Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Carpe...well--just CARPE!

My friends Debbie and Kelly each  posted the same article on facebook that I LOVED--let's be honest--MOST things I read on facebook I LOVE! Generally speaking, my friends are FUNNY and have witty, thoughtful and insightful things to say.  This particular article was written by  mom blogger, Glennon Melton for The Huffington Post and she talked about the whole "Carpe Diem" (live for the day) thing. Being a fan of The Dead Poet's Society and a recovering English teacher, I have fallen prey to the "Carpe Diem" mentality at many junctures in my life, yet after having my babies, the mom guilt goes into fast forward mode whenever a well-meaning stranger (or nosy family member) reminds ME to cherish every moment when I clearly AM NOT enjoying ANY moment.

In the article, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/dont-carpe-diem_b_1206346.html?view=screen&ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false, Glennon Melton hilariously captures the feelings of exasperation when people point out--usually during the most trying times as a parent--that you are going to "...miss this one day..." Melton uses humor to encompass the feelings parents have when others push this mentality on them. She states:

I know that this message is right and good. But, I have finally allowed myself to admit that it just doesn't work for me. It bugs me. This CARPE DIEM message makes me paranoid and panicky. Especially during this phase of my life - while I'm raising young kids. Being told, in a million different ways to CARPE DIEM makes me worry that if I'm not in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy, I'm doing something wrong.

I so agree with her and laugh to think of all of the defensive parents getting, "...paranoid and panicky...) when strangers (even if the stranger is Robin Williams) remind them how to live. I am DEFINITELY one of those parents (see http://anothertiredmommy.blogspot.com/2011/12/crazy-russian-biker-mobster-dude.html)--we tend to think that every time we get unsolicited advice from strangers it is because we suck as much as we think we do.  

I try to cut people off now before they can tell me about WHAT I am going to miss:

Stranger: "Ohhhh--you--"
Me: "I KNOW--I am SO going to miss the feeling of wanting to strangle them some day! Of course, NOW I am missing the one time they actually BEHAVED at the store...tee hee..." or "I keep trying to remind myself that   before I know it, I will be longing for the days when my children drove me crazy at Target (isn't it ALWAYS Target?!), but right now I just.Want. It. To. Stop."

Melton compares child rearing to climbing Everest and speaks of  the fact that well meaning strangers don't make a habit of yelling "ARE YOU ENJOYING EVERY MOMENT..." and "DON'T FORGET TO CARPE DIEM..." to other people at THEIR jobs. She reminds us that parenting is hard enough without the added pressure of  being sure to enjoy EVERY SINGLE MINUTE.  Isn't it enough that we are trying our best to raise self-confident, well-adjusted, healthy eating, law-abiding, happy little people? Now we have to be sure to do it with our hearts and minds full of joy or it doesn't count.

My favorite line reads:

Anyway. Clearly, Carpe Diem doesn't work for me. I can't even carpe fifteen minutes in a row, so a whole diem is out of the question.

Every time I think about it I laugh. Even while I was typing it I was giggling. BECAUSE IT IS FUNNY! The problem is, when something makes me laugh that much, I want to steal it and use it as my own. Not in a plagiarizing sort of way, but in a "This is so funny that it is now considered common knowledge, so EVERYONE is allowed to say it WHENEVER they want [to say it]" sort of way.

Check out Melton's article--I am still laughing at some of her words and her honesty is refeshing. I know how honest I'VE been on here and sometimes think I should start writing fiction, but reading her article reminded me that we are all the same--just trying to do right by our children and to limit the mistakes and guilt throughout our journey. Carpe THAT well meaning strangers...


  1. That line is really funny. Being at home with my 3 little ones was maddening at times, but looking back at all the craziness, it really did go by fast, so fast I am still trying to figure out how all my kids are in school. Sometimes I miss the crazy.

  2. I will miss the cute little moments, the funny things they say, the way their hair is all messed up when they wake up but still look like angels. I will miss that. I will NOT miss making the bed AGAIN because my 2 year old thinks it's fun to pull ALL the sheets off the bed EVERY DAY! I will not miss putting every article of clothing back into her drawers EVERY DAY. I will not miss those. Carpe Diem that! :-)

    1. Marie--I have to say that I agree that EVERYTHING goes by too quickly these days--sometimes I cry just because I have no idea what I have done for DAYS!
      MND--those ARE the sweet things and the others are SO FUNNY--when someone else's child is involved...:o)

  3. HIlarious article!!! And you write about it so well....that's some talent there. Mine are 10 and 16 so yeah, I miss the cute moments now. But I still hated the nagging in Target (what is it with Target??) and the screaming fits.

    I'm Lynn from Scrapity Anne (http://www.scrapityanne.com) and I've found you through 7 Kids and Counting's blog hop. HILARIOUS site, I will definitely return! I've followed you and hope that you can do the same.

  4. Thanks, Lynne! I did check out your blog and appreciated the fact that my bathroom isn't alone in the clutter department! Add toothpaste to the walls (floor, ceiling...) and that could have been MY bathroom! Thanks for the follow--I am unable to comment on people's blogs lately (I am QUITE certain it is user error...), but I will definitely sign up to follow yours! You also made my...YEAR with that wonderful compliment--thank you! ;o)


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