It’s entirely likely that I’m the most annoying person on the planet to live with, not only because I belt out Rod Stewart songs while The Daver is in a bad mood for the sole purpose of annoying him, or because I kept forgetting that the toothbrush in the downstairs medicine cabinet was NOT, in fact, MINE, but actually NOT mine, and I used it over and over anyway, but because I borrow guilt.

(also, I use run-on sentences because I think they are whimsical and fun and WHEE!)

I’ve mentioned it here before, and it’s true, I’m the person cowering in the tampon aisle as the Very Important Security Guard hunts down an underage smoker wondering if I’ve accidentally started smoking again and also become 12. Or maybe I’ve stolen a Baby Jesus from a manger display or the diamond from the old lady in Titanic or I don’t know what.

Guilt issues, I’m guilty until proven innocent.

I work really hard on not self-flagellating too much when I can help it, but I’m a master of biting off more than I can chew and not only doing it all, but being all Super Becky Overachiever about it.

But lately, I’ve just sort of given up on being able to do it all and I’ve let a lot more slip than I noticed and it wasn’t until this weekend that I finally took a look around and saw all that I had turned a deaf eye to.

What I saw made me really, really sad.

Sad for myself because I’ve created these impossible standards and while I like to be all “shit, bitch I’ve got this motherfucker covered,” I don’t and I can’t and I’ve tapped out all the possible help that I can.

And really I’m sad because I don’t really like to imagine that anything that I have under my care is getting less than what it deserves.

I know that a good deal of my problems are that the medicine I’ve been taking for my headaches make me feel like a glistening plate of buttholes and the narcotics knock me out and leave me swimming through my day.

I seem to be emerging from the other side of the fog, which gives me hope that I’ll be able to be all “shit, bitch I’ve got this motherfucker covered,” and mean it.

This weekend, I rolled up my sleeves and got all down in it and got a lot of what needed to get taken care of done and I know that I’ll get a handle on the rest and will be back to scrubbing the toilet the cat’s butt my own pearly chompers with Dave’s toothbrush by accident again.

I’m trying desperately not to punch myself in the face for allowing things to get so bad because I really have been feeling like a steaming load of ass and really, a face beating doesn’t really accomplish much besides give me some rockin’ black eyes, and just learn from my mistakes: I cannot possibly be everything to everyone.

I must find some balance.

I must also find some new storage bins and perhaps some clothes that fit.

But don’t worry. My run-on sentences and over-active guilt complex are going nowhere.

How do you find balance? Do you find balance? Is that impossible? Can I BUY balance? Not like, balance bars, because those are really kind of not my thing.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

119 Responses to While I Was Out

  • JennK says:

    Dude. If you figure it out let me know. In trying to find balance in my own life, I have gained 40 pounds. Turns out, balance involved baking bread.

  • Quiet Dreams says:

    I am learning to find balance as I learn to be nice to myself. Like saying to myself, “You’re doing fine,” instead of, “What were you THINKING?!?!?!? You’re such a fuckup!?!?!?”

    This is difficult for me, as it goes against everything I have been trained to do and everything I have been taught to think (thanks, Mom!).

    Self-kindness. It’s the new self-flagellation.

  • Alex says:

    Balance is like the pursuit of happiness: It’s all in the pursuit, and the achievement of it tends to be temporary and all too fleeting.

    I tend to feel automatically closer to “balanced” when I’m on top of shit and have had several days of being on top of shit–even though the “you better fucking get on this right now” list is never, ever close to singled digits in length (seriously, there is no “to do” list in this household). On the other hand, when I’m run down (like now) and not on top of anything save my ever-fatter ass, the haze of panic sets in behind my eyes and my tendency is to deny, ignore and avoid until crisis and then I use the energy of crisis to jump start being on top of everything again. Terrible methodology and not recommended, but there it is. I commiserate.

    I’m sure the real answer is somewhere in eating right, sleeping more than 6 per, and exercise. Dammit.

  • Jennifer says:

    Some days, even weeks, go smoothly and everything gets accomplished. Some days, or even the occasional month, nothing gets done and I get pissed. I’m mad at myself for taking too much on and for not being able to do everything in the entire universe. I’m mad at everyone around me for not picking up the slack just one time in their freaking lives. I seem to tend more towards anger than guilt.

    Everything will get done. It has to. Just not on my timetable. It kind of sucks.

    I cope by making lists. And lists of lists. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t, but at least nothing gets forgotten indefinitely.

  • a says:

    I have balance. I don’t really care much for perfection. Now, whenever you find how to balance properly, I will be sending my husband to you. Because he’s all crazy about getting shit done RIGHT NOW! Because a piece of paper on the countertop is hideous and that recycling can’t possibly sit there overnight before going out into the garage when I leave for work.

    Anyway, I let some things wait for efficiency. I feel it’s stupid to put away the laundry when I’ve just put another load into the dryer. Now, if only I were efficient enough to empty the dryer right away…

  • bashtree says:

    I just moved from Richmond VA to Denver CO. I am finding balance among the boxes by reading your blog :)

    Seriously though…the clothes thing, I am SO THERE. It’s so hard to get anything done when none of my clothes fit and I am stuck in red fleece pants with dogs all over them. I feel massive amounts of guilt at the thought of buying new clothes, but yesterday I went and bought new clothes…and it’s making a big difference. I went the cheapy route – Target brand ‘fleece trousers’ aka very comfortable sweats that don’t have the annoying elastic on the cuff.’ It’s already made a world of difference.

    I hope The Balance will show up for you soon.

  • MK says:

    Um, hellooooo, you’ve read my most recent post – at least you commented, so I’m guessing you read it :p I do not have balance. Not even medicated balance right now. Therefore, I continue on, w/ the auto-pilot switch, until the magic happy fair comes and craps in my mouth while I sleep.

  • Caron says:

    You can get there, just redefine some things, which takes time, and commas, apparently.

    Redefine everything if you want. Be nice to yourself. There’s always a long line of people who would love to be mean to you – to any of us. Don’t be the first in line.

  • Stone Fox says:

    the only way that i am able to not go completely insane over everything is apply the Is Anyone Going to Die? test when things start piling up. Is Anyone Going to Die if i don’t sweep and mop *everyday*? nope. Is Anyone Going to Die if we have lame supper tonight? nope. Is Anyone Going to Die if i don’t fix that stair tread today that i ripped apart yesterday but didn’t have the proper clamps so i couldn’t glue it back together? they might. see? this one makes the to-do list.

    eventually, People Are Going to Die if you don’t sweep and mop, or take out the garbage, or clean the hellhole you call ‘bathroom’ so it all eventually gets to the top of the list.

  • I think they have something called Balance shoes…But I don’t think those will help either…And kind of ugly too. But to answer your question…Um, no – I don’t think I have balance. Certainly seeking it – but not found yet.

  • For me balance is about reasonable goals. Some days those goals include vacuuming, dusting the ceiling fans, folding the laundry, reading to the kids and preparing a hot meal from scratch. Some days those goals just involves everyone being unharmed at the end of the day. They don’t have to be happy or fed, just undamaged. The tricky part is knowing what goals to shoot for in the morning & being willing to swap them out as the day progresses. I have a to do list, my goal is not to accomplish everything on it but to just be aware of what is and is not done. Just knowing that makes me feel like I am in charge. I may have accomplished nothing but I can quantify that & that is balance for me

  • amber says:

    Balance? Now that’s funny. I apologize, but I have no idea how to find it – but it might be buried under my dirty clothes mountain.

    Cut yourself a little slack though – you’ve been dealing with “the pig” as my coworkers like to call it.

    And go buy some new clothes. New clothes always help.

  • Ms. Moon says:

    There is no balance. There is only running from one end of the see-saw to the other and I am sorry to be the one to tell you that. You do what you can at one end and then run like hell and what you can at the other.
    And so it goes.

  • Jennifer B says:

    I too seek this elusive “balance”. I have the “can’t get shit done” syndrome in a big way. Most days, I don’t feel like doing the shit, and I don’t even have migraines or medicine that makes me feel full of the awful. And on the days that I DO feel like doing shit, get myself all motivated and energized, the kids thwart my every move. Somehow my life has become overruled by a 3 year old and a 7 month old. I’m thinkin you know how that is. I, personally, am impressed that you take care of us, the Internet, so well since I can’t seem to write a blog post more than once a month. Not only that, but you keep us laughing, and occasionally tearing up, and answering our questions on a daily basis, with the freakin Swine Flu. Dammit, Becks, you’re making me look bad. Cut it out. Seriously.

  • Susan says:

    Shit, bitch. You totally have this motherfucker covered. If you can remember Rod Stewart lyrics and use them appropriately against your spouse then you are The Queen. If you still don’t feel better, come on over and I’ll pour some chardonnay and heat up some cheddar poppers.

  • Balance, like a clean toilet, is grossly overrated.

  • Chris says:

    The secret to balance is The Pot, when Im baked everything is gooood! And suddenly the list of chores isnt that overwhelming.

  • Kelly says:

    Dude, you are clumsy, there is no balance for clumsy people, you could get HURT! Be careful, balancing is not easy, especially when medicated.

  • Run on sentences are cool, though they tell you DON’T in school, but James Joyce was no one’s fool, nor that Proust guy even saoulSO I’m wondering after this, and the Nihongo toast-bliss, referenced at Blogesse (amiss?), following your wedding kiss… as for truth of mentioned toast? Be he (Daver) apt to boast? Or the weiner must it roast? Blushing (NOT) – it’s just a post…

  • Nyx says:

    Balance? Why the hell would you want that?

    It’s boring.

    But, things need to get done and whatnot anyways – this I understand. But Aunt Becky, you’re only one person. Take some “me” time – eat a chocolate bar. Try not to let it overwhelm ya. And do one thing at a time.

    At least, that’s what works for me. Although, I may not be the best advice giver… :-P

  • twojams says:

    The balance thing is elusive to me too. Sadly, I think the fourth leg of my chair (or third leg of my stool, or whatever) is time away, and that’s what I don’t allow myself often enough. I find that when I’ve been on a little vacation, or even just a morning out of the house, I come back feeling like I can handle everything. But because I don’t give myself those breaks frequently enough, I end up bogged down and frustrated and overthink every task on my mental to-do list. So I’m trying to figure out a good way to carve out some good chunks of time for myself on a regular basis. Trying…

  • Mom Wald says:

    Stone Fox is absolutely right! Did anyone die? No? Move’n on, Baby, move’n on.

    Okay, wait, we are ARE responsible, caring mothers. If your family feels loved, AND nobody died, then nothing else is that important.

  • Girl, I’m so buried right now I’ve gotten to that place that says “whatever dude, bring it on, one more thing added to my list is like spitting into the ocean, it makes little difference if you add a thing or take a thing away, I’m screwed no matter what”. And I’m a total loser for it. Everyone in Stepford is perfect or can at least pull off the appearance of perfect and I’m that girl whose car is always dirty, never returns the school’s mounds of paperwork on time (if at all), and every morning before school I’m always running around looking for someone a pair of clean socks, or underwear, or pants. My son said this morning, “You know, mom, PANTS are KINDA KEY.” Yeah dude, I know… my underwear are inside out so yesterday’s crust isn’t irritating my vulva. I get it.

    Then Big Daddy Boss chews my ass first thing this morning. I was all “take a number and get in line. My car is in the shop, the foundation of my house is slipping into the neighbor’s yard, I have a plumbing leak in my powder bath, and my mom is coming for Thanksgiving.” Sheesh. The ultra rich always think their hang nails are bigger than, you know, MY MOM or my HOUSE moving next door, or a little thing called MY CHILDREN.

    I don’t know how you do it, but you always bring out total honesty in me and make me cry while I’m commenting. And I love love love that about you.

    You have the rare ability to touch my heart in just the right spot.

    K

  • Andrea says:

    Oh FML. I feel you like 10,000%. But what is really f-d up is that you realized you can’t do it all when it is too late. By the time you take your head out of your ass, even the dog is giving you dirty looks. FML.

  • ToyLady says:

    I dunno – I think, bit by bit, you decide which things matter and which don’t.

    The husband, the kid (and now the dog), and, to a lesser extent, the job – they matter. I do my best for all of them. Other stuff – the vacuuming, the holidays, to some extent, the job . . well, whatever.

    Of course, whenever I start to think I’m getting a handle of “the balance” – then another holiday sneaks up on me, we spend some Quality Family Time, and it’s made abundantly clear just what a screw-up I really am – me, the Family Joke.

    *sigh* Well, at least there’s no danger of my having too much self-esteem, is there?

  • MamaSkates says:

    balance?! psha! when u figure out the perfect juggle, pleeeeeaaaaase teach me how 2 do it too! ;0)

  • Christy says:

    Dude. I am totally guilty until proven innocent. Once at the border of Mexico and the US (I live near there and cross regularly – NOT for smuggling though, I am a very upstanding citizen)…anyways, crossing the border, I started sweating and basically asked them to frisk me and remove all the doors from my car. I couldn’t help it. Those oranges in my sack lunch were just ASKING to be smuggled and I couldn’t allow it.

    I also once confessed to stealing all the pencils out of the pencil machine in 3rd grade. I just couldn’t handle the pressure.

    Do not interrogate me. I will not survive.

  • SciFi Dad says:

    If you maintain low enough standards, you will never be disappointed (and yes, there is a strong chance that was ripped from a Gin Blossoms song).

  • Kristine says:

    I wish I knew.

  • leanne says:

    I need new storage bins, too! And balance. Oh, yes. Balance. And less guilt. And reminding myself constantly that I can’t do it all. No matter how hard I try. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. And it’s okay. Really.

    What I do: figure out what’s most important to me (really important), try to keep that as a focus, and everything else can go to hell once in a while (or more often).

    I’m a work in progress.

    Hugs to you…

  • birdpress says:

    I always wondered how you managed to balance so many things, but I guess even Super Becky Overachiever stumbles every now and then. You are only human. (You are, right? I wonder sometimes.) I hope you are not being too hard on yourself and that you start feeling normal again soon.

    I’ve had one of those weeks where I’ve been ready to give up myself. It’s like, everyone else gets to have “poor me” days, and it gets tiring always having to be all “you can do it!” because I am so not a cheerleader, but somebody has to be around here.

    Also, I was not able to get into your blog the past couple of days for some reason, so I just got caught up. Did you really wear a “too busy to f**k” shirt to thanksgiving dinner? If so, you are totally my idol, even if it WAS an accident. Also, how does that happen?

  • Calamity_Jane says:

    Rod Steward? Seriously? Saweet. That takes some talent right there. I prefer Hannah Montana….erm…Miley Cyrus….whatever the fuck her name is. Now she kicks ass. ;-) Especially when used to annoy the hell out of everyone. Now if I could only get to the point where her name alone doesn’t make me cringe…I could do some serious damage.

    Anywho. Just remember. You’re not alone. If you feel like you’re seriously screwing things up. The world is with you! We’re all screw ups. So sitting back and enjoying the motherf’ing view is the best thing you can do. Be a little easier on yourself! You can’t run away from yourself….relax and cut yourself some slack! And put something fun at the top of your to-do list. Shopping. Shoplifting. Massacre. Pedicure. Chocolate. Let off a little steam. Whatever floats your boat. And give yourself a hug, cause honey, you’re friggin special.

  • michele says:

    balance? what is this balance that you speak of? seriously wtf is it with us women who have to be soooo on top of things of the world is going to end. like tomorrow. i work full time, run cub scouts, take college classes part time, manage the diabetic kid and the anxious/depressed/ocd spouse. my balance is not falling off the tightrope while juggling the balls :P

  • Vinomom says:

    I find being an incredibly selfish person helps :) It’s not that I won’t do anything for you if I love you, cuz I will, but don’t think I am going to be bending over backwards for you 100% of the time, cuz I’m not, cuz that shit gets old, and except for kids, I demand a give and take in all relationships, and even the kid part is getting old. How you like that run-on ?

  • Rebecca says:

    I frequently just throw my hands up in the air and say forget about it. The floors will ALWAYS need swept, the dishes will ALWAYS need washed, and my sons diaper will always need to be changed. So, when I’m feeling wiped out, I put on a movie and check out for a couple of hours. I check in shortly just to put them to bed, then I check out for another hour or two.

    It sure leaves me feeling more ready for the evening or the next day. Whichever comes first….cause sometimes, I just don’t know.

  • Lucy says:

    Boy, could I have written most of this post. I am such a perfectionist and like to think that I, and ONLY I, can handle everything. But since having the baby I’ve had to let some things go. It’s getting easier, but there are still days when my husband comes home to find me in tears because of something stupid like not having time to fold all of the laundry or answer emails.

    Ridiculous the pressure we ladies like to put on ourselves, isn’t it??? Somehow I don’t think men do this to themselves. Or at least not to the extent we wives and moms do.

    Hang in there, girl!

  • Joanna says:

    Balance is definitely not about perfection, I’ll agree with you all there! It’s about decisions. Does the toilet really need scrubbing right now if you’d rather read the baby a bedtime story? Is ordering in pizza worse than cooking a Martha-esque meal for 5 if you are all sitting down at once and eating it? Of course not! Of course, I feel like a big fat jackass saying it at all, since I’m not a mom yet, but I pray I’ll remeber it when I am! I’m notorious for being a perfectionist, but part of growing up is letting go, and I’ve been practicing!

  • Kori says:

    I think that it comes and goes, this balance thing. For me, as long as the kids have clean clothes and there is food to eat during the week, the rest can get done on the weekends-or not. I think maybe I have learned that when I am dead, nobody except whomever is hired to clean out my rathole house is going to care whether or not I wasted valuable time scouring corners no one ever sees. And since I plan on hoarding enough money that my survivors can just HIRE someone to clean it out? No problem.

    I am not perfect, and I have learned that all it does is cause unecessary stress on ME; no one else really cares, and if they do? they usually want to do it htemselves anyway.

  • oh my. you are me. haha.

    i struggle endlessly to find balance. and i constantly find myself living in clutter – physical, mental, and emotional.

    between a full time job, a part time school schedule, and trying to be the best mom/friend/sister/daughter i possibly can, lately i’ve found myself juggling way too many balls and frequently dropping all of them.

    which makes me feel like a WINNER.

    i don’t know. balance sounds like such an easy concept, but when applying it to your every day life, it proves to be very difficult to find.

    i meditate a lot and i try to just CHILL as much as possible when i have a few spare minutes throughout the day. clearing my mind helps me find my direction (and, in turn, balance, even if only for a few minutes at a time).

    i firmly believe that finding balance is possible. i know it is. i just haven’t completely figured it out yet. and i think the formula is really quite different for everyone. you’ll find your stride and develop the balance you’re looking for. just keep going! and try meditation, if you haven’t already. it helps, i swear by it. it’s difficult at first. trying to sit and clear your mind can actually create this defeaning noise inside your head, but eventually you learn to settle down if you sit with yourself long enough.

    anyway, i’m rambling. (i love run-on sentences too! WHEEEEE!)

  • Kristin says:

    Balance is really fucking hard to achieve. These days, women are expected to do it all and that just isn’t possible. I just try to keep things clean enough and organized enough that I am not embarrassed to have someone come over.

  • Kate says:

    I don’t try for balance anymore because I got depressed never hitting my goal. :)

    I aim for the basics. If, at the end of the day, the kids got schooled & fed, laundry got done (hey, with a family of 9, that can’t be let go for even one day) & all appointments were attended by the appropriate kid, then it was a successful day.

    That said, I’m my number 1 critic and if anyone is going to bash me, they have to wait until I’m done giving myself hell first. So I hear ya… I try to act like I’ve got it all together, too, and when it comes crashing down every so often (as it always does), it’s not pretty. But ya get back up, dust yourself off, and keep going because really, when you’re a mom, what other choice do you have?

    (((Hugs))) You don’t have to do it all, Aunt Becky.

  • You know what I think? Of course you don’t because you are not a mind reader…yet. I think you have had a craptacular couple of years and it kind of kicked your ass. It’s hard to lose your best friend, have a baby who does sleep, go through your miscarriages AND then have another baby who went through what SHE went through. Add all that to depression, postpartum and your run of the mill depression, and you’ve got a mess…no offense. You will find your balance, it just takes time and determination. You also have to “deal” with all that other crap. I’m no therapist, but I do know when I didn’t “deal” with my shit, I just got worse. Now when my shit creeps up on me, it only lasts a few days, rather then weeks on end. I hope that makes sense and you don’t want to punch ME in the face. If you do, I’ll GLADLY give you my address and you can come do it. Bring it BITCH!
    *HUGS*

  • Katy says:

    Aunt Becky – I’m pretty sure you gave me swine flu through the interwebs via our said makeout sesh last week. I AM NOT HAPPY. In fact, I have no idea what I am, because I’m starting to drool and its like my brain doesn’t know how to stop it.
    ALSO, Tamiflu is effing expensive (oh Big Pharma how I loathe thee) and my poor nursing student ass could just barely afford it.
    I’m considering saying “AUNT BECKY DID IT” when I hand in my note on wednesday explaining why I can’t attend clinicals (which is, coincidentally, the only upside of the entire situation).
    <3

  • Sam says:

    You’re awesome, mainly today for helping me see that I am NOT the only reincarnated lapsed Catholic. I can only assume that’s why I experience staggering guilt over trifles, as well as things I did not do. I’m so excited that you’re guilt-ridden too, that I almost feel guilty ABOUT that excitement! Crazy right? Right. Balance doesn’t exist. At least not frequently. Some days, you might do some good gardening/vacuuming/wife-ing/parenting and feel not like a douche at the end of the day, and maybe….that’s enough.

  • Betty M says:

    No I don’t have balance. Doubt you can buy it either. You can buy people to do the stuff you can’t but to do that you need one of those crazy ass jobs that pay zillions to afford it and almost by definition you have no balance between work and everything else. I’m hoping balance is overrated.

  • Mrs Soup says:

    <3

    By recognizing that you needed some balance, you are already a huge step in the right direction. Taking it day by day and releasing some of the guilt will help.

    You can't do it all. And that is perfectly acceptable. Really.

  • Shin Ae says:

    Bah! And, pish posh! You’ve been sick. When you’re a mom and you’ve been sick it takes a while to recover, I think. We are working with lower reserves.

    I don’t balance well. I have tasks I will complete reliably (grocery shopping, medicating the children, paying the bills, buying or making gifts, going to work, and getting people to school are among these tasks), and the rest of the stuff gets flaked out on in a cyclic pattern so it is pretty much equally neglected. Sometimes I will make food for people. Other times I will not, but suddenly have been doing laundry. Etc. Husband usually just picks up what I’ve not been able to complete that day (my husband cooks professionally, so he can just crank dinner out with his eyes closed if necessary). Loose ends of housework, usually.

  • stefanie says:

    Balance is what you get the day your kids go off to college and then you wonder why you ever gave a shit in the first place because now you are just bored and wishing for a lack of balance.

    Right?

  • MamaOtwins+1 says:

    I find balance in compartments. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it is what I do. I compartmentalize everything. As in – at work I work (except on breaks when I blog), on the ride home I can stress for 10 minutes, then I move on to planning the evenings, at home it’s about the kids until 8pm, then me time, and eventually hubby time.
    If my life wasn’t in compartments I’d be overloaded with all the crap that is going on.

  • Mel says:

    Balance – yeah right – when I find it I will let you know.
    I don’t know if I’ve ever had balance other than the 6 months when I lived alone without having anyone attached to me. And even then I was more work than me so who knows what this crazy thing called balance is.
    Today I am happy the house is relatively clean, I have somewhat of a handle on school work (why I thought grad school was a good idea with 2 boys under 5 I will never know – or should I say I salute you fellow over achiever Aunt Becky).

    So if you thrive on overachieving – go for it – my bet is you are like me and would be bored to tears if it were any other way.

  • Rebecca says:

    I vaguely remember you using the word ‘asshat’. Well, I found something for you. It’s an asshat card. Hope you like it.

    By the way….you are NOT an asshat.

    http://youstupidbitch.com/cards/cardvalentines10.html

  • GingerB says:

    We say guilt is my sister’s default emotion.

    I personally have some guilt but I prefer to focus on the self flagellation aspect. More efficient.

    Balance? Don’t sweat the small stuff. If I can’t see (the top of the ‘fridge, for example) it doesn’t exist, therefore it need not be cleaned. Same for dust, because I can’t see it if I never get up off the floor.

  • Lola says:

    So, you’re the bitch that took off with my favorite necklace? WTF!!

    Ahh, balance is possible at times. After a particularly horrible week last week, spending too much time with people who just make me feel like every second I spent with them was a complete waste of my time, I had a bit of a meltdown, burned a few bridges, caused a few scenes and felt a little guilty. Then, I ended up sick.

    I need to remove myself from a couple sources of drama or I’m going to lose it. Sadly, it will affect my son and his friendships, but I have to save my sanity. I’ve been feeling that way about blogging, too. Sometimes, I love it, but then things don’t get done around here when I’m sitting on my ass in front of the computer.

    So, I’ve cut way back and was even going to delete my blog. I still might. I’m not happy when things get out of control around here, so if it means no blogging, so be it.

    When all else fails, I go jump on a horse and ride for a while. That seems to get me back on track. It’s one more thing to do, but it sure does make me relax. If only I could live my life on the back of a horse, I wouldn’t care if anything got done ;)

  • SuperDixieKitten says:

    Dear Aunt Becky,

    Last Spring, I went off my rocker… badly. I had been put on some medication when my Dad died in 2007, only to find out that it was the wrong kind of crazy pill for my particular kind of crazy. I was written out of work on FMLA leave for 6 weeks, alone at home with 2 kids, trying to cope with the medical ‘fog’ I was living in. Some days I could hardly get out of bed to get them to school.

    Thank god for the babies, because without them, I wouldn’t be writing. I hope one day they understand that I wasn’t mad at them, they saved me. I was just mad/sad at myself and the mess I’d managed to get us all in.

    Abs (my 9yo) was here to make me PBJs and chocolate milk when the meds had me too out of it to even move off the bed. C (my 12yo) was here to make sure the house was locked up and that I was OK. Abs would sleep with me every night and pat my head when I’d wake up with a nightmare. God, that was so fucking much for them, they’re so little. I hope they forgive me some day for making them grow up to take care of me when I was headsick. But, it showed me how grown up they actually can be. (Now if they’ll just fucking clean up their rooms!)

    So, in the end, we rode it out together as a family and did the best we could. The bad thoughts went away and the fog cleared out a little day by day. I don’t have those dark thoughts anymore, and as my body has gotten used to the new meds, I’ve felt A LOT better. It just felt like it took for-fuckin’-eva.

    The main thing I learned that I wanna share with you is: You’re only human, and this too shall pass.

    Keep on truckin’!

  • Drugs. The good kind. Not the prescribed kind. This way even if you’re not balanced you won’t care. You didn’t hear this from me. I’m perfectly balanced.

  • Manda says:

    It’s tough. I guess the best way is to realize that the only person you can make happy on a consistent basis is yourself, and your children when they are young.

    If your guilt is based in the disapproval of others, then realize you are not superman and do what you have to do. Tell them to fuck off. (This is easier if you live out of state.)

    If your guilt is based in your own or your children’s unhappiness, well, then, fix it.

    But don’t get all bent out of shape because your baseboards are dusty or whatever. It ain’t worth it.

  • gaylin says:

    You might think that as a nearly 50 year old single woman with no kids I might have balance in my life.
    Not so.
    I noticed yesterday my wood floors were getting a bit crunchy to walk on, hmmmm, when was the last time I vacuumed?
    Dust bunnies are my only pets.
    Working full time and trying to deal with the rest of life while fatigued. Sucks.
    I decided awhile ago that keeping up with the dishes, laundry were achievable goals everything else is done on a visitor basis.
    Is a visitor coming? Maybe I will vacuum.
    Even without anyone to see my apartment – I still give myself grief about whether or not I am ‘keeping’ up appearances. I blame my mom, the woman with 5 kids and a husband and her house was always clean. We were all scared of her so we had clean rooms – always. Now I never make my bed, such a wild woman.
    I do wear New Balance shoes, so really every day I am ‘Balanced’.

  • Brianna says:

    Wait, balance is an option? I missed something, obviously. I was under the impression that constant stress and desire to scream/rip one’s own hair out was NORMAL. Fuck me sideways.

    Hey, if you find some of that balance stuff on sale, can you score me some? I’ll totally pay you back. In brownies.

  • Lauren says:

    Trying to do it all is just not possible. It is overwhelming and is what causes moms to drink or abuse pills. Which is, ya know, totally cool.

  • Dawn says:

    I think I may have had balance once. For about 5 minutes. But balance and I, we are no longer close. I can’t sleep properly, my diet is gone whack, my weight is out of control, I’m hibernating and it isn’t even winter yet… you get the picture.

  • kys says:

    I have no effing clue. If you figure it out, let me know. I keep thinking that if I cut down my sleep from 6 hours to 5, I can get more things accomplished. But the less sleep I get, the more dazed and confused I am. Really I should go back to smoking pot and drinking because I was just as worthless but a heck of a lot more fun.

  • uthostage says:

    It’s going to take a LOOOOONG time for me to find balance. I gotta get a 250+ load off the other side of my scale first. THEN I might be able to find balance. Maybe. Until then, I’m doing what I can and trying not to chastise myself too much for the to do list that keeps growing, and growing, and growing (my little expandng Energizer bunny)!

    You’ll find the balance you’re looking for. I’m sure of it.

  • Mwa says:

    Dear, dear, dear Aunt Becky – you need to take a good mindfulness course. You live in the States – go hunt down Jon Kabat-Zinn. You don’t need to meditate every day for the rest of your life, you don’t need to spend lots of money. It helps you find balance, teaches you to be kinder to yourself, not beat yourself up etc. I know I evangelise, but only because it is the best thing in the whole world ever with stars and sparkles on it.

  • Becca says:

    The last thing my Dad said to me was “Life is about finding balance!” I try to find my balance with C and all my rugrats and my doggies, and I try very hard to leave the rest of the world out of that. Because everytime I let something else in it just gets all fucked up.

    I like that you feel comfortable letting everyone know that you are out of balance. It makes some of us feel like we are not alone. Thanks! :)

  • Chibi Jeebs says:

    Balance is something I’ve been struggling with for a LOOOOONG time. Before I met Chebbar, I was anal-retentive-control-freak to the nth degree whose house was spic and span spotless at all times. Let’s be honest: I had nothing *better* to do than dust my baseboards.

    After I met Chebbar – and more specifically after he moved in – I slowly started to loosen up, no longer INSISTING that no dirty dishes be left in the sink after dinner, and dusting the baseboards? Pffft. WHAT baseboards?!?

    However, I look around at the… clutter and shudder as I do the math and realize that the bathrooms haven’t been scrubbed in THREE WEEKS (granted, there’s only two of us, but still. Ew.) and my heart starts beating rapidly and my head feels like it’s going to explode and then I bury my head in the internet because I’m really an ostrich disguised as a human.

    I’ve gone from one extreme to the other. I don’t know HOW to find balance. And I don’t particularly like it. :-|

  • Roshni says:

    *deeeeep sigh*…don’t get me started…please!

    Hope you feel better soon!

  • Belle says:

    Balance shmalence. I don’t know where you can get it… Target?

  • Mama Cas says:

    BALANCE?! What the fuck is THAT?! Unfortunately, I’m an all-or-nothing person.

    For example: “I must eat ALL of the Doritos in the bag. Cuz there’s NOTHING as good as eating ALL of the Doritos in the bag.”

    Do you see where I’m going with this?

    Please don’t come to my corner of the world in search of personal enlightenment. I’m totally tapped out.

  • Zakary says:

    Balance is totally over fucking rated. And my house was a mess before I had kids and I didn’t even have the internet then.

    ‘Broken Arrow’ by Rod Stewart is one of my all time favoritest songs. EVER.

  • Dual Mom says:

    I think it’s about deciding what is important. For instance at my house, it’s imperative the kids eat some sort of vegetable with dinner…clean toilets ehhh not so important. I can’t do everything dammit!

    Working 8 hours a day so my kids have a roof over their head and food in their ungrateful bellies…important. Clean socks …. ehh not so much.

    I have to have clean sheets on the bed but piles of dirty towels doesn’t phase me.

    So decide what’s imperative, what’s nice to have done but not a deal breaker, and what can be left for a rainy day.

    Always remember, most of the time we’re our own worst enemy.

  • Don’t be so hard on yourself, babe. You’re working on YOU right now, and that’s what’s most important. As long as you’re feeding and keeping your kids healthy, try not to cringe too much if the toilets aren’t as sparkly as you’d like.

  • Lisa says:

    Sometimes when you are a (self proclaimed) overachiever, you need to create that unbalanced frenzied feeling to keep you on the adrenaline high that will carry you through the crazy to-do list that represents your self-worth in a subliminal way. Run-on queen I am.

    Then again, what do I know??

    SERENITY NOW!

  • Hmm,balance is a tough one to find. I am not sure about that, but here’s what I know. I think it helps to go a bit easy on yourself. I think you do the best you can, and that best looks different day to day. Your best while dealing with headaches and meds may look different from your best when you aren’t managing those things. So balance, not quite sure, but I know I feel better if I accept that my best is not same and changes with circumstances.

    Hang in there!! Be nice to yourself!!

  • Melissa says:

    I dont know anything about balance. In fact my desk at work is balanced by piles on either end.

    But the TOOTHBRUSH thing? Why are men so weird about their toothbrushes? I mean we go down on each other (well I do with my boyfriends (former), but GOD FORBID you forget your toothbrush when spending the night. Dont they know that the plaque washes off when you rinse the toothbrush. My last boyfriend bought a new toothbrush when he found out I used his and said that the old one was now mine (too bad it wasnt a sonic dammit). The same man who would kiss me right after I made him happy. Long deep kiss. Granted I always have a drink handy for the immediate after, so it was all washed down, but STILL.

  • Clair Jordan says:

    I was supermom once upon a time. Worked at night in the ER. Slept for four hours took care of two kids, president of the PTO, went to every fieldtrip, planned every party for school and every single family member, home cooked meals every night, baked pie’s for new neighbors, took meals to sick people…………blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah

    Then a little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune illness. I started having migraines that literally made me unable to speak and barely able to remember my own name. First I got really depressed about it. But since then I have learned (well, I am in the process of learning); that sometimes I have to take a day off. The dirty laundry will still be there tomorrow and its not going to kill the kids to wear dirty socks to school. I pick and choose what is the most important to me. I have learned to say NO.

    You have to become a little selfish. And I’m sure you know it can take a while for your body to adjust to meds. Hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later for ya!

    Now I will quote Dr Phil (yikes!) If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!

  • mumma boo says:

    Balance does not exist, unless one has a full staff of underlings to make it happen. So, just concentrate on keeping the family fed, clothed, and happy some of the time, and the rest will fall into place. Seriously, being hard on yourself doesn’t do anybody any good. But, if you want my body, and you think I’m sexy, c’mon sugar, tell me so. ;)

  • sarah says:

    Shit,bitch, I got this whole unbalanced thing motherfucking covered.

    Sorry, that’s my favorite sentence by you, Ever.

    And yes, you can ALMOST buy balance by paying other people to do as many things as possible – raking leaves, cleaning your car, painting your trim, etc. And when you run out of money, you just let things slide until you get more.

    Thats what I do anyways, it works well when you have an un-employed brother constantly looking for work.

  • I have given up on my notion of perfection and tried to to accept good enough or best effort on all aspects of my life. It has made me a lot happier and has given me back my sanity.

  • Jessica says:

    I hope you feel better soon! Also, I totally feel for you with the Topamax. I hate when I see ppl given that b/c it most always makes one’s brain fuzzy as hell. I was on it before myself, ended up stopping it.

    You are wonderful and you are funny and you are trying. Give yourself a break because, hell, you deserve it. And in reality, no one is going to “suffer” if you let yourself do a “little” less, since “less” probably means way more than many people could take on. Oh the joys of being born an overachiever!

    I think part of the key to balance is viewing everything as a “choice” instead of a “must.” Driving yourself crazy or feeling guilty, it’s really a “choice” even though it never feels like it in the midst of things. There will always be too much to do, and not even superwoman herself could do it all. That won’t change, but one’s approach to having to much to do, luckily, can… Which is not to say that is easy.

    Keep on rocking the humour, and for sure, rocking out to Rod! Be gentle with yourself.

  • Love says:

    I say you get a life coach. If nothing else, super fun to interview. Good luck.

  • submom says:

    I LOVE run-on sentences. I thought Guilt is part of the package when we became mothers. I take it one day at a time. Some days I feel like I am on top of the world. Wonder woman. Some days I feel I am not worthy of being anybody’s friend, let alone a parent. I may have bi-polar issues. At any rate, I hope you get back on top of the roller coaster again.

  • Maria says:

    WHY do I always read this while my husband is sitting across the family room from me, on his laptop. I snicker and can feel him peering at me out of the corner of my eye. Then I kind of chortle/snort. One more and he finally says “what?!” I usually read him something high-freaking-larious to me, through my snickers & tears and he looks at me like I’ve finally cracked. Oy.

  • Nitza says:

    At least we won’t be losing the run-on sentences! Man, I was so SCARED!
    By all this shit you’re stressed about covering I hope you don’t mean cleaning. Because eff cleaning.

  • ShovelyJoe says:

    You are full of the Awesome.

    And everyone that reads this blog is full of the Awesome. Just reading the comments made me feel better.

    There is always a silver lining…or an non crusty one.

    Some days I strive for balance. Other days I just don’t care. I don’t think I’ll be balanced in the coffin. Probably tip up or down…hope it’s on a downward slant. All that blood rushing to my head – YIKES! O, wait…no blood. Still. Who wants to do a fucking headstand for eternity?

    Welcome to my thought process….you think I give a shit about balance?!?! :o

  • melissa says:

    i love run-ons too. whee!
    glistening plate of buttholes is going down as the most classic one liner EVER. but really? are buttholes glistening?
    anyway. there is no such thing as balance. well, not in my world anyway. i’m always teetering on one end of the totter or the other.
    it’s hard. being a mom. and being a woman.
    it’s hard.

  • Tawnia says:

    Thanks for sharing. You are doing great. I know how hard it is to function w/ a headache. I hope the meds are helping you:) I am considering sleeping through the holidays with the turkey and mashed taters in my bed with me. We will see how all that shit goes. God works in mysterious ways though, my mom will be out of town for the holidays… YEAH!
    Love Tawnia

  • Lady Mama says:

    I’ve no idea where to look for balance. I spent the last few years having babies and now balance means snatching five minutes to hide in the bathroom for a bit of peace or something lame like taking a shower. Woo! I think everyone struggles with it – especially parents. Good luck.

  • Like a not-so-wise man I once knew said to me on an occasion where I was beating the hell out of myself for stuff that I’d done years ago: shit happens, then you flush it.

    Hang in there. Things will get better.

  • Amanda says:

    Oh crap. I Googled “how to find balance” and ended up HERE? I totally thought you would be able to help me fix my emotionally empty and unstable self or teach me how to tell my kids to shut up so I can watch that show about he little people.

    Hope you find some balance.

    Me? I’m off to Google to search for some answers. Maybe I’ll get lucky.

  • eden says:

    Beautiful Becky. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Imagine if you had a person following you around who told you the things that you tell yourself in your head. You would totally turn around and punch the fucker out. You’re going spectacularly well …. you’ve had a *bit* of a hard year, so try be nice to yo’ self.

    I don’t know how to balance shit. Life is fucken hard. But I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

    Love,

    Eden XOXOXOXOX

  • aneke says:

    Chocolate cake. When things get crazy I go hide with my chocolate cake..

    It helps

    Except it makes you fat.

    I don’t think anyone has balance. It’s a seesaw and you’ve just go to do the best you can.

    That said, I think you have enough reason to be particulary unbalanced at the moment. Give yourself a break XX

  • Ah balance…
    I revisit this theme often. The last time I aimed for balance, I created a corner of the house for meditation.
    I put candles, incense, a little zen fountain etc…
    It gave me a massive sense of accomplishment and hope.
    It took my dog less than 5 minutes to discover the fountain, claiming it as her water bowl and filling it up with her disgusting frothy boxer drool.
    I threw it all in a box and opened a bottle of wine.

    http://www.theladyslounge.com

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’m pretty sure the kids would pull my hair if I tried to meditate or do yoga, so I’ll just try and breathe in and out and maybe hide in the bathroom and pee alone when I can.

      Also, I peed myself. That comment was gold.

  • Badass Geek says:

    Life is hard, and having to find a proper balance makes it worse. Just do the best you can for yourself, and everything else will follow.

  • I work really hard on not self-flagellating too much

    is that a fart?

  • hmm… if feel like i could have written this post, except not nearly as cleverly, and without the narcotics.

  • Toni says:

    I find that I say “Yes” too much. Like WAY too much. I even tried to do a “No November” and that didn’t work too well.

    I don’t know what to do at this point. Perhaps a good Ask Aunt Becky question??

    PS New to the site. LOVE your writing. :)

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Why thank you, my new friend!

      The saying no thing, yeah, totally I think that’s a great Go Ask Aunt Becky question. Now do me a favor and submit it through the dohickey in my sidebar so I won’t forget it. My memory, she ain’t what she used to be.

  • You can’t be perfect. You can’t do everything. And have any semblance of balance. So stop those things and you’ll have your “shit covered” bitch. : )

  • Jessica says:

    When I figure it out…I’ll let you know. Cause I’m about to have an all-out war with myself to get it together or kick myself to the curb.

  • Miss Spoken says:

    Balance….. falling into the deep end of the ocean yet somehow finding your way back to shore. Balance ….. doing it all over again at random points in one’s life. Balance … to suck one day and not the next.

  • Coco says:

    Darling, I have no idea how to find balance or even if such a beast is possible.

    But let me say that I beg you to be kind to yourself. You’ve had a long year of slogging through shit, and the year’s not over yet. You’ve handled it all with so much grace and damn little help.

    I think you’re pretty fucking incredible and I’m willing to bet your kids think so too, and will always lovingly remember THAT, and not care one bit about the state of the bathroom.

    And I say all this with utter love and the selfsame experience of knowing I can’t do everything and still despairing over the dustbunnies.

  • Jenn says:

    I have no advice but thank you for writing this. It’s nice to not feel like the only one. xoxo

  • excavator says:

    Balance is that brief moment between falling in one direction or another. Very fleeting.

    I loved your description of guilt. Somehow I’ve been a historic magnet for it, rational or not.

  • Two Wishes says:

    I don’t know how to recommend this without sounding like a crazy hippie, but … lately I’ve been getting through postpartum depression/disability/motherhood by reading Buddhist books on mindfulness. The messages are basically “stop striving to be someone else or do something else,” “you can control your situation by controlling how you think about things,” and “be yourself; you have greatness inside you already.” I cannot TELL you how calming I find those messages, especially as a struggling new mother. Thich Nhat Hanh has written a ton of books, or if you’d prefer something a bit less philosophical and more therapy-based, there’s a good one called “Mommy Mantras.”

    And I’m with you on the headaches — on disability for chronic migraines. Topamax was a big soup of side effects. Hope it’s working better for you. (And if not, hope you find something that DOES, and soon!)

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I can’t decide if the Topamax is good for the headaches or not. It stops the headaches, which is good, but it makes me sort of sleepy, which is bad. Not sure how I’ll do on it long term, you know?

      I’ll look into the book, so thank you.

      It’s really overwhelming to handle all the migraines and motherhood and everything all in one big glop. I wish you the best of luck, my friend.

  • Kendra says:

    Truthfully, I get a lot out of pretending I’ve already achieved balance. Like: write out a to-do list of things for the day (or week or month or the rest of your life) but make it half comprised of things you’ve already done, you can cross them off. (And yes, it’s okay if those are things like “brush teeth,” or the more ambitious “brush teeth with own toothbrush.”) I also like the list of affirmations from Ellen Degeneres’ book, where she says people aim too high with things like “I am a good person.” Who can start with affirmations like that? Put a little post-it on your bathroom mirror that says “I mean for my hair to look this way” or “No one knows that I’m crazy.” Start low, and work your way up. Pretending you’ve already got it under control works wonders!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I really do need to aim lower. And I found that the very act of noticing that I was sort of screwing up really helped me correct missteps and focus on what was important. It helped weed out all the unnecessary noise and helped me assuage a lot of the guilt I was needlessly feeling.

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