There are some things that my children do that bother me more than others, like when my daughter doesn’t put away the clothes I’ve painstakingly folded, or when my son brings each and every toy he owns into my bedroom but is then “too tired” to clean them up afterward. As annoying as these things are, they are still somehow bearable. Then there are those things that I have a hard time tolerating, like when my kids choose to blame anyone—but themselves—for things that have gone wrong. They even like to assign blame when none is needed, and more often than not, I am the focus of this negative attention.
A perfect example of this would be when my daughter is running late for school because she can’t find clean socks to wear, she blames me for not washing them. Is it really my job to go through her disastrous room in order to find her dirty socks? Or, when I ask my son to get dressed and he yells at me that I didn’t give him his clothes yet. I mean, he’s seven, isn’t he capable of picking out his own clothes? It seems that the list of things I get blamed for is endless.
Of course, as a mother, I already place this blame on myself—I just call it “guilt.” I believe that it’s a parent’s curse to feel guilty about everything, even when we shouldn’t. So, as I sit here and feel guilty about ignoring my blog once again, I’ve decided to take a page from my children’s playbook and cast blame on everyone and everything that has prevented me from publishing a single word.
- My Children’s Rooms In order to write, I need the space around me to be neat, not perfect, but free of excess clutter. Although I don’t actually write in either of their rooms, every time I walk past them, I feel overwhelmed by the incredible mess I see. That being said, I don’t actually feel compelled to clean them, but I do include them on my mental list of all the things I need to do before I can sit down to write.
- Work I’ve worked for the same company for the last twelve years, and although I am lucky enough to work from home, I still have a job that owns my time for 8 hours each day. If only I didn’t have to worry about feeding and clothing my children, putting gas in my car, or paying any bills, I would have plenty of time to write.
- Spring Break Because I’ve had a lot going on with work recently, we decided to not to do anything special for spring break this year. When it finally arrived, I felt tremendously guilty about my decision. To alleviate this guilt, I overcompensated. From the moment I finished work each day, I was at the mercy of my children’s whims—from taking my daughter shopping at the mall, to hunting down a new Skylander for my son at Toys ‘R Us—all in the hopes of making their break a little more memorable. Each night, when all of the running around was finally done, I was too exhausted to even turn on the computer.
- Alcohol With all of the endless running around, who could blame me for needing a glass of wine—or two—at the end of a long day. And, although wine may be good for creativity when tweeting, I don’t find it incredibly motivating when trying to write.
- The Internet Why is it that on the nights when I actually had the energy to turn on the computer, there was always something interesting to distract me: posts from fellow bloggers, Google alerts in my inbox, emails from friends, status updates on Facebook? It was as if the Internet was mocking my desire to capture my advice for my daughter, by tempting me with this or that—and I gave in each and every time.
- Shades of Grey Trilogy Five days of my life were lost within the pages of these books—that’s all I’m going to say about that.
- Photobooks by MyPublisher Once every six months or so, MyPublisher sends out a coupon code for a photobook with unlimited pages for only $35 dollars. Unfortunately, they only give you about a day and a half to create and submit it—so as soon as the email arrived, I had to get started. In the end, my “2011” photobook was 70 pages in length, and without the coupon it would have cost me $90.00. Who can blame me for thinking about nothing else during that time other than editing, cropping, and sorting images in order to take advantage of such an incredible offer?
- DragonVale I hesitate to include this on my list, as I don’t want anyone out there to be tempted to actually play this game—it is a huge time suck. At first, it was something for my son and I to do together—breed some dragons, collect some coins, compete in the colliseum—but then it turned into something more. Suddenly, every time I went to use the iPad for writing, I found myself checking on the dragons. I completely blame the creators of this game for preventing me from writing—wouldn’t you?
- Roku I cancelled cable recently in the hopes of saving some money and to attempt to watch less TV. I then purchased a device called “Roku” so that we could still watch TV via the Internet. What I didn’t know was that by subscribing to Netflix and HuluPlus, I was just opening myself up to a world of TV that I hadn’t known was out there—which leads me to #10.
- Friday Night Lights This is not a show that I was remotely interested in when it was on TV, as it focuses on three things I can’t exactly relate to—High School, Football, and Texas. For some unknown reason, when I saw the complete series on Netflix, I decided to give it a try. By the end of the first episode, I was completely hooked. Now, a few weeks and 70 episodes later, I am dreading the day—probably in the very near future—that the series will come to an end. Although this was probably the one thing that I blame the most for my not writing, I still think it was so worth it.
Well, there you have it, all the things that have prevented me from writing these last three weeks. And, although I still don’t like it when my kids blame me for things that I don’t deserve—nor would I advise them to cast blame in the future—I do feel better.
Friday Night Lights was one of the best shows I’ve seen, and I don’t even like football.
And I love my Roku. A life-changer, really.
My mother-in-law handed me her Kindle so I could read through 50 Shades of Grey. That is all.
Mother-in-law? Really? That’s funny. Thanks for sharing—it made me smile.
OMG there is SO much here in this post – I related to the WHOLE entire thing, esp. the part about the 7 year old YELLING at you to get the clothes and all the guilt that comes with motherhood. My hat’s off to you – you work 8 hours a day and then come home and “do” spring break – just: wow. And ok – I don’t know what this Roku thing is but since we gave up TV it caught my attention and I’m going to need to investigate!
I LOVED your reaction! I’ve actually been feeling kind of down about not writing, and I was a little embarrassed to put one out there after so many weeks. Now, I’m so happy I wrote it—your response has put a permanent smile on my face. Thank you! Oh, and if you need more info about Roku, just let me know (you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)—I can give you the whole rundown.
We haven’t yet have kids, and I can’t imagine the overload, physically and mentally. And especially today, with the many distractions of technology and to-do’s the days never seem to be long enough and the weeks seem so short. We’ve given up TV except an occasional trip to the cinema 😉
You are oh so right about the business of life. I hope I haven’t turned you off of having kids, as they do become the biggest thing on everyone’s to-do list! 🙂
Erin, definitely not. Reading so much about adventure and fulfillment, I’m still looking forward to having kids. Thanks for sharing motherhood 😉
I almost took a pic of my girls’ room today as I was cleaning it up with a garbage can. Sigh……
If my daughter’s room is cleaned by the end of the day today, I’m going to go get the garbage can. Great suggestion!
I’m a shameless blamer. I blame the BBC version of Being Human (that’s connected to Netflix). I blame phone calls from sales people. I blame the fridge for not being padlocked. Lots of good stuff.
But more important, gimme that coupon code!
I keep wondering if I should watch the BBC version of Being Human (I don’t watch the American version either). Should I? I’m almost done with Friday Night Lights, and I expect to have a big gaping void in my life when it’s over.
The coupon code has expired, but that have deals every couple of days. Just sign up at mypublisher.com
Thank you for that. Forewarning: Being Human is very bloody/violent – vampires and werewolves and all. But the characters are fantastic.
Hey hey hey. The alcohol did nothing wrong.
You’re right, I should never blame the alcohol, except when it gives me a terrible hang-over. 🙂
Those seem like legitimate reasons to me! We do the best we can!
I can identify with this, I’m a blamer too. Sadly, I also seem unable to resist guilt-tripping. I’d steer clear of blaming the wine though … that way lies madnes 🙂
Wine does make it all better, right? Thanks for correcting me. 🙂
Great post. I could especially relate to the internet, spring break, and photo books (picaboo is my personal vice). I would also add Words With Friends to my list.
I was so addicted to Words with Friends, Hanging with Friends, and Scramble with Friends that I stopped actually having time to TALK to my friends. I had to cutmyself off cold-turkey. 🙂
I could add work to this list. They call me, email me, demand that I show up daily, and take up time and space in my brain–all things that get in the way of the truly important goal of writing. 🙂 Great post.
Don’t you just hate it when your job actually expects you to do work?! Thanks for stopping by, and leaving a comment that made me laugh!
I completely related to this post. Every night I say I’m going to sit down and write, but I get sucked into the interwebz instead. But the cousin of blame is justification, isn’t it? I have to promote my blog for people to read it, right? I bet I’ll get a good idea for a post, right? 🙂
I also have been wrestling with clutter and clean “mental” space in my home. I spent 4.5 hours on MY bedroom and bath this weekend. So why am I not writing right now!?! Ellen
Yes, I do have my fair share of justifications, and once I post something, they come out in full forces as to why it’s ok NOT to write for at least another week. I’m working on that one, too!
Love this – and I’m totally borrowing your list for my own excuse/justification purposes! Also, my daughter has the same laundry regime – except she doesn’t care if she matches, or has a clean uniform to wear to school, or really even clean underwear. I’m constantly finding her clothes under heaps of toys or stuck between the bed and the wall.
Like yours, my daughter hasn’t worn matching socks in at least two years, and her clothes are ofen “missing” under furniture. When does that stop?!
This so reminds me of me, especially having any disorganization around me that distracts me from writing. I manage to always get lost on the way to my home office by rummaging through a junk drawer or some other waste of valuable time.
Very well done!!
You just described my Saturdays! I always have the best intentions, and then some huge time-suck (my closet, the laundry room, the kitchen cabinets) pulls me in. There is chaos hidden everywhere!
Oh boy the list of things that keep us from writing! I think without kids, you’d come up with a different list 🙂
LOVED IT! Good honesty! Blame rocks, until it totally takes any control away that you could possibly have over your life. BTW, I just wrote about 50 Shades of Gray…
I’m going to head over to your site later today to check out what you wrote. I’m intrigued to hear someone’s point of view on it. Thanks for the comment!
Friday Night Lights is the bomb. Really. Glad you found it. Loved this piece. Write on. Erin
Thanks so much. I only 7 episdoes left, and I want to savor each and every last moment with that show. I honestly can’t get over how good it is!
I’m glad (and amazed) you found time to write this!!! 🙂
Thanks, Alison. You know, though, it’s moms like you with little ones at home that truly amaze me, How do you have the time to write?! Incredible.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any better during the teen years, either. Bleh.
I definitely go through life dreading the teen years I just hope to get through them without making my daugter need therapy when she’s older. Thanks for stopping by!
I hear you on that whole blame thing. My 7 year old daughter does that to me all the time! Like seriously? It’s my fault you can’t find your glasses? And you don’t know what to wear?
Then today, I was sitting on the floor and my toddler tripped on me. She turns round, looks me in the eye, and says, “Why’d you do that for?!” I was shocked. I had to hold my breath and gently asked her to come to me, look at me, and say, “Mommy did not do anything. Mommy was just sitting here. You tripped on mommy’s foot. Say, “I tripped by myself. Sorry mommy.”” Incredible, right???
Wow, it does start young. I wonder why that is, and why I didn’t notice and do something about it when my kids were really little. Let me know if calling your toddler learns to stop blaming you if you call her our out on it. Good for you!
I hear you! I think there’s enough blame to go around.
Maybe I shouldn’t be asking, but have you read Friday Night LIghts? It’s a great read in which the series was based!
I haven’t read the book, actually I didn’t even know there was a book. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks!
My 7YO son blames me for everything. Or if he forgets to bring his math workbook home from school it’s his teacher’s fault. Or if he forgets to bring his lunchbox home it’s the girl-sitting-next-to-him’s fault. I hope it’s a phase they grow out of!
Also, I think you’ve inspired me to try 50 Shades and Friday Nite Lites. Which will mean less time to blog. Can I blame you for that? 😉
Yes, you can absolutely blame me because it will be SO worth the time away from your blog. 🙂 You’ll have to let me know what you think about both.
Friday Night Lights. Fifty Shade of Grey. Kids. I’m with you on all of the above!
I could relate to so much of this including a great love of FNL. What could me, Texas and football have in common? Everything, apparently. I am one of those people who tells everyone they must, must watch this show.
And alcohol…I could relate to that, too.:)
These sound totally legit to me! I can only blame my own slacker nature. Me and procrastination are bffs. *mental note to check out Friday Night Lights*
I’m glad you’re writing. I am sensing it took a bit of courage to write this one–it’s got honesty all over it. Remember, you are human. Humans are not perfect. But humans are certainly lovable–writing, or not writing. 😉
I’m so guilty of a lot of what’s on your list, especially Netflix, I’m so incredibly addicted to Netflix. I like it when there are several seasons of a show so I can watch it back to back. Here from the SITS Spring Fling. It’s nice to meet you. http://www.rowellreviews.com
My daughter is still young so I have a list – it’s a bit different from yours but I totally get where you’re at. Though… I haven’t succumbed to either Fifty Shades of Gray or Friday Night Lights yet so… there might be more distraction in my future.
I think the blame thing is a natural self preservation instinct. I do hope you help them mature and weed it out. At my job one of my pet peeves are people who cannot take responsibility for their own actions. I mean we all do it sometimes but some people blame everything on others.
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