Epic mommy fail

Here’s the setup

We are a one car family. Which is great for the environment and our perpetually empty bank account, but it kind of, okay, really sucks. But we make do. My husband car pools to work a couple days a week and I make arrangements to have all the doctor appointments, errands, etc. fall on the days I have the car. Our son started kindergarten this year and although there is an option to bus, I decide we will walk to school! First of all, the school is fairly close. Second, I’m not ready for him to take the bus. Okay, I said it. Sometimes I’m “that mom.” Lastly, I see this as my opportunity to finally get the exercise I really, really need. Here are the facts, folks. There’s a lot of jelly in this belly and I’m fairly certain my muscles have started to seize.

So all of this walking crap is great. Except I get up at the ass crack of dawn to settle in at my dining room table to work. Which means, walking or not, I have to come up for air and stop working to give us time to get ready and enjoy the morning. A task I am almost completely physically and mentally incapable of doing.

Fail #1: Complete Morning Breakdown

Fast forward to this morning, me screaming at people to get ready. The baby is screaming and throwing food. The boy wining about not being able to get his sweatshirt on and OMG a sweatshirt AND a jacket is SO uncomfortable! Yeah, he really said OMG. We finally get out the door and literally start running to school. We try to make it fun by playing red light green light, tag, and whatever else, but it’s just not working out to be a happy time. There is no bouncing back. I’m apologizing profusely and promising better mornings to come. The boy is reminding me of slip-ups from the past, which is quite frankly making me want to turn around and make him walk the rest of the way himself.

Finally, we get there. The teacher’s aids are all like, “hey, wow, look at your red cheeks from the cold!” And we are all like, “and yeah, the running!” hehehehawhawhaw. So I say to my kid, “don’t forget to tell your teacher I put money in your folder for ice cream Friday!”

Fail #2: Ice Cream

So the teachers at the door are all like, “yeah, we serve ice cream on Thursdays.” Me, kind of arguing a little, “I’m sure it said on the note that came home that ice cream is served on Friday.” I mean, come on, shouldn’t Friday be treat day? Sheesh.

Insert blank stares and slight shakes of head from teachers.

So I say to my son who is rather pathetically looking at me like I am the worst failure ever, “I’m so sorry buddy. You can have ice cream after school as a special treat okay?” This mildly satisfies him.

Teacher: “Well at least he said okay!”

Me: “Yeah, what can I say, he’s used to me.” And then I walk away and have to put on my aviators because I am crying.

Fail #3: The baby

So I pull myself together and get trucking. Just as I’m about to come to the place where I have to decide to take the short way or the long cut, the baby starts screaming. Again. She is not satisfied with any toys or the random leaves I give her. But, I take the long way anyway. Jelly in the belly, you know. And I really do need to also take care of me. Next time I have to remember to bring my iPod.

I’m not a bad mom (I tell myself) but I’m starting to realize I really suck at what should be super-simple mom no-brainers. What gives? I know what I need to do. I just have to do it.

Do you suck at super-simple mom no-brainers? Are you awesome at super-simple mom no-brainers? I would love to hear about it!

Why you need to save your soul on your desktop – probably every couple of minutes

I lost a blog post. Like, my first significant blog post. Gone. Forever. Deleted when I broke my blog (I still don’t know how that happened), and not saved to my hard drive, for some mysterious reason.

I can remember some of the words, some of the hilarity, some of the pain. It goes something like this.

I’m a freak and my kid knows it; expects it. I am an organized, disorganized mess. I have a lot of grand plans and most of the time I am so caught up in them that I cannot get it together enough to do the super-simple mommy no-brainers. So I fail. Epically. Except it was funnier than that. And now it’s gone. The embarrassing mom moment, from which I learned a lesson and hoped others could to, is gone forever.

And so that is why when I realized I had lost the post I felt like I had been stabbed in the heart with a white-hot dagger.

I am sure it seems dramatic to some, and I’m having a hard time finding the words to express the kind of sadness I felt and why. All I know is there is a small piece of my soul that is lost to the cyber goddesses of cyber space. I guess I just need to leave it at that and not obsess about it. It is how it is supposed to be. I will take heart in knowing I’m not the first and I certainly won’t be the last person this has happened to.

And I have learned yet another lesson.


Another neglectful Wednesday, 9/28/11


photo courtesy of mareesme on photobucket - click to see more funny vintage stuff!


So, I’m working along while the baby is playing where I can’t see her. What? That’s not okay?

Let me be honest. I was gossiping with Kate on the phone.

One thing I love about babies this age is they tell on themselves. So out she comes and she say’s, “aahhh!!” Which means, “I want a bite of what you are eating,” or, “I am eating something.”

So I snap, “what’s in your mouth?” because for the first time today, I’m  not eating something. ‘Cause you know, I was having an important conference call.

Flash to the baby running away. Laughing, with food in her mouth.

Dog food.

So I’m trying to pry her mouth open while maintaining this conversation. But her little jaw is on lockdown!! I manage to get a small wet little crumble out.

Baby, laughing.

Me, “ewwwwe! I mean, that doesn’t even taste good! I’m guessing anyway!” Hysteria on the other end of the phone. Classic Kate and Laine.

So I go and pick up the dog dish, and she goes over to the refrigerator, leans down, looks under and says, “uh oh!” Which means the original piece of corn and mixed I-don’t-even-know-what came from under the refrigerator.

I can’t even go there. Hopefully it’s all gone.

So we go pick up the boy from school. It’s raining. I buckle the baby in and drive off.

A voce from the backseat yells, “OMG, I’m unbuckled!” And I yell, while flying into the pre-K parking lot, “OMG, I TOTALLY meant to lean back and buckle you!”

“Mom, you are an illegal maker!”


Being realistic when you are a planning over-achiever with big, sweet dreams


I love you Rosie

The planning

Here it is for the world to read. I will say it out loud as I type, to carry the point to my poor little psyche.

My name is Elaine Griffin and I am an organized disaster.

A hot mess in an old dress. Which is actually a nightgown I have had has since I was 12.

I am currently in the final throws of what has been a two-year get this shit organized so you can achieve the success of your dreams campaign. As I near my goal of being organized and ready to take on the world, I realize there is something amiss. I left myself behind somewhere in that organization and planning. I have left no time for life.

The truth is, like most women, I am too hard on myself. I have unrealistic short-term goals. I abuse my body, mind, and my nerves, which affects everyone around me, and makes me feel trapped and inadequate, and perpetuates a cycle of self-loathing followed by planning followed by…. It’s vicious.

All of this preparation is my sanity, in a way. So here I am, once again, and now I’m putting an end to the cycle with the realization that I’m great at identifying what I want and planning how to get it all. I make lists. I know what to do and how to do it.

But my execution sucks.

The over-achieving

I have identified the three main things I want from life. I’m pretty sure most women want these things too. I want to:

  1. be the best person I can be – to myself and my family
  2. have a successful career
  3. have a perfect body

I can totally plan how to do this. To be better. To be the best. But can I execute it without killing myself and everyone around me? Hell NO. So it’s not even worth discussing. Or thinking about. Or especially planning.

Thankfully I’m learning, with the help of my friends, how to be realistic. I have learned that I actually have and am these things. My husband loves me, my kids think I’m the best mother, in spite of my epic fails. And I work my ass off on my career. Success in all three arenas.

So here is what I have decided to do to make me feel better about me.

The new big, sweet dreams

The first thing I am going to do is give myself a little wiggle room during the day and spend more quality time with my kids. Which means not planning quite so much during the week, and I’m going to forgive myself if some things take longer or I decide to do something else, and the listed tasks don’t get done. I’m not going to sit and stare at my list and fret about it. Will I keep re-writing my lists? Oh hell yes. But I will use them as a gentle reminder about what I would like to accomplish, not what I HAVE to accomplish or I will simply cease surviving. I also am not working on the weekend anymore. It’s stressing me out. It’s stressing everyone out. And I need some time to do fun things I like, so I can be a happy girl, a happy wife, a happy mom, and a success in my job.

The second thing I am going to do is get dressed. I hope you just laughed right out loud and peed your pants because I know it sounds funny, but when you stay at home, not getting dressed is an easy trap to fall into. I have deduced that women who work from home and get up in the morning and do something with themselves are more successful than those who sit in their pajamas. I’m not talking get up and put on your best suit. But get up and get dressed. Wear something that is comfortable, but that you could wear to a casual office. Something you wouldn’t be embarrassed to present yourself in. This is hard for me because I keep buying a series of the same t-shirts from Old Navy, which I loved at first, but are no longer fashionable, and are making me feel pretty damn dumpy right about now. Work aside, if you are like me, you are balancing work and running errands like grocery shopping and transporting your kids around. There are opportunities everywhere, and you don’t want to miss them. One key to success is being prepared to talk about yourself and tell people what you do. I missed what could have been a valuable opportunity the other day because I wasn’t feeling like I looked up to par. So say it with me ladies, when it’s work time NO MORE SWEATPANTS! and I mean any kind of work or errand running – paid or unpaid.

The last thing I am going to do is focus less on beauty perfection. I’m focusing on health. Eating right, moving my body a few times a week and doing it with the intention of just feeling good. And I’m going to remember to take my multivitamin. That is what I can commit to now.

So there you have it. My plan to not plan to be an over-achieving organized disaster. To be realistic in life and in my endeavors. Have I given it too much thought? Perhaps. But I give it to you so maybe I can keep you from being an organized disaster yourself.

Do you have something you would like to contribute? I want to hear from you! Use the comment form or send me an email.

*This post was inspired by the writers and ladies who contribute at the Curvy Girl Guide, especially this post about creating a home office, which was one of the first I read.*