Yesterday morning I drove to Kerrville to speak to a MOPS group.
(This is where I’d like to insert my standard joke about how P likes to call it “Mothers Against Preschoolers” but I’m pretty sure that I’ve already made that comment about fifteen different times here. Not to mention that I referenced it in my talk yesterday. I need some new material.)
I talked about the challenges of being a mother and felt a little bit like MY LIFE IS SO HARD WITH MY SOLITARY SEVEN-YEAR-OLD CHILD WHO DRESSES AND FEEDS HERSELF because, seriously, if there is a group of women who are singlehandedly populating the Earth, it’s the women in MOPS groups. I mean they are smack dab in the thick of potty-training a toddler while fighting morning sickness and hoping their oldest child doesn’t cry during the Kindergarten drop-off. They make me weep with envy at the thought of their multi-tasking skills. Mainly because I operate on an organizational system that consists of sixteen different Post-It notes with important dates written on them shoved into the bottom of my purse.
Anyway, I offered my limited amount of wisdom with the disclaimer that my child is only seven years old and the verdict is still out on how this whole thing is going to turn out. Then I got in my car and drove back to San Antonio and listened to the following songs over the next hour:
The Happy Song by Chris Tomlin
Jesus Saves by Travis Cottrell
Peaceful, Easy Feeling by The Eagles
Heart of Glass by Blondie
Wanted: Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi
Jolene by Dolly Parton
Gold Digger by Kanye West
Our God by Chris Tomlin
Looks Like We Made It by Barry Manilow
I feel like something about this list speaks volumes about my personality, but frankly I’m frightened to examine it too closely.
As soon as I got back to the house I crawled over to the couch and slept for about an hour. Mainly because I didn’t sleep at all the night before because I never sleep the night before I have to be somewhere important. It’s a sickness. And I usually take down every one around me because P didn’t sleep either thanks to all my deep sighs and fake coughs and tossing and turning.
I am a joy to live with.
Finally it was time to pick up Caroline from school and we went to Gap to buy her a new pair of jeans because she is dying to wear jeans even though it’s still 146 degrees outside and her legs have grown about seventeen inches since last spring.
My goal for tomorrow is to clean my house from top to bottom. I’ve been putting it off for about the last week because I get so overwhelmed with the thought of having to clean two bathrooms. I KNOW. It’s pathetic.
But when we moved in this house thirteen years ago, it was only a three bedroom, one bath house. Apparently people didn’t spend a lot of time in the bathroom in the 1920’s. Probably because the curling iron hadn’t been invented.
(Please don’t email me to tell me that the curling iron had been invented. It may have been for all I know but it’s late and I’m too tired to look it up on Wikipedia or the Google.)
The point is that for six years I just had to clean one small bathroom. Then we moved out and added a master bedroom and bathroom. For those of you playing at home, that means we moved on up Jefferson style to two bathrooms total. But it didn’t matter because I had a baby two weeks after we moved back in and we hired a maid to do all the cleaning.
I’ll be honest. It was a blissful existence. But then I quit my job three and a half years ago and we had to tighten the proverbial belt and the maid had to go. And now I can never face the task of cleaning my house without feeling complete dread at the the thought of those two bathrooms, one of which has a shower stall AND a bathtub. OH THE HUMANITY.
Truth be told, we could probably work a maid back into our budget at this point, but I haven’t done it on principle. I should have time to clean my own house. I have one child in school all day and no real job. Well, technically, I guess I kind of have a job as a writer but it looks eerily similar to just sitting around in my pajamas all day looking at Twitter.
Although during our road trip with the kids this summer, Gulley’s son Jackson declared that I didn’t have a job and Gulley was quick to defend me with “She writes. That’s what she does.” And from the back seat, her youngest son, Will, piped up and said, “AND SHE BUILDS FLOATS FOR FIESTA“.
I’m totally putting that on my next resume.
Tabitha (From Single to Married)
You mean sitting around in pajamas and updating Twitter isn’t a real job? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it listed on some of the resumes I’ve been reviewing this week (for a position we’re hiring at work). 🙂
ps – I’ve been putting off cleaning our house too and I only have one bathroom to clean (my husband thankfully cleans his own bathroom. He is well trained.)
Hey, I think that playlist exhibits a great taste in music. It could easily have been my playlist for the past 45 minutes; however, playlists like these only get utilized when my husband is nowhere to be found. He isn’t a big fan of my ability to jump from Jazz to Christian to Pop to Rock and back to Christian.
Funny post! It reminds me of when a 6-year old (knowing that her mother had an ‘important’ job) asked me…”So what do you do?”.
Loved your rambling this morning! You always make me smile. 🙂
I love you.
OK – here are 2 throwback questions.
1 – I, too, have joined the couch to 5k bandwagon and am wondering if you made a playlist for it, and if so, what’s on it.
2 – How are you enjoying The Message? I have been on the fence with regard to purchasing it, and haven’t made the plunge yet (there seem to be tons of versions which confounds me as well). Any words of wisdom?
Reading your blog is transforming my life. Soon I’ll be running 5-Ks with ease and reciting passages to fellow runners. Maybe you can add “motivator/inspirational speaker” to said resume?
Hey! I would like the answer to her #1 question! I’m doing C25K too, and just got my first MP3 player! I may be the last person on earth to get one, but I haven’t had a need for one until now!
This is classis Big Mama at her best. Thank you for making me laugh at my desk at 9:00 in the morning. I live in a 1200 sq. ft. apartment with 1 bathroom. Cleaning it is like running a marathon for me. I have to work up to it by cleaning a little bit for a while…then it’s time to take on the whole thing. And it terrifies me and fills me with dread.
Bathrooms do stink to clean! This last weekend the husband and I cleaned the ENTIRE house…except…for the two bathrooms. It’s just hard to get yourself there, but man they get all nasty with their toothpaste remains in the sink and the toilet water lines. EWW.
In the middle of reading this, I had to drag my toddler out of the bathroom and away from the toilet (for the millionth time) and help my preschooler turn his shorts around because they were on backwards. Thanks for the props to MOPS! I wish you lived closer to Dallas so you could come speak at my group.
I’m glad there are others out there who get overwhelmed with all the showers and tubs to clean. We also have 2 bathrooms and they are never both clean at the same time. It disgusts me, yet I do nothing about it. (And I have a 15 month old toilet-fisher. I should probably stay on top of keeping those clean.)
We have the exact same organizational system! I was in the drive-thru lane at the bank just yesterday, shoveling everying out of my purse to get to the post-it notes(at the bottom, of course). One of these had the amount I could safely withdraw and still make my house payment. Talk about high finance!
Totally with you on the bathroom front. Just add in to the mix a 4-year-old boy with questionable aim. ewwww!
I can identify with you on so many levels in this post. That’s why you were asked to speak at MOPS….b/c so many of us out there can totally relate to your thoughts about life, motherhood, wifehood, and trying to keep God at the head of all of it. Have a good day!!!
Your are hilarious! If you are ever in the Little Rock area, PLEASE come speak to my MOPS group!!
How about calling yourself a child-development expert? 🙂 You are the foremost expert on Caroline, after all! And thanks for the multi-tasking praise . . . which for me is a euphemism for remembering/doing most things, but always forgetting at least one thing!
Oh My! That is TOTALLY my playlist on my iPod!!!
Building floats for Fiesta is a mighty accomplishment my friend.
Well I am 25, recently married and know NOTHING about kids except that they are probably more difficult than owning a dog. I have a cat. Perhaps you should seek out speaking gigs where less experience ladies hang out like on college campuses or Lady Gaga concert after parties for a confidence builder . I do know your fiesta float posts inspired me to start a blog a few months ago. In fact my very first post began by declaring my love of the fiest floats.
Listen, Im going the crazy route and just gonna say that we are kindred spirits. From the music list to the dread of cleaning house to the child who wants to wear “winter clothes” in the heat. Mine went to school today in a CORDUORY dress. Even though it was short sleeves I was boiling just watching her walk into school. She’s almost 7 going on 13. What are we going to do? She is growing out of the sweet clothes and more towards the “hookerish” ones and I am wringing my hands in worry.
We don’t have the fiesta floats but we do have YAMs! “youth art month”. Decorate a yam to celebrate. Last year was our first year – we did Fancy Yamcy. I thought she had it in the bag – I mean, no, obviously it did not look like a K5 child did it but HELLO she did stick some of the glitter on with serious supervision between myself and my best friend. Our Fancy Yamcy had curly hair, a feather boa, tu-tu, glitter and rhinestones and was in a garden with butterflies!!! We were OBSESSED and all she got was a “participation ribbon”. Hello Loser – thats what they should have put on it! Anyway, come March 2011 we will win! now just to think up a new yam theme…….and maybe bang out a prototype!
Ironically, I am job hunting right now. I’ve been looking for a career that involves pajama wearing and Twitter viewing. Maybe I will brush up on my float building skills and rewrite my resume today. Just after I have another cup of coffee in my pjs and check Twitter. 😉
PS – Have I missed Making of the DCC for this year? I went to CMT but they list by seasons and I am confused!
We enjoyed having you at Kerrville MOPS. I was so excited when I sat down and they announced that Big Mama was speaking. I even texted my husband who wrote back just as excited!
Katie @ Sew Many Mamas
I was just wondering this morning what someone would think if they knew what I listened to in the car this morning… Ja Rule and J-Lo (in an awesome throwback song), followed by John Mayer, and then the Indigo Girls… apparently, no one would think anything of it and, instead, would ask me to also play a few from Jennifer Knapp too!
Ha!!!! My son wants to wear pants to school also but I keep telling him he’s gonna burn up when he goes outside for recess. And then there’s the part where I don’t want to replace 35 pairs of pants within a 3 month time frame because he wears holes in the knees the very first day he puts a new pair on.
P.S. Any interest in speaking to a MOPS group in College Station? 😉
Love all that you do! Thanks for sharing!
I love that song list. Mine would look similar. I had a friend once ask if she could hit “shuffle” on my iPod. I told her sure, and the first song that came out was Tschaikovsky. She hit ‘skip,’ and the next song was from Rammstein. Then came Alan Jackson, the Wiggles, and Simon & Garfunkel. After that, she gave up and picked a single genre. I love diversity!
I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now and was SUPER excited to hear you speak at MOPS in Kerrville. Thanks for making us laugh and giving us the encouragement we needed! Love your blog!
Maybe you could demonstrate float building at your next MOPS talk.
I’ll trade you. I’ll come do your bathrooms if you’ll organize/toss/burn the clutter in my house. I have no organizational skills whatsoever.
I feel about my laundry how you feel about your bathrooms. Mt. St. Squires builds and builds until it erupts into a range of smaller, curiously color coordinated mountains. I just end up looking at it for days until I drag myself into a position where I can think about beginning to wash them. I bet some of those wonderful MOPS regulars could give me tips on doing laundry (and they could do it while they homeschool their 5th grader, paint with the preschooler and cook dinner for their family) oh how I truly envy their skills. A multi-tasker I am not!
It takes amazing tenacity and patience to build those floats girl, you flaunt that talent! 🙂
I have to agree about MOPS, I attended one meeting and I felt woefully inferior and even a little afraid to open my purse for fear it would explode with cherrios and tissues.
I have recently put my resume out there and it required a lot of skill in the wording…so much so that I’m considering listing wordsmith as my current occupation.
Lindsay Lane Jennings
I’m still chuckling…your writing is so refreshing and it is such a breath of fresh air to find another “invisible friend” that isn’t afraid to be transparent! And…i love your playlist. Nothing wrong with lovin’ on Jesus while sneeking some Bon Jovi in…i think that’s called “well rounded”,right?!:)
Are you going to add “monkey wrangler” to your resume? Because I read this article and totally laughed out loud at the thought that it might have been you trapped in the garage.
the domestic fringe
LOL. My kids think I do nothing all day. I just wish it were true!
mary kathryn tyson
i laughed out loud when i read your disclaimer about the curling iron and wikipedia and the google. (except it wasn’t so much ‘out loud’ as it was convulsing in my office because i’m supposed to be doing actual work…which i guess means i get paid to blog and read blogs…only my company just doesn’t know it…or maybe they do…)
anywho, and i just had to read about the floats and the fiesta and i get why will must have thought that was your full-time job.
seriously, bigmama, you are one of the funniest women i know. or don’t know. but feel like i know. whatevs. you’re funny.
Float lady! too funny.
Reminder: I love reading your post!
When are you going to write a book????? “The Big Mama Book of Indiscriminate Ramblings”….. or something like that. Totally a best seller! Would you seriously consider it?
I am so glad to see that I am not the only one left who likes Barry Manilow! This made my day!
Amanda @ Serenity Now
As a MOPS mom, I have to tell you that I LOVED this post!!! 🙂 Your musical selection is fairly similar to mine…I have stuff all over the board on my iPod.
Your resume could say something like “Proficient in Twitter.” They like big words like that. 😉
I like it, but I think it would be “proficient in social media” since she has a blog too. And let’s face it, in this day and age, some companies are looking for that. 🙂
meghan @ spicy magnolia
I love your job…floats and all! 🙂 And I kid you not, I have seriously considered asking you to become my personal shopper! I love shopping for Brennan, but for me, not so much. My dream is to give someone some money and do the shopping for me. Would you ever be interested?? Seriously! 🙂
I have just sat and read back through your last few posts and literally was laughing out loud! We could be BFF if we actually knew one another! I love your sense of humor:) It’s awesome that your daughter has your spunk also! Have a great evening-I’m off to 7th grade football which is as exciting as….well, not anything really! R Turner
Oh sweet Lord that was funny! Youmake me laugh every single day! I AM the mother of a preschooler and a 1st grader and can’t even dream of bein g abrilliant multi-tasker! “Mainly because I operate on an organizational system that consists of sixteen different Post-It notes with important dates written on them shoved into the bottom of my purse.” I laughed til I cried! This is so me! And the only reason I haven’t quit my job yet is because I too, would have to give up my housekeeper and the thought just makes me shudder! And I only have 1 1/2 baths!
My song list would be almost identical to yours. I run to everything from Our God by Chris Tomlin to Forever by Chris Brown. I get it. You have eclectic tastes!
However, the two bathroom thing….yeah – we moved from a 1500 sq foot house with two bathrooms to a 4000 sq foot house with 4 bathrooms…and one had a whirlpool tub AND a huge walk-in shower. The only way I get them all clean at once is to employ my 6 and 8 year old daughters to scrub toilets with me. Ah – thank the Lord they are homeschooled or they wouldn’t be around enough to help! LOL
Dang right, you make floats!
Give that kid….whatever he wants!
If this gets out, he’ll be beating off the ladies (in his future!)!
He’s a keeper! 😉
It is amazing, isn’t it? How it all gets done? We moms do it all! I often question if dads “could” even do it? I’m not trying to man/dad bash…but I really don’t think they could. And they should appreciate us more too…dammit. I promise, you keep your household running, post-it notes and all…that’s important! The bathrooms will get clean eventually…don’t stress it 🙂
I’ve decided I’ll clean my house from top to bottom when the kids are in college (maybe that’s when I’ll get some sleep, too). Until then, I’m satisfied if I can just keep DFACS from making a home visit.
I knew someone once who had a maid to just clean the bathrooms. I could live with that for sure! I think you probably spoke at the MOPS group of a friend who was in the Georgetown MOPS group last year and just moved to Kville! Her SIL is the coordinator and she said she was going to recommend you – glad it worked out!
Oh, I just love Will’s comment! Good stuff!!!
I was at the MOPS group in Kerrville. I have 6 kids 4 of whom are under 3. I loved your talk. I saw you before you were introduced but didn’t know who you were. Your back was to me and I began wishing that my ponytail looked so good and that I owned a blouse that looked new and had no stains. And then you got up and spoke and you were just so beautiful and funny and me in my stained shirt and bad hair watched and enjoyed from a far and thought, “someday I may get to look like that again!” Thanks for giving up your sleep time and coming to make my morning.
“but it looks eerily similar to just sitting around in my pajamas all day looking at Twitter.” -That was too funny! : )
Appreciating what you write!
Oh how I feel your pain on the bathroom issue. I excitedly “moved on up” from one bathroom to two and a half (THREE toilets!) when we remodeled four years ago. I was oh so happy at the time because my precious WEEKLY angel came and cleaned them. I too sadly had to do my own belt tightening a year ago and I had to bid farewell to bathrooms all clean at the same time, every bed made, and a house that smelled and looked fresh from top to bottom for a minute. Don’t know whatcha go till it’s gone….just last week I was whining about this very issue and then Amanda Jones took me out at the knees as I read her blog posts about Guatemala. Praising God for THREE toilets, windows to clean, floors to mop, dishwasher to run, washer and dry to load and unload – how quickly I gain perspective when reminded about the obscene luxury I live in compared to 3/4 of the population of this world!
blogaroni & dees
thanks for the props–to both MOPS and multitasking mothers…i fit both molds!
if you’re ever in dallas and are dying to speak to another MOPS group… ;0)
I was a sub for a kindergarten teacher the other day and had to take a child to the nurse’s office (NOT the child who threw up on the way back from the library – a DIFFERENT child). Anyway, he had a mild rash and the nurse asked him if his mom works. His response? “Well, my DAD is a doctor so HE works. But my mom? She just stays in bed and takes naps, I think.” It was all I could do not to laugh out loud. Turns out he had a 1 year old sister at home so I’m positive that his mom is not napping all day!
How funny, I am speaking to that same MOPS group in February. Now that I know you were first, I can see they must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel by the time they got to the second half of the year. I’d try to imitate you in other ways too, but that would require me getting up and running for exercise and I just don’t want to. 🙂 Lisa~
I hear ya on the bathroom thing! I had never lived in a house in my life that had more than one bathroom, until four years ago. I had blissful daydreams about privacy, and not having to wait in line to use one. I quickly realized that I now had 3 toilets to keep clean. And I have four boys (Hubby included) who can’t aim to save their lives. Then we had another baby, who will presumably not be able to hit the toilet when it comes time. Suffice it to say that I loathe cleaning the bathroom.
We have five bathrooms in our house. I hate to clean them, mainly because it’s an old house and 1)even after they have been cleaned they still look awful, and 2)I wait so long to clean in between cleanings that it’s really bad and so it’s so yucky I don’t want to clean (clearly logical thinking). One of our bathrooms has never been cleaned since we moved in (I’m sure someone had cleaned it who lived here before, but…I like to do it when we move in a new place) There was a dead roach in one of the drawers and I never went back in there. We shut the door and it stayed shut forever and ever, and now we just don’t use it. There is more to the story, but I will keep it to myself for now. The other bathrooms get cleaned sporadically. I try to tell myself,”I’ll clean one a night, and then I’ll still have several days free of bathroom cleaning each week!” A happy and highly good-intentioned thought which never comes to fruition. So, finally my husband gets to the point where he can’t take it anymore and cleans the bathroom himself. Good plan, no?
Did I seriously just put this on the internet? I hope this doesn’t get me banned from leaving comments here. I loved this post. I thought it was completely awesome. Shifting from taking Caroline to shop for jeans to cleaning the bathroom is genius.
Can’t say I blame you for your lack of motivation to clean the bathrooms. I can never muster that motivation either because I have two boys who can NEVER.HIT.THE.WATER!! Ugh! I’ve threatened to make them sit down, but then they’d probably hit the shower curtain….. Sorry TMI, I know.