Sunday, 18 December 2011

Internal dialogue

I’ve been trying to get my Christmas stuff done in the evenings. It’s taken its toll on our nightly routine. Usually I read to both kids each night, but for the last week or so, I’ve scurried them to bed with just a kiss and cuddle. It’s done me no good because even though I’ve been able to check off my to-do list, the guilt has left me feeling unaccomplished.

My mind has conjured up all sorts of images to provoke me:
Scenario one: My teenage kids in remedial classes because they haven’t caught onto reading
Scenario two: Deaglan and Naveen - members of an illiterate delinquent gang.

Whipping myself this way mentally is so easy and effective. But this time I fought back. I started in the basement:

It’s not like I’m shooting heroin, I reasoned. Imagine the repercussions of that.

But my mind would have no part of this, Oh give me a break, you’ve never even smoked pot, that’s a ridiculous argument.

Okay, I countered, it’s not like I’m leaving them each evening to hang out at the casino, gambling the mortgage away.

Listen lightweight, my mind reproved, you wouldn’t know your way around a blackjack table even with a guided tour; just admit that you’re a failure as a mother, you’re selfish and put your own needs before your kids’.

I changed tactics then.

No, you listen to me, I demanded, I am doing the best I can with the time I have. Stop bullying me.

You have gray hair and a flabby stomach and-----




Shaune took 183 pictures of the kids for our Christmas card. Most of them turned out like this. In an effort to get the kids to cooperate, I'm ashamed to admit I was spitting out things like:

Deaglan smile and look at Daddy and you can have chocolate!

Deaglan! Look at Daddy and stand beside your brother, or you'll get a time out!

Deaglan, stay there, we're not finished yet, stop making that face! Okay that's it, I'm gonna let Santa know to skip our house!!

There were only three usable photos. We went with this one. And yes, that's a medicine dropper Naveen's got in his mouth.
You have to pick your battles.


  1. I love the holiday pic! Too cute :-)

    I know the guilt - we all have it talking from time to time. Ugh.

  2. I love the backdrop! And I know all too well about bribing the kids into submission for good pictures. I gave up this year and just let them happen and guess what? I got the best pictures I've gotten in 8 years of trying...go figure :)
    Guilt sucks.

  3. I still am amazed at how hard I struggle with one and feel ridiculous when I hear about your struggles with two. I love the picture. But, the truth is, family loves seeing our lil' guys anyway they can. It's us who want the perfect/decent shot. ;) hugs...

  4. Stop being so hard on yourself! You're a great mom...the boys are lucky to have you! The pics are adorable...I actually laughed out loud at the one of Naveen crying...I actually think I have a very similar pic of my boys at that age doing the same thing...hilarious! Enjoy your Christmas...I hope if comes with some well deserved time off!

  5. I feel the same way but we do have to remember to take care of ourselves too and sometimes that just means getting things done. Your boys are lucky to have you! I think the picture is cute and anyone who has kids knows it will never be perfect.

  6. These pictures are hilarious. I know you probably had other goals in mind when you took them, but they made me laugh so hard!!

  7. i know all about the guilt... i live it everyday! the pics are so cute! love them!

  8. We had to take a gazillion pictures of Donut too, but you know, the outtakes are the ones that have the best memories and bring a smile to my face. Your boys are so cute.

    I talk to myself badly too. I feel guilty all the time for not reading enough to her. But you're a good mom. I see it.

  9. Our problem is someone seems to always be in motion and in the photos someone is always blurry. Such as it is at this age with these little ones. I think the card is lovely and definitely memorable.

  10. Love the Christmas photo! It's real. Marlie is holding one of my rings in ours (it was the only way to get her to sit) and Damon was tickling her back (it was the only way to get her to smile). I adore our photo.

    p.s. I hate my inner voice. Sometimes I want to tell her to take a dive off a high cliff, but then my mind would be lonely

  11. Your Christmas card is adorable!!! And so are the "out takes" too! What a couple of total cuties!

    I think what you will see down the road some day Kim, with your boys,is two guys who have nothing but wonderful memories of the Christmases you made for them:)

  12. I think it's a great Christmas picture! I can't get my 2 year old to sit still even with a medicine dropper or chocolate.

  13. Well the 183 were worth it- and that is the beauty of digital. My first professional family shoot- I was so nervous I was just shooting like crazy and I think I took almost 500 pics. Talk about overkill. I now have gotten a hour long family shoot down to about 150 pics- which the family will only see about 40 of. So don't get too discouraged.

  14. It's a really tough time of year. You have to survive it, and so will they even without a book now and then. The pics are funny and fab!

  15. I have that same evil voice in my head, too! Especially right now when we are out and I fee like I need to spend every second with them while I am not at work - yet I have to do laundry, work/teach online, etc.

    Sad to report I also threatened yelled, lied and bribed to get this year's photos. Everyone loves them, and comments on their sweet faces, and each time I feel a little guilty thinking of the MEAN Mama I was that day. But I did get them ice cream after... ;)

  16. So hard to get two kids still and smiling at the same time!

    As for reading, they don't need to be read to every single night of their childhoods to be literate. Relax. :-)

  17. Sorry about the struggle but the photos were worth it! Too cute.

    My internal dialogue never ends. Never. It frustrates me to no end!!

  18. The holiday pic is fantastic! The boys are so handsome. And I'm having internal dialogues all the time. Some days I need to turn myself


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