Just Write {17}

January 9, 2012

I talked to myself today, as I cleaned up the kitchen. I forced myself to think of good things and I told myself that I’m a good mother. It felt weird. Maybe it shouldn’t feel weird, but apparently I’m much better at self-deprecation than cheering myself on.

Sometimes when someone says Oh hi, how are you? I want to say something like, All twisted up inside! I want to say it with gusto, like how we say Fine! Or Great!

Being all twisted up inside is just the truth and it’s not always bad. Sometimes it just means I’m a bundle of all different emotions, many of them good. We don’t say these things though, so I don’t.

I was at the grocery store today and I was standing in front of the cheese. I don’t know how long I stood there but somehow it became a very difficult decision, choosing cheese. I’m pretty sure my mind wandered and then I was startled back to reality by a woman saying excuse me while trying to push past me to get to the cheese.

I felt a little embarrassed in that moment, to have been so unaware of someone waiting behind me until they finally gave up on waiting and pushed through. So I made a joke about the cheese stumping me but she was already walking away, a much faster cheese chooser than myself.

There’s a good chance I was enjoying myself in the grocery store, with the kids at home with their Daddy and some time to just think my thinks while walking the aisles. So I took my time and probably drove all the people rushing through crazy.

It’s just that Ryan was out of town last week and he leaves again today for the rest of the week and then again next week. I will be home almost all the time, so grocery shopping is quite a luxury if you ask me. I’m all twisted up inside because it makes me nervous when he goes away and also, I’m realizing that I’m a pretty good mother. Finally. I’m slowly learning that Good Mother doesn’t have anything to do with perfection or crafts or being patient all the time. It’s more about keeping on keeping on, you know?

I chose the cheddar. The boys love it most.


This is the 17th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. {Please see the details here.}  I would love to read your freely written words so join me and link up below. You can add the url of your post at any time. Just be sure it’s a link to your Just Write post, not to your main page. There are really no rules, besides Just Write! (Then link back to this post in your post so people know where to go if they’d like to join in.) (Any links not following those two guidelines will be deleted.) 

Also. Please take a moment to visit someone else who has linked up! It’s a really good way to meet new writers and get inspired by the meaning behind their moments. Word?



Elena @CiaoMom January 9, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Keep on keeping…so very true. Solo time at the grocery store is pure decadence. Wishing you a smooth week of keeping on….
Elena @CiaoMom recently posted..One Word

tracy@sellabitmum January 9, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Please tell me that I won’t be measured as a mother by the crafts we did. lol

Love the grocery store alone. Sometimes I carry a coffee while doing it. Bliss.
tracy@sellabitmum recently posted..The Just Right Outing

Adventures In Babywearing January 9, 2012 at 11:21 pm

I moved so slowly through the grocery store the other day without children that Noah texted me asking if I was ever coming home.

Adventures In Babywearing recently posted..Everybody Loves Carter

moosh in indy. January 9, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I can always tell the moms who are alone at the grocery store. They take time picking their laundry soap. They smell each one. They read the labels. They take cheese choosing very seriously.
moosh in indy. recently posted..tiny giants doing gymnastics.

Elaine January 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm

I hit up the grocery store by myself today too, while all kids were at school. I spent a lot of time choosing lunch meat. I’m sure the guys stocking the shelves, working around me thought I was a tad cuckoo. Oh well!

And you know, when people ask me these days “How are you doin’!?” sometimes I say “alright” or “not that great today” if that is the case. Depending on who it is, it’s interesting the looks I get. We just aren’t used to people being more honest about how they are ACTUALLY doing!

You’re a WONDERFUL mom and a great cheese-chooser. ;) xo
Elaine recently posted..Some Same Something

jubilee January 10, 2012 at 1:40 am


I’d choose cheddar too. Sharp.
jubilee recently posted..Top Ten {Tuesday} Styles I’d Never Be Caught Dead With

Jayna @ Yankee Drawl January 10, 2012 at 1:46 am

I always lose myself in the produce section when I find myself shopping alone. Lingering over exotic fruits and dreaming of bringing home a basket full of the ones my kids will never eat.

I’d love to meet another mother who can honestly say they’ve never felt all twisted up inside at some point. Everything you’ve said, I’ve had so many days that echo that. Keeping on is the biggest step.
Jayna @ Yankee Drawl recently posted..In This Chair

Gianna January 10, 2012 at 2:19 am

Good choice with the cheese.
Today I was frustrated with my oldest? Why? Because she wasn’t catching on that it was bed time. She had brushed her teeth, gone to the bathroom, put on her pajamas and yet, she still took out new toys to play with. I was so annoyed that I went off on her. Then, I walked away in a huff to try to gain some composure and figure out what was making me so mad (by the way, this whole time she is sobbing).
So then, I went in an apologized, “sorry. i didn’t tell you exactly that it was bedtime.” It was completely void of any emotion. But by then I was ready to read and after that I was ready to hug her and love her and be glad to be her mom.
During this whole time I was thinking, “I’m not a bad mom, right?”
And the answer is, “No. I may not be a good mom all the time, but I’m most definitely no a bad mom!”

Jenn January 10, 2012 at 6:32 am

keep on keeping on. That is the key! Good luck with the week without your husband. And enjoy the cheese. Cheddar is is the best!
Jenn recently posted..Mind Games

kelly garriott waite January 10, 2012 at 6:40 am

“It’s more about keeping on keeping on, you know?”
I know exactly what you mean by this. Perfectly put. And I would’ve chosen the cheddar, too. For the exact same reasons.

Hope it’s OK I linked up something I “just wrote” in a complete fit of frustration several years ago.

Erica @ Expatria, Baby January 10, 2012 at 7:19 am

I’m joining for the first time (via Adventures in Babywearing), from whence I’ve been admiring this concept for ages. I’m glad I’ve finally worked up the courage to join. Thanks for hosting, this is really wonderful.

And cheddar is a good choice.

Jessica January 10, 2012 at 7:28 am

I have not liked the question “how are you?” in years. Since our daughter passed away I just want to answer with the truth but that’s not really fair to the person who asked the question, especially if it’s the cashier at the grocery store, after I’ve had a rare hour alone with my thoughts. I don’t know how you do so much time with the kids on your own. My husband goes out of town a few times a year and it is draining, can’t imagine doing it all the time.
Jessica recently posted..Touching the Floor

Tricia January 10, 2012 at 7:48 am

Grocery shopping alone is quite the luxury. Yes on being twisted up inside and it’s not all bad. I feel that too.

Suki January 10, 2012 at 7:53 am

On week 3 with having a baby I have not entered a grocery store by myself just yet, but I am dieing to.
Suki recently posted..david’s birth story.

Galit Breen January 10, 2012 at 8:34 am

{I am twisted, too.}
Galit Breen recently posted..Memories Captured, Another Start

Galit Breen January 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

{I am twisted up inside sometimes, too.}
Galit Breen recently posted..Memories Captured, Another Start

Darcie-such the spot January 10, 2012 at 8:37 am

My husband doesn’t travel that much. Oh, but I hate it when he does. Facing two full weeks I’d definitely linger at the cheese, too.
Darcie-such the spot recently posted..my downy fortress

Robin ~ PENSIEVE January 10, 2012 at 8:40 am


Gosh, when you’re in this Season it feels like forever; forever IS in each day, ya know? Time is flukey that way….

Reading this makes me remember, Heather… And stuff like USING THE BATHROOM WITH THE DOOR CLOSED AND TAKING A LOOOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG SHOWER just so I could go five minutes without being needed or touched.

Seasons might change but you never forget. :)
Robin ~ PENSIEVE recently posted..skin thin #justwrite

Kat January 10, 2012 at 8:47 am

LOVE this post. Perfect.
Kat recently posted..Taking Turns

molly January 10, 2012 at 10:01 am

I don’t like the grocery store. People are always rushing. On Sunday someone rammed into my cart and I gave her a look like, “Really? Are you THAT in a hurry to get your damn milk?” I much prefer to go late on a Tuesday when no one is there so I can take my time without getting hit by someone. I’m a slow chooser too :)
molly recently posted..it’s okay

Amber January 10, 2012 at 11:06 am

I love my grocery store time. I’m usually torn between rushing through, so I can get back to my family, and putzing. Rushing usually wins, though.
I hope someday, I can give myself credit for being a good mom. Still working on that one, though.
Amber recently posted..The Almost Kitten.

Dara Dokas January 10, 2012 at 11:10 am

“Faster Cheese Chooser” cracked me up! I really enjoy going to Target alone. I get a cup of coffee and walk around. I always go through the non-food areas first so that I have more time. Once food’s in the basket, it’s time to go. Also, “twisted” can mean a very rich inner life.
Dara Dokas recently posted..Harry Potter Marathon

Tiffany January 10, 2012 at 11:16 am

I absolutely love your Just Write posts. And Elsie’s birthday post was wonderful. :)
Tiffany recently posted..I Will, I Won’t

nicole January 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Yes, getting up each morning and doing it all as needed to the best of your abilities that day is being a good mother. Good for you for realizing it.
nicole recently posted..Just Write: What I Don’t Write

Bridget January 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Thank goodness it’s about keeping on keeping on. That? That I can do. (Most of the time.)
Bridget recently posted..Sacrifice

Jo January 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

You sound better and I couldn’t be more pleased about that. Love you friend.
Jo recently posted..Happy Birthday Harper

Fiona January 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I love it! Can’t get enough of your blog, thank you!

debi9kids January 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm

parenting alone is the pits. (I’m there 5 days a week, every week) It’s hard to feel like a good mother when sometimes we’re just barely getting by, but you’re right… we’re still going, so that’s a good thing and our kids aren’t missing out, so that’s even better.
debi9kids recently posted..Where There’s a Will

Stephanie Hanes January 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm

This: “I’m realizing that I’m a pretty good mother. Finally. I’m slowly learning that Good Mother doesn’t have anything to do with perfection or crafts or being patient all the time. It’s more about keeping on keeping on, you know?” I love. You know why? It is exactly what I’ve been learning too. And it’s really all about Grace isn’t it? Extending grace to ourselves as moms, reminding ourselves we don’t have to do it ALL because nobody does it ALL anyways, and to feel free to be who we really are – flawed yet beautiful, a beautiful mess. :) These words are what I needed today – thank you!
Stephanie Hanes recently posted..Joy Dare, Week 1

Alisa January 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I’ve always loved the phrase “keep on keeping on”. Every time I hear that song I just think, yes, how perfectly described that is. And lately I find myself going to the grocery store a lot. I get a cup of tea and wander, people watch, pick out something new to try. Really enjoyed your post.

Heather Novak January 11, 2012 at 7:30 am

I am also thinking about how I am as a Mama….and I also would choose CHEDDAR but because I like it best. I am that Mama. OH! I really enjoyed this post. THANK YOU!!!!
Heather Novak recently posted..Bodacious Blog of the Week: IMOM (& Secret Tool for Kids you can steal!)

suzanne @ pretty swell January 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm

This just about made me cry. In a good way. I, too, work hard to convince myself that I’m a good mother. And I’m the most indecisive cheese-chooser on the planet.
suzanne @ pretty swell recently posted..Pregnant and homeless

Mandy January 11, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I can so relate to this post, especially here lately. My husband travels a majority of the time, so this post just really spoke to me. Keep on keeping on!

Robin | Farewell, Stranger January 12, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I do know. And by that definition I’m a Good Mother too.

I get stumped in front of the cheese quite often. It’s a complex choice, and not one to be taken too lightly.

Also, solo grocery store shopping is not to be taken for granted.
Robin | Farewell, Stranger recently posted..Waving the White Flag

Shawn January 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Beautiful … I love what you are doing here … may I participate next time around???
Shawn recently posted..Make today a Yes day

Heather January 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Sure, Shawn. Feel free.
It’s back again tomorrow (every Tuesday)

Thank you!

deb williams January 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

i think the problem (because it could never be US) is that most people who ask us how we are, actually do not care to hear the answer. i suppose that’s why we blog : )

lord, i love the grocery store. i go everyday. sometimes twice a day. oh the luxury of having grown kids! you’d think i’d be hitting the mall or the spa, but no… i head on up to safeway for some good old fashioned cheese choosing!

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