Wednesday, October 28, 2009

*Insert voice of an adult in a Peanuts cartoon here*

Okay, I need to address the elephant in the room - Why I'm not writing anymore.

What? You don't see an elephant? It's right there. It's soiling the rug as we speak. It's an abomination! You just see a lumpy, smelly couch in need of replacing? Elephant, old couch. Toe-may-toe, Toe-mah-toe.

Yeah, I'm busy. The kids are kicking my ass. They take up so many more hours than I was prepared to give up and most days I just don't have the time to give to my own creative outlets. Blah, blah, blah.

Honestly, I just don't have the words. I use so many words every day - words to admonish, to soothe, to share, to order, to read countless board books and sing even more songs - but mostly my words seem to bounce back at me, refusing to stick to the intended receiver. It's maddening. So when I sit down to write I find that I have no more left in me to give.

When I started this blog my tagline was something like, Why am I always repeating myself? Or, Doomed to repeat myself. I forget exactly but that's the basic gist. It was a joke and a play on the title of the blog but I could never see how true it would become. As a dog trainer I had taught many people one of the cardinal rules of having a well trained dog was to not repeat things over and over. Give a command, mean it, and follow up if the command is not followed. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Now as the mother of a four year old, an almost 17 month old, and wife of a man with a taxing job who travels frequently and always seems to be rushing out the door, I'm constantly repeating myself. Just further proof that I'm better with animals. My dogs listen to me but my family? Not so much.

These days I seem to be talking at my family more than I'm talking to them and some days - okay, most days - it gets to the point where I want to throw up my hands and say, What's the point? Usually followed by more than a few expletives but always to myself. Who's listening anyway?

I don't like this feeling of not being heard. As a stay at home mom I'm already in a position of not feeling like a respected member of society, no matter how many times Oprah tells the world how wonderful and necessary we are, so the compounded frustration of talking to people only to be ignored is not sitting well with me. Now I find myself reserving my words and saving them for when I really need them. I could have a great discussion with friends or chat up new people in the checkout line at the grocery store... Or I could save my strength for when I need to get two little people dressed and out the door, buckled in the car seats, sing Wheels on the Bus fifteen times and bark order to Don't Kick the Seat and Stop Annoying Your Sister and I Said No Snacks and NO WE'RE NOT THERE YET for the hundredth time. Lather, rinse, repeat x infinity.

And that's just when we're in the car.

I guess I should take my own advice from the dog world and tweak it just a bit for those of the two-legged variety. Maybe.

These days I feel my words bear no weight and honestly, seeing them here next to the blink, blink of the cursor is not really helping. Do they mean anything? Do they matter?

Come to find out, yes. I guess they do matter.

I took some time to go through my archives and I was surprised by what I found there. Moments I had forgotten, absolutely, and I was so grateful to my earlier self for having the foresight to write them down, but there also were actual pieces that I was proud of. There were posts that made me go, Damn, woman, you hit that one out of the park. Good for you! I was a little pissed off that I don't write like that anymore but still pleased that those words, at least for a period of time, came from me. Proof that I could string to sentences together! I'd like to say I was struck by inspiration and the words flowed like a mighty river from then on... But they didn't. More like a trickle from a leaky faucet, calcified and sort of stagnant, but I'll take what I can get at this point.

I may bitch and moan, it may be repetitive and dull, but they are my words and someday they'll all add up to something. To that point, someday my words will start sinking in with my kids too (Dear sweet Jesus, someday they will, right?) and my husband may look away from his work long enough to acknowledge my pleas for help (That's actually already working - Huzzah!). And my words here on this blog, no matter how trivial, will become precious to me when I look back on them.

And in the meantime, I'll start talking to the dogs more. They're great listeners.

Shit, I just realized this post sounds a lot like the whining from this post. Sorry, I suck. Um... Who wants to teach their dog to balance a treat on their nose?!

23 comments:

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

I get it. Trust me, I do. Thanks for the convo on Monday nite - we need to do it more often!

slouchy said...

I do believe you are at the hardest stage of parenting there is. Try to cut yourself some slack.

xo

Magpie said...

i love that my blog serves as a memory device - about things that have happened over the past few years. those words are indeed precious.

Gigi said...

Oh hon - every mom has been where you are. And keep talking some of the important stuff will sink in. Sometimes my 15 year old will pop out with something I have said to him over and over and over x 100 million times. It'll get better (and worse) soon. Just think soon those two sweet babies will be teens! That's when the real fun begins!

SciFi Dad said...

You seem to be doing pretty well with stringing words together right now.

Either that, or my standards have been so severely lowered that anything longer than 140 characters is impressive.

One or the other. Take your pick.

ree said...

We'll always be here when you are. {{hugs}}

Lara said...

This post made me laugh. Not the whole post, of course - I am sad that you are feeling like your family doesn't listen to you, and I hope that you feel less stressed and more able to string words together soon. But still, multiple times, laughing. You crack me up and I adore you. :)

Alex said...

Trust me I get it, must be something in the air.

I sound like a broken record most of the time and I wish I could bypass the boring stuff and get to know the people who live in this house.

Anna said...

Yeah. I don't even have the gumption to leave you a decent comment.

Patois said...

Hey, I'd love to teach my mutton head how to balance a treat on her nose. Want to vlog it and count it as a post?

Mary G said...

You feel as if your brain has turned to mush and you are growing ever more transparent? My, you must be the mother of two small children.
And if you did not hit that out of the park with this post, you definitely advanced the runners.
I assure you, it will get better. In the meantime, it is your blog, and you can whine if you want to.
No, I don't think that was a whiny post - more like a portrait of grim reality.

Goddess in Progress said...

I would say that I could totally have written this post. Except, you know, that I don't seem to have gotten the energy to string the words together.

I'm feeling a similar block, a lack of even vaguely interesting things to write about. And yet, it makes me sad to not have the record of the time passing, or the outlet and community that it provides.

I hear you, sister.

Mac and Cheese said...

Hey, some of us can't even get our dogs to pay attention.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I think I said this to you before: I couldn't have blogged when my kids were as young as yours. They just sucked way too much outta me.

But, you know, at a time when I'm feeling like I should just take a break for a while, you've reminded me why I should keep writing. I want to have the stories somewhere, and to feel the support I get from other mamas out there. So, thanks for that.

Daisy said...

It's amazing that sometimes our own pet training techniques can work with our humans. Wishing you luck! And hoping you'll keep writing.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I know exactly what you are talking about.

sweet cheek's mom said...

it isn't easy to do, parenting that is. and sometimes it is just easier to not blog about anything than to just blog about any old random crap. which i do sometimes, who i am kidding!

Heather said...

It will get easier, and you will eventually have more time for yourself again. It's hard when the kids are little like yours. One day you'll wake up and realize that you have more time to be you.

Heather said...

You will get more time to be you, but in my experience of nearing 15 years of this mommy gig thing....you always repeat yourself....always.

carrie said...

Repetition is my middle name!

In other words, I get it. I do. ;)

Binky said...

I hear you (as evidenced by the fact that my posts are more scant than yours). I actually feel guilty for not writing on my blog because it means that Number Two doesn't have the same kind of written history that his sister had. I'm trying to make up for that a little bit this month through NaBloPoMo. I hope we can catch up with each other via our blogs over the coming weeks.

Working Mom said...

I've taken to either writing posts half-asleep in the middle of the night, hiding in my car with my laptop during someone's practice, or even (GASP) writing during work at lunchtime when everyone else leaves the office (a big shoutout to whoever came up with multiple windows!).

We all have our dry spells. But whatever you write makes me laugh and sounds like it's coming out of one of my girlfriends' mouths (granted, sometimes after a glass of wine or two), SO...

I gave you an award on my 11/3/09 post. Happy Scribbling!

Vicky said...

You hit it out of the park on this one- for me anyway. This is exactly how I feel lately as I read other blogs today to find inspiration.

If I had time for phone chat, if my phone liked me and worked I would want to call you to ... what's the word? My brain is dead. I only know two syllable words right now...Argh. And I'm apparently a pirate too.

This post is golden. I've lost my train of thought. This comment took me 15 min. to write because I had to clean yogurt up off the floor, feed the dog, turn on the TV and decide I don't have time to shower.