Oooh, I'm in one of those spaces. My primary job is as a stay at home mom and there are days I don't think I'm doing such a hot job. I think about instituting a regime of flash cards, room checks, and compulsory reading, but I was thinking back to my recent reread of French Women Don't Get Fat, and the central theme of the book seems very pertinent. Apply some discipline in the right places, but enjoy yourself as you go. Meals shouldn't go down like medicine, nor do you need sugar and bread all the time. I've been doing well with drinking water or tea versus diet soda, which made a swift difference in my sense of sweet. I've been remembering to sit down to eat rather than nibbling stray bits. I exercise for my health and because I like how it makes me look and feel-- not every minute's fun, but a lot of it is things I enjoy.

So I need to apply that useful philosophy-- enjoyment in a framework of discipline-- to the process of parenting. I have good and dear kids and they deserve the best I am able to give them. My husband provides awesome backup and I truly have no excuse. I'm setting myself a "Don't Be a Disgraceful Lazy Ass" Challenge for parenting. Now all I need is a logo.


  1. No kids here, but I can imagine that being a parent would get...tiring, at times, since it's not something you can exactly "step back from", like you can with weight loss or things of that nature.

  2. I feel the exact same way sometimes. My husband says I'm way too hard on myself. That does sound like a good philosophy to apply to parents - perhaps I will have to give it a shot as well. :)

  3. I still have and have read French Women Don't Get Fat. And they don't. My French/German MIL has been here, and that woman goes through at least a half a stick of butter on her bread every morning. I am not kidding. I remember seeing her do that last year when we went to her home. She is so slender and very active. Other than butter, the remaining portions from other meals are small.

    This is from your last post: "Grownups don't need dessert every day. Definitely not twice a day." My MIL and FIL have dessert after every meal. They call it dessert, but it's just cut fruit with plain yogurt on top. I guess if I was a grown-up, I wouldn't call it "just" and be disappointed about it.

    You are a good mom, and from what I've learned about some of things you've shared about your kids, they are turning out great. It's the net value that counts.

    "...enjoyment in a framework of discipline-" -- I think discipline can provide a sense of enjoyment by taking the guesswork out things. Then we can reap the good consequence from it. (I'm kinda having my own ah-hah moment here...I'm going to go ponder this some more).

  4. Don't have any great advice, but just offering up my support. Being a parent is the toughest job out there and we all wish we could do it better.

  5. I LOVE French Women Don't Get Fat...I try to keep little things from that book in my mind to remind me to ENJOY my food...it shouldn't be used as a drug, and I shouldn't eat anything I hate (liver, anyone? blechhhh).

    We deserve the good stuff and to take the time to treat ourselves with utmost care. Especially the stay-at-home-moms...so often a thankless, selfless job, and a 24 hr/365 day per year one at that. If someone deserves some little daily perks in life, it's us! (NOT eating the leftover bread crusts from our 4 year old's grilled cheese sandwich!)

    As hard as it is, get yourself on your to-do list!

  6. Sometimes baby steps add up to greater mileage.

    Plus, as a stay at home Mom, you're doing an important job. I had a Nanny because I worked, but admire anyone who can be around children all day. I don't have the patience for it.

  7. I suspect you may be a bit like my wife. It is easy to get discouraged when you are looking for signs of success in raising children. The temporary results often aren't indicative of what you will see long term.

    I can't leave without saying I commend you for making this your primary job!

  8. Thanks, my dears. I appreciate the good wishes.

    @ Cami, you can sort of step back, that's the unfortunate part. Not completely, but you can definitely coast for a while.

    @ Julie, I just want a do-over. Can I rewind, say, four years? Just four. Not too much to ask, right?

    @ Roxie, is it hard isn't it? I gauge my success partly by how much I want to be with them. I'm doing great on that count.

    @ Debbie, that is such right-on advice for most women, but I have to confess that I am great at taking care of myself-- I get plenty of sleep, buy myself flowers, go see movies, and generally make sure that I have a nice time in life. Which is in many ways a good thing (no martyrs here) but I am the rare woman who does
    NOT need more encouragement to pamper herself :P What I need is someone to kick my ass.

    @ Steve, thank you. Life is generally less stressful around here when I'm mostly home-- I am constitutionally well suited to this job-- which leaves even less room to excuse my corner-cutting.

    @ 45, baby steps... now there's a wise thought.

    @ Gina, yes, yes, it's the discipline, the acceptance of some degree of routine, that makes this easier for everybody. I dislike routine and I need it. Part of being Grown Up is doing your duty whether you feel like it or not, and my job is to read to my youngest and do the damn math facts, gently prune and pinch my middle one even though in her lovely calm way she resists pruning and pinching (well, I think that's my job... thinking we may be past pruning and into the "let 'em blossom" stage.) And I have to advocate for my eldest and help him get traction on the road. And I have to do it in a context of keeping the physical plant pleasant and functional, while accepting that my not holding a "real job" leaves me vulnerable should anything disastrous occur between me and Mr. Larkspur.

    Ok, daily reading, sunshine, math facts and healthy meals at regular times this summer. Minimum Daily Requirement. Wish me luck.

  9. I like that -- enjoyment in the framework of discipline.

  10. I work...not 40 hours a week....but my first and foremost job for the past 16 years has been "mom". I work around the kids' school schedules....and I guess I am more SAHM than not. Since my youngest is in Kindergarten this year..I have definitely been creeping toward more work and am working on a couple certifications right now. But...I LOVE being a SAHM and would be 100% if not for financial concerns.

    Here is my idea.....just go DO things with the kids. Get out....climb a hill, explore a new park, find a museum you have never been to, have a picnic in a random field, find 10 good spots to hike in your area and go hike them, take a day and go to 4 different playgrounds in a row and then have the kids compare and contrast... Forget the flashcards.....just go have fun. That is what the kids will remember. SO often my kids will reminisce about things that, at the time...seemed sort of silly and insignificant. But..that is what they rememeber..that is the stuff memories are made of. So..just go DO.....and enjoy...and laugh a lot. Your kids are lucky to have you!

  11. Not sure that I can give any great advice, except that you're doing the most awesome job on earth - being a mother and keeping a house in good, running order. It's not easy, but it's worth every minute of it, and I think you agree.

    Just remember what you wrote that I think is great advice, " ...Apply some discipline in the right places, but enjoy yourself as you go...."

    I should write that out to remind myself from time to time. :) I hope you have a nice summer and aren't in " :( " mood for too long. There's too much sunshine and A/C indoors to be enjoyed this time of year!

  12. I also loved that book by the way..

  13. You look great in your pictures. I think being a mom is the toughest! I'm still trying not to clean their plates! I swear that is why I haven't shed my pregnancy pounds. I just went back to work after staying at home. I have got to get this weight off. I have started a blog to try and get some online support. I'm so afraid to post pictures, etc. I am very insecure. My weight determines how I truly feel about myself. I need to lose 50. How in the heck will I do it!


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