Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm Clearly Making an Effort...

I have found myself uttering the phrase, "I'm clearly making an effort, why aren't you?" in my head over & over lately. I'm increasingly frustrated that while I'm going out of my way, others are just coasting by. I don't classify myself as an over-acheiver, it's just that if I'm going to do something, then I'm going to do it right. And while I don't expect perfection from others, I do expect effort. Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about...

1 - Walking the Dog

Charlie is not the best behaved dog in the world. In fact, he can be downright naughty at times. This is especially true when I'm out on walks with him. He chases squirrels and wants to "play" with every dog we see. Since he's unpredictable, as are other dogs, I try to keep him reigned in & as far away as possible. So if you see me coming down the sidewalk and I'm reeling him in & moving to the other side of the sidewalk, you might want to take that as a cue to do the same. I'm clearly making an effort to control my dog, please try to control yours.

2 - Healthy Eating & Exercise

Since I've had Ella, I have watched what I am eating & exercised regularly. I run five times a week & am making a real effort to cut out as much processed food from my diet as possible. This is an area that I have plenty of room to grow in, but I'm trying. If you see me making healthy living a priortiy, don't criticize my choices and bring me oreos. I'm clearly making an effort to live a healthy life, if you don't want to partake, then please at least try to understand.

3 - Raising Ella
I'm so confused... who's in charge around here? The answer is always mommy.

I think many moms will relate to this... I am not the perfect mother. However, I do know what Ella should & shouldn't be eating. I know that you need to watch her every move because she'll crawl off the couch. I know that she doesn't fall asleep in your arms anymore, you have to put her down. I do not need your "years of wisdom in child rearing." You do not know her better than I do. I'm clearly making an effort to raise Ella the way that Eric & I have decided is fit, so please keep your opinions to yourself and follow our instructions.

4 - Budgeting

if I could, I'd go out for fro-yo evernight

I suck at budgeting, but I'm trying really hard. It's difficult for me to pass up eating out with friends or driving thru for an iced tea in the morning. If you're the person imposing the budget upon me, please do not go out and buy frivilous items (cough cough golf balls). That will only make me angry and encourage me to go out & buy something frivilous for myself. Also, if I have shared with you that we're on a strict budget, please do not invite me to go shopping/out to eat/out for coffee... unless you want to pay for me. I'm clearly making an effort to save money, please do not tempt me.

5 - My Students

I'd rather be on a field trip too kids...

OMG! We have 5 weeks of class until the end of the year & the kids have had it. No, I'm not going to let you watch a movie. Yes, we still have homework even though it's nice out. I'm clearly making an effort to teach you something, please keep your eyes open and pretend to be interested.

Linking with Lisette for Just Because!


  1. Such a well thought out, pseudo rant. I have the same issue with walking Archie. If I'm clearly making an effort to have him sit and behave while your dog walks by, don't let your dog come over to start playing. We're trying to train him! Drives me nuts. And I can't imagine how frustrating it must be when other people tell you how to parent. I'm sure I'll find out someday and I'll be just as pissed.

  2. I love what you said about parenting. I have the same issues with my little one. We are all just doing the best we can, critics are not welcome!

    Brittany @ Everyday Thoughts

  3. I do the same with my dog- He loves to play and doesn't know his limits.

  4. Hi there, I'm your newest follower. I found you through Olive and Ivy.

  5. Your little girl is adorable! I was sent here from Olive & Ivy and am now following you via GFC! :)

  6. You are not 'doing what you can' ... you are doing amazing!

    I mean look at it - you have a great job (teacher, where so many are getting laid off these days), have a beautiful baby, have family fairly close you want to see, and are married to someone who wants to spend time with you and your baby.

    There is one universal truth of parenting - we ALL suck! :D I mean, my wife and I spent hours researching all of the stuff we got for our kids and paid more to get THE BEST stuff, the SAFEST stuff and so on. Guess what happened when we were having a yard sale before moving from Mass. to Corning (our kids were in 4th and 5th grade then)? Most of the stuff we couldn't sell because it was no longer safe! And we knew the stuff WE had as kids was not deemed safe either!

    So you can only do the best that you can - and so long as you are approaching your child with love, it is all for the best. Nobody is perfect, not me, you, Ella ... nobody. But that is OK!

    Also, one of the sad realities is that many people do things out of jealousy - look at your health and fitness. You have said that you know you look good, and the feedback from others confirms that. You also just did a half marathon and work hard to keep fit. In other words - you are rocking! But there are some who believe that if they cannot raise themselves up, at least they can pull others down. Don't let them bother you - my wife has a terrible person at work who does that, who calls her 'June Cleaver' (from Leave it to Beaver) because we have a nice house in a nice neighborhood, I have a good job at Corning, our kids are very successful in school and activities and so on. But it isn't said in a kind way - and the person never misses an opportunity to nitpick my wife. I have seen others in projects do what you note - bringing trigger foods to someone struggling with weight - and I have said something about it (basically, what is WRONG with you?) Remember - this is about THEM, not you.

    The only 'red flag' I see is something I have seen in a couple of posts: remember that parenting and marriage is a partnership, not a competition. You have a great relationship with your daughter, and it sounds like both you and your husband struggle with money - the important thing is that you work together. Celebrate your daughter speaking, don't make it antagonistic about what sounds she made. She will learn to call you 'Mommy' soon enough. Of course, your husband should refer to you as 'Mommy' when talking with Ella, as that reinforces the name (as in, 'did mommy give you a bath? can daddy read you a story now') and so on. Make it a shared victory, not a wedge.

    Same with money - my wife and I both love to shop, and we'd have more money if early on we had saved more rather than taking great weekend getaways to places like Freeport, Maine and Newport, RI ... with trips to shops along the way! But after 21 years of marriage ... we still look back at those trips, weekends at the Captain Daniel Stone Inn in Maine ... absolutely worth it. This summer we're sending our older son to Europe for a month, which will cost us loads of money and has made things tight all year - but as we say, there is no one I would rather go into debt with ... :)

    Celebrate life, because you are not just making an effort - you are doing awesome.

  7. coming from Olive & Ivy! I am trying to budget as well, and trying to resist daily frozen yogurt stops is so hard! I'm so addicted aha

  8. Congrats on your effort!! :) I came here through Olive & Ivy and I really loved your blog... Keep doing posts like this: they are VERY motivational :)

    xx Raquel