My mother often reminds me that I share too much. My husband says I just talk a lot. I love to connect with others by sharing my personal stories and, of course, passing along my infinite amount of knowledge. While pregnant with my now two-year-old daughter, I enjoyed connecting with fellow mom friends, both ahead […]
I am sitting outside my daughter’s first week of ballet class. She could not be more excited — which is an understatement. As a normal, functioning human being I slightly fear her persistent pursuit of ballet, the theatre, and dance and all that will come with it — and I’m not talking about the cost. […]
I’ve stopped reading parenting books. I quit parenting books about halfway into the first year of raising our daughter. It was too much. It was too exhausting to keep up, too overwhelming to stay informed, and each day that I fell further behind in keeping up I felt like a failure. And so, I gathered all* our parenting books and Marie Kondo’d their bums far away from my minimalist-inspired home.
It’s rare to open my Instagram feed without being bombarded by dozens of memes focused on the humorous side of parenting, or the difficulties of staying married happily ever after–especially when chores are involved. Of course, part of this simply comes down to the fellow bloggers and writers I follow and connect with online.
The other day The Beau and I were headed to a marriage “coaching” session. It’s called marriage coaching for those not in serious trouble, but looking for a little check-up–as explained by our therapist. Personally, I think it’s marriage counseling, but the word “coaching” keeps her husband patients from freaking out.
I’m happy to say, we have loved our therapist and have found her to be most helpful and fair. Not that we had much to chat about, but sometimes those little pesky fights can quickly escalate and before you realize it, you have no idea what the fight is about. And I know people say that all the time, but it really is true. Especially when one of said party members is a hot head. #pleadingthefifth
Before our last session The Beau and I sat and asked each other–“What the hell do we need to talk about?” We seriously couldn’t think of anything. I’m not complaining, as I take this as a good sign that we’ve pretty much worked out whatever it is we wanted or hoped or expected to work out.
I couldn’t help laughing though, about all the tiny little fights I know are in our future and past. The little petty marriage arguments that cannot be solved with counseling, or a special date night, or a chore list. They’re simply the little marriage fights that are all part of being married and trying to co-exist without drowning in the responsibilities of life.
Sorry, did that sound a little drab? It’s Thursday and it’s been one hectic and rough of a week. Who else is ready for the weekend?
So, without further ado, I give you my favorite list of our 18 petty marriage arguments that you’ll love [or perhaps hate or totally judge]. How many of these look familiar to you? Any of them serve as jumping off fights for you and your spouse on much bigger issues? Have you found a way to not let these petty little arguments escalate, or perhaps have found a way to live with them? If so, I want to hear–especially if you have solutions!
Our mutual arguments:
1. Who makes the morning coffee.
2. Who cleans up the coffee at the end of the day.
3. Who baths our daughter.
4. Who knows the best spot to park the car–in any location, at any given time, during no particular but basically all outings where I am driving.
5. Who holds the umbrella so that both parties are shielded from the rain. We have yet to come up with a proper solution that does not leave one of us soaked during a thunderstorm.
6. Eating the rest of whatever I was eating–The Beau is always stealing my food!
7. Drinking all of my Kombucha–like seriously, he steals all of my treats! But the worst is he gulps it down within 5 minutes, practically defeating the purpose of splurging the $3.5 on each bottle.
8. Untucking the sheets while we sleep so it gets all bunchy and then I can’t relax.
9. Eating all of the cheese sticks–which he steals from both me and our daughter, and then I have to whip up a snack from scratch for her school lunches. But really, do you not see the pattern?
10. Leaving razor marks in the sink. This used to be an issue when we had a porcelain sink. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, consider yourself (and your porcelain sink) lucky!
11. Never hanging up his coat.
12. Serving the white parts of the watermelon. This is actually a funny story, but also rather long. No you know what, it’s not a long story. I give him the rind sections of the watermelon. I mean, he’s basically a human garbage disposal and then I can enjoy the good parts of the watermelon. Yes, I know I’m married and should consider him first. But we’ve been married 6 years–so I save the good parts of the watermelon for myself now!
13. Leaving paper towels wads in the kitchen. What can I say, but sometimes I’m only wiping up water and I also am trying to save the trees simultaneously.
14. Too many pillows on the bed.
15. Always requesting he go to the basement to carry something up or take something to the basement or attic.
16. Always needing something that requires him to get up, the minute after he sits down (#ihavegoodtiming).
17. Never having enough snacks or needing to make everything from scratch (for the record, please see the first three of my complaints. This should answer any questions about his complaint here).
18. I’m sure there are dozens if not dozens of dozen more complaints. But you get the gist!
It’s a new year! A time to feel rejoiced and excited about what’s ahead and the possibility of what could be. But if you’re a parent, chances are you’re caught somewhere between the excitement of making this year the year you pull yourself together, and just trying to survive life. I’m wiling to bet you’re feeling a bit lost and stuck, because I’ve been there and those are the feelings I have in this situation.
I am constantly striving to improve my life and constantly seeking outside help to keep my life together. I can accept defeat and recognize my weaknesses. Over the years, many people (mostly family) have commented on my need to do it all. What most people don’t realize is how much help I seek outside myself in order to “do it all.”
It takes a village to raise a child? Ha. It takes a village to keep a mother sane and together in order to lean on said village to raise said child. Totally hypothetical, of course.
So, in honor of the New Year and perhaps a fresh start for us all, I unveil to you the list of resources, apps, programs, and individuals who have helped me turn around my life. By “turn around,” I strictly mean the fact I went to yoga today for an hour, and did not cry from overwhelm over the lack of time in my schedule to have actually attended a yoga class today.
When you need to laugh: Unqualified Podcast, by Anna Farris
I never paid much attention to her as an actress (sorry Anna) but I am a huge fan of her podcast and the guests she brings on board to talk about, as she says–“Not-so-great relationship advice from completely unqualified Hollywood types.”
This is a great podcast if you want to not think, be entertained, but also be inspired by the stories and humorous tales and wit of Anna and her guests.
I drank from the Brooke Castillo kool-ade and am never looking back. I first heard about The Life Coach School through Jess Lively (see my next tip). Eventually I moved over to listening religiously to Brooke’s podcast and last year was a member of her Self Coaching Scholars program–best investment ever.
Her podcast though is free and I cannot recommend it enough. She covers everything from dealing with negative emotions (and people), to why super goals can have massive impact in your life, to how to fail, to dealing with anxiety, to dealing with over drinking or over eating. Her whole premise is that your thoughts create your feelings, which leads to action, which creates results.
Her podcast series is part virtual hug and part ass kicking. Which many of us could use from time to time.
Jess Lively used to have a program I loved called, Life With Intention Online (if you go to her site, you can still download a free, mini version). Her earlier podcasts focused on finding joy, living with intention, and some really inspiring interviews with women such as Brené Brown or Joy Cho of Oh Joy! About three years ago she changed her primary focus and format and I honestly have not listened much since.
I know her podcast is still fantastic and inspirational, but she focuses now on her concept of learning to “Flow with Intention,” which personally I have a good grasp on (even if just in my head). I still highly recommend Jess and checking out her current programs and podcast.
Her former Life with Intention Program was a resource I needed right after I became a mother. I felt confused, stressed, overwhelmed and just needed something and anything to help me find internal alignment, so that I could be the best possible mother and wife. The following year my daughter turned two and thus how and why I became a regular listener of The Life Coach School Podcast and program (aka I needed something new and “stronger” to help me survive).
When you need one-on-one help: Therapy and Life Coaching
Through Brooke Castillo’s Self Coaching Scholars Program, I met Anjanette Ludwig who is a soon-to-be certified Life Coach through Brooke Castillo’s program. I have been working with her personally over the last four or five months and I love her so much! On my first session with her, in full disclosure, I basically cried and said I didn’t want to talk to her. I was so overwhelmed from life. By session three I felt immensely better and continue to do so. I cannot recommend her enough!
Oh yes, and I am also a big fan of therapy. Which I am also doing, along with everything else listed in this post. Because you know . . . #life.
I probably don’t need to say much about Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Apparently she also now has a show on Netflix–but if you feel overwhelmed by your “stuff,” go read her book. Mother, I’m talking to YOU.
Shira Gill is the sweetest gal and has a more personal hands-on program to help you declutter and organize your life–specifically, a Virtual Closet Makeover Program. I know we met at some point or took a course together, because we’re Facebook friends (Shira, do you know?), but I also love her interview with Brooke Castillo (Vital Changes interview + Organization interview) and regularly read her blog which is super spot-on. Seriously, check her out and sign up for her program if you’re metaphorically drowning in your material belongings.
When you feel like the world’s worst parent: Read Mommy Has Struggles
Just subscribe to my blog and Instagram and hopefully, just hopefully, you’ll start to feel better. If not, then I probably had a moment of weakness and posted something positive–for the other half of my audience. Which means, check back the next day for my regularly scheduled programming.
When your career is stuck or you have writer’s block: Read Seth Godin’s Blog
You’ve probably have heard of Seth, perhaps have listened to one of his podcast interviews, or have read one of his books. I religiously read his blog posts every morning. His background is in marketing, but his advice is relevant whether you’re in sales, education, government, or a creative field. He will inspire you to think big and continually evaluate how you choose to see the world and show up each day in your job.
When you need something unrelated to work and parenting: Read Brain Pickings by Maria Popova
I love this weekly email so much. Founded in 2006 as simply a weekly email for her friends, Maria’s weekly following and website grew tremendously into an inspirational resource for all things literature, science and creativity. Every year she does an annual Best Children’s Books review, along with other wonderful musings on such topics as what inspired Mark Twain, “Life, Loss and the Wisdom of Rivers,” or “How to Grow Old: Bertrand Russels on What Makes a Fulfilling Life.” It isn’t a light read, but it is worth it and should be carried with you each week as a little intellectual treat away from thoughts on daily chores and tantrums.
Did I forget something? Send me a note or comment if there’s a specific struggle you have and I bet I can come up with something. After all, those who can’t do . . . teach!
I don’t know about you, but I worry often. Sure, I try to embrace the trend of daily gratitude journals, mediation smartphone apps, and regularly attend my local yoga studio — but motherhood has turned me into a worry-wart.
I don’t remember worrying as much before becoming a mother, but I also suspect being a mother has given me amnesia. And I worry about the small stuff — like is my nail color appropriate? Is my nail color too boring? Should I even bother keeping up with my nails?
See what I mean.
Perhaps as a way to cleanse my brain of all that I worry, and perhaps add a bit of relief to all the ways you too might worry, I give you my list of 43 ways I overly worry on an everyday basis.
Note, some of my worries are probably valid. Also note, many of my worries are completely ridiculous, and yes I’m aware.
- Will my daughter grow up to resent me?
- Will my hypothetical second child add more chaos to my life than I can handle?
- Am I over-reacting about the hypothetical chaos that will come from having more children?
- Am I listening too much to the advice of others and not being strong enough to listen to my own instincts?
- Am I a terrible person for not listening to the advice of others more often?
- Will my child be successful in school?
- Will my child party too much in college?
- Will my child get #kavanuaghed?
- Is that dark alley safe where I’ve parked my car?
- Should I be carrying around a teeny tiny, but legal and non-controversial weapon, wherever I go?
- How young is too young to put my daughter into Krav Maga?
- Did I pass on too many of my stupid genes to my daughter and am I totally kidding myself when I think, even at age 3.5, she’s super smart?
- Is it really worth it to get a pedicure in the winter?
- Should I be concerned that nail salons no longer use that crazy razor to shave off calluses and did I dodge a bullet by never having my skin ripped off my foot? Is it weird that I still picture the horror that could be?
- Will I blow a tire on my car driving someday?
- Does blowing a tire on the car really sound like a helicopter, and living in DC, how will I know it isn’t really a helicopter?
- If I pull over on the side of the road to fix a tire, will some creepy guy offer to help me or will it be a nice person who isn’t secretly going to attack me or steal my car once the tire is back on the car?
- Am I too strict with the food I feed my child?
- Am I not strict enough with the food I feed my child?
- Should I really get over not wanting to give my kid poison-filled Oreos?
- I mean, I love Oreos and ate plenty growing up so maybe it all worked out? Or maybe that explains why I am still battling acne in my 30s and have spent 30 years trying to reach my goal weight. Are Oreos maybe the secret culprit to all of life’s problems? Are Oreos perhaps the answer?
- Am I a bad mother for having a glass of wine?
- Am I super normal and just totally hard on myself all the time?
- Do I nag my husband too much?
- Maybe I don’t nag him enough?
- Maybe if he were just better at paying attention to the details, I would harass him less? Perhaps I’m supposed to be harassing more? Perhaps my life’s mission is to create a Husband-in-Training School? What if I don’t charge enough and what if I charge too much?
- Have I found my purpose in life?
- Is my purpose supposed to be just having children?
- Am I a horrible person for knowing that raising children is not my life’s mission?
- Maybe I’m totally wrong? Maybe it is my life’s mission and that is why my regular work stresses me out so much?
- Am I supposed to quit my business and do something totally different like be a professional karaoke singer?
- If I had been trained to properly sing would I be totally amazing and on tour right now?
- Is there someone out there who still remembers me as the girl that once very, very poorly sang Wild Horses at that one karaoke bar?
- Is the world filled with all the people who only remember the embarrassing mistakes I have made?
- Do classmates from my kindergarten class still remember that one day I wore a maroon-colored corduroy skirt and totally forgot to put on underwear?
- Am I a terrible friend for forgetting to text everyone back?
- Should more people be upset for not texting me back? Am I too responsive and will I develop some crazy disease from my phone always being within 1 inch of my body?
- Do I spend enough time with my family?
- Do I neglect my work too often? Do I neglect my family too often?
- If my daughter always talks about me working is it because she thinks I am a workaholic and a terrible mother, or because she is independent enough that she doesn’t need me to play with her?
- Will my daughter’s life be filled with embarrassments and will she wake up one day with an ongoing playlist of all the stupid things she said and obsess over what she should’ve said instead?
- Is it too late to pursue a career as a backup dancer for Justin Timerblake?
- Will my daughter one day come across my Mommy Has Struggles blog and realize her mother is entirely insane?