Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just Let Me Lie Down...

Awhile back I was reading Real Simple magazine, and I saw that the editor had written a book called "Just Let Me Lie Down - Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom." "I'll bet that's funny," I thought. "I might have to read that one."

Lo and behold a few weeks later I learned that Silicon Valley Moms Blog was reading this book for their April book club and I signed up as quickly as possible.** Shortly after, I began to get nervous. I felt like an impostor because I am not a working mom. Would I relate to the book? How would I find anything to write about?

My nerves were for no good reason, because what I took away from this book was a feeling of connection. Turns out, a lot of the terms necessary for the half-insane working mom work for a half-insane stay at home mom as well.


"Fight Club: The secret society your children belong to that requires them to spontaneously pinch, punch or otherwise provoke one another whenever you are in a hurry to get out of the house..."

Universal to working and stay at home mom's for sure. I have to wonder what on earth is so hard about grabbing a backpack and lunchbox (on the days I have myself together enough to pack my kids' lunches) walk to the car, get inside and buckle up. I wonder why I bother to say "boys, keep your hands to yourselves," because really it is futile. In addition to the fight club behavior, my 4 boys like to circle around the van, open the back door and climb in that way, aka "trunk dive." Once in the car, the punching and pinching begin again.

"Just Let Me Lie Down: A request... that, by the nature of its constant presence and persistence, has formed a path around your brain... 'I am dreading that work meeting today... oh, just let me lie down.'"

Okay, I don't have work meetings, but my line is "I just want to sleep." Because in a blissful state of sleep I wouldn't have fight clubs and kids running circles,and more housework than should be legal with no desire to do it. I understand the sentiment well.

But my favorite line in the whole book comes from the term for the half-insane working (or not) mom "Pie Chart of You." The line that resonated with me was "...and if you are spending time doing one thing, you are just stealing hours from something else." That just sums it all up for me. Right this minute I am typing this post in lieu of many other responsibilities I must complete today. I intended to do it earlier, but three phone calls stole the time I had then. I could have also been cleaning my kids' pigpens bedrooms, or the playroom, or the garage or a multitude of other items on my to do list that should be checked off today. Yet, if I were doing that right this minute, I would feel remiss that I wasn't instead playing with my preschoolers, or writing this ahead of time enough to proofread it before the deadline. Later, I will volunteer at my big boys' school, which will take time away from more chores. You see what always loses? The housework will always come last, I guess.

In conjunction with this book club, I was able to sit in on a conference call with Kristin van Ogtrop and the other Silicon Valley Moms Group regional bloggers. The topic revolved around ambivalence and when you stay home a part of you feels like you should be working, but the opposite is also true. That as moms of any variety our lives are crazy (but we kind of like the crazy), and that no matter where we are in terms of working or staying at home there is no right decision, only what is right for our individual families. Thank you Kristin, for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us! Even though I didn't say anything, being on that call made my whole day!

**I received this book free from the publisher as part of Silicon Valley Moms April book club.

Be sure to head over to Deep South Moms on Friday morning to check out the rest of the posts responding to "Just Let Me Lie Down."

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