Polite as What?

I’ve been asked a lot lately where I got the inspiration for Polite As Fudge.

I’ll do my best to explain.

It wasn’t until I emerged from the depths of one of the most trying years of my life that I finally got the gumption to actually start this thing.  I’d talked about it for years.  Wanted to get some things I’d written read.  But I’d never made the moves to get it done.  I always dreamed of being a published author.  Of having my own blog.  But I was busy with three babies, which was what I’d always wanted for my life, and writing would be a pipedream for another day.

I’ve written a few separate articles of what happened this past year, but never all together in one place.  Many of my readers have seen my first-ever article,  “Kryptonite“.  So there was that.  Then, my full-time housekeeper and babysitter of five years (before the one who stole my pants), who I considered to be family, quit on me and continued to work for my former best friend.  This caused irreparable damages in an already one-sided friendship.

So two relationship breakups, a diagnosis to come to terms with, a whole lot of self-doubt and raising two little kids and a newborn.

Not quite what I’d envisioned with my romantic notion of just sitting in a rocking chair, soaking up every second of my last baby’s babiness.   I felt lonely and blue.

I needed therapy.  So I went to therapy.  Psychology is basically a bad word in the family I come from.  “Shrinks” were court-appointed accessories to my parents’ divorce to figure out whose home we should live in.  I was six.  So I spent most of my life thinking therapy was a bad thing.  An admit to defeat, or not having all the answers.  Or that something was — gasp — not perfect!

Quite the contrary actually.  Therapy reminded me more of Plato’s Republic and achieving a sort of enlightenment about myself, that I’d known deep down all along.

 Source:  shootonline.comMoana's Grandma all Source:  shootonline.comMoana’s Grandma all “Moana, do you know who you are?”

So in the midst of all of that, I realized I needed something just for me.  A creative outlet to have my voice heard.

I had the mom thing going for me; a house full of kids is all I’ve ever wanted.  I have the great-husband thing going for me — I seriously don’t know how I got so lucky.  And I have a fantastic mother-in-law, who’s my editor and biggest cheerleader next to Matt.  But my sense of community and closeness I’d had with two important people in my life (yes, my former housekeeper and former BFF) were shattered.

Going to therapy gave me a shift in perspective that made me so much stronger.  You know what I realized?  I was overvaluing what other people thought of me.  When all that really mattered was what I thought of myself.  And what did I think of myself?

I’m a good fudging person and I’m a straight shooter.  Where I come from, people leave their front doors unlocked and the keys in their car overnight, but that doesn’t mean I need to assume everyone is as honest as I am.  When what people say doesn’t match what they do, that’s a problem for me, every time.  I don’t need to keep going back for more of something that doesn’t feel right to me.

“Don’t worry about what people think of you. Most people are still deciding what they think of themselves”

It’s like in The Emperor’s New Clothes.  The Emperor is clearly naked.  Are you one of the people who go along with it and agree he’s wearing the most beautiful clothes in the world?

Or do you make yourself actually believe he’s wearing the most beautiful clothes in the world?

Or once more, do you stick to your own life experience and know that even though everyone is saying the Emperor is wearing clothes, you know that he’s buck ass naked.

I choose the latter.  And then I’d probably find a nice, but assertive way to tell him.  That’s how I’ve always been my whole life.  But when I went through my hard time last year, I actually started to value what the clothesmaker and the townspeople said more than what I knew to be true in my own heart.

Always doing what was best for everyone else – my family, my friends, even my housekeeper, worked for a while.  But it doesn’t work forever.  I needed to find a way to get back to my core.  To not need outward validation on my decisions, keeping in mind that what I think is enough for me because I have a good head on my shoulders and good intentions.  To remember that I’m a person, too, with talents more than just my uncanny ability to make three breakfasts, two lunches, and two snacks in under 15 minutes.

And lastly, I needed to get a little creativity back in my life beyond the random kid crafts and triple-decker cakes my daughter likes to make.

I wanted to write.  I wanted to talk about motherhood, philosophy, fashion, makeup, interior design, and Disneyland.  And Polite As Fudge was born.

If I can write what I feel and help other people, making them laugh along the way?  For me, that is purpose.  My very own purpose, in addition to my fave job:  being the S Bunch’s mommy.

This is my heart work.  It is what I needed, and having an identity — my identity — in addition to being a mama, is what I’d neglected in myself.  I stay inspired to do this, even with having less time than ever, because of my readers.  I’ve received such a strong outpour of support and I thank you all for that from the bottom of my heart.  There is no better compliment for me (besides a mompliment).

I encourage you to do what ignites your soul.  Start here, day one.  Whatever it is that moves you, whatever it is that makes you happy, do more of it.

Another question I’m asked a lot is how I find the time to blog.  Here’s my average Friday (post day) below.  I’d guess I spend about 15 hours per week on my blog and Instagram, and about 4-6 hours per article.  I get most of my work done at nap time and after the kids go to sleep.  I’ve had to let some things slip, and my friends would tell you that’s texting back and responding to emails.  (call me if you really need me!)

I have less time than ever.  But I’ve learned to spend my time on the things that matter most to me:  my family, my friends and things that add value and positivity to my life and this blog has been SO positive for me.  I love hearing from you and I’m so grateful to my readers; knowing you relate to me and my writing has meant the world to me and lets me know I’m on the right path in this new venture of mine.  It might not be the best timing because I’m a busy mom of three who likes to be room parent and all-the-things.  But it was actually perfect timing for me because I needed it.  It’s a value add and anything that’s a value add as much as this has been, I will always make time for.  

An Average Polite AF Friday

Morning, before we wake the kids up for school (6:45am):  A lil’ Instagram (respond to comments), make my daily post depending on my schedule for the day, check email

Dropoffs – Either my husband takes Scarlet to school, and the boys and I get ready for Pre-school dropoff, or I take all three kids and we do the double drop off with a Starbucks run in between the 8am and 9am drop times.

Mid-morning – Shep and I run errands and get as much done as possible.  See friends (JEN!) and sometimes walk or hike.

Lunch and nap time – This is when I get most of my articles written.  I’d guess that I spend about 4-6 hours per article per week.  My husband and mother-in-law are my editors and my friend Jen gives it a final read.  I also do all the design for my pieces, which I learned a little bit of in journalism school.  But now for simplicity, I use Canva. I try to squeeze in the following:  (anything I don’t get to, I do at night) Post my article on Facebook (I still get the majority of my readers from here), post on Instagram and Pinterest.  I quickly design and send out my newsletter (if I haven’t already done this and scheduled it for the night before.Then if there’s time, I clean up the house, get to some of the laundry, and take a shower.  I cannot typically get all of these things done hehe.  (Dry shampoo works wonders)

Pick up – 2:45, Shepherd and I go pick up the kids and we hang out, make a craft or bake something or just relax and watch some Disney Junior.

Dinner -Friyay night dinner!  My husband comes home early, Nana comes over, and we typically go out to dinner or sometimes cook.

Bath and bed and lights out by 8. (But a little more flexi on the weekends)

On non-Friyay nights, it takes like an hour to do the dishes and put all the random toys away from the afternoon, and I go back to work on Polite As Fudge.  I spend an hour or two writing and editing, designing, and writing back to comments on my Instagram.  Then Matt and I will try to squeeze in a show.  Right now we’re watching Silicon Valley, but I’m still so sad Game of Thrones is over.  On Friday nights though, I sort of just rest on my laurels from the day and gettting my article done and I try not to do any work on the blog.  I save that for Sunday through Thursday nights.

Lights out nights out around 11/11:30

Stay tuned for a full Q+A on “Mommy Guilt” with  Dalia Kenig, MFT in the coming weeks!  She’s fab and she has a ton of insight on the evolutionary origins of Mom Guilt.