How to Break an INFP

The kids stay up until 10:00 now, and since Ruthie wakes up around 6:30 or 7:00, they’re always awake when I am.


This makes for a very long day of people asking me for things and/or making noise around me.

The CIA calls this Sensory Overload Torture.

Google it if you don’t believe me. You’ll see a video of my kids engaged in a conversation like this:

Thomas: Ruthie, look at this cool thing I made.

Ruthie: …

Thomas: Ruthie! Look at this cool thing I made!

Ruthie: …


Ruthie: …

Thomas: ***RUTHIE!***




Ruthie: *cry-screaming* *running away from Thomas*

Thomas: RU!! THIE!!! *runs after her*

*door slams*

*banging on door*


*fade to black*


I usually make them go to bed at 9:00, but they can read or do something quiet as long as they stay in their room.

This works for awhile, but pretty soon their “quiet activity” turns into make-believe play, which turns into getting really wound up at 9:30, which turns into a lot of yelling about GO TO BED ALREADY WE’RE TRYING TO WATCH GAME OF THRONES.

My goal this summer is to run them so hard all afternoon that one of them falls asleep in the middle of an argument.

Which reminds me… I’m hatching a plan for my summer of juggling work and kids, partially inspired by a blogging friend. Stay tuned for the deets.

A New Era, Inspired by Lazy Parenting

No TV Until.jpg

I’m a lazy parent, and also an introvert. As such, I’m inclined to let my kids watch tv all weekend just so I can have time to myself doing things that recharge me.

(By the way, what’s your tv policy? The Zuglets don’t get any tv time on school nights unless we watch something together as a family. After homework is done, of course.)

Also related to being lazy, I don’t like to clean my house. But when I do clean the house, I do it with great bitterness because all my kids do is watch tv and make a mess and they never lift a finger to do anything around here.

This is what we call a conundrum.

I’ve been quite convinced lately that in prioritizing myself as the Most Important Thing, I could possibly be turning my children into the sort of people who live in my basement and eat the Frosted Flakes I buy until they’re well into their 30’s.

At this thought, I decided to start weaning myself off the kids’ weekend tv time by first setting some ground rules about what needs to get done before they watch.

These are not unrealistic expectations, as you can see. And what I like about it, is that it removes any drama from the situation, which I tend to invite because I hate strict boundaries.

(When you have a child who tests the limits of every boundary to see what will happen, setting squishy boundaries invites LOADS of drama.)

Now I am no longer the gatekeeper to the kids’ tv time. They are their own gatekeeper.

(She said optimistically on Day One.)

Momageddon: The Helpful Advice Edition (please disregard).

Sometimes I get really clingy about my advice books. As a new mother, I remember frantically reading every book about sleeping babies while nursing a 6 week old who decided to stop sleeping. I was frantic, and exhausted, and livid that she was not sticking to The Plan.

The Plan which included sleeping.

I was so beyond the end of my wits that I wasn’t even reading books straight through. I was skimming chapter titles and bolded sentences, and copying bulleted lists and charts with pen on paper.

My brain became like those videos on David Letterman where they edit together random words from a speech so it sounds like a Presidential candidate says, “I bork Sarah Palin every Thursday.”

Recently I read a couple books that were helpful and encouraging to me as a parent, but I found myself hoarding facts again like I tend to do. Only now I’m older and displaying signs of hereditary dementia and start to panic because I can’t remember what to say when it’s the moment of truth and I need to say something really… parental.

A few weeks ago as I contemplated making a list or pie chart to help me remember a few methods (has anyone seen Memento? Reminder tattoos, anyone?), I started approaching despair again as I wondered how I would keep it all straight.

And then it hit me: Jesus has already given me everything I need to raise my kids.

I’m not dissing all the practical knowledge available in books, but I was giving methods more weight than grace. I realized that practical teaching is a great supplement, but what I really need to do is read my bible & pray for wisdom, get over my fear & selfishness, and teach my kids about Jesus.

On Working Alone.

Lately I’ve been experiencing a creative conundrum.

You see, I have it made. I’m one of the lucky ones. And no, I’m not talking about my hair. It’s amazing, to be sure, and the world is generally very jealous of my thick and gorgeous mane, but I am talking about my lifestyle.

It’s amazing that I get to write for a living. It’s amazing that I get to work from home. During school hours. And that I don’t have ongoing expensive day care costs. This luxury is not lost on me, and from a working parent’s perspective, this is a perfect arrangement.

But it also means I work alone, which can be lonely. And uninspiring. And depressing. And did I mention lonely?

Amazing things happen when I’m in the same room as my creative team. The creative process is sometimes internal, but most of our best ideas happen in collaboration, and most of the time that collaboration is ambient, meaning it happens organically as we’re crossing paths in the hallway and not necessarily during a scheduled brainstorming session.

The watercooler conversations, if you will.

Anyway, back to the conundrum.

I like that I’m in control of my schedule, that I can be highly productive in my pajamas and use my laundry cycles as an excuse to stretch my legs and take a break (it’s better than smoking!). I like that I can be a “working mom” without compromising my affinity for being a “stay at home” mom.

But I hate that it sucks the creative life out of me to work alone.

I’m certain there’s at least a handful of solutions to my conundrum, but I can’t think of one that doesn’t involve compromise – either by me, my family, or my team.

Really, I just want to have it all. Even more all than I already have, apparently.

Happy Mother’s Day, Bitches.

Happy mom happy kids

May you enjoy the bounty of mimosas, hand crafted cards of love, and a day filled with no whining.


*wipes tear*

Just kidding about that last part. Can you IMAGINE?

But seriously. Sometimes I feel like Nancy Botwin, shrouded in a haze of smoke in the corner of a motel room, shouting at the musically enhanced sit-n-spin: “SOMEBODY TURN THAT THING OFF – IT MAKES MY ASS TWITCH.”

By contrast, a sweet young thing I know birthed a brand new sweeter thing and posted this to her Facebook page:

I think unconditional love is being HAPPY when your baby wakes you up in the middle of the night over, and over again until the sun comes up. With all my heart I say I love it and its the most joyous time… Thank you god for blessing me with my baby

By God’s grace I did not laugh or roll my eyes or otherwise poop on a new mother’s joy when I read it. (Normally I would, because obviously she’s so sleep deprived she has no idea what she’s in for) but instead I melted into a goo of love for both the new mama and my own children.

She reminds me that even if my children are trying to kill me with one drippy whine after another, they are lovely and perfect and mine – and a gift from Jesus, not a burden.

So maybe I haven’t gone all Nancy Botwin after all. Maybe I’m not shrouded in smoke with a twitchy ass, but do have smooth(ish) skin and (kinda) look a little bit cool, and smile every now and then…


Well that’s probably a bad example…