Martha, Sit your Butt Down!

Well, this is the longest I have gone between blog posts. I’ve been busy. Busy doing an assortment of things that keep me busy from the moment I wake up until the moment I fall asleep.

I just finished the very important job of organizing my purse. The assortment of suckers, chap sticks, pens, gift cards and of course teething rings were taking their toll on me. I couldn’t take it anymore. Something as silly as an unorganized purse was driving me crazy.

I know after only one kid outing it will all be unorganized again.

That’s the thing with most of the things I obsess about; they keep happening. Over and over again.

Take the dishes, for example. I do them at least five times a day. Funny thing is we only eat three meals a day and we have a dishwasher. But, if there is a dish in the sink I do it.

I was at a work party for my husband about a month ago, chatting with a couple other moms with young children. We laughed about how we rush to get dinner on the table, ram food in our mouths and try to finish before everyone else so we can start the dishes before the kids get done. So much for an enjoyable family dinner.

My husband had the idea a few weeks ago that we would save the dishes until after the kids go to bed, that way we could enjoy some family time after dinner and I wouldn’t be rushing around like a fool.

You mean, leave the dishes in the sink? I got the shakes.

So, I have been reminded, more times than I would like to admit, about the story of sisters Martha and Mary in Luke 10. Picture this…both sisters were extremely excited about Jesus’ visit to their home. However, their mutual excitement yielded two completely different reactions.

Martha (AKA Mama Burde), rammed around in the garden, picking veggies and herbs for dinner, cleaned, cooked, set the table and expected the house to be in tip top shape for this glorious guest. I can just see her running around in circles going just about crazy to have everything perfect. Good intentions of course.

Mary instead sat at Jesus’ feet and hung on his every word, not worrying about the house, food or anything other than the One thing that got her excited in the first place.

Oh, if I could be like Mary.

I have tried…a little…to take some extra moments to enjoy dinner, look past dirt on the floor and try and let the laundry pile up a little before it’s done so I can enjoy the moment and not always be thinking in the back of my mind about what has to be done.

But honestly, it’s hard. I have been Martha for so long I really have to constantly think and be intentional about well…sitting my butt down!

Jesus actually said to Martha (Luke 1-:41-42 The Message), ‘Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it.’

Oh yea I heard that. I get far too worked up on a daily basis about absolutely nothing.

So, this is where tips and feedback are more than welcome. How can I become more like Mary? With so much to be done and so little time sans kids to do it, how can I maintain a nice, clean home (which I think is important) and finish all my tasks, but enjoy the moment? It does always get done after all.  And frankly, I think I’m ready to stop getting worked up over nothing and enjoy only what is essential.

This Martha heard it loud and clear!

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Mommy First. Professionally Unprofessional.

I work from home. That can sound a little sketchy, like when I see the ‘Make $1,000 a week working from home!’ ads. But, it’s legit. In fact, I know quite a few people who work from home in my field. Marketers, graphic designers, etc. can make quite a good living doing what I do and companies can save a lot of money by hiring people like me without having all the overhead, retirement, health insurance and other costs associated with having employees.

Now that I’ve plugged my business…

They call me a ‘working mom.’

I consider myself a ‘mom working.’

I am fortunate enough to not only work from home, but keep a more part-time schedule and flex my hours a lot, doing work at night if needed, or early in the morning before the kids get up. (Yeah, like that ever happens.) Our oldest daughter just turned three in October so I’ve had just over three years to look like a fool in various venues, meaning I look like a mommy first and professional second. I’m OK with that.

I have…

  • Spilled diapers out of my purse as I put it down while meeting with a prospective client for lunch. 
  • Lied to clients (yes, I’ve lied) when they ask what that noise is in the background… ‘nope, not my daughter in the monitor…just the radio in the background.’ 
  • Told many, many poop stories to clients and realized the topic after it was too late to return. I had to finish the stories hoping they’d laugh at the end. Most of the times, they did. 
  • Spoken to clients on the phone while nursing…gotta love the multi-tasking options with the telecommute, minus a web cam, of course. 
  • Along the same lines, but one thousand times more embarrassing was when I quickly dropped something off to a client shortly after our oldest was born. I had leaked and didn’t realize it until I got home. I felt full of awesomeness after that one. And I was obviously full of something else too.
  • Let’s just get all the nursing stories out in the open here…had to pump while working at a marketing agency I do work for.  It was just me and one other employee (male, of course), in their fairly small office.  I had to come out and tell him what I needed to do.  He could only get himself to say, ‘do your thing.’ He was actually great about it!  And now that he has a prescious little girl he can totally relate.

But over the past few years I have become more open and honest about how I run my business. Not that I tried to hide anything before, but I try and be blatantly upfront about the fact that I don’t work full time and I’m not available 24/7 to anyone else but my family. But when I work, I work. And my kids are well taken care of so I can concentrate on something I love to do.

So, the next time you’re in a meeting and you see a mom with drool on her right shoulder and diapers peeking out of her purse, show her a little love. And bring her a latte for crying out loud. She deserves it!

Self-Awareness – Toddler Style

Let’s face it.  Kids are smart. And, the more time I spend with our three-year-old I realize how smart she is. Unfortunately it also makes me realize how smart I’m not (for the sake of not writing ‘dumb’).

I forget just about everything.  In fact, I had to read the paragraph above to remember what the heck this post was about.  And there, I read it again. 

I forget to put coffee grounds into the coffee pot.  I forget to take my bra off when showering (read blog dated 10/13/11). I have even forgotten where my cell phone was while talking on it… ‘mom, I’m going to have to call you back; I can’t find my phone anywhere!’  Self awareness can be depressing if you can’t laugh at yourself (or use it as blog material so others can laugh at you).

I blame my lack of self-awareness, and awareness of anything really, to the many daily tasks I complete – all at once – to run a business, raise two children, attempt to discipline the dog and keep the house clean and the family fed.  Our toddler doesn’t have all of that to do, so that’s why she remembers everything. And I mean everything.

‘Momma, did you remember my dance bag?’ NOPE!…as I do a u-turn in the bank to head back towards home.

‘Momma, is this an envelope you were supposed to give to the mailman?’ YES…as I put it in my purse and head towards the post office.

‘Momma, is this cheese supposed to be in the freezer?’  NO…as I realize instead of putting it in the fridge I put it in the freezer.  Yes, I did that.  I have also found many things in the cupboard that should have been put back in the freezer.

You get the point.

The other morning while getting breakfast around she said to me, ‘Momma, why are you walking around in circles?’  Good question little miss.  Why am I walking around in circles?  Is it just what mothers do?  Or, am I creating this daily to-do list all in my mind about things I think need to be done?  A better question is: What happened to the calmer version of me who took time and care in cleaning, laundry (OK, that’s a lie I never took extra care in doing laundry) and cooking?  Would that calmer version of me be able to get all these things done?

I don’t have an answer to these questions.  Maybe I’ll ask the kid.

It Feels Good to be Loved

Oh, the life of a mom. If I could have only one dollar for each time our three-year-old says,  Momma…(insert any random question here….) I could easily quit my job (although I like it and it is part-time…and I am my own boss…and I do work in pajamas…here is where I digress). And I certainly know if our six-month old could talk she would rack up at least another $500 per day in Mommas. I can dream.

And then there is Moose.  AKA Lugnut, The Big Lug or my personal favorite Dufus (also termed Dufey when I think he’s being kind of a cute Dufus).  He has been medically diagnosed with separation anxiety.  We actually spent some of our hard-earned money on ‘doggie prozac’ for him and let me tell you it was worth every penny!  (I do wish I could pay for it with ‘Mommas,’ but back to reality I go.)  When we recently rebudgeted we cut the prozac so now I am doing what I know best to keep his anxiety at bay and get at least two feet away from him without him following me.  I yell at him. Not like yell at the top of my lungs or anything, but more like a whiney yell, ‘Moose…geeeeeeeeze, leave me alone!’

But, what would I do without my various leeches?  Well, apart from sleeping in, eating chocolate without sharing and simply walking from room-to-room without a shadow, I really don’t know what I would do.  Because honestly, it feels good to be loved.

I love that our toddler asks me every single question that pops into her mind including, ‘Momma…what is that face you’re making?…’ and ‘Momma…why did God call it a time-out when you have to sit in a chair and do nothing?’  I certainly love when our baby’s eyes light up when she sees me and I am the best at getting her to snuggle in for a nap and make her happy when she is a little cranky (she only gets a liiiiiiitle cranky).  I also love (kind of – this one is a stretch here) that Moose whines at the window if I’m outside even if there is a house full of people and that he has almost broken my legs to get out of the door with me if I am leaving (an attempt to breaks legs can be love to a dog ya know).  And I know my husband loves that he has never ironed a shirt in our ten years of marriage and that they magically appear in his closet each week.  I do not (let me repeat DO NOT) love ironing, but I love that he doesn’t have to do it.

So, if your house is full of people and animals that are sticking to you ‘cuz you’re made out of glue.  Just admit it.  You enjoy it.  Why?  Because it feels good to be loved.

Multi-tasking Mishap #334

Didn’t somebody famous (and very, very wise) say that mistakes sometimes end up being a stroke of genious?…or something like that?

This fall marked a first in the Burde nest…our oldest little burde started preschool.  So bittersweet, but that is a whole other post (probably an entirely different blog for that matter).  Anyway, for a multi-tasking mom it adds a little more rush and business to mornings and for a sleepy little burde who likes to snooze until 8 or 9, waking her up in the mornings means this Mama Burde has to be on her game and be the chipper chicken, which is really quite hard for me.

As I’m taking a quick shower before getting the girls out of bed, something just didn’t feel right.  I washed my hair and then did my usual routine where I stand in the warm water and pretend precious time isn’t passing by.  As I look down I notice something.  I have left an undergarmet on.  In the shower.  And didn’t notice until I was almost done.  To spare your wondering, this undergarmet was what our toddler calls a ‘boop thing.’  (Yes, she calls them ‘boops’ and I am happy at this moment for that so I don’t have to write the real word.)

So as I laugh and almost shed a tear at my grand lack of awareness of myself and likely anything around me, I realize that I may have just stumbled upon something.  Something ingenious.  What mom doesn’t hate laundry?  And if I close my eyes and imagine a world that wouldn’t think this idea was totally idiotic I think to myself, ‘Yes Jacqlyn, you did just wash your bra, while taking a shower. You have just elevated the standards of multi-tasking to a new realm.  Unchartered multi-tasking waters if you will.  Good for you my dear.’ 

Then I smile at the wet-bra-wearing woman in the mirror, trying to convince her that it was a stroke of genious.  But she knows better. 

It was stupid.  Very, very stupid.  Chalk it up to multi-taking mishap #334.

Won’t you Buy My New Cookbook?

The first blog is probably supposed to be an intro to your life…what this blog will be about, etc., etc.  Without wasting any time doing that, this story tells you what life is like as this ‘Mama Burde.’

My new recipe to make hard boiled eggs…

Ram some eggs into a pot and set on the stove to boil while both kids are actually napping at the same time.

Leave the kitchen saying to yourself, ‘you won’t forget about these,’ even though you have the worst memory in the history of the world second only to your mother.

Dash into your office and frantically try and get work done since your nanny quit and husband is out of town for the week.

Sit in your office and say to yourself, ‘what is that sound?’

Yell at the dog (who has snuck on your bed) for making a strange noise, but never let it occur to you that it might be something boiling on the stove.

Continue to say (at least five times), ‘what the heck is that noise?’

Look out your office window.

Go stare at the dog.

Check and see if someone turned the heat on.

Continue to wonder.

When your baby wakes up, walk out of your office down the hall and add to the list of questions, ‘what is that smell?’

Go into the kitchen to plug the monitor back in and FINALLY realize it is the eggs you put into the pot 50 minutes earlier.

Make sure all the water has completely boiled away and the eggs are literally frying in their own shells.

Call yourself an idiot.

Put them in cold water in the fridge and hope for the best.

Remarkably…perhaps miraculously, these will be the best hard boiled eggs you’ve ever made; so perfect your egg-crackin’ toddler peels them all herself.

Watch for these recipes and others in my new cookbook, ‘Multitask Cooking – How to Somehow Scrape a Meal Together While Doing at Least 10 Other Things.’