Sunday Confessional 8/21/2011

Heather says:

Every so often I like to remind Home-Ec 101 readers that life isn’t magazine and snapshot perfect. It’s really easy, when you live your life semi-publicly on the web to only present the best and gloss over the less perfect moments of life.

I work from home, in addition to running this site, Home-Ec 101, I am the Home Channel Editor of, I am the speaker coordinator for the Type-A Parent Conference, I maintain a few other websites, and I volunteer some of my time with Cooking With the Troops.

Two of our kids attend a virtual charter school, which means five days a week, six hours a day are dedicated to their schooling.

My husband works a fun -visualize air quotes here-  schedule known as rotating shifts. Half of his working hours he’s on day shift and the other half he’s on night shift. These shifts are twelve hours long, throw in a commute, a quick session in the gym, and when he’s on, there’s barely time for a, “How was your day?” before he falls into bed.

Life apparently wasn’t full enough, so I decided to take on another big -secret until I sign- project. I’ll replace this with the actual news as soon as I have the all clear.

So, you know what I’ve gone and done?

I’ve hired help with the kids.

I’ll still be home and available as needed, but I’m going to learn to delegate. I have this feeling I’m going to value the fun things more, when they aren’t just another interruption. I’ve been struggling with an emotional funk for a while now and I think maybe it stems from trying to be too many people in the same day.

I knew I was in trouble when a few weeks ago someone mentioned that the cut off for enlisting in the Army is 35 and I just couldn’t stop daydreaming about that idea. If boot camp sounds like a treat, perhaps some things need to change.  Let me phrase it a way those of you who REALLY know me will understand. It’s gotten so bad that I’ve quit cooking and resorted to throwing together casseroles for dinner. Casseroles I have no appetite for. You know it’s not good when I’ve lost my love of food, cooking, and photography.

Perhaps to you, I just sound like another over-privileged woman complaining about first world problems. That’s fine, you’re welcome to your opinion.

However, I’ve decided to take my own advice and cut myself some slack. I don’t have to do it all; perfect isn’t real. I want to continue down this career path that I’ve started and it’s long past time to quit trying to shove it in around the edges before I burn out completely.

So, there you go, no one has it all together all the time, certainly not me.

The Sunday Confessional is open, what do you have to get off your chest?


  1. MaryLambert on August 31, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Cut yourself that slack! You’re going to be a much better mom when you aren’t stressed all the time, it’s SO worth it! Like someone else said: hire a housekeeper too! You get to work on your passion, spend quality time with the kiddos and give jobs to a couple people who are sure to need them. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!

  2. gritsgirl76 on August 25, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Don’t feel bad. Hire a housekeeper too! You can’t be superwoman, so ask for help and enjoy life. Life is too short to live overwhelmed and grouchy. Smile and know that you’re not alone!!

  3. HeatherSolos on August 23, 2011 at 5:55 am

    @RosieW Well, at least I’m not alone on my crazy train. 🙂

  4. RosieW on August 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    @HeatherSolos You’re not alone, I see the Wikipedia page says “Reviewers have called this a “cautionary tale about selfishness and vanity” and a reminder that “sharing brings happiness and acceptance,”[1] but the moral of the book has become a hotly debated topic. Interpretations include rejection of individuality and promotion of Socialism.[2]”

  5. RosieW on August 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    @HeatherSolos Look don’t talk to me, I am the Queen of Overthinking Children’s Literature. The times I’ve sat in rhyme time at the library, concerning myself way too much at what other patrons might be thinking about the very existence of the animals on Old McDonalds Farm…

    I’m working on that.

  6. KeterMagick on August 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Heather, I feel for you. To those who might fault you, tell ’em to walk a mile in your moccasins first. If they persist, there’s always “talk to the hand.” 😀

    I confess I am about to fire my husband from doing the plumbing, which was blowing out randomly and yesterday blew out entirely all over the house. We traced the problem to immense surges in the city water supply pressure that caused the old pressure regulator to blow…and each of these blowouts was the result of another surge. However, now he’s insisting on just patching the blowouts and leaving the rest of the pipe in place, even though it’s 33 years old and has been severely over pressurized for at least a couple of weeks. No. It needs to all be pulled out and replaced or we are going to be dealing with random disasters from here to eternity. He’s already in a horrible temper and I am totally dreading this conversation.

  7. Bobbie Laughman on August 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I moved out of the house in January, leaving my husband and then 17-yr old son, because I didn’t feel like I had any other choice at that point. Neither of us wants a divorce, and we are trying to work things out, with the help of some caring people from our congregation.

    That wasn’t my confession. It’s this: I thought that the reason I never got to do all the things I wanted to do was because of the other people I was living with and all the things I just had to do and make sure was done. Turns out it’s just because I completely lack any self-discipline. I’m lazy. I want to write, but it’s easier to just read. I like to paint, and I have all my supplies here, but I haven’t painted anything in a couple years. I bought a keyboard at a yard sale, and have a book to teach myself to play it, but there it sits. I make plans and schedules and chore charts and deadlines, and pat myself on the back, then after a few days, they fall by the wayside, if I even manage that much. I’ve been a really bad example to my kids, and that saddens me to despair some days. I know I need to make huge changes if I want to save my marriage. I’m just not sure it’s even possible any more.

  8. RhondaMcClymondsSantoro on August 22, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Two years ago, we began a homeschooling journey with our then 6yo b/g twins. First grade went soooo well, we decided to improve it for 2nd grade… because if something works really well you can only make it better right???? Last year, I was a mess! We had made so many time commitments between the two kids and oh yes… we have two grown children too! (surprise came with a bonus) Anyhoo, my husband would say “Your schedule is so flexible, I think we can offer the kids more… ” The school year was a disaster. I was using 3 different calendars in an effort to find one that would work for me. Plus it was the littles big year in our faith, one in which we celebrate a major sacrament and I was volunteering at our church and worrying about planning the family celebration.And in my husbands zeal, he must have also been blind b/c I was forgetting appointments and piano…. I could not remember a piano lesson… I actually had friends reminding me that MY kids had a piano lesson… he signed our son up for TWO baseball leagues this summer. For the first time he was in charge of making sure that just this one kid got to both places all summer. When there was overlap, my husband had to figure out if he was going to miss this team’s game or that team’s game. It finally clicked for him. I’d love to tell you that this year is going to be different. It is my goal. Finally hubs understands that flexibility does not equal more hours in a day. He is more empathetic. So I researched and I found a four day curriculum that allows for one day a week to schedule things like piano, riding lessons and gym and swim at the Y. Except no one told the piano teacher or the riding coach and they are booked on the same day as the YMCA gig… and that my friends is a huge time hog, I’m gone 4 hours of the day on that day. So this year may not work out either. And then I might just check myself into a clinic for a little bit of a mental rest.

  9. HeatherSolos on August 22, 2011 at 5:48 am

    @LenoraGunnoe I like your style, lady. 🙂

  10. HeatherSolos on August 22, 2011 at 5:48 am

    @RosieW Are you telling me there are sequels to that book?

    That book bothers me on a deep, fundamental level that I can’t quite articulate. I know it’s supposed to be about sharing, but it feels darker than that. It feels, to me at least, like the book wants you to give away what makes you special so you’re just like everyone else and aren’t we all happier when we’re just like everyone else?

    See, I read WAY too much into a kids book.

  11. HeatherSolos on August 22, 2011 at 5:44 am

    @lauracotero I can relate.

    They keep asking for a team mom for my son’s football team. I always bury myself in my phone or whatever I’m writing when that topic comes up. They keep saying, It’s just X planning.

    No! I can’t. The time commitment of 4 nights of practice a week is sucking what little soul I have left right now, there’s now way I could add anything else.

    I feel like a jerk for saying no, but the truth is, I’d be more of a jerk if I said yes and then couldn’t fulfill the obligation.

  12. HeatherSolos on August 22, 2011 at 5:39 am

    @gardenJess I am pulling for you. I tend to build those things up into horrendous mountains of pain and headache and usually end up surprised by how much of a non-issue they are. I hope this is the case for you.

  13. RosieW on August 22, 2011 at 12:15 am

    The #2 doll naming mystery was when Bella wanted a “Proobain” doll that she claimed she’d seen at The Warehouse (department store). Finally I found the one she was describing, it had Prue Bain! Try Me! printed on the box. It was the instructions in some unknown language.

  14. RosieW on August 22, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Oh, Rainbow Fish, part of the #1 doll naming mystery. Bella got a doll and called her Seefilly, and we couldn’t work out WHY. (It made all the kindy mums laugh because they thought that Seefily sounded like something you’d need to see a doctor about) Very much later we figured out that it was after Sea Filly, the Girl Seahorse in one Rainbow Fish book we had.

  15. LenoraGunnoe on August 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    @SarahHolbrookMcCubbins I can still recite the book “The Napping House” cover-to-cover, completely from memory. My baby is 16. (Years, not months.) I also stacked the deck of cards for Candyland so the game would go faster.

  16. on August 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    @SandeeHill My son is about to turn 36 and I still remember with (a small amount of) guilt throwing away “Early Worm” by Richard Scarry! And my mother would hide Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit at the library because my sister wanted to check it out every week from the age of 2 1/2 to 6.

  17. lauracotero on August 21, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Heather, I feel your pain! Thank you for sharing with us. I read a post today about learning to say “yes” instead of “no”. That was so far from where I am in my life right now, that all I could think of was that I’m learning to say “yes” to saying “no”. That might not make sense for some people, but I am learning that I have given myself so much unnecessary stress and heartache this year by not being able to delegate, get help, and say “no”. I am so happy for you that you are getting help. By the way, your life does not sound like a cake walk, so don’t ever feel that way. You are a super woman, super mom, and super blogger. Plus, you’re a wife, an author (hello?!) and so much more!!! xoxo

  18. gardenJess on August 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I admit that I am taking stock because life has gotten out of control. There is one big thing that I have let slide not months, but years and it has financial and legal implications. I don’t believe it’s too late to sort out I just need to get moving. That’s my confession. It’s out there so now I have to do it, right? And good for you for recognizing that you needed to readjust!

  19. SandeeHill on August 21, 2011 at 10:05 am

    @SarahHolbrookMcCubbins Oh, boy do I remember that! Books and movies. We were recently cleaning the basement when my 13 year old bonus son opened a box and exclaimed, “My Dinosaurs movie!!! I remember that- I loved it so much, and I watched it over and over again till it got lost!” Unfortunately, he’s a little too astute for his age- he caught the guilty look my hubby and I exchanged and realized immediately that he hadn’t lost it, we’d hidden it. In all fairness, we meant to give it back, we just forgot about it! 🙂

  20. HeatherSolos on August 21, 2011 at 8:36 am

    @SarahHolbrookMcCubbins Oh boy, I remember those days, and why, why? I ask is it the worst books? The ones that you really don’t even know where they came from?

    I loathed Rainbow Fish and this one about a Bear’s Birthday cake in which his “friends’ ate half his cake before he even got there.

    Currently the book I hate is Tickle the Duck, I hate fake laughing with a passion.

  21. SarahHolbrookMcCubbins on August 21, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I have a 16 month old. She brings me the same books to read over and over again. I hid them last night after she went to bed….I have to read something new or I’m gonna poke my eyes out!

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