Friday, July 31, 2009

The motivator

We just watched "Confessions of a Shopaholic" last night. I was thinking about her description of how she felt when shopping - loved the feel of silk, loved the smells of the store, the exhilaration of your credit card going through, etc. I was thinking I wished I felt that way about shopping! Instead it's always automatic guilt. And then a secondary thought that I hope Ryan doesn't pay attention to this. :) Don't get me wrong - I love shopping for new clothes and finding something you look cute in, I just wish it could just be pure enjoyment - not overshadowed by feeling like I shouldn't be doing it. (Side note: even worse- I used to have my own savings account that used to draw on to pay off my Banana Republic card (which includes Gap and Old Navy). They were the ONLY two things I had left in my name alone - not joint with Ryan's. It was beautiful thing: I shopped, I spent, and I paid it all off - all without having to pass inspection from the hubby. BUT. The sad day finally came recently and my account has been drained!! And now I have to draw from the joint account to pay it off. Did my last speck of independence just die off?!)

Anyhow, I wonder if my guilt at shopping will ever change? I can't imagine it will. Because even if you have money, you may feel guilty that of course you don't really need whatever it is you're buying, and that you should be doing something better with your money anyway. (Seriously, can you imagine living in the old days and just washing your one dress day in and day out!?!) Not to say I don't shop, of course. Not to say I'm actually even restrained by my guilty conscience. I guess I'm far too used to it that I'm getting pretty good at just pushing right on past it. :) But really, I even feel guilty buying my kids clothes because I know there are kids that live with much less, and am I being vain that I want my kids to look cute?

Does anyone else feel like this? Do I have an overactive guilt mechanism? Maybe I just have a hard time balancing it. What's that old saying? Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without - is that how it goes? How do you balance that and the mentality that older generations had with the desire to look cute? And the never-ending female child-bearing cycle through sizes? Then you have to have a cute wardrobe in about 4 different sizes... and by the time you get back to the old size it's been so long that it's really all out of fashion by the time you're wearing it again!

Then on to the next one: exercise. Totally guilt motivated. That's probably why I'm a night exerciser. It get's to be 8 or 9pm and I'm like - dang. I ate so much crap today I have to exercise! I wish I could say it was for the love of health or the joy of activity. But nope. It's so I can eat whatever I want. Or rather, because I eat whatever I want.

And even time with my kids - I feel like a lot of it is driven by guilt - like man, I've been on the computer or so busy cleaning and I really feel bad I haven't been spending time with my kids. Not that I don't do it because I enjoy it, because of course I do, but it's usually guilt that reminds me.

But, there is one thing that I feel the same way the girl in the movie did about shopping - sleep. I love the feel of my four (yes four) pillows exactly in the right place. (Started when I was pregnant with the twins. Ryan wasn't happy that they didn't go away after the twins came.) I love putting in my ear plugs and pretending like I can't hear anything. (Don't worry - crying breaks it's way through any pair of earplugs). I love squirming around until I get every last body part settled perfectly (ok, my husband doesn't love this one either). I love going back to sleep after having to get up with a baby. I love the feeling of taking a nap. It's a little too bad that I married someone that loves sleep as much as me. It means we're constantly fighting over who gets to sleep in or take a nap, or arguing over who is more tired. It means no one is ever the one to just get up and get the kids without complaint. I've mentioned that we might actually have a really fabulous marriage if sleep isn't required in the next life. :) At least we understand each other, right? Anyhow, ahhhh, sleep. I love it.

BUT. Of course - I feel guilty that all those "good" moms out there are most certainly awake and being productive while I'm sleeping!! Think of all the things I could accomplish! Think of all the stimulating activities I could prepare for my kids or the books I could read on child rearing! Think of how I could actually get ready instead of sleeping until my kids are awake and then sticking them in front of the tv while I take a shower! But I don't. I sleep. Guilt, guilt, guilt.

Really. I need a new motivator.


lindsy said...

=) that last paragraph made me laugh. I've been telling myself for about 5 years that I should just get up a little earlier and get things done ... but I still sleep until my kids are pulling me out of bed. Ahh, sleep. You're right.

Tennille said...

I've been waking up earlier and earlier lately (to get ready for the workday before the kids get up or to go to the gym) and let me tell you, I'm none too happy about it. I know I'm more productive and in better shape, but blah, blah, blah. I'd rather sleep. :) When I was applying for college, I put "sleep" as one of my hobbies. It's still is.

SuburbiaMom said...

I feel like marriage and parenting is a constant shifting of time, money, and priorities. I'm sure you'll find your niche (and then have to re-find it again and again!!)

Jen said...

love it :) your posts always describe being a mom to a t :)

Anonymous said...

As far as I am concerned, you have the perfect excuse to shop for children -- little ones who are growing wildly out of their clothes. Every child needs 2 or 3 outfits that look cute (you just happen to have twins). Every child needs at least two pairs of pajamas that fit without binding, and every child needs one pair of shoes and plenty of socks, and one good Sunday outfit.

In addition, every child needs a bed, a chest, and a bookcase, as my neighbor has always told me (she is strong on reading). Again, you just happen to have two the same age.

Your children have darling clothes, not too many, nothing wasteful, but perfectly darling.

Today while tending them all alone, I got the system. When they awake, put them both in the same crib, get the supplies, one by one change and dress them, putting the other one back in "lock-down." After a while we were all ready to tackle the stairs, etc. Should have thought of it sooner!


Safire said...

When you find that motivator let me know...I seem to be up to my eyeballs in guilt lately too.

Laurie Jones said...

Totally agree. I am tired of the guilt as well. I think just being a mother gives you guilt because there is so much to do and so many people to care about. I am getting even more stretched out as well with 4 kids now. And, about shopping-we make more money now then when we were students, and I still feel guilty shopping! Aghhhhhh!! It WILL NEVER END!

sarah hyde said...

I read something about Brigham Young a couple of years ago (i'll try and find the source) but it was something along the lines of.. he'd ONLY buy something if he felt he had the Lords approval to buy it. (meaning he had to have been praying over ALL of his purchases) and then... he never feels any guilt for the things he buys cause he knows he had the "go ahead". anyway.. it REALLY struck a chord with me. I think about it quite a lot.. I'll let you know how it works for me, (if I ever truly commit to do it) :)

and girl... you know how I love my naps!!! what's a sleep deprived girl to do?

LuAnn said...

Again I love your mom's comments. I wish she had a blog. :) I have been going through exactly what you have described this weekend as I did some major shopping with a friends and family discount for gap inc. I'm spending our (well Jeff's) hard earned money and we can afford it, but I have a hard time knowing how much is too much or too little. I'd been thinking for a month that I'd like to get them some polo shirts and then when I went shopping I thought oh no they can wear those older ones...they are fine...then when I got them dressed I was like man why didn't I buy those polo shirts these are all so worn. I want them to look nice for Sunday and maybe they should start wearing ties, but it costs more to buy those types of clothes. And then for I'm spending too much money, but now I'm another size again and oh this skirt is ripping here, but I've spent a lot of money already...not sure how to figure it all out...but I like how your mom laid it out. It has reasonable limits...but it means I need to spend some more money!

Anonymous said...

But, LuAnn, I didn't say ties for Church. Don't worry about that on my account. You have such a darling family, clean, and not overworn should do it, with a nicer shirt for Sunday.


LuAnn said...

Thanks Carolyn for the input. I think you are right. :)