Martha Stewart only has ONE kid

I’m currently deep in the throes of Trying To Do It All with a side of Why Yes, I Am Suzy Homemaker and a dash of Impossibly High Standards on top. I get like this every time I face a new year/life change/burst of energy and end up driving myself crazy in the process. But that doesn’t stop me from trying. It’s especially bad right now because I’ve combined the pressure of Starting Over In The New Year with the pressure to act like I have my act together as Mother of Two. And don’t get me started on how insane the constant barrage of DIET DIET DIET LOSE WEIGHT YOU’RE SO FAT JOIN A GYM DIET DIET EAT MORE FIBER EAT LESS FOOD GET YOUR BODY BACK from the television makes me. Someday maybe I’ll write a whole post on why exactly that kind of talk is so dangerous (not just in general but for me personally), but for now lets just say I’m enjoying my final 3 weeks of birth/labor recovery before I’m even ALLOWED to work out and not worrying about getting anything “back”. Besides my clean floors, clean bathrooms, clean fridge, clean pantry, organized closets, organized shelves, mopped kitchen, vacuumed floors, etc etc etcetcetcetc. ETC. I would like those back. Because despite the fact that what I really want to be doing is napping, I am instead framing artwork for a new grouping in our formal living room and making menu plans for hypothetical play dates. (NO REALLY, I WAS DOING THAT TODAY.)

Of course, as I write this my toddler is stomping on his lunch (and by lunch I mean pizza flavored Goldfish I threw in his general direction around 2 pm), I’m wearing yoga pants, dinner isn’t started and I’m on my fourth caffeinated beverage of the day.

So clearly, I’m not setting the bar TOO high.

What I mean is I’ve decided to become the kind of person who never lets laundry pile up, whose bathrooms are always clean, who makes dinner from scratch (or at least doesn’t order pizza) every night, who never raises her voice or gets frustrated with her children, who wears clothes that fit and loses all the baby weight within two months, thanks to 4 times a week workouts to which I am never late. I will change the very essence of my being and 28 years of habits and nevermind the fact that I have never not even once made this kind of commitment stick for more than just a few days. THIS TIME will be different.

Basically, really, I’ve decided to FAIL. I’m going to stay on top of things for exactly two days and then spend the next two months beating myself up about it. I am going to have exactly one person over for one play date where I provide healthy snacks and a clean carpet and charming conversation and wear real pants. But as soon as they go home I will collapse on the couch and change into pajamas and stuff my face with brownies and yell at my toddler and order pizza for dinner and leave the box on the floor.

Because honestly, that’s the kind of mother I am. Laid-back. Which is a nice way of saying lazy. Or maybe I’m just a little overwhelmed right now.

It would be so much better for everyone if I just tried to do SOME stuff instead of EVERYTHING. Set reasonable goals, like one load of laundry a day or loading the dishwasher every night or cooking 4 nights a week. Gee, that sounds so reasonable and do-able and normal. Clearly not something I am at ALL interested in being. Why would I possible want to avoid an opportunity to beat myself up about how I suck at motherhood?


p.s. My attempts at perfect have been thwarted EVEN SOONER than I could have predicted, thanks to what seems to be yet another kidney infection. Instead of making the dinners I planned and shopped for I’m forcing my family to forage for microwave popcorn and apples while I lie on the couch moaning through chills and a 102 fever. Which is why this post is super whiny – it’s hard to be funny when it feels like someone kicked you repeatedly in the back with steel toed boots.

p.p.s. I’m calling the doctor today. They were closed yesterday due to the snow and unless I am in so much pain I can’t function I’m trying to avoid the emergency room. Not super fun with a 3 week old.

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15 Responses to “Martha Stewart only has ONE kid”

  1. MKP says:

    oh man – I am SO so very like you in terms of the REVOLUTIONARY LIFE instead of the SMALL BUT MANAGEABLE CHANGES. Be good to you, because we love you and stuff.

    Also, I will be one trillion Schrutebucks that when Martha started her homemaking empire her daughter was grown already. This is why we never see Martha Stewart making awesome baby tutus or eating pizza goldfish even though everyone knows those are the very best goldfish.

    • Brigid Keely says:

      Yeah, she did. Because before then, she was busy being a model, being a stock broker, running a catering business, and doing all kinds of incredibly awesome OTHER stuff.

  2. hmmm you make this two kid thing seem like a BREEZE ;) But really, I’m sure you are doing a fantastic job. No one actually expects a new mama to TWO to have it all figured out. Do they? Oh please say no.

    Since the recent pregnancy and birth of your second my uterus decided it was lonely so now I am knocked up with my 9mo in tow. Not that I’m blaming you and your cute babies or anything. Not at ALL ;)

  3. Kitty Conner says:

    Yes, and Martha Stewart’s one child mocks her, publicly and viciously. And calls her Martha, not mom. And has been in therapy for yeeearrrrs. And has cleanliness, food and exercise issues.

    Also, husband divorced her.

    So, your yoga pants, goldfish, pizza orders, dirt, time, attention and love? So much more important to your kids. And husband.

    (BTW – hypothetical menu planning should be a recognized Olympic Sport. I would totally medal. And let you share my podium as they play the national anthem.)

  4. bellegourmande says:

    I have so much to say in response to your post that I don’t even know where to begin! I’ll try to organize my thoughts coherently ;).

    Girl, stop beating yourself up! You have two kids under two! And you are doing a FANTASTIC job of being a mom to them. Who the hell cares about new year’s resolutions? Screw ’em! Also, who the hell cares if your house is clean, laundry’s done, food is cooked every night, etc. Yes, it would be nice to be able to be on top of all that stuff, but honestly, the only people who are are either a) women with super powers, b) people who have paid help and well, I guess, c) people whose moms live with them ;).

    I hate that January always brings out that barrage of ads and such bullying people about losing weight, etc. Don’t even get me started. You just had a baby! You look fantastic! I could go on and on….

    Anyways, I think that if you want to make any sort of new year’s resolution (and I say this as much for my benefit as yours) that it should be to be less hard on yourself! Being more like Martha Stewart is super overrated, as many have pointed out already. You are Suzanne–mom to two beautiful kids, excellent crafter, overflowing with creativity, friendly, full of positive energy, and a hoot to read every day. So your house is a little messy, so be it!

    I am so sorry to hear that you’ve got another kidney infection, and hope that you can finally get that all healed up. Keep us posted!

  5. raincheckmom says:

    BTW I hate Martha Stewart…

  6. In lieu of a longer comment, I will say this: YOU are awesome.

  7. Natalie says:

    Give yourself a break! My house is never fully clean, there are mountains of laundry always awaiting to be folded (luckily, we like wrinkles around here) I never feel like I have anything done and it is a constant uphill battle. BUT: I have TWO KIDS and I am their sole caregiver 75% of the time and I need to remember that. And so do you.

    We’ll do laundry and clean the house when they go to college. AFTER our nap. You’re an awesome mama and you will find your groove and get into it (just like Madonna said).

    “Hello kettle? This is pot! You’re Black.” hehe

  8. merin says:

    If it makes you feel better, I fed Cora oyster crackers for lunch. And I only have one kid. And I think she had oyster crackers as 70% of her dinner last night. And I am debating giving her more now to keep her busy while the meat loaf cooks.

  9. Barbra says:

    You are a remarkable woman. I know it, and more importantly, your husband knows it and your babies know it. You are far more together with TWO babies than I am with ONE baby. I had a pretty gnarly day with Mr. McScreamerson who decided he would rather sit in his bouncy chair than with me but you know what? I think I’m doing okay anyway. We all are, in our own way.

  10. Audrey says:

    Your kidney needs a time out in the naughty chair, my friend. I feel much the same as you do. I have somehow managed to stay on top of the laundry – although putting it away is another issue – and the only reason we don’t have dishes piling up is because Christopher has dish duty after dinner. My house is so messy it drives me nuts. Chris says I’m being too picky…the man is clearly blind.

  11. Brigid Keely says:

    Ugh ugh ugh, I’m so so sorry you’re having health problems.

    Instead of doing big grand resolutions this year (well, I did make ONE resolution– to make and eat more pie), I’m viewing each individual week as a chance to inculcate good habits. This current week’s good habits include washing all the dishes and cleaning off the stove before bed (doing really well!), making a meal plan and cooking every meal (fell apart the last few days because Nesko’s work schedule changed, but we’ve mostly kept it up), and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables (totally nailed this one). And if we totally screw up, no problem! Each new week is a new start!

    I really hate both the January flood of YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH! REPENT AND LOSE WEIGHT! as well as the “getcher pre baby body back in just 2 weeks with our easy 4 hour a day work out IF YOU DO NOT DO THIS YOU ARE A FAILURE!!!!” things. Both are incredibly harmful. And here’s the thing: You will never, ever, ever get your “pre baby body” back. Never. Your body is permanently changed forever. Your pubic bones are notched. Your joints are different. Your abdominal muscles are different. You are changed FOREVER. I wish media would push gaining strength, stamina, flexibility, and a joy of movement instead of YOUR BODY SUCKS AND YOU SUCK ARGLE BLARGLE BLARRRRRRRRGH. And while we’re at it, I wish I had a winged pony that shat gold.

  12. let me tell you something true: NO ONE really and truly can do it all, all of the time. even the ones who seem completely and perfectly together at all times have sloppy moments & freakouts just like the rest of us. reasonable goals are fantastic & you can build on them, but never feel like you can/have to handle everything all the time!

    i’ve personally been in a really fantastic groove recently where i’m staying on top of things at a rate i’m proud of: i wear makeup and real clothes 7 days per week, i do the dishes every day, pick up our apartment daily, give poppy a bath more than once per week, rarely raise my voice to the kidlet out of anger, keep a decent amount of groceries stocked in my kitchen, and make an honest effort to be really nice to david every day when he comes home, even if i’m feeling stressed. all while keeping up with my shop’s demands! yay! this all sounds great, right?

    yeah. it is! and i do feel proud! but? also? my car hasn’t been washed since it was purchased 6ish months ago, inside or out; the backseat is starting to look like i could be a future guest on ‘hoarders’. i only wash my hair every 3-4 days (dry shampoo & cute headbands are my bff’s.) i take hooker baths using baby wipes when i don’t have time to shower. i sweep crumbs under the fridge and pile unsorted laundry into the bedroom (no where near the vicinity of the basket) (because i know david will do it for me) (i friggin’ HATE laundry.) the only way i can normally product a decent, homemade dinner at the end of the day is to basically get nothing accomplished for myself all day, which leaves me feeling frustrated… so we’ve been eating a lot of ramen recently. better yet, at least one night per week my dinner consists of a rum & diet & a bag of popcorn with a completely irresponsible amount of jhonny’s seasoning. i get a coffee or chai from a drive thru at least 4 times per week, even though it’s not very financially reasonable on my budget… and it’s not uncommon for me to leave the empty cups rotting in my car because i can NOT carry them along with my craft totes, diaper bag, and 23 pound toddler so david PLEASE STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES AT ME WHEN YOU FIND THE EMPTIES AND JUST BE A DEAR AND THROW THEM AWAY FOR ME MMMKAY??!

    the moral of my ramble is, these things are not lazy. they are NORMAL. and you know what? i would much rather admit my shortfalls and feel happy with what i DO get right on the daily, than worry myself to death trying to “have it all”. because, really, we already DO have it all – healthy, smart kiddos who make us laugh every day, husbands we still flirt with, a sound roof over our heads and oh so much more! you are a FANTASTIC person AND mama, and i truly hope you fully realize that. here’s to keeping it real! POW!!!


  13. Gretchen says:

    My husband totally laughed at me one day when I told him I was going to change into something more comfortable (ie my pj bottoms)… I was already wearing sweatpants. Most of the time, I think wearing yoga pants every day is something to celebrate. And then there are days (like today) where putting on the same sweatpants to do the same thing all day again makes me feel like I’m going crazy. Alas, it’s winter. And like any job, some days are better than others. But a kidney infection with two small ones? That’s not good at all. Really hope you feel better very, very soon.

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