About parenting

Since the arrival of little # 4 I’m feeling busy and generally a little overwhelmed by everything I’ve got going on.  My mind is overflowing with fun things I’d like to do with my kids, projects for the house, art I’d like to get down on paper/fabric.  But, I barely get the dishwasher loaded most days, let alone sit down and do something with my kids for fun.  I love data so I thought I’d prepare a little graphic representation of what I used to dream of before I was a parent and what I’m actually doing these days:
parenthood chart 1
Parenthood chart 2That’s right, I spend 62% of my days cleaning up pee.
Of course, I wouldn’t trade any of these little buggers for anything, etc. etc., BUT right now it feels like I’m snowed in by the many mundane and even sucky tasks that parenting entails while, stuffed in every corner of my cluttered mind, the other things I’d like to do for fun and profit never see the light of day. But, enough complaining, I’m trying to claw my way back to the land of the living and this here blog post (acknowledge the problem) is my first little baby step..

10 thoughts on “About parenting

  1. Jess, this is SO AWESOME!! We absolutely love your pie charts. Actually, we have been thinking along the exact same lines, but substituting of course our own struggles between our teaching and our soul-crushing, exhausting, but necessary second jobs, and also the mundane, day-to-day busy-work that teaching requires. We are inspired to make our own pie charts, but are afraid of what they would look like!!!! At this point, the practicing and teaching projects that we would like to be doing COMBINED would probably be a thin line on the chart, with everything else that we don’t want to be doing taking over the rest. But it might provide some entertainment to try to figure out percentages, etc.

    We feel your pain — our brains are equally cluttered and filled with ideas that seem, right now, unlikely to ever get crossed off our to-do lists. But as you said, all we can do is take whatever teeny little baby steps that are possible right now and rejoice in each one of those baby steps. We must acknowledge each little victory! Thank you for posting this, it truly made our night!

    • Thanks for commenting 🙂 It really does provide some relief to know that we’re all in the same boat sometimes.

      On Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 10:57 PM, Jessie Aller wrote:

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  2. Don’t tell me all those sweet pictures of you cuddling “little #4” were just playacting! I love the pie charts. Especially the unknown. Hang in there, before you know it, all the pee will be under the control of it’s owner.

    • So the cuddly pictures are me “staying positive” (sure that’s generally how I feel about this parenting gig but you know there’s a flip side to everything..) and the pee post is just a much-needed wallow. Thanks for the encouragement Carolyn!

      On Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 6:19 AM, Jessie Aller wrote:

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  3. Very interesting presentation of the life of Mother of four sweet children. Doing home schooling doesn’t seem to be in the charts? I think that would make all that great stuff you want to do a big part of what is actually happening. The things you dream of do get communicated to the kids in the choices you make for their education and excursions for family fun… however I never knew there was so much pee to clean up in a single day. Must be the liquid diet that causes that flood. Still I think you have a great life in some of the ways you dreamed of with your family but it is clear to see from your charts there are a few things you want to do more. I really hope your post is a big step in the direction of fulfilling those dreams. Keep on keeping on!

    • You’re right, I didn’t give school its own category! Luckily my 6th grader can do a lot of his work independently, and school for my 5 year old is just “life.” We read lots of books, do simple math problems using toys and other objects, and I do try to take them on lots of field trips when I can. For the 3 year old, it’s mostly mimicking the older ones, and I think honestly she’s learning things earlier than either of the others did because of it. I do have a great life, but sometimes all I can think about is the struggle.

      On Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 12:44 PM, Jessie Aller wrote:

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    • Here’s the thing: After a recent illness, my three year old (who was potty trained earlier than my other kids and with almost no effort from me) has had a major regression, almost back to square one. We don’t want to put her back in diapers since that would probably prolong the issue. So, pretty much every day I’m running all her bedding through the wash, cleaning the carpet, changing her and washing all those extra clothes, etc etc.. Add to that the to-be-expected baby diapers. I cloth diaper and generally that’s not too much of a burden but it does add to the daily laundry load. So all that together becomes a big enough part of my life that it warrants its own blog post 🙂

  4. Bwhahahaaaa….thanks for sharing….been there…done that…including the added laundry from a kid deciding she wanted to be like her baby brother…out of big girl pants!:) Yes…this will pass….hiking trails and quilts are calling your name!:)

  5. Lol Jessie! I never realized how much pee parenting is about, but you’ve probably got that pie chart divided up accurately. The good thing is that it’s only temporary! I once heard the comic Jim Gaffigan describe what it’s like to have a fourth baby: “it’s like you’re drowning, and someone throws you a baby.” It’ll get better. It must, because he just had his fifth or sixth kid:)

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