Is this flamingo tacky and trashy or fun and amazing? That’s up to you. I think you know where I stand already. Beauty is in the eye of the blog reader (it’s on you to enjoy my writing… you came here).
I noted that I’ve been having problems adding a morning brush to my and my children’s life (we have a night brush routine, we aren’t monsters! Well maybe a little, for isn’t every man a monster deep in their heart?).
I’ve noted that I’ve been having problems consistently taking breaks.
I’ve been doing really well overall on my goals, putting connection first, disciplining my daughter, sticking to a schedule so she knows what is coming (so we all do), organizing our school work a bit better (we are year round so it ain’t over yet baby).
My wonderful sister pointed out I don’t have a writing goal yet, and she does… she has an amazing goal of writing a short weekly poem. I love it, but I didn’t want to put anything else on my plate while I’m still not secure in 1. Morning Tooth Brushes 2. Breaks 3. Organizing the School, since I’ve been doing well with but just started exercise at 10 AM, inbox zero in the morning and I’m contemplating breaking the entire day into 25 minute sections inspired by T25.
Then I read Allie Brosh’s book Hyperbole and a Half, I haven’t ever laughed that much in a 24 hour period.
My husband thought I was crying and didn’t check on me at all, he just mentioned it on his way to work later that he heard me crying for hours in the morning. What an asshole. But I wasn’t actually crying, so I guess it’s fine.
After reading the book I felt I needed more Allie Brosh and checked out her blog. She hasn’t updated since 2013 when her younger sister and only sibling, died. Since then she also got divorced, moved and got remarried, worked on a second book, and was active online but not on the blog.
But somehow that wasn’t enough for me… I get it about Allie being busy, but I need more of Allie’s comics, so much so that I plan to counterfeit them somewhat for my own purposes. It’s primarily for therapy and much less to be more popular, I’m actually already more popular than my reclusive soul feels it needs to be.
One problem is I’m not as good at drawing as Allie, if you’ve seen her work you may be surprised, but damn it, that’s the truth. It’s going to take me a while to get that good. She portrays the body language and facial expressions so well, as soon as I see the image it brings me into the emotion, I would say it’s the American version of German Expressionist-ism. Also, Japanese art has Sumi-e: trying to convey the living essence of a life form as simply as possible, her art does that for me. People mock it, but it has a simple essence that I find very refined in its own way. You know when you see it that it’s Allie, not Rage Comic (which I also love). Some art does too much to get to the same place something simpler would have done.
Anyways, it’s going to be a mission getting to that level artistically for me.
I found the drawing tablet I want to struggle to set up, painfully, and slowly learn how to use and then use to do my own Blomics, it’s $55, which is something I’ll have to wait for, but not so long.
In the meantime, I have no reason I can’t write the storyline, brainstorm ideas, and draw rough sketches (except procrastination, poor boundaries, and conflicting priorities).
I used to think that my irreverent taste would bring me down as a blogger, but I didn’t really know much about people, nor blogs, back then.
After a year of serious-y posts, I have about 100 more followers than I would be satisfied with (about 100, I’m really okay with 0-3), Allie has something insane like 57 million. Her blog was active from 2009-2013.
Not to say, I’m for sure going to have 56,000,900 more followers in 4 years from now by turning my irreverent side up to volume 14, but it gives me permission to give myself permission to work on passion projects I’ve wanted to do, but been afraid to do. And it gives me a reason to let my husband, who doesn’t check on me when he thinks I’m crying for hours in the other room, redeem himself by buying me a $55 drawing tablet… (I hate spending his money, but we honestly both invest in the family from time to time, really I think it’s fair, I saved him a lot teaching the kids to swim this year).
I now have a small writing goal: write a small comic a week.
Which is possibly a horrible idea, since I have 3 shaky habits and easily get overwhelmed. I may have to give up caring about our teeth… not sure yet.
I think I can merge my Fun with Feeling Fridays with some kind of comics to get started on the new goal (maybe next week).
Going to take a break and feed the kids lunch, hopefully be back to finish later.
Full disclosure, I made an entire bag of hash browns and ate 90% of them myself and I’m not ashamed.
I think it would be wise to stop trying to add a morning tooth brush routine right now. I maybe we do a morning brush and possibly that will influence the kids to do it, but I just am not willing to do extra wrestling with the kids right now.
My life with the kids is at the limits of unpleasantness I can tolerate. I love them, but I don’t love making their breakfast, lunch, dinner, taking them swimming (putting on sunblock) opening the pool, going in the pool, closing the pool, playing games with them in the pool, I already don’t love brushing their teeth at night, I can’t really tolerate the morning without going insane. I was just lying to the dentist when I said I would do two brushes, it wasn’t an intentional lie, but it was a lie that I was trying to sell to myself.
I can’t do two brushes, I’m so bored flossing them, I’m so unmotivated to work towards dental hygiene with a daughter who already has 6 cavities that we are just arresting development off until her teeth fall out. My son fights me and I hate using physical force to do something that causes him pain and anxiety, when in all likelihood he will get cavities later anyways. My dentist told me it’s largely genetic disposition that causes cavities, the best brusher in the family is often the one with the most cavities.
When I filled out my son’s dental form it said “reason for visit” I wrote “social pressure,” I don’t have the ability to pretend I care about dental hygiene beyond a simple brush your teeth everyday. Whatever enthusiasm I ever had has been over extended by the difficulty of brushing a babies teeth while his sister demands an insane amount of recognition for a mundane activity I honestly could care less about day in and day out.
I tried to get my husband to take over years ago since I recognize I’m not the best dental hygiene coach in the world, but he cares even less to be a dental hygiene coach or make sure his spouse is not over extended. He has a lot of belief in me that I won’t crack from being overworked or abandon the family, I don’t have as much of that belief, I sometimes count the days until I could potentially escape (only 16.5 more years! mostly done).
Sometimes I imagine myself as a homeless kung fu drifer from a kung fu movie, even though I’ve never seen a female one. Sometimes as Simba from Lion King when he was living in the jungle.
Anyways, this is the best I’ve ever been at balancing my needs, my identity, my children’s needs, our families well being, and my children’s education. And for me, the secret was breaking down the day into one hour time frames to worry about.
PARENTAL SURVIVAL TIME (7 – 8 AM)
7 – 8AM My only goal is not to be bothered and to have coffee. When I get angry before 8 AM it’s hard to ever recover. If I can make it until 8 AM things go better.
8 AM – 9 AM Minimum goal feed the kids breakfast, moderate be nice and feed them breakfast, maximum teach language vocabulary during breakfast be nice and feed the kids breakfast. Fun Fun Elmo (Youtube Mandarin Learning Program) helps me teach Chinese, it’s pretty damn fun.
HELICOPTER PARENT TRIATHLON TIME (9 – NOON)
9 AM – 10 AM School time, 1 hour may seem like too much for some families and way too little for others, it’s really near the maximum my daughter can pay attention so anything more just becomes disappointing for me and frustrating for her. Minimum goal the letter of the day, choose a word of the day, one multiplication fact, moderate goal discussions about seasons, science, how mathematics is applied, reading together, review of math facts, maximum goal a cohesive lesson on some topic which seems relevant to life such as economics, life values, or ethics.
10 AM -11 AM Exercise, I’m almost always behind schedule by this time. But my workout is 30 minutes, so as long as I get my daughter started on what she chooses (ballet, alphabet exercise, Just Dance) I can catch up here.
11 AM – 12 NOON Swimming, this is where I either give a swim lesson (like today) or lay on the side of the pool and stare at my kids getting a mini break. Going swimming after exercise means I don’t have to shower at all instead of showering twice. I don’t know why. I will shower at night, but if I don’t swim after exercising I shower after exercising and swimming and shower three times. I guess if I’m gross enough to not shower after exercising, not showering after swimming seems fine?
GROWING BITTERNESS TIME (12 – 5 PM)
12 – 1 PM Lunch, I hate making and serving food and I hate eating around kids, so it’s a difficult time, since breakfast took most of my fake good will about cooking or feeding children.
1 PM – 2 PM Music, it’s the only thing I do with my kids that is fun for me too on a regular basis. I feel guilty that I hate almost all the service activities I do with my kids, tooth brushing, discipline, meals, ext, but it is what it is. I can steal a break here if I need one, music is rewarding and enjoyable, but I’m as okay with a 10 minute music time as I am with 20 minutes, 45 minutes or an hour so it’s a good catch up time as is the exercise hour.
2 PM – 3 PM Mummy and me time, I try to be nice during this time if I do more than this that’s fine, but if not I don’t feel guilty, because at least I gave what I could. I give my daughter as much attention as I can, I start late sometimes, but I usually end late and give her the hour. That’s pretty close to the most intimacy I can handle in a day, it just is.
3 PM – 4 PM Japanese lessons and catch up, going okay, very flexible because I’m starting to be tired by this time and also I know I already did a lot so I’m not desperate to “do enough” to make life count.
4PM – 5 PM Dinner, we have to eat early so we can be done and brush teeth before I fall apart from fatigue.
COMPLETE SPIRITUAL SURRENDER (6 PM – 9 PM)
6 PM – 7 PM The kids have free time, I am so tired I barely care what happens. I feel this way if I did 0 things for them all day or 100, I just always have nothing left at this time.
7 PM – 8 PM The kids dad usually spends time with them, which is great, if he doesn’t I don’t, I can’t even at this time. If possible I’ll put the younger child to sleep, but not if I have to do anything hard.
8 PM – 9 PM I become an anti-fun Nazi, no lights, no loudness, no laughter, yes love, yes math review tablets with the night light setting on… it’s a hack, you form memories best before sleep, so watching math before bed is worth more than math at any other time. It could potentially be labeled secret school. It’s math or nothing, so the kids don’t complain about watching math, which is a privilege in our house. The tablets get taken away when I can no longer stand the kids being awake anymore or at 8:50, I repeat a quote to them, give them two kisses and two hugs, I don’t even have 1 extra hug left in me at this point, but sometimes I give 1 bonus kiss. There is absolutely no way I could do a bath and book at night, I’m dead at 8 PM and running on fumes at 9 PM and my husband don’t give a damn about bedtime book or bath either. But I end the day with a nice quote at least. “Darkness cannot drive out the darkness,” I say, my daughter replies “only light can do that,” “hate cannot drive out hate” I say, “only love can do that,” my daughter replies and falls asleep. And in that in that moment they go to sleep I love them again as if I had never secretly hated them for asking more questions than I wanted to answer during the day.
PARTY TIME (9 – 10 PM)
9 PM – 10 PM I love my kids again, and fall asleep wanting to pay attention to my husband, but rarely actually doing so.
So, it’s a bit crazy to me that I’m going to start a writing goal while I feel like there is already too much on my plate, but I guess I am?
Life is for living on the edge (of exhaustion)! Woo!
Anyways, I feel like we all do our best and Friday is a good day to celebrate what we did get done and hope for what we would like to do next week without being too “realistic” about the details. Let’s be dreamers again for just one day a week?
What are you hoping to do next week? Nothing is fine, it’s completely fine, but if it’s something here’s a space to share.
What’s in there?