The late night paid off because I have a completed book cover (which technically I had before but now I have one that I'm more comfortable with). I also read and changed a few things in another chapter but I crashed at 12:30 A.M. All-nighters are a thing of the past. I was great at an all-night paper writing session back in the day, but even caffeinated, I could now fall asleep standing up if it's too late.
After dropping my youngest off at preschool this afternoon, I headed to the library to use their version of Word to see if that would make the different in the page numbers....and it did. I finally have Roman numerals on the cover pages and numbers in the text. Our awesome librarians were there to cheer me on (and to tell me to get back to work when the party was over).
Now my problem is trying to get rid of some of those numbers. If you look in a book, some of the first cover pages and a couple of the first pages after the title page don't actually have a number, but the page numbers pick up at different pages, like the table of contents and the introduction. All I should have to do is go to the design of the header and footer and click on "Different First Page" and the number on that page will disappear, and the following numbers won't disappear keeping everything looking great.
Sadly, it didn't work. I sent in an email to the publishing company that I'm using for the format, so hopefully they can walk me through it, but so far when I've had questions, they usually say it comes down to outdated technology or the design I chose. Let's all hope they have an answer for me. If not, and you order my book online, don't be surprised when I come to your house with white-out and fix it for you. Really, it bothers me that much that I will come fix it to put my perfectionist heart at ease.
I'd like to read through a bit more this evening. Before it's all said and done, I'd like to read through it at least one more time after this, listen to it being read aloud, and have my husband read it again. That may be asking a lot in 12 days, but Red Bull and Vodka got me through graduating college in three years. Surely it can give me the push I need for the last stretch of this.
I did not complete nearly what I wanted to with the cover, margins, and edits. My youngest started afternoon preschool today and I spent my morning enjoying some playtime with him and the afternoon sitting at home contemplating parking next to the preschool with some binoculars to see how it was going. And I cried a little too. I did not even try to accomplish much. Actually, all that I did was open up the cover that I had already created, realized my margins on that cover didn't look right with the bleed on the photo that I'm using, debated if I should just risk it and hope for the best, then finally deciding to redesign the whole cover page. Since I already have a design and the fonts, it won't be that difficult, but as always one step forward and two steps back.
What's my solution to jump ahead three steps?
I grabbed my "Gratitude" mug because I really do feel so very grateful for all the support I've been given by all of you who have sent encouragement my way.
Thank you so much! And tomorrow I will have much more completed thanks to all those helpful words and all that caffeine.
For some reason, now that I have 14 days left, it seems more urgent. This morning I read through quite a bit, adding a bit here, changing a bit there, taking things out that I thought sounded weird. Then I was in an all out crazy fest of wanting to take large chunks out. I've read it so many times, it's starting to sound ridiculous. There's one story that I thought was funny at the time, but I just hate the story now, and I really want to take it out, but I'm not going to.
If I'm ever going to hit submit, I've got to ignore that feeling, but yeah, today I wanted to throw it out and start all over. Big fire! Throw it in! I've heard about this stage from others authors, so I'm going to take it as a good sign that I'm almost done.
I did catch a few things that I should have caught sooner while proofreading, which goes to show that it will never be 100% perfect. I also changed every chapter title font because I thought the font I chose was too frilly. It definitely was so I'm glad I did, but it's also a change that I could have ignored as most readers wouldn't have noticed or would have realized was totally me - at times a little too much!
Obviously, I did get it to download correctly from the work that I put in yesterday, but I did manage to forget one section break that is completely blocking me from getting the page numbers in right. Just like every dinner I ever plan and attempt to prepare...I'm always missing one dang ingredient.
Tomorrow I have big plans to make some final edits to the cover, proofread to the halfway mark, and check margins. Wish me luck! Wish me eyes like a hawk! Wish me sleep! I'm starting to have weird dreams from anxiety.
I'm not going to lie. I feel like I didn't get much done today. I stayed up late last night trying to figure out the page number situation only to find that my computer does not have the right tools to do it correctly so I had to head to the library this morning and try one with Microsoft programs. That meant I had to download it, try the fixes, then upload it to the cloud again. I fixed the problem of what was blocking my page numbers, but I didn't have the time to actually get the page numbers in and I haven't checked to see if the upload was successful or if it changed fonts and margins like it's done when I've tried switching computers before during this editing process. I'll have a drink and then check it out to calm my nerves in case I've messed it up again.
I also read through some chapters, doubling checking spacing, font, and general proofreading. Tomorrow I would finally like to kick this page numbers situation to the curb, so wish me luck. I'm also going to read through a few chapters tomorrow and make some changes because time has passed since they've been written and stories have updated.
For the rest of my afternoon I ran errands and took my kids to Bonkers, a local children's madhouse run by teenagers. Then we went to Aldi during what seemed like the hours before snowmaggedon or Super Bowl Sunday. It was chaos and my kids were acting completely insane. I'm so sorry to the girl working in produce who kindly picked up the thousand blueberries that my oldest knocked over. I'm also so sorry for the fifty other people who couldn't move their carts because my youngest stood zombie-like in the middle of the aisle as he contemplated just sitting down right there to take a nap.
Wish me luck tomorrow! I have big plans for an early morning of quiet book formatting.
I got up at 5:30 A.M. this morning to get an extra 30 minutes of work on my book. I actually set my alarm for 5 A.M., but snooze was just too tempting. I used to be able to jump out of bed at 5:00 A.M. before work every morning, get to work by 6 A.M., and grade papers until other teachers starting roaming the halls at about 7:30 A.M. Now, I sit in bed for quite a while after my alarm goes off, trying to pep talk myself out of bed for the day ahead with an twinge in my neck or back and really sore feet.
Old age and kids do some serious damage to your body and psyche.
And forget about grading papers. I don't even have the focus to make the coffee without talking myself through it.
"How many scoops? Five scoops, right?" Literally saying it out loud while I zombie walk around the kitchen as if I hadn't made coffee every morning since I stopped pumping milk for my firstborn. Seven years of coffee making can't compete with the brain of a parent on early morning brain fog.
I finally got seated to work on the online formatting program. I even had my binder and computer set up from the night before. I quickly edited and added a picture of my husband (it's a funny one, but I can't share it yet), or what I thought was quickly, and then I looked down and 30 minutes had already elapsed. Half my morning quiet time was already over! I jumped to my next task, a simple one. I just had to type in the titles of each chapter to the table of contents.
Nothing is ever simple! I typed them all in and of course my titles are very long compared to the one or two word titles the format had prepared for me, so I went in to tweak the margins, which took a lot of patience and mouse-hovering because it's preset so I couldn't just go into margins and type in new numbers, but I got it.
Then as the table of contents started to run into page two, I realized I was losing my text. For some reason it isn't like the rest of the book where it automatically runs into the next page. It just disappears to reappear three-quarters of the way down on the next page. I tried working on this for a few minutes, but I was saved from some serious technology frustration by an early riser. My seven-year-old needed pancakes. As I get a few minutes here and there today, that will be my goal, to figure out this little quirk with the table of contents.
If I don't figure it out by a late night work session tonight, I'm moving on. Maybe the answer will come to me by September 1st, but be prepared for a ridiculous number of table of contents' pages because there will be a giant space at the top of each page.
I'm going to try to make this a quick blog, especially since I only have 30 minutes to bust this out before I have to get the littlest from his daycare/preschool morning activities. I haven't posted in a while. I've written a lot, and edited sooooo very much. That's the reason I haven't posted. I told myself I wasn't allowed to do that extra step of posting while I was finishing my book, which has taken me much longer than expected for a book that was technically written but needed to be pulled together cohesively. I always over-estimate how much I will get done along with my other responsibilities. I'm no Mary Shelley writing my masterpiece over a weekend. I'm more like Sponge Bob just trying to get myself out of one endless pickle after another and writing a book in the down time.
And the book is written, and it's been edited, and none of that was as awful as the actual process of formatting it as a book with a cover, and page numbers, and margins. That actually sounds pretty simple, but I swear it isn't. Then, out of the blue, I think of a funny line that I need to put in or I decide that the chapter titles look ugly and I've got to go back and fix them all. So I obviously need a deadline! I'm putting myself on deadline. It's August 15th. What better day to start than on the first day of school? My oldest is at school and my youngest will be in a couple of days. I should put this time to good use before I fall into a depressive mommy state after watching my babies do that annoying thing called grow up. There's no reason why I shouldn't push that scary SUBMIT button by September 1st. Right?! Oh geez! That's scary. Maybe September 5th, or the 10th, or the 15th. NOOOOO! September 1st! I said September 1st and I'm sticking to it.
But I need help!
I need people to say that it'll be okay when I find an grammatical error after it's already been submitted.
I need people to say that I can save the next funny story for the next book.
I need people to say that SUBMIT isn't that scary.
I need people to say s%@& or get off the pot!
So until September 1st, every morning, I'm going to post what I've been working on to make that happen and please send me your support, prayers, motivational memes, and blunt criticism on my lack of effort any given day because once upon a time many coaches screamed at me to run faster, dive, slide, and post up, and I responded well to angry coach face.
Let's do this!
It’s October, so of course, it’s time for a scary story. I loved the Scary Stories books when I was younger, so it’s fitting that I’m living my own horror story right now trying to entertain a toddler and a six year old, but so far Joan Crawford’s Mommy Dearest has only surfaced once or twice. My real life scary story started on the last day of school last spring. My older son got out of school at 12:36 P.M. and my younger son got out of preschool at 11 A.M. I had also attended the last school assembly that morning, then ran a few errands, and still had 45 minutes left before I needed to pick up the youngest. We live about 10 minutes out of town, and if I can help it at all, I stay in town in these situations because I feel like it’s a waste of my gas and time to head home for a few minutes. I feel like it’s meant to be, that I should take a walk or relax with a book at one of our local parks. I should have known I was asking for trouble by taking a few minutes to unwind, but usually it’s my own thoughts at these quiet moments that are the nightmare.
Not this time!
For such a small town, we do have some great parks and lakes to chill out for a few. I took a book out to a local trail around an old city lake - Rickett’s Lake for those local readers. It’s a very peaceful spot to relax and take a quick walk. It’s just out of town, but surrounded by farmland, with a beautiful lake and lots of wildlife hanging around. Occasionally you’ll find some sketchy people or teenagers sneaking out of the trees, but hey, I’m sure I look sketchy too in my old beat up car and lazy mom attire.
I sat down in the shelter house for a bit, reading the book I always keep in the car just in case I’m trapped somewhere. This time I was reading Flood by Melissa Scholes Young, set in Hannibal, Missouri, a place I absolutely love, so I was enjoying the book, but at this particular moment of the book, the author started alluding to something terrible that one of the characters had done. I had no idea what it could have been, but it sounded like murder. I probably shouldn’t say this in case I ruin it for you, but it wasn’t murder. Anyway, I blame this book for my overdramatic state for the rest of that day.
After reading ten pages, all my mommy brain will allow me to focus through, I decided to take a brisk walk around the lake to get some exercise before I left to pick up my son. I hadn’t gone far when I reached a little wooden bridge where I always scan the water because my older son and I have frequently seen turtles swimming under it. As I walked across, quickly scanning the water, out of the corner of my eye I saw something white in the water. I stopped, turned, and looked closer. A sense of sweaty panic rushed through me.
I saw an arm, an arm floating toward the surface of the water.
I only stopped for a moment. I gasped and inhaled quickly and kept on trucking. Yes, I just kept on moving. I was not sticking around to examine a dead boy. No way, no how. My breathing was quickening and my heart was racing.
“What do I do? What do I do?” I kept repeating to myself.
I hadn’t even gotten 100 yards away before I thought, “No way, it was a mannequin, had to be a mannequin.”
I circled back but then thought better of it. An ill feeling swept over me and I thought, “If it’s an arm, I don’t want a good picture of it. What if I didn’t look close enough the first time and will see a face deeper under the surface?”
Nope! I swiftly turned around and tried to look up the city hall number. I was still skeptical and didn’t want to call the police. Of course, my internet service wasn’t working on my smartphone out of town, but possibly I was just too nervous to wait patiently for it. I decided to call a friend who also comes out to the park a lot, someone I’ve worked with on a grant for the park.
As she answered the phone, I nervously laughed through the conversation and slightly sounded like Kristen Wiig doing her one-upper sketch, “Ummmm, Bekki, this is weird, and I’m sure it’s nothing, just something crazy, but I was walking around the park and ummm, well, I’m sure it’s nothing, some prank, maybe I am hallucinating, but I think, I’m not sure now, but I think, possibly, maybe it’s just a doll or a mannequin, but …. I’m pretty sure I just saw an arm in the lake.”
Then I started the whole long winded maybe-it-is-maybe-it-isn’t process all over again, but this time I asked for city hall’s number.
She quickly looked it up for me and also said, “As soon as I can, I’m coming out.”
I then called the city hall with the same rambling message that I used with Bekki. Robin, the city administrator, was probably thinking, this girl has finally lost her mind or probably thinking that I was on drugs because I couldn’t control my nervous giggle. It was a terribly embarrassing giggle and if this turned out to be a real arm, I just knew they were going to arrest me for murder after being a weirdo, laughing as I reported the crime. I couldn’t stop myself. I obviously couldn’t be a crime scene investigator. That career is forever blocked to me. Mariska Hargitay would be ashamed of me, I just knew it.
Robin said she’d radio the public works director to come check it out. She must get a lot of weird calls because she wasn’t appalled or amused, the odd mixture of feelings that I had become. She was just efficient, like this kind of thing happens every day.
After the two phone calls, I had made my way all the way around the lake trail and was on the dam that is parallel to the gravel road. I started walking slowly knowing my only option was to wait where I was or walk right back around to the bridge, and I definitely didn’t want to do that. I didn’t have to wait long before I saw a police car making its way down the gravel, so either the public works director thought, “Nah, dead bodies aren’t my area,” or one of the local policemen heard it on the radio and decided he’d have a peek. Right behind him was Bekki, also coming to my rescue.
As they got out my laughter was uncontrollable. I was really trying to hold it in, but I was so nervous and my stomach was in knots. Greg, from our local PD, asked where it was and I reluctantly stayed behind.
“The bridge, about 20 feet out,” I said walking about 20 feet behind him. I still didn’t want to know.
He looked and looked and said, “I don’t see anything.”
I started walking out to the bridge and then, finally seeing it between the endless lily pads, he said, “Oh, OH.”
At that moment, my stomach dropped. It was literally in my toes. That second “OH” was a much hated affirmation, but thankfully, it was quickly followed by a short laugh.
“Yeah, I think it’s a mannequin or something. That would be a shock, but now that I’m taking a good look, it’s much too clean and straight up, and I don’t think it would look like that if it were an arm.”
I felt much better, but not 100% until Bekki also saw it and agreed. Then I was laughing loudly at my insanity. After a few guesses, one of the two realized that it was probably one of the stolen items from around town. Toward spring, the local college kids seem to enjoy taking things from yards around town, possibly a scavenger hunt gone drunk, but it’s fairly common for large items like vases, bird baths, and lawn jockeys with an outstretched arm to go missing. It had probably ended up in someone’s dorm room and needed to be done away with before RA’s started checking all the rooms as they moved out. Somehow, their prank landed two-fold: once for stealing it in the first place and once for throwing it out to land arm-upright perfectly to scare the s&*# out of me.
When they mentioned lawn jockey, it finally fit. It really did look like it. I didn’t stay to watch them drag it out because Greg needed to call in reinforcements because it was just far enough out to make it more difficult, so I left to get my youngest from preschool.
I left feeling much better but a bit jittery for the rest of the day. I could at least take away from the whole situation a good talking point for the rest of the day.
As everyone complained about their day, I would interrupt, “Well, you think you had a bad day. I found an arm in Rickett’s Lake today.”
If I had to just about have a heart attack, so was everyone else I came into contact with that day. All in all, it was a pretty entertaining day.
I’m a member of a local organization called Association of Women for Education (AWE). It was the first organization that I jumped into after deciding to stay at home because I knew I’d need adult conversation at least once a month. It was definitely just what I needed because not only do I get to speak with adults, but they are mostly women who can give me advice because they are beyond the baby stage, and we have speakers at our meetings so I learn something new every time. We also fundraise for scholarships and books for every elementary child in our school district so it’s good for the soul as well. It really is a great group for a nerd like me! I recently joined another group (yes, I am a joiner, and a volunteer, and a non-sleeper) that just happens to meet on the same evening. Sometimes I can squeak in both meetings in one evening, but I have a leadership role in the new organization so many times I’m unable to swing it. I’m especially bummed about tonight because AWE was going to do something right up my alley...a little storytelling.
AWE always takes a summer break. Many of the members are retired teachers, so it only makes sense that we don’t want to be seen in public for three months. In September they have a potluck, and instead of a speaker, they do something where everyone can be involved. This time it is called “Off the Wall,” and everyone is supposed to bring something from their walls (or around their home) and talk about it.
Now, as you know, my husband and I don’t own a lot of decor that is special because it is a 5-years-and-running construction zone. I don’t purchase decor, and if it’s given to me I’ve packed it up in Rubbermaid containers so it won’t get broken, and then, of course, it’s completely forgotten. This summer I spent some time cleaning out the downstairs closet and found lots of wedding gifts (we were married nine years ago) and things that I could definitely use: more plates and bowls because I’ve broken most of ours, a fancy wine bottle opener, you know, just because, and a gigantic baking dish which has allowed me to finally make a meal that provides leftovers.
I may not have a lot of decor for my house, certainly not anything that I would take to this meeting if I could go, but as we discussed this idea at the last meeting, I knew exactly what my “Off the Wall” item would be, and since I won’t be there this evening to share this special story, I must share it here.
When I had my oldest son, being the over-planner that I was, I planned out his arrival time to be toward the end of school so I could take my maternity leave right into summer. “HAHA!” said every mom out there. My body decided that I needed a reality check, and I developed Cholestatis, a pesky disease that causes bile to build up in my body, and as a result, my liver then says, nope, I’m out, and my body responds with relentless itching. It can be unsafe for the baby, so I believe doctors usually make the highly research medical decision to induce when it looks like the mother is about to lose her mind from late nights of scratching like a mad person. My planned 40 week pregnancy turned in to a 37 ½ week induction.
After a wonderfully fast delivery (inductions are painful, but man, they are superfast) and what felt like an awfully short maternity leave, I had to leave my baby in the hands of my husband while I went back to work for the short two weeks that my early maternity leave didn’t cover at the end of a school year. I was angry because I wasted a lot of time during my maternity leave still grading school work, I was angry that I didn’t have more time with my son, and I was super hormonal. I’m guessing I wasn’t a pleasant person to deal with during these two weeks.
On a normal day during this two week:
My husband: “Would you like some coffee?”
Me: “I hate you!”
My husband: “Can I make your lunch?”
Me: “It better have something delicious in it, that’s the least you owe me, jerkface.”
My husband: “I’m pretty busy tonight. Would you like me to just pick up Dairy Queen so you have more time to snuggle your boy,” as he slowly pushes a coffee mug in my direction.
Me: “Yes please…” and then I yell, “Only if I can get a chili cheese dog and a bacon cheeseburger.”
One afternoon, after racing home to see my baby boy, and immediately snuggling him and checking to make sure he was still whole from head to toe (I trust my husband, I do, but I’m a mom), I noticed that my little monkey had red around his fingernails. On closer inspection it was around a lot of his nails. Horrified, I asked my husband, “What is wrong with Aiden’s fingernails?!”
With a guilty look of panic across his face, he stammered, “Well...I-I tried to clip his nails, and I think I got too close.”
“WHAT?!” I bellowed in what must have sounded like a dinosaur from Jurassic Park.
I went into a rant. Blood, my baby, pain, my baby, I ….will….destroy….you….
My poor husband had an earful. Thankfully he was understanding enough to know, “This too shall pass...she’s just crazy because of genetics and hormones.”
I yelled and cried. I asked why in the world he would even clip the baby’s nails. Everyone knows that’s a delicate job for a mother. Side note: I do know that’s a crock. I’m a modern mother that expects my husband to do just as much of the parenting responsibilities as I do, especially since I was working at the time, but I was also a new mama bear so it takes a little bit of adjustment and reason to return to get into a habit of letting my husband take the lead on parenting.
My husband received the silent treatment for a few days and when I did start talking to him again, he probably missed the silent treatment. I was going to hold a grudge for a lifetime for those tiny, sweet, bloody fingernails. He would not get away with this travesty.
Thank goodness, I eventually forgot and got on with life. I was still terrible to live with, but as soon as the nails looked normal again, I was free to be too sleep deprived to remember. Just in time for Mother’s Day! It was going to be a special one, my first one. I’m an emotional person anyway so I woke up that morning with tears in my eyes. Literally, a mixture of pure emotion and the continuous effect of pregnancy stuffy nose and old age allergies, and I was just a mess. My husband made breakfast and excitedly went to find the gift that he’d put in hiding.
As soon as I saw it, I cried because it was the most beautiful gift for a new mommy. My husband has a saw mill and had cut a log from our farm to use the circle as a base for a hand and footprint of my son. Handmade and sentimental...enough to throw my hormonal self into a tizzy.
Then, as I asked, and immediately knowing the answer as I asked it, “When did you do this?” followed by a guilty groan.
The red ink gave it away. He had used red ink, and it suspiciously looks like blood.
“I couldn’t get it off around his fingernails and I didn’t want to scrub too hard. I hoped you wouldn’t notice, but you noticed it first thing,” my husband said, “I just told you the first thing that came to my head so I wouldn’t give away your gift.”
Oh the shame that swept over me. All the little snide comments I made after yelling at him, and the days after when I went out of my way to take over parenting responsibilities in a passive-aggressive attempt to say, “I don’t trust you.” I had not been nice AT ALL. I had not been understanding AT ALL. Honestly, I had been a Grade A Bitch.
There’s no other way to describe it.
I apologized, and apologized, and apologized. My husband actually seemed to enjoy the whole situation. He’d been biding his time, knowing that he was in the right, and that he’d get to hoard it over me if he could just wait until the ultimate reveal at Mother’s Day. I still feel terrible about those two weeks when I was just a monster. I’ve taken so many lessons from this:
That’s my “Off the Wall” show-and-tell item. The most precious item in the house and proof that marriage can survive having a baby and slightly hating each other for a short amount of time. The rough time passes to be replaced by another baby/rough time to then be replaced by one salary/rough time to be replaced by construction/rough time. It’s when we chose to stop having children and stop renovating our homes that we can truly enjoy married life. Let the countdown begin!
I haven’t had a real date night in a long time. Once upon a time, B.C. (Before Children), we were badasses at date night. I had done years of footwork getting my husband to view a date and time as a fixture, not a moving target. It took arguments, tantrums, and finally just leaving him running down the driveway trying to slip on his shoes as I drove away to go by myself (don’t worry, he usually caught me at the gate). We liked to try new, adventurous foods and often had Thai, Indian, Mediterranean, or sushi. He would try anything, often saying that he would just get a basic teriyaki dish at the sushi place because he couldn’t trust raw fish, then eating most of my sushi. We saw movies, musicals, and plays. I even surprised him with a super date, a flight to Minneapolis and tickets to A Prairie Home Companion. Nerdy stuff, I know, but that’s how we roll. Now, we plan dates around our needs at Home Depot, Aldi, or Orscheln.
I think most of our friends are like this as well. I see random posts on Facebook or share a joke with my friends about their own “date nights” that have turned into a three hour trip to see how many errands can be crossed off the list at once with a quick trip to Chipotle rounding out the date portion of the night. I have gone on a date that began in an old milk van, and yes, the jokes I heard all the way to dinner were inappropriate. It ended with Olive Garden, and a van full of sheetrock, a tub, and a toilet.
I think I remember the beginning of the slow progression of the breakdown of our dates. We were going out to eat and came home with piglets. It all starts out so harmless.
The date is a casualty of adulting, but I also know that I have friends who have normal date nights, friends who have children, businesses, ambition, and even do other things that we don’t, like exercise, and they still have time for a normal date. It seems that they have learned something that I am just now learning. Date night is sacred!
I’d like to do one of the following soon to swiftly reinstate the normal date back into our lives:
This is my goal for the summer - to go on a real date. It’s so hard to accomplish even though it sounds simple. When you live out in the country, any drive to town is gas guzzling, and so we automatically assume it should be jam-packed with things to accomplish. The purpose of a date should also be to concentrate on each other though, and it’s hard to do that if you’re instead concentrating on work, home, or getting some Drano because your oldest feels the need to use a whole roll of toilet paper after a number two.
In case my husband reads this and also decides it’s time to go on a real date, I should also come up with a list of discussion questions to focus on our date since our discussions almost always deal with our house, farm, and work. Hmmmm….How was your day? What have you been reading lately? Which kid is your favorite?
I’ll start with that.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you top notch, hard working moms out there! Today is your day, not your children’s day, not your husband’s day, not even your mom’s day (just kidding, get your mom something or you are going to be SOL the next time you need a babysitter). Since today is your day, it’s a good day to reflect on the fact that you need some me time. I am the last person you should listen to for a pitch on taking time to yourself and not feeling guilty about it, but I’m going to do it anyway. Writing is therapy so hopefully I can use this to remind myself that it’s okay to do something for myself, and if you’re reading this you must think I have something important to say (unless you’re my mom, reading this because you think I’m just fantastic and insightful). Aren’t moms just great?!
So this desperate farm wife is going to spend this blog telling you why you should really, really take some time to yourself, and I mean time to yourself without that nagging little mean mom in your head telling you that you should be doing something else. Raise your hand if you have a nagging little mean mom in your head. Do it, even if you’re out in public. Nothing makes you look more superior than a raised hand when no one else knows the answer, so admit it to yourself right now and move on. That nagging little mean mom in your head is a b*$%&, and she needs to be reminded that it’s your day.
That mean mom in your brain has her purpose sometimes. When I have a day of laundry or lots of work to do and my kids spend the day with whatever new toy I throw at them or hunkered down in front of the tv watching too many cartoons, that little voice is a good reminder for me to say, “Drop what you’re doing and get down on the floor to stomp around like a dinosaur, right this moment!” But sometimes she’s just a jerk that makes me feel guilty for no reason at all.
I’m going to be honest here, so hold your beer and listen up. I have a lot of me time. Seriously, a lot. I’m a stay-at-home mom but I bet half of their waking hours are devoted to me time. I’m not sure about that number - nagging mean mom may be exaggerating in my brain - but they are with my husband doing farm chores, with one of their grandma’s, or at school/preschool quite a bit. I'm a stay-at-home mom with an endless supply of people to help support my dreams and hobbies, but I'm the kind of person that would almost lose my mind before asking them for help. I say I’m a stay-at-home mom because that’s my first title that I answer to, but I do have a business to run. It’s not a Fortune 500 and could most certainly be done during nap time or early in the morning before little feet hit the ground demanding pancakes and the farm toy bin. I am also a professional volunteer, as I like to call it. I have a bad, yet satisfying habit of saying yes to everything. So technically it’s not me time, but I’m given lots of free time to accomplish these tasks and at any time I could give myself a break, but as soon as I take a minute to do something all for me, that nag gets me every time. My plea for myself and for every mom out there reading this is to actually take a moment of me time this Mother’s Day.
Here are a few me activities that I will try to squeeze in. Maybe this will give you some ideas of what to do during your me time.
You’re idea of me time might be a pedicure or massage, but I go with the simple and free aspect of alone time. I’m one of those extroverts that needs spaces of introvert time to recharge. Me time is important to recharge so you’re still top notch for everyone else in your life that you live to take care of. I know, I explained already that I have lots of alone time, but that’s not really alone time. I have to remind myself that it’s work time. I shouldn’t feel mom guilt every time I’m not near my kids, but that’s just the way it is. I will spend time today telling that nagging little mean mom in my brain that she needs to cool it. It’s Mother’s Day and maybe she should take a break too.