"Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one'."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The REAL Housewives of King County

We've been wondering, as we approach our four month blogging anniversary, if this adventure is shaping up the way we saw it in our heads (which are full of lofty ambitions). We are truly enjoying ourselves, but question whether we are being our REAL selves or the censored selves that won't get us in trouble. Do we dare rip that pretty, sparkly, ruffled curtain away from the true, disheveled, missed-my-shower, got frustrated after cleaning up spilt milk for the third time in 20 minutes mommy hiding behind it. Something that sparked this conversation in us was another blog: Single Dad Laughing and his post regarding perfection. At this point in the post, we say, strap yourselves in readers...it's gonna be a bumpy ride!

Hi, my name is Sarah and I'm a mess. I am not SuperMom.
Our garbage can is always the last to be pulled up (as in, on Wednesday it was still down there... trash got picked up on Saturday). I'm seldom caught up on the laundry and even if I can get it done and folded, it almost never gets promptly put away. I'm a compulsive vacuumer, but hate to dust... I'd rather just not look at surfaces I know need dusting. (I don't spend a lot of time near the piano.) I hate a dirty car interior and mine, right now, is trashed. It smells like spoiled milk and I have no doubt that a rogue sippy cup is the culprit. There are crushed goldfish and animal crackers everywhere, the car seats are sticky, and the passenger seat window is covered in dog slobber from Emma's trips to the dog park. I totally get why some people don't allow eating in the car, but we're always in a hurry (because I hate being late). I fed the kids breakfast at Safeway on Tuesday because I didn't have time to feed them before leaving to purchase my "main dish" contribution for brunch at MOPS (bags of bagels and cream cheese).

I'm always among the first of our friends and family to put up the tree and mail the Christmas cards--not this year. Yesterday Haley said, "Mom can we PLEASE put up our Christmas tree like everybody else???" in a very exasperated voice. My cooking, my kitchen time, a place I love to be, doing a thing I love to do, is being seriously neglected [if you've wondered if I cook what you see on the blog everyday...the answer is no]. Feeding and cleaning up 'kid food' seems to consume 80% of my day already and we ain't talkin' about gourmet fare (insert Rachael Ray diatribe here)--pancakes, eggs, bowls of cereal, chicken nuggets, or grilled cheese.

The kids know my husband is the one who plays, because he can play. Somehow I find myself consumed with the bills, cleaning, cooking, cleaning (my God the cleaning never stops), the shopping (ALL the shopping, for everything), picking up dog poop, cleaning, and feeding the darn dogs so they can keep producing dog poop, laundry (which should be included in cleaning but for five people and two dogs is really a category all by itself), decorating, worrying...all the time...about everything, because Doug's fantastically laid-back personality grants him the ability to be relaxed and worry-free. And I have no idea how to rediscover my joy, savor the little moments, when I am so totally overwhelmed.

...And, now for bachelorette number two:

Hi, my name is Lindsay and my kids watch TV.
I DO NOT have it all under control and I DO NOT have all the answers. Mommy guilt consumes me on a daily basis...Did I read to them enough? Did I listen when they talked to me? Did I feed them a healthy enough meal? I feel like I am constantly cleaning up a 'food mess' and the laundry is quickly becoming a task I despise. I have told Dan on several occasions that we might have to start having naked Sundays because it is SO dissatisfying to wash, dry, fold, and put all the clothes away only to head into the closet with the empty basket and find more dirty clothes on the floor waiting to be washed! UGH! I have what seems like a never ending list on my kitchen counter at all times. As things get crossed off, others get added. The thing that really breaks my heart is that I hear the phrase, "Mama, you want to play with me?" about every two minutes and the answer I hear myself spit out more often than not is "just a minute" or "hold on while I ...". Maybe once every couple hours is my answer, "Yes. Let's play!" The conclusion that I have come to is that this mama thing is HARD and you can't possibly accomplish everything on your list everyday if you also want to have fun and love on your kids (and don't get me started on having the energy at the end of the day to spend time with my husband...unless it involves falling asleep on the couch while trying to catch up on our DVR).

My guess [hope] is, since Sarah's note and mine sound pretty similar, that maybe we all feel this way? That maybe we're not alone? That maybe we all experience mommy guilt? That maybe we all have that terrible day that makes you feel like a failure? That maybe this IS the hardest job...

When it comes to the blogging part, I wonder if I've let my real voice lead my posts. I was a writer/editor for a school district for five years before babies. In that job, professionalism, grammatical excellence, and NON-OPINION were drilled into my head on a daily basis. Every time I start writing a post I go into it with all these silly, funny, maybe a little taboo or OPINIONATED ideas running around in my head and then...it comes out like a professionally written school newsletter meant to offend no one and maybe isn't actually what I wanted to say at all.

So, can we be real?
Maybe you won't like who we really are...
...but maybe you will.
Maybe we're exactly like you.

We recognize that we are getting our feet wet and learning the ropes as we go. We realized and discussed when we started that we were not choosing to do this anonymously and how would that look on the page. How would we tell our story without sounding ungrateful or disrespectful or gripey (I made that word up-go with it) at times? How do you talk about your true life, your true self, your kids, your daily struggles...when you know your mother-in-law or mother or grandmother is reading this? Which brings an interesting question about how REAL we really are. If we're being honest with everyone in our lives, then what we write shouldn't come as a surprise.

The blog so far is a pretty accurate representation of who we want to be, but maybe not a totally accurate representation of the day-to-day. We started this process in search of who we are, wanting to be known, wanting our voices to be heard. Coming to the end now...hoping we've enlightened you on our un-perfectness.

Looking ahead, here's what to expect...
Will we still have yummy recipes that make your mouth water? Yes
Will we still feature Lindsay's [hate this word:] crafts? Yes
Will we still be silly? Yes
Will we still be passionate about pointless pop culture? Yes
Will we still share stories about our adventures in parenting? Yes

Will we be real? Yes



  1. This is, by far, my favorite post you have done. I have found myself, on more than one occassion, comparing myself to the "perfect" mommy's I know and coming up short. Thanks for your honesty. Cheers!

  2. I have never loved your words more or felt more connected to them than I did today. Thank you.

  3. I think you were spying on me! =) This is my world too and it's nice to know others are there with me! Also, I have to tell you the other day Ellory asked me to play and I said "Hold on...", she responded, "To what?".

  4. Sarah and Lindsay,
    Great Blog...I've loved seeing the clever things Lindsay comes up with when scrap booking,(even shared some with my sister in laws) I am not one myself but am amazed at those that do it. Sarah, I've tasted your cooking and you are quite talented to say the least. It is intimidating when you see other Moms and think they have it all together, so it was nice to see you two are your average Mommy's! Thanks again for sharing-

  5. Hi... I often read your blog mostly because I like seeing the cute ideas. I have a little one and work full time as an elementary teacher and life is crazy. Usually when I see your posts I end up feeling like a terrible mom because I don't get to do any of those cute and fun things with my little girl... I just don't have the time or energy. This was the most real post I have read... Thank you.