I don’t understand some blogging moms. Most of them are full of crap. Seriously, what kind of sadistic over-achiever has time to actually sit down and blog about the exploits of homeschooling her 6 children!?!?
“God is so good to us”, she says. “Here is a collection of prosumer-grade photos of me and my six children under four making bird houses out of trash that we all picked up from the side of the road! Aren’t Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Elijah and Rebekah all so cute in the new outfits I knitted for them out of our pet Alpaca’s fur that I spun! Having a home farm is so much fun for the kids, and so convenient, since we have chosen to become kosher-organic-gluten-free hydroponic vegans. Click here to read more tips on how to spice things up with your husband! Click here to read my list of 25 ways to deep-clean your minivan! Sign up here for our bi-weekly family newsletter and devotional!”
I’ve got a bi-weekly newsletter she can sign up for…
It’s called Lady So and So’s Guide to Not Giving a Crap.
Highlights include “Leaving Important Stuff Out in the Rain”, “Underpants: Optional”, “Ferrel Cats living in Our Van Again!?!?“, and “We Haven’t Been to Church in Months”.
I call these crazies overachloggers. And I am sure they mean well, with all of their Bible verses in script fonts and healthy recipes and tips on bringing that ol’ spark back with the father of your 11 children. But none of this is helpful to someone like me. It just adds to the already overwhelming burden of guilt that I carry around with me every day, like a backpack full of lead. I don’t need more how-tos in my life. I need to know that there is someone else out in the interwebs that sucks as bad as I do.
I read about all-organic moms and feel guilty about the GMO pretzel sticks I gave Eloise for lunch. I read about homeschool moms and I feel bad that my kid knows every episode of “Yo Gabba Gabba” by heart, but not her ABCs. I read about breastfeeding moms and my heart hurts at the thought that I give Milam formula sometimes. I don’t recycle all the time. I don’t have chickens. I don’t make my kids learn Bible verses. I don’t meal plan, coupon clip, or clean much of anything. I don’t view my saggy boobs and stretch marks as a “mark of honor” (barf). I don’t shower. I don’t read books. I don’t finish sentences. I don’t carpe diem. I don’t. I don’t. At every turn, the overachloggers are there with their perfect little lives and color-coordinating family photos and part-time Etsy stores telling me what a loser I am. Handing me a lead trinket of some sort to add to my already heavy backpack.
Today is my 28th birthday. I have tried to imagine where I thought I would be at 28. I figure if my life was a movie, this would be the part where I am just hitting my stride. I’d be hosting my first HGTV show, or getting that big promotion, or running for office or something like that. They’d play some peppy musical montage and clips would flash by of me in a big city, clipping across traffic in heels and a powersuit, or carrying a lot of heavy papers and coffees while kicking a door shut with my foot and smiling exuberantly. Maybe my executive fiance and I would be strolling through the park with ice cream cones and our new golden retriever puppy. Something to give off the impression that I was “on my way”- kicking butt and taking names. Twenty-eight isn’t really that old, after all. It’s the prime of life, right?
So when this mom gig unexpectedly came about, I figured I would shift from powersuits to jogging strollers. I’d be a mom, but I’d be a dang good one. The kind that would have a bajillion kids and love every minute of being with them. I’d be super-spiritual and centered and people would take one look at me and realize that I could have been something great in the business world, but instead I am channeling my time and unlimited talents into my children. The movie montage would include playing in large piles of leaves and baking pies with my rosy cheeked cherubs. Maybe I’d straighten my husband’s necktie before handing him his homemade lunch and kissing him off to work. On a good day, I imagine myself to be capable of the same things that the overachloggers do. Maybe I could even start a successful career of driving traffic to my site to talk about my organic farm of rare and extinct animals, or my handmade kids clothing line from grocery bags, or my commitment to adopting a baby from every country in the world.
But alas, on this, the first day of my twenty-eighth year of life, I declare that am not an overachlogger. I’m not even a chlogger. I’m just a tired lady carrying around a heavy backpack full of the knowledge of what I cannot do. I worry that my kids aren’t going to be smart and it is going to be my fault. I worry that I could somehow inadvertently cause bodily harm to them because I didn’t feed them the right way. I worry that they are going to want something like a car or a college education that we can’t afford to buy for them. I worry that I am never going to lose this extra weight that I put on. I worry that I will always feel like I can’t leave the house. I worry that due to my lack of available grooming time, I will have a unibrow and ugly toenails and gross people out if I do ever decide to leave the house. I worry that the spark between me and Chris will indeed die one day, and he’ll leave me for someone 15 years younger named Barbi, or Mitzi, or Candi (or some other name that ends in “i”). I worry that my worrying will keep me from being open and loving to the people who need me. I worry when I don’t feel like I am worrying enough. I carry the worry and guilt until I am hunched over under its weight. I worry that my kids will do the same. It’s ugly. It’s heavy. And it seems to grow daily. I zip it up tight to make sure nobody sees what I am carrying around, and try to stand up straight so that it doesn’t seem so heavy, but I’m tired. My back hurts. And Mrs. Overachlogger is not helping me at all when she is telling me how unheavy her backpack is. I just want to punch her.
So how do you get rid of this terrible backpack before you become Quasimodo? I’m not sure, but I have an idea I would like to try. I am going to unzip the backback and show you what is inside. My hope is if I take these lead guilt trinkets out and show them off, they won’t all go back in the same way. I’ll have to leave some behind. If I walk around with my backpack unzipped, maybe some of the weight will just fall out and I won’t notice to put it back in. Consider this my manifesto of my 28th year of life:
From here on out, I consider myself open and unzipped. I am not even going to try to be an overachlogger. I am the antiachlogger.
Heavy things can’t stay in a bag that isn’t zipped up, so I won’t zip. If I’m lucky, I can shed a few pounds.
For starters, there’s this list:
- I weigh 137 pounds. That is 10 pounds more than I did when I got married. I am considered medically overweight. I hate it.
- I have stretchmarks all over my body, so much so that I look like someone did a crackle finish on my skin.
- Eloise goes naked at our house most of the day. Yesterday I took her on a walk without underwear. I didn’t even notice until her skirt came up a little more and I saw her butt. She’d flashed the entire neighborhood. I didn’t care.
- Sometimes I know Milam needs a diaper change but I don’t change it right away, usually because I’m checking Facebook or my new vice, Instagram. I let him stew for social media.
- I don’t often wear deodorant, but when I do, it’s hand sanitizer.
- I let my kids eat whatever they want off the floor. Only when company comes over do I act like that is gross.
- I have Oscar, Grammy, and Mother-of-the-Year (ha) acceptance speeches all ready to go. I’ve practiced them in the mirror many times. Sometimes I get choked up at the part where I talk about Chris. Sometimes I don’t. It depends on how nice he has been to me lately.
- I let Eloise watch as much TV as she wants.
- I can and will eat an entire carton of Ben and Jerry’s by myself. Happily.
- I really have no free time, but if I did, the first thing I would do would be eat an entire carton of Ben and Jerry’s by myself. Happily.
- It would probably take me several days to notice if my dogs ran away. And by days, I mean weeks.
- If I have to grocery shop with my kids, the first thing I do is get a box of snacks off the shelf and give it to them. We usually eat the whole thing before we checkout. If Eloise drops some on the floor of the store, I will either a) leave them there and pretend I don’t notice, or b)pick them up and feed them to her.
- Sometimes I think of a nice thing I will do for my husband to spice things up between us, but then I realize that have a unibrow I haven’t showered for a week and that depresses me so much that I eat an entire carton of Ben and Jerry’s by myself. Happily.
- I haven’t bought any article of clothing costing more than $10 since I bought my $300 wedding dress. My inner cheapskate can’t handle spending over $10. As a result, I usually look like a multi-colored cucumber from the bottom of the produce bin.
- I have pooted in public and blamed it on my kids. More than once.
Woo, I feel better. Lots of heavy stuff just fell out of my backpack. And like the Betheas after a box of Goldfish in Target, I’m not going to pick that stuff back up either.
So-and-so take that, all of you overachloggers. I am the antiachlogger. Stare deep into my backpack and see the crappiness, the failure, and the non-togetherness. Stick that in your homemade organic corn-cob pipes and smoke it.