This is only one of many phrases that we moms utter intermittently throughout the day in response to one disaster or another. In my case, it’s just “Seriously?” and it usually follows gems like Zoe refusing to take a nap when I desperately need a break, or looking up from the dishes to see that Claire is lounging nicely in her bean bag chair watching Sesame Street. Sans pants and diaper.
2010 was an incredibly hard year for me, as well as our whole family. It was the end of a difficult pregnancy and the beginning of a new baby. I suddenly had with 3 little ones who all needed so much from me, and I struggled to find my groove as a mom to 3, wife to C, and still feel like there was something left for me. I found myself mostly homebound again, at a time when I should have been having fun taking my growing toddlers to the park or various play dates.
So I made some vows to myself for 2011.
- Vow #1: stand up straighter and stop slouching for Christ’s sake! You’re an adult!
- Vow #2: improve diet and exercise, which I know is totally New Year’s cliche, but I used to be somewhat of an athlete and a runner, and would like to feel like that again. Having 3 kids in 2 pregnancies has done a number on me physically.
- And vow #3: Reclaim some of myself. I vowed to take back a little bit of my sanity and control over my life, which was seeming to spin out of control daily. I wanted to learn to manage it all, or at least feel like I could. Most days.
In her new book, You Cannot Be Serious: and 32 Other Rules That Sustain a (Mostly) Balanced Mom, author, inspirational humorist, and twin mom Elizabeth Lyons gives readers her tips and tricks on keeping it all together — or at least appearing to. Talk about perfect timing. Having read excerpts from her other books on surviving life with twins, I knew she was funny and right on point. I’m a member of her website, How to Raise Twins, I read her blog, and I follow her hilarious tweets on Twitter. So naturally I was dying to see how she kept it all together: managed a household of 7, ran two businesses, conducted speaking engagements, grocery shopped with 5 kids, remodeled her house to accommodate a new baby (a new baby she was adopting, no less), and kept herself from wanting to run screaming down the street in her bathrobe and slippers, hair flying wild, when things got too crazy. Surely she had all the answers!
Reading Lyons’ rules was like chatting with an old girlfriend, especially in the hilarious anecdotes she had to illustrate her points (think 5 year old screaming “GIVE ME MY DING DONGS!” throughout the grocery store). I quickly realized that she’s not Superwoman. She just has a method. A method that works for her, and as she puts it, allows her to “have it all — as long as the ‘all’ was self defined and based on what I wanted to do, combined with what worked for me as well as the rest of my family, on any given day.”
So I made a plan to try out each of her “rules,” see how they related to my life, and yup — write about it. Some of them work out great, and others? Not so much.
Want to join me in reclaiming my sanity? Along with reading about how the rules have worked out for me, Elizabeth has created an assignment to accompany each rule for my readers to mull over and start a discussion. I would LOVE to hear how the rules are or are not helping you too. It’s going to be a lot of fun!
Purchase your own autographed copy of You CANNOT Be Serious! You can also follow Elizabeth Lyons on Twitter: @elizabethlyons