Friday, November 22, 2013


So yesterday was Theme Thursday over at Clan Donaldson. This week's theme is Shaming, and I drew a complete and total blank.

Oh, I've got archived evidence like this:

And this:

And this one's a favorite:

But for the here and now, I came up with nothing. I hopped over to Cari's this morning to peruse what other mothers had posted.

Rebekah writes over at Rebekah's Web Log. Oh Rebekah, dear Rebekah! Can I call you "dear" when I'll we've done is chat in comboxes? Hiding chocolate from your children doesn't get filed under "S" for "Shameful". No, no, no. File it under "C" for "Common Sense" of "I" for "Important Life Skill."

And there's Annery who write at Annery at Home. Annery declares Shameful the fact that she's wholly uninterested in potty training her seventeen-month-old. The good news is that Annery seems to be ashamed only in a detached, sort of academic sense, as in "What kind of mother doesn't respond to a child's interest in potty training? Well, me, I guess. Now where's the crossword puzzle?"

In my book, that's progress, Annery.

Hesitation over potty training a seventeen-month-old? See my comments to Rebekah:  "C" for "Common Sense, "I" for "Important Life Skill", maybe "W" for "Ways to Avoid Xanax".

Micaela offers a beautiful post on the end of nursing. No pithy commentary on that one; it is simply sweet.

Dwija posted pictures of her son's grave site. Last summer, Dwija and her husband lost baby Nicholas at twenty weeks. As for the issue of Shame, I agree with Dwija's readers: When it comes to writing, you share what you want to share, when you want to share it.

Motherhood: the good, the bad, the sad, the funny, the heartbreaking, the gritty.

Of course, after drawing a blank yesterday, I eyed my house and yard and instantly came up with about a dozen shame inducing sights:

- The pile 'o papers that was perilously close to toppling yesterday. Whoever predicted a paperless environment never had kids in school, playing sports, or attending Faith Formation. How do you spell Avalanche?
- The inside of my van which is full of hay from the Fall Fare two weeks ago.
- My son's unmade bed. Unmade as in no sheets. Unmade for over 48 hours. I didn't have the energy to make it (top bunk + bulky mattress pad = not fun). The kicker was when I observed that his pillow didn't even sport a humble case.
- John's lonely water bottle sitting on the counter where it will remain until John comes home from school because Mama's not driving it in. Nope.

Years ago I read Confessions of an Organized Homemaker. It's a great book, full of practical suggestions. I moved my coffee pot across the kitchen after reading the book, and that alone has probably saved me millions of steps. But the single most valuable piece of advice for all mothers but especially for mothers who stay home: Stop striving to say, "All the work is done" and instead say, "Today's work is done."

While I don't like the above list, I don't fret over as I once did  because it's just life. I've adjusted my definition of Shame because it's never done.

Except for the naked pillow. Which really does make me gulp.

And now I think I'll go play a game with my boy who is home sick this morning.

Have a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

I remember once seeing a cartoon of a mother baking, with a little girl looking on. The mother was shaking an ingredient into her measuring spoon from a box labelled "GUILT".

Most of the time, for most of the parents I know, I think we need less shame and more self-acceptance. The parents who should feel ashamed (I think of my adopted son's birth parents) are unable to do so.

So I'm glad you didn't immediately come up with loads of examples, Kelly!

Kelly Dolin said...

Christine - It probably is a good sign. I wandered onto some sad, sad Blog the other day. A woman dealt with some of the same issues as your son. It's so hard to believe what people will do to kids. I walked away from the computer and asked Ainsley, "Who do you want when you're sad?" "Grandma," she immediately told me. That's a good answered, but I continued, "Where do you want to be when you're scared?" "Mama's bed!"

My second heart-warming moment of the week came when Ainsley spent what seemed like eternity ensuring their her Madeline doll was securely fastened in a seat belt.

Yes, we have moments when we feel too tired or too taxed to respond as we would like, but we need perspective as well.

Kris said...

Making the top bunk is THE WORST. While it's a necessity to have bunk beds at the moment, I think they are part of the 7th level of hell for mothers.

Kelly Dolin said...

Yes, Kris, the top bunk is a kicker!