Monday, May 17, 2010


There is a blogging challenge going on at Momalom ( The idea is that the authors of that site give a list of topics, and all of us readers are supposed to blog about a certain topic on its designated day; then we go check out the other blogs and comment and generally support each other and the mommy blog community.

I wasn't going to participate in the challenge, not because I don't have the time or the motivation, but because I find it very difficult to write about a subject when I'm not specifically inspired to do so. How could I pen a compelling entry about "Happiness," for example, when I didn't feel anything particularly pressing about being happy that day?

But today's assigned topic is "Lust." I, like a lot of other curious onlookers, I'm guessing, popped over to Momalom to see what smutty, juicy morsels had been offered up.

And to say I was disappointed is an understatement. It's actually more accurate to say that I was a little bit appalled.

I only had time to skim through a handful of posts (see my earlier entry for an explanation as to why I am a little pressed for time / preoccupied today), but of the ones I was able to review, the majority of them were written on the topics of... LUST FOR FOOD! and... LUST FOR CLOTHES! and... LUST FOR CARTOON CHARACTERS! Now honey, forgive me for showing my true trampy colors, but I don't think *cartoons* is what the good lord intended when he came up with the word LUST.

No, kids, he meant LUST-- SEXY LUST, PASSIONATE LUST, WET AND SWEATY LUST. Maybe my fellow moms got understandably confused because, let's be honest, there's not a ton of wet and sweaty lust to be found in the places where we mommies tend to hang out.

But why not just *say* that, then? Why *pretend* that this challenge was asking you to describe your lust for stilettos, sleep, success? (No actual offense intended, of *course*, to anyone who wrote about shoes or cartoons or burritos. I get that we're all just doing the best we can, and some of us don't have the time, the inclination, or the constitution to write about LUST in its Biblical, sweaty sense.)

But girls, I've got the time. I've got the inclination. And I do believe I was *born* for a challenge like this.

See, what *I* think of, when asked to expound upon the topic of "lust," is this: That nervous quivering that takes hold of your loins when you spot the object of your unrequited (but not deterred!) affection. That first kiss that is absolutely ELECTRIFYING, one that you feel all the way down to your toes. That passion that overcomes you, when you *finally* find yourself alone, in a darkened room, embraced in the arms of your desired one-- a passion *so* consuming that your kisses leave bite marks and your fingernails leave scratches.

How long has it been, ladies, since you've scratched up someone's back?

Well I'm not afraid to say it: It's been a damn WHILE, gang!

I've been with my indescribably wonderful, considerate, devoted husband for more than 10 years now. And ok: we don't scratch up each other's backs anymore.

Now we care for sick children in the middle of the night. We stay up late putzing around on our computers, side-by-side. We lay in bed and laugh about funny things that happened to us a decade ago, and revel in the shared history that allows us to do so.

But no, we don't scratch up each other's backs. We're MARRIED, for chrissakes. The reason there's a stereotype about married couples not having sex anymore is because, very often, it's TRUE. And for GOOD REASON. We're busy, we're tired, we're stressed. We're worrying about the money, the house, the kids. We're not TEENAGERS anymore. We're OLD. And we're not on a third date, when you stupidly can't keep your hands off each other, when you devour each other's kisses like you're starving and your beloved's lips are your salvation.

I mean sure, we do have the occasional roll in the hay: civilized, respectful, and highly satisfying. We know the lay of the land, we know what we're supposed to do, we genuinely enjoy those stolen moments we have together.

But would I say we are LUSTING for each other, 10 years in?

No, doll. We're not lusting for each other. Get over it.

What we do have, however, is a million times better:

We love each other. Profoundly. Maturely. Seriously.

And if you think that sounds like the short end of the stick, then I'm going to assume that you've never been in the kind of love I'm talking about. In which case maybe you'd be surprised to hear that real, nuanced, grown-up LOVE-- like the one between two married people who have stuck with each other for many years and plan on sticking together for tens and tens of years more-- totally kicks LUST's ass.

Why? Well, because LUST is soda pop. It's bubbly and it's delicious and it's refreshing and it's really, really yummy.

It's also mostly air.

And it can't sustain you for long.

No, strong families are not built on soda pop, any more than they're built on lust. I'd even go so far as to say that LUST *belongs* on the back-burner of a long-term relationship. In my humble opinion, lust can survive and flourish in one of two environments: (1) a new relationship, where both parties' hormones are in thrilling overdrive and the novelty is absolutely intoxicating; and (2) a dysfunctional relationship, where one party feels inferior, or unfulfilled, or unappreciated, and the dynamic is so imbalanced that the neglected party utterly aches for the kind of affection and attention he or she deserves.

In other words, lust just wouldn't work in a relationship where both people feel loved, and appreciated, and fundamentally desired; and where the sex is, at least as a matter of principle, always available-- not as the hallmark of conquest, but as an expression of that love. After all, there'd be no point in LUSTING for something that's always available to you, now would there?

To this point, I read recently that, per some "scientific" study of brain wave activity, after 10 years together, 90% of couples no longer experience the physiochemical spikes that characterize the first exciting stages of a romantic relationship. (Translation: We don't get turned on just by standing close to each other anymore.)

At first I was bummed out by this article-- I took it to validate my waning libido as an empirical fact. But then, after pondering it for a while, I was encouraged by it: the study asserted that what I was experiencing wasn't unusual, and it also wasn't a harbinger of doom for our relationship. No, it only meant that we were moving from one chapter of our story to the next. And I think *both* of those chapters (the new, thrilling one; and the familiar, comfortable one) have their distinct perks.

So you know what I do these days? I satisfy my lust for LUST in other ways. I sometimes bat my eyelashes at the handsome waiter. I occasionally exchange flirty email messages with guy friends on Facebook. I often read erotica online (preferably gay erotica, not sure why). All of these things get my blood pumping, and they make me feel sexy, and they put racy thoughts into my head again, a space where otherwise only thoughts of milk money and field trips and pediatrician appointments would reside.

And then I take that lust home to my husband. Where I belong.

Her Hummingbird Heart.

I am worried about my little girl's heart.

Not in the puppy love sense. In the anatomy sense.

My rational self keeps saying that that the markedly fast pace, the subtle irregularity, the occasional missed beats in a wonderfully active 3-year-old are nothing to worry about.

My irrational self had me up in her bedroom, on four separate occasions during the night, crouching over her sleeping self with a stethoscope I found in the girls' doctor kit trying desperately to convince myself that I was imagining all these things.

Well, the pediatrician just now confirmed that yes, these things do exist.

But no, they are not a reason to panic.

He is sending us to the cardiologist later this afternoon for follow-up more, he says, for my peace of mind than for any pressing medical reason with my daughter.

But my god, how my own chest hurts today. I feel like my skin has been removed and that even the slightest breeze sends painful currents skimming through my body. The rawness that accompanies a fear for your child's health is a sustained torture like no other.

I will continue to tell myself that it's nothing, that everything is fine. But at the same time, I look at my 3 children, and I ponder all of the millions and millions of misfortunes that could potentially befall them, and I wonder how many more agonizing days like this are still in our future.

And I'm not entirely sure my heart can take it.

* * * * * *

UPDATE: The EKG was normal at the cardiologist's, and I have been instructed not to worry anymore. Ha.
In the meantime, I am breathing a massive sigh of relief, and thanking everyone for the profoundly kind words of support. xo.

Sunday, May 16, 2010



I finally got around to adding a "blogroll" on the left. Please check out these other fantastic blogs when you have a minute.

On that same note, I'd love to build a larger audience for Mommy Wants A Drink (more readers means more posts from me; I cannot bear the thought of letting people down). So if you have your own blog, and would be kind enough to add a link to *my* site, then please let me know and-- provided your site doesn't advocate the abuse of puppy dogs or something like that-- I'd be happy to return the favor.

May our blogs go forth and prosper. And in doing so, save the sanity of us all. xo.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Can You Say "Santa Claus" With a Straight Face? Thank Goodness I'm Jewish and Don't Have to Try.

I am existing in this very short window of time where I am the mother of a one-, a three-, and a five-year-old (the eldest turned five at the end of April and the youngest turns two in a couple of days). Today I took my kids to see a Barney Live! show.

What was cool was observing how the three-year-old was so completely in the zone. She was the perfect audience member at the *perfect* age.

The one-year-old (it seems unfair to call her that, considering how grown-up she tries to be and how close she is to two, but bear with me for the purpose of the illustration) was a little too young: she was attentive and quiet throughout but slightly more interested in the rainbow flashing lightstick I purchased for her on the way in. The five-year-old was trying her best *not* to be enjoying herself; being mostly convinced that what she's seeing "isn't real," she subtly stopped whenever she caught herself singing along. (If she had had a cell phone, you can bet she would have been forcing herself to text message through the whole thing so as to minimize the temptation.)

But the three-year-old... ah, sweet innocent youth. I loved the way her eyes lit up when Barney appeared on the stage... and how she nearly jumped out of her seat every time the first few notes of a recognizable song began to play... and how she enthusiastically called out to the characters whenever audience participation was requested. It was far more enjoyable to watch her than to watch the highly annoying purple dinosaur lumbering back and forth across the stage. (Side note: I tried my best to find a photograph online of the guys who have voiced Barney-- Bob West and Dean Wendt-- but came up with nothing. I have morbid curiosity; can you help?)

As we were leaving the auditorium, the eldest daughter turned to me and asked, point-blank, and with the tone of a cynical teenager, "All that stuff was fake, right, Mom?" And oh, how the internal struggle was set off once again! I AM INCAPABLE OF LYING TO THE CHILDREN, even when it's all in the name of fun.

"Shhh!" I dismissively replied, gesturing conspiratorily towards the little kids and then quickly changing the subject. Dodge and weave! Dodge and weave! For me this has always been the most palatable approach:

When my mom died, and my eldest asked where Nana is now, I said, "I honestly don't know." (She then went behind my back and asked my dad that same question; he later told me, "I panicked! I said, 'New Jersey'!")

When she wondered aloud how babies get out of their mommies' tummies, I calmly explained that some women have zippers in their bellies that can be opened up for just that purpose and then closed again. (I even flashed her my c-section scar so she wouldn't think I was bluffing and ask someone else.) (as we know she has a tendency to do.)

And when that same child grilled me about the logistical feasibility of the tooth fairy, I simply answered her question with another question: "Well you like MONEY, don't you??"

This is all well and good... but it's also kind of a bummer. Because you're only three years old once!, and when else in your life could you possibly co-exist in a world with things like actual fairies and talking dinosaurs? (I'll sidestep the inevitable sh*tstorm that would befall me if I went on to include "God" and/or "Heaven" on this list.)

Fortunately for my girls, they have their grandfather. An irresistibly charismatic man who has zero qualms about telling innocuous lies to the kids.

As a happy result, we have domesticated "purple worms" that live in our backyard, magical potions that cure any imaginable injury or illness, and special occasion chocolate ice cream that can be safely consumed at night despite Mommy's assurances that sugar right before bed causes nightmares. (Hey! Look at me! I just found a lie that I'm capable of telling my kids!) (Then again, it's hardly a fun lie, so I assume I don't get credit.)

I'm truly grateful for my dad's influence in this regard. Because I really *want* the girls to believe in Barney! (Just as I honestly *want* them to believe in heaven, etc., etc.) Life should have as much magic and joy as possible, damn it, and I suck for not being able to tell the whimsical tales with a straight face.
Bad, honest, Mommy!

Then again... it just occurred to me... maybe I *haven't* screwed up their only opportunity to experience talking dinosaurs? I guess in college there's always drugs. ;)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Personal Assistants Need Not Apply.

Ok, so maybe I am in the practice of reposting comments to the blog; I'm about to do it again.

I've come here today to pen the third and final installment in the Debbie Downer Chronicles: rounding out the unhappy pair of Ineptitude and Shame is... (drumroll please)


Yes, gang, my SAHM-ity is currently plagued by this lovely triumvirate: ineptitude, shame, and guilt. In fact, the guilt is probably the baddest beast of them all.

Guilt?, you say. Over not actively using your legal education? Over not knowing how to cook? Over allowing someone else to clean your toilets?

No. Those things make me feel guilty for rare nanoseconds, and then I just scarf down some dark chocolate (I've got secret stashes all over the kitchen for the sole purpose of emotional eating) and that frivolous guilt magically disappears.

Rather, I have Starbucks guilt.

Guilt which has been thrown into a harsh and unflattering spotlight by another noteworthy suggestion from the comments section. I give you, in reply to my "Shame" post, this excerpt from my new friend Anonymom:

"have you considered hiring a personal assistant? or could your housekeeper help with the errands/repairs/etc so you can have some time to wash your hair/trim your nails/see a doctor/get a massage (imagine?!?!)/get your head straight? i have a friend (no kids) who doesn't work and has a cleaning woman and 2 assistants. this, as you can imagine, is infuriating and completely beyond my comprehension. but you're in a different position! she found her assistants on craigslist. you can hire someone to free you up for 3-4 hours just a few days a week. apparently there are many retired/unemployed women who don't have to work but would like to make a little money on the side. maybe something to consider."

For those who know me personally, and know of my current living situation, I'll pause a moment for you to stop laughing and collect yourselves.

For those who don't know me personally, suffice it to say that my housekeeper is, in essence, the best personal assistant in the world. I mean, ok, she doesn't actually do my errands for me (she doesn't have a car), but the fact that I can comfortably leave my kids in her care at any time of day or night means that I effectively have all the freedom in the world.

It's what I do with that freedom that is causing me grief.

And it more or less all comes down to Starbucks.

In the community where I live, it's as if Starbucks is a land populated solely by women. Women without kids on them, but who all appear to be of childbearing age. Women who are often decked out in tennis attire (and not just the ornamental kind, either). Women who come in groups, women who sit alone, women who are smiling and chatting in the middle of the morning and who appear to be ACTUALLY ENJOYING THEIR CUPS OF COFFEE.

And this, I tell you, makes me extremely uncomfortable.

It's a lot like I feel about religion: I WISH I could believe in God! I WISH I felt the way religious people do!
I WISH I could get that goopy mushy feeling from prayer and trust that everything is gonna be okay!


(Who, incidentally, would probably be *thrilled* to hear that I was sitting in Starbucks in the middle of the day drinking a latte in peace. But that's beside the point.)

You see, the dilemma is not that I need a personal assistant to free up some time for me to devote to myself. The dilemma is that I have *plenty* of time for myself, in theory... I just can't bring myself to enjoy it. Hence the guilt.

You know what would be AMAZING? If my average weekday morning looked like this:

9 am - drop kids at school.

9 - 10 am - go to gym, run on treadmill, lift weights.

10 - 11 am - shower (with shampoo *and* conditioner instead of a utilitarian 2-in-1! unheard of!), get dressed, properly dry and flatiron hair, and apply a little makeup. (ahaha, I know, this is where it starts to sound ridiculous) (no, who are we kidding, it sounded ridiculous at the gym part)

11 am - 11:30 am - grab items at grocery store.

11:30 am - 12:25 pm - sit at Starbucks, read newspaper, sip latte. (Alternative scenario: Sit out by the pool, weather permitting, read book.)

12:30 pm - first child pickup; begin afternoon feeling rested and centered and calm.

The only problem with executing this plan?


I mean, my husband is a guy who would *kill* to get to the gym more than once or twice a week. He hasn't physically sat down to read the newspaper since 1998. The only times I've ever seen him sitting poolside with a book were on the two short vacations we've had in the past 5 years. And he works, *intensely*-- oh, I don't
know-- maybe 16 hours a day.

So how unspeakably COLD would it be for me to plop myself down on a chaise lounge and thumb through a book at 11 am? Or get a manicure, for no particular reason? Or take a tennis lesson, just for the purpose of bettering myself? (I do, admittedly, take the occasional power nap mid-morning. But they only last 10 minutes and I justify them on the basis that I am preserving my physical health when I am feeling run down.)

In other words, I may not actually *have* a high-stress, high-income job right now... but for some crazy reason
I FEEL COMPELLED TO SUFFER AS IF I DID. Otherwise I think I'd feel like a freeloader, a barnacle, a disgrace to my radical feminist beliefs.

Which only goes to illustrate how seemingly hellbent I am on sabotaging this whole SAHM experiment. Cuz really, if played correctly, this SAHM thing is a CRAZY GREAT GIG. Relatively free mornings, relatively free nights, and only really heavy lifting in the afternoons and evenings. And yet, here I am, perpetually rushing around in the malls while the kids are at school, searching in vain for that perfect birthday present / school project supply / show-and-tell item... running myself undeniably *ragged* just so that, when my darling husband drags himself through the door at 10 pm, we can COMMISERATE about how hard *both* of our days were. So that he won't feel like he's pulling all the weight alone. (So that he won't wise up and realize that I am-- by definition?-- taking advantage of our situation, just by virtue of the fact that I am not working in an office while he is??)

My resigned conclusion: either I am The World's Most Empathetic Wife, or I am The World's Most Enthusiastic Glutton for Punishment. You make the call.

Meanwhile, I'm off to the party store: the goody bag bubbles I bought don't properly match the goody bags.
And in the highly twisted parallel universe where I reside, these things matter. :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ah, The Shame.

So I'm not in the practice of reposting comments to my blog entries (though if I were, I would repost and give a huge thank you to "Anonymom," who sent me such a lovely Mother's Day greeting that the warm fuzzies are still rattling around in my brain, I don't know you but I love you), but today I have to make one exception.

Yesterday I posted about how this SAHM thing is making me feel like I'm cracking up. That the sound of crying and whining and general toddlerhood is giving me a permanent headache. That I need to figure out a new outlook on life, and quick.

I received the following comment, from Anonymous, in reply:

"based on your last few posts, it does sound to me like you are reconsidering your choice to be a SAHM. worth thinking about more... there are lots of interesting things you might do (apart from law) that would still allow you to be a great mom."

And for the rest of the day, I was absolutely gutted.

Now, lest Anonymous feel put on the spot and never comment again, let me say that I WORSHIP the people who leave comments on my blog... your wisdom *inspires* me (again, I'm talking to you, Anonymous who took her kid's pacifiers away and "feels like an asshole every day since")... and your heartfelt encouragement *moves* me (Anonymom, Al, hk, ASL, etc., etc., etc.). I hope that my responding to your comment, Anonymous, in no way discourages you from expressing your opinions here in the future. Because without you guys, I am just talking to a keyboard.

But yes, I heard that comment replaying in my head for hours. "Based on your last few posts... does sound to me... reconsidering your choice to be a SAHM..." Now you ask-- why, exactly, did this comment throw me for such a loop? Well, I think it's because:

(1) I was horrified by the notion that my last few posts have come across as so blatantly negative. I mean, yes, I wrote about how I sometimes feel like an idiot... and that I'm wasting my education... and that I have no life outside of the kids and that the kids are making me mental. (Wow, other than "negative" there's really no other way to spin those sentiments, is there.) But to me... those posts were nothing more than benign venting against what I thought was the obvious backdrop of I LOVE BEING A STAY AT HOME MOM. (Again, upon reflection I can see how that message was lost to my readers.) I love being a SAHM *not* because of what *I* get out of it (headaches, aggravation, self-doubt, you know the rest), but because of what I *hope* my children are getting out of it. I love it because I love them, DESPERATELY, and because-- just as with breastfeeding-- whether it ultimately turns out to be "the best" thing for my children, it certainly can't hurt them. I think.

(2) The comment made me feel like a huge SAHM failure. As in-- what if "Anonymous" is a perfectly happy SAHM? Someone who doesn't get frazzled by the sound of 3 small children trying to out-shout each other, someone who takes legitimate pride in the cleanliness of her house, someone who feels content and fulfilled by the SAHM experience and never second-guesses the choices she's made? For her-- this mythical SAHM heroine I've imagined-- to tell me, "Hmmm, sounds like this gig isn't for you anymore"... well, I felt incredible shame. Like, why can she do the SAHM thing with such ease, while I am over here doing it with immense struggle?

(3) Even if Anonymous is right... and it *is* time for me to abandon ship (see how I look at it as a matter of abandoning my post? my CHILDREN?) and go back to work... I have no idea how that would work, logistically. In fact, every day as I pull up to the school for 2:30 pickup and observe a flood of parents coming through the doors to collect their children, I think to myself, "Don't any of these people have jobs? And who would collect their children if they did?"

The general structure of my weekday, currently, looks like this:

8:30 - drive the two small children to school.

9 - noon - ERRANDS, GROCERY STORE, etc.

12:15 - pick up youngest child from school.

1:30 - pick up middle child from school.

2:30 - pick up eldest child from school.

3 - 5 - drive various children to various after school activities (i.e., ballet, swimming, theater, gymnastics).

So my question is, if both my husband and I were working, WHO WOULD DO ALL THIS MOM TAXI STUFF? Seriously. I'm asking. How do working moms do it? Is the idea to hire a nanny who could do all this driving for me? (And on that note, do you know how nervous I get at the prospect of letting someone else drive my children in a car? CAR ACCIDENTS, people! I worry about them!)

and finally

(4) I hardly have a handle on my life as it is... and this is WITHOUT a job. The list of Things I Should Be Doing Right Now Instead of Blogging includes, but is certainly not limited to:

- sew up the hole in eldest daughter's school uniform (got caught on a nail or something)
- wrap gift for child's birthday party we are attending this afternoon
- register new cat's microchip
- call grandmother
- send MANY, MANY overdue wedding and baby presents
- schedule children's dentist appointments
- fill prescription to remedy my month-long cough
- wash hair

Notice how the personal hygiene doesn't even *occur* to me until item #8? Do I sound to you like a person who is ready to reenter the workforce??

You see, then, how Anonymous's comment got me a little worked up. Not because she said anything wrong or offensive in *any* imaginable way... but because she called me out on my own bullsh*t.

Therefore, thanks to Anonymous's clear insight, I've decided it's time to put up or shut up. Either I need to make peace with my SAHM status or I need to give it up. Either I need to recapture the joy of this job or I need to look for joy in another job. Because life is short... and because a miserable mom can't be better for the kids than a cheerful nanny. (*Not* that I'm miserable!)

You know, until yesterday I think I never appreciated how truly fraught with emotion the decision to go back to work must be.

Moms who have already done it: I salute you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

On The Brink.

It wasn't a good morning.

And not because it started off with me tripping up the marble staircase as I was running to respond to a daughter's summon, followed by my dropping a dining room chair on my foot a few minutes later.

No, it wasn't a good morning because I fear that my children are turning me into a loony person. A crazy-bag-lady-type who talks to herself. That wild-eyed Navi woman from Avatar when she first sees the Marine guy and hisses at him.

It occurred to me today, as some child or other wailed "mommeeeee" for what felt like the 18th time in an hour, that the sound of kids crying must be like Chinese water torture. In the beginning (the first few months... years) you think, this isn't so bad. But then, when you turn around and realize that just over 5 years have passed, and that more or less EVERY SINGLE DAY of those 5 years has been littered with the sound of crying / whining / screaming (the only exceptions being the cumulative 7 days of vacation that my husband and I took, and the 4 glorious weekend trips that I managed to take all alone), it dawns on you that you have absolutely lost your marbles and didn't even notice it.

My threshold for tantrums has become dangerously low. And this is not a good thing when I have a child turning 2 next week. But whereas a few years ago, I could hear the tantrum launching and be able to talk myself into a zen-like calm which would enable me to respond rationally... now, as soon as I see some child of mine screwing up her face into that horrible visage of impending noise, I feel my blood pressure zooming up towards the heavens. My fuse is insanely short. My voice is always on the verge of hollering at someone. My headache is never far away.

In other words, I feel like I'm on the brink of cracking up.

The answer is not to spend less time with my kids... it can't be... because I already ship them off to school for several hours a day. That should be enough time for me to center myself, right? And the answer can't be to get help with the kids... because I have help with the kids. And the answer can't be to get more sleep... because, surprisingly, I have been forcing myself to go to bed earlier these days. (Note: The answer may very well be EAT HEALTHIER! and GET SOME EXERCISE!, but I am too upset to want to hear that right now. I am venting. The point is not to make things better. Being constructive takes away all the fun.)

Sometimes I wonder if all the INCREDIBLE luxuries that my husband has bestowed upon me in an express effort to make me happy (namely, a housekeeper who cleans and even helps with dinners) (I know, I know, you have every right to DESPISE me for having a housekeeper, but if it makes you hate me any less, please understand that she's only temporary; we are not a "housekeeper" kind of family under regular circumstances) have actually worked against me. Is it possible that I would feel *less* crazy if I was busier... with the house, the laundry, the food? Does the fact that I have no major obligations *other* than the care and entertainment of my 3 small children allow their moment-to-moment drama to take on disproportionately major significance in my world? Would I care less about someone screaming, "Mommeeeee! The baby hit meeee!" if I was paying attention to a burning pot roast or a singing iron or a leaky mop? (see how, even in my imagination, I'm no good at housewivery?)

I honestly don't know the answer. I mean, it seems counterintuitive that more work would equal less stress... but maybe I don't have enough on my plate, and so the little things seem like big things? Maybe, just as "the work expands to fill the time," kid-related aggravation expands to fill the space where legitimate aggravation usually resides? Maybe if I had more high-quality stress (yes, folks, I've gotten to the point where I rate my stress) in the place of empty stress (like calories), I'd at least feel more productive at the end of the day?

Maybe I need to... gasp... go back to work??

(But how could I justify that decision to the 1-year-old, when her eldest sister got to have me home until she started kindergarten? Don't I have to give each child equal time? Otherwise don't I risk scarring one or all of them for life?)

Ah, I'm sorry for unloading all of this onto you. You, who probably *does* have a pot on the stove and a pile of laundry that needs folding. You, who is probably cursing me *and* my temporary housekeeper. Which you have every right to do. I guess I'm just telling you all this in the hopes of triggering some epiphany. So far what I've learned about my situation is this:

1. I don't exercise.

2. I don't eat healthily.

3. I don't have anything going on in my life, really, outside of the kids.

4. I *want* to spend time with them-- I honestly do!-- but I often find myself getting overly worked up over their (entirely age-appropriate, as the main culprits are 1 and 3 years old) misbehavior.

5. I want to make things better.

Ok. So, having reread this list, I'm now going to end this blog post and go cook myself an egg. That's healthy, right? And then I'm going to take some Advil to get rid of this headache.

And then I'm going to take the clothes off the treadmill.

That's enough self-improvement for one day. :)