projects all over the floor, Goldfish crackers in the glove compartment and unrecognizable food remnants in the folds of the baby seats. But here I am.

So why do I do it? Why did I let my life turn into a circus? Why have I come to terms with the fact that I will only be able to brush my teeth every so often? And why do I fight the good fight to stay clean, sober and present? I can think of three good reasons.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on May 5, 2010 11:09 pmUncategorized30 comments  


  1. Willow said,

    Absolutely beautiful…and worth every messy room.

    | May 5, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

  2. Christina said,

    New reader/follower of your blog. I can’t believe its taken me so long to find it. Lovely post!

    | May 6, 2010 @ 12:08 am

  3. cynthia said,

    Elby looks so much like you! And that look- totally Stef!

    | May 6, 2010 @ 1:54 am

  4. mommy on the spot said,

    Nothing is in order when kids are involved. And I am so not the same person I was before kids. Both are totally worth the tradeoff because as hard as it is to raise kids, they are totally worth it.

    | May 6, 2010 @ 3:05 am

  5. Tara said,

    What beauties! It’ll get better when they can start doing chores. I swore for years that I was born to be my mothers personal slave.

    | May 6, 2010 @ 4:10 am

  6. Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said,

    You almost, almost, make me want to have kids. =)

    But you are so right. And gorgeous pics by the way.
    .-= Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist´s last blog ..For the love of words =-.

    | May 6, 2010 @ 5:19 am

  7. robin said,

    And you’re also a minivan driver. Did you ever think that would happen?
    .-= robin´s last blog ..Crying Over You =-.

    | May 6, 2010 @ 5:32 am

  8. Gappy said,

    That’s the motivation to beat all others isn’t it? The knowledge that little people count on us.
    .-= Gappy´s last blog ..Do You Remember When…. =-.

    | May 6, 2010 @ 10:32 am

  9. Michelle said,

    Those are three gorgeous reasons!

    | May 6, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

  10. Ellie said,

    I can’t tell you how relieved I was to come here this morning and read this. I’ve never been a neat person, either, so my baseline of acceptably messy is already sketchier than most people. So, when the house gets to the point where it’s even driving ME crazy, I know it’s bad.

    It’s like pushing a rock uphill, though – I can clean for two hours, it looks nice for an hour, and then by that evening you can barely tell. So I have a hard time movitating, because it seems so fruitless.

    But it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one, so thank you for your honesty. I needed it today.

    And – Oh Em Gee your daughters are beautiful. Gorgeous pictures, too. Is that the new application thingy that makes pictures look like they were taken with a Kodachrome? Is that how you spell Kodachrome?

    Sorry, I’m tired. And I don’t mind saying it, either. πŸ™‚

    .-= Ellie´s last blog ..Just A Day =-.

    | May 6, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

  11. Angie Liskey said,

    We love you because you put in to words the chaos that is coloring our lives.

    BTW, I wanted to tell you how happy I am that you guys are g-tube free!!! Way to f-ing go!!! I expect you to write a book solely on g-tubes and pediasure. I’ll buy every copy!

    | May 6, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

  12. Kir said,

    It’s funny, I think these same thoughts about 80 times a day, or when I have finally found time to pee , remembered to lock the door and realize I don’t remember the last time I cleaned the floor in this bathroom. UGH! πŸ™‚

    this was a great post, those little ladies of yours ..GORGEOUS, the second picture, priceless, it made my eyes well with tears..and then I giggled. πŸ™‚

    | May 6, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  13. Stella said,

    Very wise words indeed! We do it all for our babies…no matter how big they are getting.

    Now I must go scrub my house and take the afternoon off of work tomorrow so I can get my house in order for my daughter’s birthday party this weekend πŸ˜‰
    .-= Stella´s last blog ..To Be Young Again =-.

    | May 6, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

  14. Gemini-Girl said,

    Dude… all I can say is…I understand.
    My house looks like it exploded.
    My mother comes over to watch the kids and asks me where something is and my response is always “I dont know”… she responds “You always don’t know”…of course I dont know, how can I? hold me.
    .-= Gemini-Girl´s last blog ..Bumpy Ride =-.

    | May 6, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

  15. MereCat said,

    That makes me feel so much better to know your house looks like hell, too. I give myself way too much crap for the condition of my living environment. But after chasing after the battle never-to-be-won, I lose my will to even try to keep it clean.

    | May 6, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

  16. Issa said,

    Because one day, they grow up and you have a clean car, a house that is semi-clean and no toys or books or things that trip you in the middle of the night. Then you are sad and miss it.

    Or so my mother claims. She may lie though.
    .-= Issa´s last blog ..Random things that could be Tweets, but then those of you who don’t follow me would miss out =-.

    | May 6, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

  17. Cheryl said,

    Stefanie, truly 3 beautiful blessings. I would love to share one of mine with you…
    One night my 11yr old came into my room and laid on top of me as I was reading my “Living Sober” book. It had been a difficult day of triggers and the compulsion to drink was strong and fierce. She asked me about the book and why am I reading it. I explained that when I feel I need to be reminded why I can’t drink and questioning why am I doing all this and be reminded of the “disease” I have… I read this book and my AA Big Book. She continued to worm her way on top of me trapping me on the bed. She cupped my face in her hands and looked into my eyes and said “Mom, this is why you don’t drink” “right Mom?” as she pointed at her face and kissed me on the cheek. Can you believe it! She is such an amazing girl! Definitely a gift from my higher power! I get so wrapped up in my resentments and anger and madness that I forget the simplest of messages. Here I am reading a book trying to convince myself that I am sick and cannot drink, when I have all the motivation in the world right here in my life each and every minute of every day. How incredibly lucky am I?? I have told her so many times that she is my life and my reason for breathing. She knows of my first pregnancy before her and that I had a miscarriage. She figured out that since we only have one kid… if I had not had a miscarriage then I would not have had her! What do you say to that! UUGH! I told her that God single handedly picked her to come to me. That she is my angel. All events have a reason and purpose even when we don’t understand them at the time we have to accept that God has a very important plan for us all. We are all created to bring joy and happinesss and meaning to another person’s life. Because without these most pleasant feelings and experiences, there is no love and thus no more a circle of life.

    | May 6, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    • Jen said,

      Chery, that was a very touching. Thank you very much for sharing. Just what I needed to hear πŸ™‚

      | May 24, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

  18. rebecca said,

    The photo with one of the twins touching your face is priceless and made tears in my eyes. You better enter that one in a mothers day photo contest. I’m sure there are a few going on now.
    .-= rebecca´s last blog ..Any Botanist Around? =-.

    | May 6, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

  19. Sarah said,

    They are soooo beautiful.

    | May 7, 2010 @ 12:42 am

  20. Kate@And Then I Was a Mom said,

    I know. Kids can be delightful little suckers, even if mine insists on smearing her hands across the sliding glass doors every other second. I mean, if I’m going to take two minutes to clean them four months or so, the least she can do is stay away.

    Your girls are gorgeous.
    .-= Kate@And Then I Was a Mom´s last blog ..Happily, the Internet tells me the bites only cause temporary, localized pain. =-.

    | May 7, 2010 @ 1:19 am

  21. muskrat said,

    I disagree. Kids are nice and all, but living in filth sucks. That’s why I get depressed nearly every day when I walk into our house.
    .-= muskrat´s last blog ..coming to a muskrat windshield near you: β€œβ€˜tard on board!” =-.

    | May 7, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  22. kelly said,

    i am happy to read the type of posts that you used to have again! dont get me wrong, i am happy that you are sober and all that. but i miss reading the mom stuff, as thats what i can relate to right now.

    is this bitchy? i hope not, as i love love love you as teresa from jersey would say.

    | May 7, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

  23. ramblin red said,

    Elby DOES look just like you! Heartbreaker she’ll be.

    I too am *that* mom with the nasty car – blech. My husband is a mechanic and he says he hates to work on mommy vehicles because they are all the same on the inside: FILTHY!

    But, they are worth it.
    .-= ramblin red´s last blog ..One Year With You =-.

    | May 7, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

  24. Martha said,

    Gorgeous pictures!
    And just celebrated 4 months!

    | May 7, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

  25. elizabethsober said,

    great photos – and I love the Hipstamatic app, too!

    | May 7, 2010 @ 8:09 pm

  26. seekingclarav said,

    I’ve always been kind of psychotically neat, bordeline OCD and all that. Well now, post baby and with one cooking all I can say is Oh My God, my house. My poor house. And you know what, I don’t give a shit.

    Your daughters are so beautiful. And loved. That’s all that matters.

    And everyone has cheerios stuck to their asses when they get out of the car, right?
    .-= seekingclarav´s last blog ..Ah-ha =-.

    | May 7, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

  27. Jae said,

    Absolutely!!! Yes yes and YES! πŸ™‚ I used to be very TYPE A. Course I used to be a wino too. πŸ˜‰ Funny how, once I stopped drinking, I was able to unclench my fists and let go, ever so slightly of the Type A lady. Therapy, over a year of it!, has helped that too. πŸ˜‰
    .-= Jae´s last blog ..Photo Improvement Contest Entry =-.

    | May 8, 2010 @ 2:13 am

  28. rosemary said,

    I remember those days… now mine are 15, 17 and 18. I drove a big red suburban that had so many various food particles smashed into all its surfaces, that I would smile and tell people brave enough peer inside, “if we ever got stranded somewhere we would all have enough to eat for a week!” Not so much food anymore, but lots of sweaty uniforms, dirty socks, a single flip flop, soda cans…. don’t let the mess get you down, it’s all material. I have to believe we will actually miss it when they are on their own.

    | May 8, 2010 @ 3:44 am

  29. Annie said,

    These pictures are too cute!!!!

    | May 9, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

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