Credit Where Credit is Due

I’m trying to decide if telling you I was down with the grips is too much information, but you all keep acting like friends so this is pretty much your fault.

The problem with proving I have a brain filter, of course, is the fact that if I tell you all the things I don’t tell you, my proof disproves the point I was hoping to prove. If, on the other hand, I don’t tell you all the things I could tell you, then I get no credit for having a filter at all.

Was that confusing? I’m sorry; the grips took a lot out of me.

In other words, speaking for all the people like myself who say too much, you don’t know all the stuff we do not say and how very much Filter Credit we deserve. So next time your loose-lipped friend talks about “the grips” and not about the liquid acid’s exit plan or trajectory, thank her. Do. Just say, “Even though mentioning ‘the grips’ was way too far and I’m actively gagging right now, thanks for all the stuff you do not say. I hear there’s a lot of it and that you deserve mad props and crazy Filter Credit. Good job, you!”

K?

K.

So, I was sick.

With the grips.

But not too sick.

Just somewhat sick. And also tired. And a little bit I quit today. And a lot I’m pretty sure y’all can feed yourselvesAnd completely If you want a bath, figure out how to make that happen, 6-year-old Boy Child.

Then, later, I was very Why is there cracker shrapnel all over the house? And Chocolate chips in the clean laundry pile? Really? And How much water has to hit a bathroom from a Tub Tsunami to count as water damage and start over?

There was a time in my life when I’d have felt like I fell down on the mama job, leaving my kids to fend for themselves that way. Now? I’ve changed my perspective to this:

I’m teaching my kids to be independent.

And these are life skills, baby.

photo (49)

Sometimes it’s all about perspective, friends. And remembering to give ourselves credit for all the stuff others never see.

Credit where credit is due, I say. For all the wild, wonky, wonderful stuff we do every day. Even when it involves quitting. And the grips.

So. What about you? What do you get credit for today? Name it here, friends, and let me tell you, Well done.

………

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
33 comments
  1. I’ll take credit for two things, because I really do need to start taking some credit rather than just noticing all the things I didn’t accomplish. Yesterday I managed to get three of my five to school. I was in my pajamas and we missed the bus and drove all the way to school. They wanted to know why I wouldn’t take them in, so told them I was not wearing a bra. They were all like “TMI, MOM!” They are really going to have to learn to deal with brutal honesty because I am all about the truth. And secondly, the six year old who doesn’t poop often enough and had been saving it up for way too long finally went today without crying. Maybe I shouldn’t get credit for that, but I gave her the laxative concoction that finally prompted the gigantic cork to pop and there was no tears involved, so yeah, I’m taking some credit.

  2. OMG – totally love your blog…. I love that you are brave enough to say what you do…. I think people need to be able to share the “real” things that happen in life. It makes my day to read your blog & the comments people share…. Kudos to everyone!!!

    1. Aw! THANK YOU, EllyMae, for your kudos to everyone. This truth-telling thing is SUCH a team sport, isn’t it? THIS is exactly why comments are SO IMPORTANT. Because YOU all are the ones creating the real community. Come, unity!

  3. So true! Yesterday our church missionaries called to ask if I could come with them to help teach a new mom. Their appt was at 5:00, just a few hours away and they were concerned I might not be able to make it because that might be my family’s dinner time. I was thinking – whatever! I’m going to say, NO, sorry, I can’t share the gospel with someone because I need to make dinner? There is plenty of cereal and milk, my 3 year old and 5 year old can totally handle that, AND they will have a daddy home! When I got home my husband was working on the car and the boys were outside playing. My 3 year old was holding an entire box of graham crackers and was happily munching away. He was so proud to tell me, “Mommy, I was hungry for dinner so I just got these graham crackers!”
    You, my son, are awesome.

    1. Well done, Ellie! And well done to your son for his newfound independence! 😀

  4. This is all too hilarious. I loved your grips, trots, runs explanation. I only have vague knowledge of these words so I figured I’d google them all together to be sure I was using each one with precision. Once I skipped all the “horse” articles and got to the urban dictionary hit, I could see that you had them listed in the perfect order and that I may never read the urban dictionary again. Thank You!
    Oh, and I get credit for living through day 11 of “the cough” and being pretty calm all day and even nice. “The cough” is loud it happens every 5 seconds and it’s a tic – that’s right folks I get to listen to my child cough every few seconds for 15 hrs a day for no productive reason. When I called my husband to tell him the diagnosis we commiserated with dialogue like “wtf, what’s wrong with all the other tics like eye blinking or shoulder shrugging, did she really have to have the one that we can’t escape in our small acoustically magical house?”.

    1. Oooohhh… sorry for the Googling necessity! The Urban dictionary is very informative, but it makes me want to hurl. I should rewrite my own. 😉

      Tics! Aren’t they fun?? I had a sniffer for a while. Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. He was one of the “most kids” who “grow out of it.” I haven’t thought for a while to be grateful for the lack of constant sniffing.

      So, YES with the credit. Credit to you. Well done, mama!

    2. I’m sorry to laugh about your child’s tic. I can only assume it will mean mine will get some crazy one too. Good luck with that! 🙂

  5. Right now (33 weeks prego with #2 and very uncomfortable) getting out of bed in the morning and making sure #1 doesn’t starve counts as full credit. Getting up first and making breakfast, and dressing #1, and going to the library, and dealing with a small box from moving almost two years ago, and only eating 2 slices of nutella bread, and not losing it over anything all day is all extra credit. Even if we did drive the 4 blocks to the library, and I totally failed to do anything about dinner except tell my husband what leftovers we had. Today really went well.

    1. OMG – totally in the same boat as you, except mine has one more member… I’m 33 weeks preggo with number 3….. almost 4 year old daughter was in her pjs until 3 pm yesterday and there are days that she doesn’t get out of them…. sometimes her choice & sometimes mine….. after I make it down the stairs in the morning, I don’t feel like walking back up. The only reason my 19 month old is dressed in the morning is I have to change his diaper when he gets up, otherwise he would probably be in his pjs….. Kudos to you for even going to the library, whether you drove or not!!

    2. Sarah AND EllyMae. 33 weeks! WELL DONE! My boys were born at 33 weeks. Anything you do to grow those babies… well done. Kids who are dressed? Extra good job!

  6. Woke up feeling a bit, hmm, queasy – off – bubbly. Something in the gut region was not working quite properly. I did get down a couple of crackers, made a coffee, then took my daughter to riding lessons. Those smells are not that great for an off feeling tummy, you know. I swallowed repeatedly. After that I did, well, not much. I read with at least two of my daughters. Food? Um, at 14, 12, and 7 those girl children were on their own. Spilled something on the floor? Do your best and I’ll check later. But, hey, they are all alive and even smiling. Good day.

    1. Well done, Bobbi! And I hope you feel better very soon.

  7. You rock as a mom if you bring up your kids to be independent and THINK for themselves. You all rock.

    My mom went to college while I was in grade 11/12 and I came home from highschool for 2 years and cooked dinner and started laundry etc. Dealt with my siblings as well (one older, one younger). My parents get lots of credit for helping me become independent. I get lots of credit for realizing I had done my time as a homemaker and didn’t have kids!

    Today, I went for a walk to the library and now I am doing laundry. Nobody has peed or pooped on anything in my house, whew. You all get kudos from me!

    1. Well done, Gaylin. For all you did as a kid and for recognizing you’d already done your work as a homemaker. I’m so glad you shared this. Well done and well done.

  8. Oh. My. Beth.
    Thank you for FINALLY outing all of us who really, really, really DO have a brain filter and we really DO use it, it just must have bigger holes than everyone else’s. Cuz I totally related to you and didn’t gross out at all. In fact, I could even think of a question or two about the liquid acid.
    And kudos to Man child there. You are doing something right to have such a self confidant boy. And yes… my kids all have done their own laundry since they were big enough to reach the dials. Sorry… single mom, five kids, “you want clean clothes? Don’t care if you do or not–those are going in the wash NOW!!” It’s always funny to me to hear comments from the nice, normal moms about how great it is that my kids know how to do their own laundry already. YUP, I just smile and say thanks and take my credit when and where it comes.
    And actually, since I’m at the bottom end of the kiddos now. (Oldest is 34 youngest 13) it’s amazing how the older ones thank me. “You taught me how to cook.” Um that could have been cuz the chronic fatigue hit so hard I couldn’t get out of bed for a week. But thanks :). Or maybe, I’m coming home for a visit to Portland psych hospital (always fun) and call the younger ones. “Can you put 40 meatballs in a big cake pan. Pour a bottle of spaghetti sauce on top and put it in the oven for me on 350 plz?” I pull in the driveway, boil the noodles and dinner is served!
    So you go girl. However you need to do it, whatever you need to wear, you just put one foot in front of the other (sometimes it’s just figuratively) and keep on going. Cuz God rewards those who put their hands to the plow and don’t look back. (I figured it’s cuz we’d be saying. “Oh man!!! I TOLD you to take off those rain boots and put your shoes one!” What is that on your face? Green Marker? Why???? Hellooo, You who are chasing squirrels all over this field GET BACK IN LINE.!!! But He makes all things good when our hearts are pure.
    So have a great weekend. And if you’re on our school schedule, a fantastic spring break. 🙂

    1. Cindy, thank you for sharing your story here! Well done and well done and well done, single mama of five. For both raising them well and for patting yourself on the back. I love your perspective. Well done.

  9. I get credit for NOT posting on my FB wall that my son FINALLY pooped IN the toilet – of wait……..his own free will!!!!!! I have some friends who aren’t big on the TMI issues 😉 I also did not post that a couple hours later he peed all over my dining room table bench and I later found some on the carpet :/ I guess Hoover and I will be spending some time together later.

    1. Well done, Amy! Filter Credit AND Hoover Credit!

  10. Credit…Risking looking naive and asking, “What are ‘the grips’?” And why don’t I know what they are??? Is this something I should know about already as a woman, wife or mother? Yikes!

    1. The grips precede the trots which precede the runs. They’re like the prologue. A really long prologue. With lots of grumbling and foreshadowing. And no real, um, plot movement, if you will.

      Well done, Jessica! For the risk, and for making me laugh.

  11. My son had a science camp today since there’s no school. On days he does this I drive the two littlest littles to their mom’s house so she doesn’t have to drive across town in the morning when I’ll be a block from her house; and so dad gets a little break for the baby’s mom. (Point 1). This morning, my darling sweetie who I love VERY much drove off with my car keys. Of course, I didn’t realize this until he was halfway to work. And of course, his phone was doing updates so I was going straight to voicemail for TEN WHOLE MINUTES. By the time I got him on the line I only yelled a little about not being able to get through; then I calmly asked him if he had my keys. (do I get a half point because I only KINDA yelled?). Since he was already a half an hour up the road, I text mom telling her the kiddos were running late, text my boss giving her my delayed eta, and put away a load of laundry. (Point 2) When my keys made it back home, I said “Thank you” instead of yelling/screaming/accusing. Then I made it out the door, dropped off three of the four kids, and was ONLY a half hour late to work. 🙂
    I had a bloody nose Monday morning. This weeks catch phrase: When you wake up gushing blood, you know your week is going to be murder.
    TGIF!!!!

    1. Yes! Yes, you definitely get credit. Well done, Marci!

  12. Oh my word you “Hey Girl”-ed your son?! I think this makes me love you more and he has a Ryan Gosling look about him.

    I get points for getting out and doing one, just one, errand today and too bad if it was in my PJs. It was all I could muster.

    1. This kid bathed himself, did his own hair, chose his own wardrobe, demanded a photo shoot, and picked the pose himself. He should teach classes on giving ourselves credit; he’s a master.

      And well done, Heather, on knocking out an errand AND having the confidence to wear PJs while doing it!

      1. OK, it was funny before, but that just made it 100 times funnier 😀

  13. Bubba is butchering a pig in our dining room. With small children running a muck and kissing the nose on the decapitated pig head. I’ll get home just in time to clean up the bits that landed on the floor and wipe pork fat off of every surface of the house.

    He gets credit for the pig.
    I get credit for clean up crew.

    1. YOU get credit for teaching kids about food sources! And for upping the ante on people actively gagging here. 😉 I’m writing about you and food and how we feed our kids and I’m posting it tomorrow, Sarah. Yippee!

  14. I think I love you.
    Credit- for spending quality time with two of my four kiddos today, for getting the older two to piano on time, and for not eating the entire 6 pack of cupcakes I bought today and equally portioning them throughout the family.

    1. OK, quality time is always rad, but that cupcake thing? WHOA! Nice work, Rachel. Well done.

    2. You were able to _share_ cupcakes? WELL DONE!

  15. Where do you come up with this stuff??? That photo caption is hilarious!

    Credit… for quietly and calmly telling my husband I disagreed with him instead of being mean and nasty, especially when he didn’t want to hear it… might have helped that I wasn’t fully awake yet… although sometimes that seems to make it worse so who knows!

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