Confessions: What I DON’T Do


(This post is a part of my Confessions of a Hypocrite series)

You may have noticed a bit of irony in my last few posts.

First, I recently wrote about the value of cooking from scratch. That entails adding things to your workload. After that, I followed up with a post exploring the importance of being not busy. This implies a need to decrease your workload.

I’ve also written about how I hang my laundry to dry, and have mentioned that I use cloth diapers and napkins and things like that, which also involve more work than using conventional products.

So what am I advocating? Doing more or doing less work?

Well, neither, exactly . . . I just think some kinds of work are healthier and more valuable than other kinds of work.

But that’s not my point here. The main thing I’m concerned with here is that the particular kinds of posts I’m putting out it may give the impression that I do more than I really do.

A dear friend of mine recently said she thought of me as a “supermom,” which I found kind of hysterical, because I’m always complaining to Ben that I’m not nearly able to do everything I want to do. I don’t give this blog a fraction of the attention I’d like to, for example. I’m always moaning to him, “I just don’t have any time to write!” (This is usually said in a melodramatic voice, accompanied by me throwing something to the floor). I even complain to Lydia: “Come ON! Why do you need me AGAIN?! I need to WRITE! I’m a WRITER who never WRITES! What do you even call that?!”

Yes, I cook almost everything from scratch, I garden with my mom, I preserve food, I mother, and I keep up a blog. But that’s really about it.  My time is divided between the kitchen and the computer room.

There is so much I don’t do.

In case I give anyone else the (absolutely ridiculous) impression that I’m a supermom, I thought maybe I should make a list of some of the things I don’t do which enable me to do the few things that I do.

  • I don’t bring in an income.

My maternity leave will be running out by the end of next month, which has been my only source of income for the last eleven months. I don’t have plans to return to work, either.

  • I don’t exercise.

I mean, I try to walk and bike places as much as possible, and I try to do about ten minutes of yoga every day (it usually ends up being more like five, and not every day), but that’s the extent of my “workout.” I don’t jog, I don’t lift weights, I don’t do fitness videos. I don’t even walk briskly. I have been to a gym about four times in my life.

  • I don’t get out of the house much.

No more than three times a week. (I’m happy with that, though).

  • I have few intimate relationships outside of my husband and baby girl.

Relationships require time spent together. Because I don’t get out of the house much (see above), I don’t get a chance to nurture many close friendships.

  • I hardly watch TV.

(This isn’t a confession, just part of the explanation).

Ben and I generally watch about 60 minutes of TV a week (Big Bang Theory, New Girl, and The Office, all on sketchy internet sites), and usually watch a movie a week. I’m told the average family spends a lot more time in front of the TV.

  •  I’m not at all involved in any local church.

I barely even make it to the occasional Sunday morning service. I don’t participate in a single ministry, team, or committee. And I don’t even feel guilty about it anymore. Church stuff just all feels so meaningless and futile. (And boring.)

(I do, however, participate in a biweekly book club, where I gather with a small group of intelligent young folks and discuss Christian writers from G. K. Chesterton to Rob Bell. Recently, we try to emphasize ways that we can practice the way of Jesus in our daily lives. I just mention that so you don’t think I’ve completely “forsaken assembling together.” What’s a confession without a little justifying?).

  • I don’t serve the community in any way.

(And I do feel bad about this one).

I don’t mentor, tutor, teach, visit old people, or otherwise volunteer my time in any way.

I currently use the excuse that I have a baby, and would just have to find someone else to voluntarily look after her while I volunteered, but then, I’ve always had one excuse or another. (“I’m a full-time student.” “I work full time.”)

There’s also the fact that if I spent more time out of the house volunteering, that would likely mean an increased reliance on things like convenience foods and fossil fuels to get me places, or any of the other problems that tend to arise with being overly-busy, which is kind of counter-productive, in my opinion. So I’m kind of stuck for now.

* * *

So, to reiterate: if my blog makes it sound like I do a lot, remember that you’re probably doing a heck of a lot more and just not talking about it like I do. Think about all the relationships you’re nurturing, all the people you’re serving and blessing.

How about you? What kinds of things to you not do, which might make it seem like you do a lot?

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  1. Kathleen, you already know how I feel about all the things you do accomplish throughout your day. We all have areas we can grow in; me most of all. I will just comment on one thing – you mentioned serving. Remember that the first area we have to serve is with our children. In essence, as parents we are ‘paying it forward’ in how we raise them. That is why I am striving more than anything to be a person of grace, of love, of goodness. I want my kids to model that and they can only do that when their mom lives it herself.
    I hope you aren’t feeling guilty for not accomplishing a lot (according to your standards). How we ‘perform’ throughout our day need not be our goal, it is rather who we are. And who you are is beautiful!

  2. Emily W says:

    The fact that you don’t exercise makes me happy, because laziness loves company, right? :)

    And, while I admire your commitment to taking care of our world very much, I do think there are some activities where the damage to the earth is outweighed by the good thing resulting from the action. Some things are worth using up fossil fuel for. And I bet there are ways you could give back to your community and love on hurting people even with Lydia in tow (in fact, she could even be an awesome ministry partner – babies really bless people just by being themselves!). Just a thought. Thanks for another great post!

  3. Like.

    My favourite part (my paraphrase since I’m thumb typing while driving): I don’t even do boring church stuff anymore but instead meet with INTELLIGENT people to talk about Jesus.

    Still chuckling.

    • Oops! Totally not what I meant! Honestly, I was just trying to offer my fellow clubbies a compliment if they were reading this. They’re all younger than me and Ben — some by quite a bit — but I want them to know how much I value their fellowship.

      • I know you didn’t, but all to often I’ve pined for some intelligent conversation after a church service/function, so I gave myself a little extrapolative (yeah, that’s probably not a word) license.

  4. I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t socialize – I was just saying yesterday how I’ve gotten to a point in my adult life where I’m perfectly content together with my closest friends a couple times a year/when they’re in town and spend the rest of it with family. I think I’m happier with this arrangement as my introverted self gets way too overloaded trying to keep up with day to day dramas and I’m so much better with small groups gatherings on an infrequent basis when I can store up my social ability for a few great nights with friends instead of a bunch of mediocre ones.
    Molly W. recently posted..Another marriage tid-bitMy Profile

  5. I would disagree with your last bullet point. I think by being a thoughtful and dedicated wife and mother, you really are contributing quite a bit to your community. You enable your husband to be a good worker and are teaching your daughter to be a good member of society. Though if you really want to get out into your community more, I know that visiting folks in the nursing home with your baby in tow would brighten so many folk’s day!
    Michele recently posted..M DayMy Profile

  6. I have an 11 month old little girl, whom I stay home with. I am constantly telling my husband that I never have time to get enough done. I have not-so-secretly been feeling that I should be doing a whole lot more, but then my husband reminds me that if I didn’t stay home with our girl, we would have to pay other people to take care of her, pay someone to clean the house because we’d both be so busy (he works full time and is in graduate school), and who would even make our meals? So, I see tremendous value in staying at home because the things I do while I’m here really do matter. But yeah, I don’t really have time to nurture friendships because I don’t leave the house much, so I kind of miss that. Sometimes I feel like I should go back to work (for a millisecond), then I remember that I have been given the gift of being a mom and the privilege of spending a lot of time with my daughter. Plus, I’ve been cooking up some good stuff in the kitchen, whereas I never used to at all.

  7. As for giving back to the community, being a mentor, etc. I want to say that you should not underestimate what you are gifting by writing here to the greater community. I for one am grateful. We learn from our peers and from shared/reflected experiences. The fact that your writing also nourishes you does not take away from the service of doing so. :)

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