17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happiness is Working with Brad Pitt

My 2-year old Asher's favorite question these days is, "Baba (aka me), you happy?" Ok, maybe this is more like his third favorite question after, "I silly, Baba?"and "Are we going to play CARS or WHAT?"

The first time Asher asked me if I was happy it really caught me off guard. Such a simple question and such a complicated answer. Asher, if you only knew....

Well, as for the big, important stuff....I couldn't be happier. I love my DH, I love my kids. I couldn't have chosen a better husband for me and father for them. We are eternally sealed together, which also makes me happy. I have great relationships with my mom and all of my siblings. I talk to each of them at least once a week. With a lot of work, I've even developed a good relationship with the in-laws. I am pretty happy with the person I have become, the beliefs I hold dear and most of the decisions I have made along the way.

Most days, I do enjoy staying at home with my kids. I like having control over their earliest influences and just simply having some fun with them everyday. Although I have yet to find the perfect outside work versus home balance, I feel blessed to be able to control how much time away from home I am willing to work during their earliest years.

However, I have little voices in my head going on all day....voices that eat away little by little at this Happiness. Voices that ask me, "Am I doing this whole stay-at-home mom thing well enough? Is having me at home REALLY going to make a difference in the lives of my children...or am I just driving myself insane for no reason?" Or "Why exactly did I spend all of those years pursuing higher education in order to spend half my day scrapping kiddy crud off the kitchen floor?" Or, "Is this (insert playgroup/storytime/playdough/singing "Popcorn Popping" 1,000 consecutive times) supposed to be fun...or am I seriously missing something?" Occasionally, I find myself asking, "Is my life exciting enough?"

One day when the voices were winning, DH called home to tell me what time he would be home and, oh, by the way, Brad Pitt was hanging out at his office and he had just returned from a meeting that he attended. WHAT??? I'm not usually star struck but BRAD PITT!?! What was he doing there? Is he even better looking in person? Was Angelina there too? All of these questions while I was on my hands and knees scrubbing pee from the carpet after another not-so-successful potty training session with Asher. It felt like a low point. Maybe if I hadn't quit my career I would be having lunch with Lisa Lang or Meg Whitman instead of this.

Hardly. That was my conclusion after shutting the door to my room and taking a few deep breaths. If I hadn't quit my career I would probably be working through my lunches, or dining alone at some cheap deli, in order to get home as fast as I could to my kids in order to squeeze a few minutes of quality time before we all self-destructed and drug ourselves to bed. I've seen it over and over, and while some moms can make it work, I know myself well enough to admit my life would be a juggling act where I would be dropping balls right and left.

I also reminded myself that DH's job isn't really all that glamorous unless you dig selfish, overpaid professional athletes or you are fascinated by Watergate. People like Brad Pitt don't walk into his office everyday. In fact, he was there doing research for an upcoming role and my husband's contact with him was very brief. A much different reality than the image I had in my head a few minutes earlier.....my DH shooting the breeze over vodka tonics and cigars Oceans 11 style while a few miles away in a Northern Virginia townhouse I chased around half-naked, snot-nosed boys in my own suburban housewife hell.

Luckily, most days these voices do not win. And, at least according to my apparently very secure husband, Brad Pitt is even hotter in real life.


  • Ciao!

    ...vieni a vedere il mio blog!
    posted by Blogger f come franz at 10/30/2007 03:55:00 PM  

  • Funny and awesome! I love what your hubby said about Brad Pitt. Perfect.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 10/30/2007 05:43:00 PM  

  • I hate that little (gigantic) voice! I don't question my situation. I am grateful for it and happy in it. But dang that voice...
    Wonder if Angelina ever has that voice. Wonder if she is ever on her hands and knees cleaning up pee or puke?
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 10/30/2007 08:05:00 PM  

  • "Is this (insert playgroup/storytime/playdough/singing "Popcorn Popping" 1,000 consecutive times) supposed to be fun"

    I vote no. Not for us anyway. It's just what we do. Great post.
    posted by Blogger Sue at 10/30/2007 08:41:00 PM  

  • I cannot even tell you how much I relate to you (and those voices) as a stay at home mom at times!! It's so nice to know that Brad Pitt really IS hotter in real life too- well, from a guy's perspective.

    This was hilarious! You should be writing for one of the parenting magazines...
    posted by Blogger LJ at 10/30/2007 09:29:00 PM  

  • Jen...the voices...my latest:

    "hurry, hurry, there are people behind you, make her walk faster up the 47 subway stairs she has yet to go....


    She is only 2. Her legs are short. She has every right to take as much time as she needs, and the people who are in a hurry can find a way to go around you...she is doing a great job."

    I think I have MPD....

    AWESOME story....good to know Mr. Pitt is still doing research...b/c I don't think his adoring public would care one bit if he didn't.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 10/31/2007 03:52:00 AM  

  • I felt similar thoughts when my DH called from a business trip telling me he got to go to a meeting where the President spoke.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10/31/2007 07:01:00 AM  

  • For some reason being a SAHM is the only job where we feel like we should be 100% fufilled 100% of the time. At least that's how I feel. Whenever I'm bored, or having a hard time (especially during the witching hours bet. 5-8pm when DH stilll isn't home) I get those feelings of guilt creep in. I think being a SAHM sometimes consists of a lot of rationalizing. There are days that are harder than others, and it's always good to hear that other moms feel the exact same way. I LOVE the Brad Pitt connection too. Your posts are always so great Jen.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 10/31/2007 09:02:00 AM  

  • Melissa, funny image. Angelina seems like a very nice person, but I seriously doubt she has dealt with much in the way of bodily fluids from her children. And honestly, if I had her money and power, I would probably choose to outsource those tasks as well!

    Sue, glad I'm not alone. Sometimes I am at playgroup with my kids and I'm thinking, am I the only one who loves spending time with my kids, but doesn't really love the stuff they do?

    Rachel H & LJ, I'm sure my DH (if he ever finds this) will love that I revealed his apparent "man crush." ;-)

    Kage, yes those voices...I have to say I do miss NYC, but I don't miss hauling 2-year olds up and down subway stairs. Seriously NY government peops -- get elevators on those things!

    Beth, oh yes....the 5 to 8 mommy shift. (Luckily mine is usually closer to 7...) It is all about survival and keeping your wits about you at that point!
    posted by Blogger Jen at 10/31/2007 02:51:00 PM  

  • Jen I can't think deeply about anything because I am still laughing about how Brad Pitt is hotter in real life--according to your dh.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 11/05/2007 06:58:00 PM  

  • I like the comment about how we feel that being a SAHM should be fulfilling all the time. I'm sure everybody has had a job that they didn't like, or there were aspects of it they didn't like, and you do it anyway, because that's life.

    Yes, my DH gets to do things that he loves, and he gets to do things I don't get to do, but there are parts of his job that he thinks are cruddy, too. And he can't take off on a beautiful fall morning and spend it reading a book on a bench at the park while the kids play on the swings.
    posted by Blogger Heather O. at 11/06/2007 07:06:00 AM  

  • Great, great post, Jen. This week it's been holding SJ's vomit in my hand for the fourth time in one night as I carry her into the bathroom that the voices use to call my happiness into question. Although, holding my child when she's sick is something I would trade for nothing.
    posted by Blogger sunny at 11/08/2007 05:08:00 AM  

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