Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Calling all wonder women

I've been asking myself this a lot lately, how do we as mothers, wives, writers or whatever we do for a living manage to do it all everyday? It seems every time I turn around I have something else added to my plate lately. I have two upcoming deadlines in the next two months, just finished edits on a novel, I have a four year old, a seven month old, a puppy, and a husband who sometimes acts like my fourth child (the puppy being my third), LOL. Now don't get me wrong I know how lucky I am to have two beautiful little girls and to be lucky enough to do what I love but still...some days I feel like I could pull my hair out. Dishes to wash, meals to cook, lunches to pack, laundry, diapers, ballet classes for my daughter, play dates, puppy training, the list goes on and on and I haven't even factored writing, promo, editing or anything like that in. The amazing part is no matter how much gets piled on our plates we always get it done. I really think that all women should hold the title of wonder woman. Some of us work outside the home and run our home. We take care of our family often times forgetting to take care of ourselves in the process. The other day on a friends blog she asked what we've done to treat ourselves. Bought a new purse? Took the weekend off? Got your hair done? The sad part is I couldn't think of a single thing. NOTHING. Yes, I buy books but we're talking something special, something out of the ordinary. I can remember the sweet little things I've done for my husband, the toys I bought for my kiddos but for me? Nada. That made me a little sad. Not saying I need to go splurge on myself all the time but I think we wonder women work so hard for everyone else that we sometimes just totally forget about ourselves.

So I have three purposes for my post today. First I want to know how you do it? Leave me a comment and tell us how you get it all done. Are you a schedule person or a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants I-have-no-idea-how-I-get-it-done kind of person.

Second, let's give props to our fellow wonder women. If you have a friend who just amazes you, who just seems to do it all and you have no idea how, give them props here today.

Third, do something good for yourself! No matter how big or small, do something for YOU. Next Wednesday I'm going to do a follow up and I want to hear what all you wonder women did for yourself. I'll draw one winner next week from everyone who did something special for themselves and you'll get a free download of my novella, The Emperor--Trenton's Terms.

My props for today goes to ALL the wonder women out there but especially to my friend Tonya. She has three girls of her own, took in a special needs foster boy, recently let her teenage daughter who lived in a bad home move in with them. She runs around bringing kids to track, swim, gymnastics, or whatever activity they happen to be in at the time. Travels two hours each way once a week to bring her foster boy to special doctors appointments, the list goes on. She does all this and still has time for her friends. She's my beta reader and runs around to all my blogs, yahoo groups or whatever I have going on to support me. Tonya, you go girl!


Deb said...

Kelly, first Tonya rocks!

For me everything is scheduled but sometimes things change.
I run to soccer, dance, horseback riding lessons then home for the mom and wife things.
Trust me these last 5 weeks have been damn nearing I had a hysterectomy and my girls are like and that stops you why {gotta love them}
So my hero is not any woman it is my Husband, he has done everything that I do and still work on his job from home.

As for doing something for myself, heck what is that
I head to the store to buy me something and always come out with something for the kidlets or DH. I think it is a mom thing.

I got an invatation from my DH to have one day completely to myself the Saturday, he even bought things for me to pamper myself with.
I will let you know how that turns out.


MJFredrick said...

My question this week is WHY do we do it all? Seriously, when did my husband stop hanging up his own danged clothes?? Yes, I'm on summer vacation, but seriously....

I have a teenager, so it's a bit different. I clean a room a day, plan my meals ahead of time, and get up early to write during the school year. Still, my dh and ds wonder why I'm so cranky all the time!

Oh, look, I vented AGAIN!

Good topic, though!

Anne Rainey said...

I'm gonna get chatty, beware! LOL

It can get crazy with the chores, errands, sick kids, trying to write and get some promo in while someone hangs on your shoulder and complains that they're bored. I have lots to do, never do I get bored! LOL

Whenever I get frustrated with the little things (like picking up after yourself!) they wonder why I get upset so easily. Um, because the maid ain't here! Hello!

My only solution is trying to remember that I don't want 'she was a great housekeeper' on my tombstone. I'd rather be known as a mom who took time to have fun, a wife who enjoyed being married. So, if that means that a few things don't get done, oh well.

I watched my mom work nearly 24 hours a day. After she got home from her full time job, she cooked and cleaned and took care of a husband and 4 kids. We had chores, but that really only takes a small portion of the burden off her. I don't want to spend my life that way. I admire her for her strength. She's a true wonder woman! Still, as I get older I'm seeing the merit in stopping to smell the roses.

I was told once (can't remember by who) that if you don't take care of YOU, who will? Even though I have a terrific husband and great kids, I still have to remember to pamper myself from time to time. When I don't, I tend to feel less like a woman with needs and more like a handy maid and driver...

Regina Carlysle said...

Well, I've gotta admit that I have it waaay easier than most. My daughter is practically grown and my son IS. I don't work outside the home and I STILL have enough frustration to choke a horse. Ya'll don't know this so I'llconfess...I'm BALD. LOL. Not really but I DO want to pull my hair out most of the time because there's ALWAYS something dragging me away from WIPS, edits, promo and the other stuff I want to do.

Manicures, pedicures? Forget about it. I can't recall the last time I got my hair done!!!

I've recently come to the conclusion that things are never going to be perfect. SOmething about making that admission to myself calmed me down a bit. It helped.

Great post, Kell.

Kelley Nyrae said...

Deb, That is so great that your hubby is doing so much. I really am lucky because my husband would do that same thing. When I'm pregnant I get really sick. NOt morning sickness but all day sickness called Hyperemesis. I lost 16 pounds the first month of my last pregnancy and had to go to the hospital for hydration and IV meds. The whole rest of my pregnancy I had to take two medications just to hold most food down. Still I got sick almost every day. My hubby did a lot during those months.

Kelley Nyrae said...

Maryf, Vent all you want. That's what we're here for, lol.

Anne, Love what you said about your tombstone not saying maid but mom. You're right there are so many more important things than always having a perfect home.

Regina, whats a manicure? LOL Just kidding.

Molly Daniels said...

Oh man...where to start?

I become a single mom around March, and things are very hectic until the husband unit returns from his job anywhere from October-December. Sometimes this involves a strict Last fall, the routine went like this:

7:15am-Take 16-yr old K to school (he had a special morning class and couldn't take the bus)

7:45am-Arrive home; pick up 13-yr-old S and 3-yr-old W. Drop S at school, and W at Head Start.

8:15-ish-noon: My time. Shower, chores, writing, etc.

Noon: Pick up W, continue writing, chores, whatever.

3:15-Grab K's swim gear and go pick him up, dropping him at the Y

4pm-Spending an hour with the MIL

5pm-Back to the Y to pick up K

5:30-Home; getting dinner ready; supervise homework; bedtime at 9.

When hubby comes home, the schedule goes into a tailspin, because he doesn't always agree with how I've structured the day. Too Damn Bad. It worked, and you don't fix things that ain't broke!

My book signings are things I do for myself; and every year at tax time, I get my hair done. Sometimes, if we have extra income, I'll go on a small shopping spree. And right now, it's limited to my signings, weekly author meetings at the ice cream parlor, and the e-books I buy each week (and read!)

My Wonder Woman? Right now, Ms Kirch. She released a book, packed up her family and moved 2 states away; is working on still 2 more books; and just took a 2-week working vacation to visit family and critique partners.

Regina Carlysle said...

Oh, Molly I agree with that. Kelly Kirch has done amazing things lately with all this stuff on her plate. Makes my head spin.

Molly Daniels said...

Did you see my post yesterday, where she also hosted a conference in my dream? Busy lady she is:)

Kelley Nyrae said...

Molly, sounds like you have a great schedule going!

Cindy said...

Hey Kelley,well I'm one of the lucky one's,my hubby helps out with the house work,& so It's not usually too bad for me on the home front,as for as pampering myself,even with the help I get,there doen't seem to be enough hours in the day,after working in the hot all day,& coming home & trying to fix supper & pick up a little,all I want to do is take a bath & go to bed. But it is something to think about,we all deserve to be pampered sometimes.

Molly Daniels said...

In the summer, it's more relaxed, obviously! We all sleep late:)

The only committments are the weekly BSA and my writer's group meetings, and my monthly Policy Board meeting. And I neglected to say, hubby comes home every weekend and I turn into Laundry Goddess in order to wash his clothing and repack his suitcase.

He's staying with his neice this time, instead of in a motel, and has actually done some of his laundry himself:) But that was on a rain-out, and he was bored. He's only been back to work for a month, so we'll see how it goes...

Regina Carlysle said...

No, I need to go over and check that out. I mean, she's had a MOVE to another state on top of everything!!! I shall pray for her. LOL

Tonya said...

Kelley, you are super sweet...thank you. I will wear my cape proudly today. I love being a mom and a friend. I've tried to work outside the home, but I'm just not happy with it. I have enough irons in the fire to keep me busy and fullfilled! Even on days where I want to pull my hair out, and hide in a of the kids or a friend will laugh or say the most amazing thing and I'm reminded why I'm happy where I am.

I do three things to keep me sane, I live by schedules. I TRY to make Malakie's appointments on the same day each week, therapy once a week also on the same day, any of my own kids appointments also on the same day, and carry around a big organizer to keep it I can put sticky notes in or fold up a handout that one of my kiddos give me. At home we have a large, simple calendar that has all our plans on it too. That way the kids can see whats going on for each of them on each day. Each kid has their own color and their own line for each day of the works pretty well. As far as what doesn't get home. Laundry is my always creeps up on me. I can get it washed, dryed, folded, but put away is where I fail. Malakie will be napping or it's bedtime and everyone is asleep. The second thing is I get less sleep than anyone. I stay up at least an hour after everyone goes to bed and get up by 6. I've been trying for 5 so I can exercise, but a girl has her limits. LOL!!!

Third, I do stamping for myself. I wanted to justify the cost of buying new stuff on a regular I joined Chemo Angels and have 2 chemo patients I send cards to each week. I love gets me out of my daily grind and I can relax. I take on challenges from a group of other stampers and just have fun with it. I stamp probably 30-45 minutes 3 times a week.....there are weeks that are less full and I love those....I don't spend them cleaning out a closet....I stamp for me.

Again, thank you Kelley. My props go to everyone, no matter how many kids you have, all the daily tasks add up and every woman is Wonder Woman in my book!!

Phoenix said...

ACK! They're burning. They're buuuuurning!!!! My ears are on fire. ;) I'm not so wondery. Sorry guys. You just do what ya gotta do. In fact, what I gotta do right now is NOT unpack the house because I've left that to the Spousal Unit. I refuse to touch it after doing myself the last 15 times.

Moll, gonna have to go read your blog. I think I must hit it before you update it cause I'm always a day behind. Regina, my dear, you're pretty freakin' fabulous. I suspect you have more going on than you say. The three blogs alone make me shake my head.

Then there's Cindy... Now THAT is a busy lady!

Phoenix said...

LOLOLOL!!!!! Baad Kelly, Baaaaad typing.

I mean, I refuse to unpack after doing it myself the past... blah blah blah....

NOT that I'm busy "doing myself".


Kelley Nyrae said...

Cindy, hey a bath every night sounds good to me. I usually only have time for a 5 minute shower, lol. I love to bring a book in the bath and relax.

Kelley Nyrae said...

Tonya, first you're right every woman is a wonder woman. We all have different responsibilites and take them all on well. Second, you just amazed me even more, lol. The schedule, your Chemo patients (I'd forgotten about that), and up at 6 Yuck! I hate getting up that early. With the baby its usually at least around seven.

Kelley Nyrae said...

Kelly, we do all do what we have to do but its still pretty amazing :)

Cindy said...

Hey Kelley, the only reason I get to take a bath now is because my youngest is 14,so that helps & I do read & relax,My tub is a whirlpool,Im very gratful for it,I just don't think my body would let me pull wrenches everyday if I didn't have it to massage my muscles everynight,as it is I still wake up stiff every morning.LOL I think you ladies with the babies & trying to write & do all the other thing us women have to do are the superwomen.

Anne Rainey said...

Regina--I don't work outside the home either. I quit after I had my second daughter. It was a choice my husband and I made because Alisha had a very difficult time being away from me. Literally refused to eat. It was horrible. We made some rules back then though that helped a lot. Since my husband did work full time, my job became taking care of the kids and the house. He worked and also cooked dinner. It worked out well for us, because the jobs were easily seperated and there was no arguing as to who does what.

Now that I'm writing during the day, it's harder though, because I still have all the things I always had, but the writing as well (and some cooking). I don't think I'll be looked at as having a 'job' until I'm pubbed with NY or have an agent...

The other issue with stay-home moms is that everyone in the family feels it's okay to dump their stuff on you, because you don't "work". I learned quick to say 'no'.

Desirée Lee said...

It was bad enough when I was still married and had a husband who acted like a child. I can't imagine how authors with children and spouses do it.

My sister is not an author but she is a daycare provider. I spent a few days visiting her and even in that short time, those kids wore me out! I tried to imagine doing that and getting writing done too? No way.

You authors who juggle it all are better people than me! My hat is off to you.

Carpe Noctem,

Desirée Lee
Putting the Romance Back in Necromancy

Anny Cook said...

Heh. Wonder Woman. Yep, I did the Wonder Woman gig. At one point my day started at 4:30 AM and ended around 11:30 PM. I was taxi mom, worked full time, babysat my granddaughter, supported a house full...

BUT! As Kelley pointed out, we pay. I have stress/sleep deprivation induced obesity. Take every medication known to man, it seems. And wish I could have a few of those years back. Not happening.

No one lives with me now but the househunk. I CLEAN when someone is coming to visit (which is about every six months or so). I go out to the store/laundry/restaurant when I'm forced to leave the apartment, but it's definitely not something I'm interested doing on a daily basis.

I write several hours most days because I can. This is my time now. If I had it all to do over again, I would strip all the necessities down to the basics and spend time with my kids.

Now two live in New York, one in Florida, and one in Arkansas. I live in Maryland. Parents live in Texas. They're too sick to travel. I'm too sick to travel.

I'm sure there are people who are organized to within an inch of their lives and they can always fit in one more request. I'm just not sure that we women should. Why are we so determined to do it all? Who's giving us a prize for accomplishing things that don't necessarily need to be accomplished?

Oh, all of us have stretches of time in our lives where we have to go not just the extra mile, but thirty or forty extra miles. Believe me, I've been there. But when things calm down, for whatever reason, we feel guilty because we're not still running so we FIND things to fill our time.

I've reached the time in my life when I refuse to do that anymore. If I want to read a book... well then I read a book. If I want to stare at the wall and accomplish nothing at all, I call it thinking. Maybe it is.

Ladies, no one, no one at all will make you Queen for a Day except you. No one. A counselor once told me "Until you believe you are important and worthy, no one else will." And that's true. If you don't take your "personal" time, for sure no one is going to arrange it for you. Because you're sending a signal that it isn't important.

Tonya, I salute you! Especially the stamping! Kelly, I salute you! Hang in there. The rest of you--what is one thing you really want to do for you? Go do it!

Molly Daniels said...

Now THAT'S why you're known as the Zen Queen Anny:) Thanks for the kick in the butt...

I made a fatal mistake the year I married; I allowed him to make me feel guilty for having a high-risk pregnancy and unable to contribute financially. I've tried to correct that mistake, but he's set in his ways, and I've learned to take my small amount of 'personal time' when I can.

Yes, he's thrilled when my books sell, but he hates the 'down time'...any time where my promo cuts into 'his time'...unless, of course, a check arrives for me:)

Fedora said...

Very spot on, Kelly! How amazing all of us all are ;) I don't have any suggestions for getting it all done, but am going to take your suggestion to make a little time for me, too, today :) Thanks, and kudos to you all!

Kelley Nyrae said...

Well said, Anny! Go out there and do something for yourselves ladies!!!

Flchen1- Good for you!!

Kelley Nyrae said...

Flchen- Can you email me when you get a chance? kelley.nyrae @ (no spaces)

Unknown said...

Well, I give kudos to all those that plan ahead and actually have a good home cooked meal at least 4x's a week.

I am not very good at cleaning and organizing anything. Use to be!!! But not anymore. Now that David's in school I actually like being on a schedule. I like having a routine. It helps me with my daily to do's.

I love being a mom & wife but I do sometimes ask "How in the world did I end up here?!" I feel like I should be doing MORE. Like I'm not doing enough for the world.

At the end eveything gets done due to lots of praying. We all end up with smiles because the good Lord is right here with us guiding our way.