Friday, May 27, 2011

Let It Go J-Lo

Oh, Joy-lo! Yet another celeb perfect parent has emerged to make us feel bad about ourselves.

Gucci Campaign via
It's the divine Jennifer Lopez this time. Now the mother of 3-year-old twins she says she has no nanny and that family members take turns baby-sitting. In the interview  her manager also says she lays out three outfits for her kids and her husband every day before she leaves. "Every day! She may not be there for breakfast, but by the time she leaves they all have three different outfits."

Ms Lopez who's lately shed the Diva to become the darling judge of American Idol insists: "I know how to say 'no' now. I say: 'I'm tired, I can't do this. I'm not doing that tomorrow.' I have kids now, so my life is not completely my own. They come first." But it's hard to think of what she has let go when she remains the all-singing, all-dancing international star with a loving husband and bountylicious bod. Just look at this vid and weep.

Image: Getty via

CADENA PIX/Bauer-Griffin via
The message is that even La Lopez can't have it all, though she does seem to be keeping all the balls in the air. The rest of us, including many of my friends who admit to being A-type, have to let something go.

Of course the obvious question is: why are we holding ourselves to these unattainable standards anyway? One busy parent at school told me: "Failing frequently, that's who I am". This is a woman with three children and a full-time job. A woman who looks after her mother and works seemingly round-the-clock for the school and at least one charity fundraiser. Failing frequently?

Blogger Joslyn brought to my attention an interview on Momfilter with Pulitzer prize-winning writer Anna Quindlen who says:

"I think having bright lines and boundaries really worked for us, that it made our kids strong and secure because they were clear on expectations and responsibilities. But I wish I had been better able to combine that with letting things go a little bit. Nobody really needs a bath every night. Nobody really needs a balanced meal for every meal. I should have let the freak flag fly a bit more. It’s hard to be a Type A mom. I wish I could have been a bit more B plus, for my sake and their own. "

I'm uptight about keeping the house clean and tidy. (The car, not so much) Seeing the kids start an art project - or baking - only makes me think about how much there will be to clean up. My solution: we have cleaners three times a week. (I'm ashamed to admit that.)

My Silver Scream Life: cleaning up before the cleaners arrive

On the other hand I feel I'm flying the "freak flag" a little too often. Here comes the Slacker Mum again.
* This season I missed all of:  Jackson's baseball games, Tallulah's soccer games and Harley's basketball games. (So where was I driving to all-day every-day I ask myself?)
*Day-time I look like Granny Clampette, with no make-up, daggy hair, UGG boots, bobbly old brown cardy and assorted long weird items.
* I've given up on buying party gifts. My kids give money in an envelope. Unbelievably crass, I know. But other parents have confided that gift cards languish in a drawer and gifts end up broken and in the re-cycling. 

Have you let anything go? 


  1. Oh, so very much ;)

    Mostly the house, the car and the garden. And everything that exists outside my studio and daughter's room. Embarrassing is furiously cleaning house before the 20-year-old babysitter arrives. Oof. Thanks for visiting our blog ;)

  2. Love this post! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who cleans up before the cleaning lady comes! Enjoy your weekend!

  3. We all fill our lifes to our own capacity level and generally we tend to feel guilty about things that don't really matter. J-Lo is no more perfect than you or I and whilst she may not have a 'nanny' she will have a housekeeper, gardener, cleaners and people doing all jobs and even she will have an off day. I get up everyday despite doing a 60 hour week and cook breakfast for my daughter but sometimes it's all too hard!

  4. Love this post.
    Mostly because I feel even I let things go and right now I don't work, and only have one! What's to become of me? I am horrible. But I was struck by Joslyn's post (and this one) when I read it. Something at some point has to give, right? And reading Anna's quote almost makes me sad, like I never want to feel that particular regret, ya know? Am glad you posted about this too. :)

  5. Oh wow. And she looks fantastic. Sheesh.
    And I love Jenny's comment...really making me laugh right now.

  6. Always wanted to be type a but landed up type o, as in ordinary. Still feel guilty about it but learning to enjoy it, it is so liberating!

  7. THREE times a week?? That would be heaven.
    And I am the same way with art projects and stuff that kids do, all I can think of "Here comes a mess, that I'm going to have to clean up."
    But I'm a proud type B and am very good at letting things go and not worrying about it. My kids have never ever had nightly baths, not even as babies. I just don't have the energy for that.
    No after school activities and no weekday playdates. And I don't go to Saturday soccer games, (husband does). These things my life a whole lot easier.

  8. The Wanderer's Daughter: yes I do the cleaning before the babysitter arrives too (and sometimes after...sigh.)
    Leslie: yes three times a week, am so spoiled and amazed what a tip it is after the weekend..
    Tattie Weasle: From one O to another - are we Capital O's?
    Alexa: thanks for stopping by! Yes Jenny's comment was my hugest belly laugh of the day!
    Jenny: Ha! You are brilliant, I can feel you pain! And the photpgraphers too!
    Girloliver: When I had my first child I was so consumed and overwhelmed there was no way I could blog as well like you do! You do so much more than I ever did - Well done you!
    Kellogsville: You're totally right - it's all perception. Celebs have so much help and we don't see that.
    Jennifer: Cleaner-Uppers unite!

  9. Jenny: Oops I meant YOUR pain. Not you pain. See... I'm a rubbish speller, sppler spllir, too!

  10. jLO is so gorgeous! :)

  11. ALW - just read your comment on my blog. Thanks! Your post is very relevant to me today in my mood actually. I have just updated my blog and mentioned your post.
    Have you seen this website - there's quite a bit about the arty/music scene in Ohope. Thought you might like some nostalgia porn.

  12. LOL at JLO...I actually liked her at the start of Idol when she seemed sweet...but by then end she was pushing who she wanted to win and was a little mean to my fav Haley!

    There are some things I need to learn to let go...I have wonderful stepdaughters and sometimes I get a little crazy about some things and I shouldnt!

  13. AWESOME i so love jlo she's the best

  14. Haha! I have known countless people who clean-up before the cleaning lady arrives. Honestly, I think I would do it too. Who wants someone else (cleaning lady or not) to see a messy house? :P

  15. I loved how when I started to watch the J-Lo video, the banner 'looking to move home' popped up, right under their modest little villa. Haha.

  16. PS: Fortunately, I don't have the failure gene. I don't feel like a failure at all. I am happy to have a cleaner twice a week. I feel like a career failure, but that has nothing to do with my daughter. Cheers :)

  17. first of all, I don't believe all that stuff about JLO!
    I tolerate toys and dirty socks on the floor a lot more these days.

  18. Met Mum: yes we must check out the price of her wee cottage. And I have the career failure thing too as an added bonus!
    Julie: Agreed. Dirty socks are an integral part of my day. There is a lovely pair languishing right beside me.

  19. Okay, here are just a FEW ;)...

    - Disgusting car all of the time.
    - Missed countless events as of late- including an awards ceremony for Hailey & a boy scout ceremony for Jacob (forgot to add it to calendar... bad)!
    - Thank-you cards have gone out the window (I still make them do them though!).
    - I always opt out of staying at birthday parties (I've become the mom that just drops her kid off at the doorstep).
    - I've gone from making creative, fun, filling after-school snacks to handing them a granola bar and calling it a day.
    - It's taken Hailey and I a year(??) to *almost get through the Tale of Despereaux... still not finished. Took the same amount of time to get through Black Beauty with Jacob (finally finished).

    ...Again, these are just a FEW. =) (love this post Jody!)

    (per your comment, I will do a picture of my new hair style... once I actually get OUT of my workout cloths, take it out of the ponytail, and get a little make-up on (one of these days)!!

  20. Great post! It's always nice to check back in with myself and make sure I'm enjoying the day, rather than stress over little things. Thanks for the reminder! I have to let go a bit and not be so Type A all the time!

  21. Torrie: Ha! Love your list! I've got a twin one. Yes the birthday drop off thing is a post in itself. My kids live off cereal even after I've tried to do the proper meal thing. Wish they would eat those bars but they only like them with choccy chips in.
    Simple Dwellings: Yes, good mantra. Lately I've been pushing through the day instead of enjoying it. I'm going to start right now by watching three back-on-back movies...

  22. I really have loved JLo on American Idol. I did not miss Simon and his negativity. I loved it when JLo would say "oh, sorry Baby, you're not going through..." I felt she was real, sincere and glowing. I think she looks happy. Some stay at home Mom's should go back to work....and smile JLO. She has inspired me.

  23. Hmmm. Let's start with the fact that our carpet has needed replacing for at least 4 year (finally did it last week). And don't even look at my walls - fingerprints all over.

    Strangely, I actually hate missing the kids games. In fact, watching them do fun kid things - crazy talent show performances, FINALLY catching a fly ball - helps keep me going.

    But my husband would surely say it wouldn't hurt for me to miss a game and hit the spa for a facial peel or something. And I definitely need to start coloring my hair. Ughh, the time. If only we all had JLo's flawless that's a gift!

  24. I don't think it would be honest for anyone to see that they've managed to keep every ball in the air all the time. How could they? Even an expert juggler cannot add an infinite number of balls to the air!

    I appreciate your honesty on the subject. Imperfection can make us feel vulnerable. But it is also something that unites us.

  25. J.lo is such an inspiration! She's gorge and she has a lovely family, so happy with the new album and loved to see her on AI!

    Cess O. <3 The Outfit Diaries

  26. Its a nasty nasty thing that happens to women, this idea that we need to be able to do It All or else we are failures. I'm not sure why we have that idea. Is it because we watched our moms/mums juggle so much and didn't see the whole story (when she gets us to bed and collapses in a heap on the sofa with a G&T)? Is it because we don;t actually talk enough to our girlfriends and sisters about everything we juggle so from the outside we look Glossier Than Thou and people imagine we can actually Do It All? I dont know, but its bad. If having a cleaner three times a week helps your life, then why the hell should you feel guilty?! Let go of that guilt and stop cleaning up for the cleaner ;)

  27. You've gotta let stuff go! I'm so envious of your 3 x a week cleaner. I'm the 3 x a week cleaner at my place (plus the 57 x a week over time I'm putting in!) We have a gardener though. I was so tired of not enjoying relaxing in the garden because all I could see was all the work that had to be done.

    Cut as many corners as you can. Life is too short to drive the long road. x

  28. Ha! i love this post. Enjoyed reading it so much.

  29. Why do we keep this 'do it all' myth alive? and give ourselves grief over something that is as achievable as knitting with fog? I am very much an O in ordinary. No career, no fancy house, no culinary skills, no secret hobby that I am brilliant at....just someone who has kids who are loved and were fed and watered and edumacated to the best of our ability....and as I get older I am very much leaning to the thought that perhaps woman need to give themselves a break and just continue doing what they do, day in and day out, with grace and courage and love......
    ps thanks for visiting my place...did you see the dust? and the shabby furniture? never was lovely to have you visit anyway!

  30. Her kids are so cute!
    I recently saw Amy Poehler interviewed. She has a couple kids and she was saying how she doesn't like when other celebrities say they have kids and can do it all, because the fact is that they can't. She says she can't do it all, and no one can. It is a lot of work! It is best to just try our best and realize that no one is perfect, not even celebrities.

  31. i've posted myself about some standards we push ourselves to. nevermind the celebs, i think mothers across the blogosphere can feel intimidated by those who are seemingly doing it all - crafty projects for themselves and the kids, home baking, running a business, beautifully kept house...
    ultimately we're all different. i've decided on my priorities, that my girl is healthy and loved, that i'm creative and look after my health. house is clean uncluttered but often untidy. and only because i'm home all the time.

    i've let go trying to fulfil all my ideas. that's been more of an issue for me.

  32. PVE: Thanks for stopping by and for honesty
    Monica: It's always so great to see your enthusiasm at the games. The Talent Show is my favourite too.
    Alexis: Imperfection is more endearing, you're so right!
    Michelloui: Good advice. I must say I inherited the G&T relaxation method!
    Maxabella: 57 hours of cleaning, yes it's endless
    Nyanzi: Thanks for stopping by, just headed over to your place
    Libby: We will have to start the O-club. Plus love shabby furniture, all the better for sitting
    Poppies: Would love to have seen that interview. The most relatable celeb interviews are with Jamie Oliver who is so honest about how hard it all is.
    Monica: Yes, I feel very intimidated by what some woman can achieve with a pop stick and some craft paper....

  33. Sometimes a hat is my best friend, I let my hair go frequently...if I wore a scarf like JLo, in one of the above pictures, I'd probably look like a cleaning lady!

  34. Ah, the challenges of living in the real world.

    As for giving anything up, how about a house? The move to the apartment was a wise decision on our part. Now, all I have to do is get organized, and find out which box has what. Sigh.

  35. OMG, you have boys! You deserve a cleaner every day! And I actually love that you admit the stuff that doesn't get done--having had a type A++++ mom, I think I went in the opposite direction sometimes (although I am extremely clean, just messy). Anyway, I think you look amazing (and have a much smaller butt than JLo, lol!)

    xo Mary Jo

  36. Vinogirl: I know what you mean. I've finally found a hat and a scarf I like and happiness is mine!
    Rob-bear: Moving is the most stressful thing ever apparently. Though I do find unpacking to be the worst part of it (sorry)
    Mary Jo: Thanks, now I'm thinking about a cleaner every day!

  37. I let so much go that I think its all gone.

  38. love this post. we've got to fail, otherwise there is nothing to look up to - i say that to make myself feel better. ;) i too clean up before the house cleaner..

  39. oh gosh...I've only been a mother for 7 months and I'm letting EVERYTHING GO! Hats off to all of you mothers as I don't know how you do it?!

    I have a house cleaner once a week and now I can admit it without feeling guilty!

  40. I completely agree with the basis of your blog post - that sense of repeatedly failing is something everyone I know experiences. "Failing frequently" would be a great title for a blog.

    That said, I couldn't concentrate at the end of the post because I was so envious about the cleaner 3x a week. My goal is eventually to have not a cleaner but a housekeeper who comes every day, like Alice from The Brady Bunch.


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