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Hump Day Giveaway: New Tees!

Glamour and clamour: the chaos behind our photo shoot for new tees

This week is one of those weeks. I know you know what I'm talking about: Deadlines and demands pummel you on all fronts, never allowing you to come up for air. My pal and Thursday-morning-running-partner Heidi, the mom of two who models our tees for us, summed it up perfectly yesterday during our photo shoot: "It's like drinking from a fire hose."

Heidi is a freelance graphic designer who works from home, juggling clients and, after school lets out, her two daughters. (That's Heidi is holding her preschool daughter, Nora, and her first-grader, Olivia, is in pink shirt. The gal in the headband is playdate pal.) Dinner prep was on the near horizon. Yet there I was, asking her to put it all that aside so I could photograph her in our two new long-sleeve tees. Oh, yeah, and could she smile pretty, please?

A child-free indoor shot of our new tee, complete with the Train Like a Mother cover image.

The smiles ended up not being too tough: We were both laughing as the girls swirled around Heidi's capri-clad legs and Nora whined to her mother from the nearby bathroom. "Nora, do you need me to wipe your bottom?" Heidi asked before flashing her pearly whites and pulling the "like a mother" shirt smooth. "Girls, stay in the other room; you can't keep running through the kitchen while Sarah is taking pictures." I resorted to searching my bag for anything to bribe the girls with. Score! Pink mints I'd gotten as freebies at a trade show about, oh, three years ago. (Hmmm, can mints go rancid?)

Finally the rain let up, and Heidi and I dashed outside for natural light--and some solitude. Suddenly a task that we'd struggled with for 20 minutes was accomplished in less than 5. It was a wrap!

To showcase our new tees (which, especially the yummy bamboo-cotton-Spandex fabric of the like a mother one!), we are giving away a shirt to two winners this week. In order to enter the contest for your choice of tee, you simply need to answer this question in the comments below: What analogy springs to life when life's demands are overwhelming? Like Heidi saying it's like drinking from a fire hose, what does the rush of attention-grabbers feel like to you?

336 responses to “Hump Day Giveaway: New Tees!

  1. When I am in the middle of it all, I imagine myself as a top spinning around and around, not focusing on anything but stressing about everything. To gain perspective, I imagine a year from now – I’ll have none of the current issues (but a whole new set) and it calms me down (slows the spinning) so I can pick the most urgent thing to focus on, get it done, and on to the next.

  2. When life’s demands are overwhelming, I just remember “this too shall pass”! My mom has always said that about each stage my children have gone through and I try to keep it in mind!

  3. Goat rodeo-that’s funny.
    I usually describe our chaos as herding cats. My standard answer to, “So, how are things?” Is usually a smile and a slightly sarcastic, “Living’ the dream, my friend!” Usually with something from someone else smeared on me, with one child who can’t cut his umbilical cord and the other who just needs to do what the other is doing, hanging on me, the dog barking and the cat licking spilt milk off the table while the phone is ringing, the oven time is going off, smoething is burning on the stove top and something else stinks in the vicinity of “over there” that no one can quite distinguish….just another day in the life!

    As I re-read this, perhaps the more accurate term is “cluster f**k” πŸ™‚

  4. I always think of Bilbo Baggins (geek alert) saying that he feels like “too little butter spread over too much bread.” That’s exactly how I feel when I’m being pulled in way too many directions, which is…often.

  5. October always feels like a million things are going on all at once. It’s tough to “keep my head above water”, especially amongst the crashing waves. I feel like I am “pushing a rope” or “a hamster on a wheel”. So I also have other mantras … here’s one from an old book mark “Laugh when you can, cry if you must, work hard, play hard, wear out, don’t rust”.

    1. But I did steal a phrase from a blog,”there will come a day when I can’t do this. today is not that day.” I say this to myself a lot when life gets insane. And then I stop for a moment and count my blessings. Sometimes perspective is a great thing.

  6. γ—γ‚‡γŒγͺい Roughly translated to, it is what it is. Or as I like to think of it, Just suck it up princess.

  7. “Life is too short to worry about the small things”!! Who cares if dishes aren’t done and laundry isn’t put away!

  8. Ever since my first daughter was born and I had no idea things would get so crazy…I would always say the words to Sheryl Crow’s song “Every Day is a Winding Road”. It still is with two girls especially during these teenage years!

  9. Livin’ the dream…it’s a joke amongst some good friends when you’re running all over town, cleaning up the life messes, or just being in the moment.

  10. Have to add… It’s like riding the Tea Cups at the carnival! I’m spinning in circles all day, and after a long day I sometimes feel dizzy and a little nauseous! πŸ™‚

  11. In those moments of chaos at home or work, Homer Simpson’s “I’m living in in a cuckoo clock” usually comes to mind. My mantra during trying times is an interpretation of Nietzche: “That which does not kill me will only make me stronger.”

    Love the blog, love the new shirts, and love the run!

  12. It is like hiking up a 14,000 ft. mountain with an 80 pound pack – soooo worth the effort, with lots of cool vistas along the way, but definitely a journey requiring incredible endurance and energy!

  13. I refer to us as the circus! “It’s always a circus around here” Wether I am the ring leader, the clown, the tight rope walker, the flame thrower- always an adventure, usually fun, always a laugh, lots of love and hugs and praying we land just right or close to it at least!

  14. Especially now that I care about a tidy house for the first time in my life, trying to keep our lives in order with a pair of toddlers is like trying to learn to swim in the ocean.

  15. When it’s really bad, I say, “Oh snap, the shit has hit the fan!” Which is rare, because I don’t usually curse. But, what motivates me is, “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” And I remind myself that, I don’t give up EVER!

  16. Not analogies exactly, but my Grandma has used 2 for as long as I can remember, and now I’ve found myself using them more frequently:
    “We’re off like a herd of turtles” (especially at the beginning of some runs, or getting everyone out the door)
    “Go run the stink off you” (aka you’re driving em nuts, go outside and play)
    One I’ve used for quite awhile: “It’s a good day – I woke up, got out of bed by myself, and my britches were dry” (I’m a nurse, and I’ve tried to look at bad days from a different perspective. This one came to me when I worked at a nursing home)

  17. With four under six, including 2-yr old twins, we use “hearding cats” ALOT. There are days that I feel like I am shoveling sand with a dinner fork and when everything goes to hell in a hand basket I just turn to my husband with a dazed expression and ask “are we there yet?”

  18. Sometimes I find myself singing Shawn Colvin’s song, “Riding Shotgun Down the Avalanche,” just for the appropriateness of the title. The quote I come back to when I need help is, “Yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision; but today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day.” Kalidasa, I think.

  19. Cleaning my house/putting the couches back together after fort-making/pulling the toddler off the counter tops… It’s all as effective and worthwhile as rearranging deck chairs on the titanic. However I keep finding myself doing it!

  20. I’m not sure I have a good analogy for the chaos that is my life as a part time working mom of twin 17 month old boys and a three year old daughter. But I do believe in “taking it as it comes” and always working on “being present”.

  21. Trying to slow the frenzy in my brain and life is sort of like yelling at monkeys swinging in the tree at the zoo to stop. They just get even more excited, swinging faster and higher!

  22. On those days that I wake up sore & achy from running & exercising…& I wonder why…’not a spring chick anymore’:(

  23. It feels like I’m Luke(ette) Skywalker, fending off The Empire’s ray-gun attack! Or Wonder Woman with those sweet bracelets. Pchow! Pchow! (That’s the sound of bullets ricocheting off of them. Just FYI, in case you didn’t know how that looked in print.)

  24. Doo- doo- dootadoo- doo too doo doo…. That’s the circus music that ensues ecpvery morning at our house. I’d say we resemble the clown car act!

  25. When it comes to trying to keep the house somewhat tidy….”It’s like polishing a turd.” And when something unexpected and not great happens but I can’t muster up much emotion about it…”Well, THAT happened!” said like Alec Baldwin in the movie State and Main.

  26. When the going gets tough, the tough get going (and run like hell so no one can nag them anymore).

    My new favourite weekend activity is to hand the 4 month old to my husband while the toddler is napping and go for a long run! I have a race at the end of the month and have been training like crazy. Lucky for me I start to tapper just as he leaves on business for a week!

  27. What I’d really like to say is, “I think of myself as a lotus flower, rising up out of the mucky bottom and into a lovely bloom.” BUT, I just can’t swallow that. What really happens is that I think of myself running to that next tree, the next lamp post, the next block … just breathe and go, breathe and go… breathe and go…. keep moving forward. And before we know it, glorious finish and high fives!

  28. I posted earlier today, but apparently it didn’t make it on…but raising my family is sometimes like being pecked to death by a duck.

  29. “I don’t negotiate with terrorists” routinely sums up my day. Of course, then they look at me with their sweet little faces and say, “Mommy, are we the terrors?” πŸ™‚

  30. Not really an analogy but “just make it to bedtime”
    Sometimes I feel like a contestant in a cruel gameshow…”how long before mommy loses her mind”

  31. When life is “crazy” – I try to replace that with “rich and full.” Helps me keep things in perspective. After all, without my two littles and a husband to keep things busy, my life wouldn’t be nearly as wonderful!

  32. My mom calls my three daughters “fleas” because they move around so quickly and jump from one thing to the next! When she babysits she says that she is “herding fleas!”

  33. Another great analogy living with three very active boys: trying to get them to be still for one second is like trying to nail jello to the wall. Can I get an AMEN from my sistas with boys???

  34. “My cup runneth over” — Sometimes with stress, frustration, and a few tears, but when feeling this way, I try to remember the many blessings I have been given. It’s then that I realize my cup runneth over with wonderful things. It always calms me down.

  35. My dad always says, “I’ve been to three world’s fairs and a goat roping, and I ain’t never seen anything like this.” After growing up hearing this, it’s always the first thing I think of when all heck breaks loose! πŸ™‚

  36. Life with my three boys is like juggling knives with one hand tied behind my back. In other words, trying single-handedly to keep it all going without the boys killing themselves (or me, or eachother). Seriously. I feel like I’m on constant suicide watch.

  37. Whatever dam is breaking at the moment, I remind myself – and my husband uses this phrase quite frequently as well, “it’s better than the alternative” which basically means, at least we’re here experiencing life’s ups and downs where many family and friends have passed on. It’s kind of morbid, but puts whatever hiccup we’re facing into perspective.

  38. Things are typically crazy at our house, my mom asks me if my “cape is firmly attached”. My reply is either “running ninety to nuthin’ on fumes” or “situation normal”. Wouldn’t have it any other way!!

  39. I’m like a duck. My feet are paddling like crazy under the water, but on the surface, all you can see is a calm exterior.

  40. Two things come to mind. First, trying to run a marathon while breathing through a straw. The second one is from the movie The Mummy. When they are in an old airplane and the bad guy comes up behind them, Brendan Fraiser yells, “Peddle faster!”.

  41. A friend has a wall hanging that says “Having children is like being pecked to death by chickens.” On days when I have little vocies yelling “Mom” at once, but not in unison and a million other things to get done, that is exactly how I feel!!

  42. I like the “not my monkey, not my circus” idea! I often refer to this house of three boys (not including DH!) and their assorted sports and accompanying schedules as a circus and I’m always the one doing the juggling. Sometimes the balls drop. But the show must go on.

  43. When I’m feeling overwhelmed I feel like I’m treading water in a turbulent ocean. Going for a run helps me feel like I’m back on dry land (or at least a lot closer!)

  44. “It’s almost Saturday” I always take a rest day on Saturday (unless there’s a race!) and make it a point to have a laid back day with my daughter. Life is so hectic, even toddlers need to kick back once in awhile!

  45. I like the saying “God doesn’t give me more than I can handle”. Makes me think God sometimes has a seriously wicked sense of humor. Today for example. Car wreck in the morning, work is dragging, kids don’t want to sit still for haircut, Doctors office calling for payment, kids screaming through Costco because they think its funny, last but not least there is only one receipt and my two try to fight it out as if it were the WWE and it was a knock down drag out fight. ALL OVER A RECEIPT!!!!

  46. Like Herding Turtles…. I tell my husband this all the time because I feel like everything around me is on slow pace and I want them to hurry up!

  47. “like washing windows when there’s pigeons on the roof” and running the ultimate endless ultra-marathon at the same time.

  48. When things are really tough, my mom used to tell me, “This, too, shall pass”. It’s been a very comforting sentiment more than once!

  49. “It’s like trying to save a sinking ship with a straw”. My 9 y.o. and 3 y.o. boys hear me open the front door after work, it’s nonstop Mommy look at what I did, No, mine is better than his, homework questions, wiping a certain 3 y.o.’s behind because he told me it’s my turn, Oh honey it’s your turn to make dinner (at 5:45 pm), laundry needs to be folded, my homework needs to be done, can I get an hour to myself? Not until the boys are down for the night, so I finally get a run or workout in at about 8:30 – 9-ish at night. All to get up at 5 the next morning and start all over again. Sheesh!

  50. An analogy that immediately comes to mind is “Like a bull in a china shop” It’s so fitting for my 5 year old son and how he moves forward so quickly in everything he does.

  51. Give me an “A” for Angry Mother Runner! Give me a “B” for Bordering on insane! Give me a “C” for Can I have a drink at 10am? Give me a “D” for dang I caved again. Give me an “E” for elephants in the living room! And give me an “F” for…..well….#$%# I need a run. Oh! And finally, give me a “G” for good golly I love being a Mom!!

  52. O.k. This might be a little much but my best analogy when the demands or deadlines get to be too much: it’s like your worse illness and you are caught with IT coming out both ends- you have to decide to sit or stand – and then figure out how to clean it all up.

  53. I totally stole this from the show, “Big Bang Theory.” My perfect analogy right now is, “It’s like having my limbs tied to four different dog sled teams and yelling mush.”

  54. I say “are you kidding me?”, all.the.time it is used quite a bit when it comes to my 5 and 3 y.o.! “Serenity Now” from Seinfeld is also a classic! Happy Running!

  55. I have been known to call my husband and say, “four boys and no chocolate make Mama go craaaazy!” I usually equate my busy-ness to swimming: just trying to keep my head above water.

  56. When things are nuts with my kids, I think of the Paul Simon lyric, “why am I soft in the middle, the rest of my life is so hard.”

  57. When things get hectic and overwhelming, I feel like my administration (at school) expects me to “walk on water.” I might also use the phrase “walk on a tightrope.” Unfortunately, I have felt that way all too often lately. Thank God for running allowing me to let off some steam.

  58. I’ve been trying to think about the analogies I often share with my friends about my life…but I can’t remember anything! I have spent the last hour trying to remember what good Halloween games I’ve seen at classroom parties since this year I may have to organize one of those instead of directing traffic and keeping kids from getting a bit too competitive in my own classroom. Why oh why can’t those synapses start firing?

    Right now with kids 5 (but not making the kdg cut-off), 2, and 10 weeks, I feel like the last of the hot, must-have, Black Friday item-maybe a Keurig-there just aren’t enough of me to meet demand, people waiting in line for me, getting up early to get me, fighting for me, bragging when they get me. I do wish they’d wrap me up,let me look pretty, and leave me alone for a few days.

  59. my mother always used to say “running around like a chicken with my head cut off.” As much as I thought it was a dumb saying when I was young, I can’t avoid saying it now.

    1. Supposed to say…slow and steady (finishes) the race…..but also true with all challenges. Just take it slow and steady to get through.

  60. I’m a working mom of 3 BIG boys (14-16-24) “I’m just one mom!” and “Life’s what happens when you have other plans” and then I make some cookie dough. Oh, yeah!

  61. I have a cross stitched wall hanging that says “Cleaning the house while children are growing is like shoveling the walk while it’s still snowing.” That’s pretty much what it feels like around here — it’s still snowing and I’m trying to get stuff done. Never looks like anything is finished!

  62. Funny how so many these are about water and chickens! ‘Sucking Pond Water’ springs to mind for me. It’s a left-over from architecture schoool all-nighters. I now think of it at Tax Time (self-employed), school fundraising planning, and every day crazy weeks.

  63. My have all been used: Running around like a chicken with my head cut off, it’s like herding cats, the inmates are running the asylum. The Nemo references did remind me of a sign a little girl held during a 15K this summer, “Just keep running. Just keep running,” with her own stylized picture of Dory in running shoes. It was entertaining.

  64. Being a working mom with two kids under four is like dancing with two beautiful, snot-nosed, loving suck-u-buses where they alternate between steeping on your toes and swinging you around the dance floor with a the following music as the soundtrack: left speaker AC/DC Thunderstruck and right speaker Amazing Grace.

  65. I always say that my life is a lot like “herding cats”. Cats have a mind of their own – sometimes they comply, but usually don’t do what YOU want them to do. Every day is like that – sometimes things go as planned, but most days go off on a new path. You just have to near to roll with it!

  66. A friend recently said: its like trying to nail jello to a wall. Made me totally lol and seriously, sometimes its that frustrating.

  67. My daughter asked me “why do we have to clean the house? Nobody is coming over to see it.” My response: ” For the same reason we wipe our bums. Nobody is going to see it- but it just feels so much nicer if we do.” Bum wiping analogies work in all sort of cleaning circumstances. “Why clean my room? It is just gonna get messy again?” “Well, why wipe your bum, you’re just going to poop again?”

    1. Poop Logic! This is an amazing reply and I am stealing it to use in discussions with my husband. I’m sure it will also come in handy once my son is old enough for reasoning…

    2. This is the best, maybe it’s all the potty humor coming from 6 year olds in my life and the 2 year old trying to copy! I am stealing this the next time I get asked πŸ™‚

  68. My favorite came from a throw pillow I bought my sister at a craft fair (I have 4 kids, she has 5) … it said, “raising children is like being pecked to death by chickens.” I love my children dearly, but some days feel like that! πŸ™‚

  69. When trying to bathe my two young girls or clothe them I usually think it’s like trying to catch a greased pig (I’m from the country obviously). When the three year old asks the same question over and over again, I say it’s like Chinese Water Torture. I love this contest, I have loved reading all of your comments – thanks for helping us all feel normal and not alone in this crazy journey of motherhood! Happy running!

  70. It’s like trying to herd cats, but drinking from the fire hose is certainly my favorite way to describe being overwhelmed.

  71. I often find myself asking my girls “are you going to live?” My little one fell down the other day and said, “don’t worry, Mom, I’ll live” and continued to play.

  72. I love “like herding cats.” With a border collie and a cat in the house, I can attest that cats cannot be herded!

    And I always say raising my teenager is like trying to nail jello to a tree, with the added frustration that jello is not vegetarian and it’s bad to put nails into trees.

  73. When trying to corral my herd of turtles (boy-girl 3 year-old twins and a 2 year-old) my mantra is, “one by one, it will all get done”. Not necessarily as fast as I would like, but soon enough is better than not at all

  74. When life gets to difficult for me, I try to break everythign down into tiny pieces. One problem at a time doesn’t seem so hard:

    “The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult.”

    I always think of it when I’m starting a run as well.

  75. I said the other day as I was trying to get the girls out of the house “it’s like herding kittens!” And I have found myself saying to my daughters when they are both asking for 38 things at the same time, “Mom can’t do it all at once!” To which my 5 year old replied “You could if you were a superhero.” True words!

  76. One of my favorites comes from my boss “Let’s not borrow trouble.” It reminds me to let the situation play out, and stop worrying about all the “what if’s!”

  77. Sometimes you’re the dog, sometimes you’re the fire hydrant.

    When life gives you lemons, throw them back and demand chocolate!

  78. I fill up my desk at work everyday and then leave when I have to attend to demands at home. i just chalk it up to ‘that I will have something to do tomorrow’. When I get really overwhelmed. . . I just say that it could be worse. . .

  79. I have two favs…whenever we’re trying to get somewhere I say it’s “like herding kittens” (it would be cats, but with three little ones it’s more like kittens). And, when I’m trying to clean with the kids around it’s “like shoveling in the middle of a snowstorm”…I clean one thing and turn around to find my path of clean already filled in with toys.

  80. “Hoo law!” It’s not an analogy, but it’s really all I say when things start getting crazy. It’s my mother-in-law’s phrase and redneck for “Oh, Lord.”

  81. Now I find myself ‘surrounded by monkeys’ – when they were tiny I called it ‘…like having to wrestle monkeys’. They also like to “do the splits” when I am out with them on my own…one goes <<>> :^)

  82. I always say every day, all day, I am running against a stop watch and I just can not catch my breath!! “ready, set, go…drop the kids off, get to work on time, here there and everywhere!!!!

  83. My mantra is “I only have 24 hours & 2 hands.”

    Life around here is analogous to barnstorming in an out of control small plane with my hair on fire…but in a good way. LOL

  84. When it rains, it pours! This is always true for me. There are calm times in my life, and then there are times when you ask yourself “what more could happen now?” and don’t worry, life will figure out a few more things to throw at you!

  85. I always refer to the chaos at my house as a “Life sized version of Whack-A-Mole.” As soon as I take care of one thing, another one (or 5) pops up.

  86. From an old Mary Chapin Carpenter song: “Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug. Sometimes your the Louisville Sluggar, sometimes you’re the ball”. Seems I’ve been singing that a lot lately!

  87. I herd sheep all day. They don’t speak my language. They do their own thing. But when they go the right way, hot dang, it all make sense. For a second. Though, with two boys, will they EVER speak my language? Heh.

  88. Every morning as we try to get 2 crabby three-year-olds out the door and off to preschool the chaos is “like herding cats.” Every night as we try to get 2 hyper three-year-olds to stop jumping from the coffee table to the couch, put their PJ’s on and get into bed it feels like “the lunatics have taken over the asylum.” At least it’s a fun asylum!


  89. It’s as if the “crazies are in town and the’ve all decided to stay at my house” . With 3 kids and a semi-immature husband….life always has a way of ” slapping me in the face” especially when it comes to being organized and scheduled, and trying to just keep it all together while living overseas in this military life.

  90. My mother (10 kids) always used to say, “this too shall pass” and I know as a teenager it used to just bug the heck out of me, but now as a mother of 2 boys, I can see the appeal. Usually, though, when I’m overwhelmed by it all – work, boys, activities, spouse, household, etc., etc., I try to “stop the madness” and focus on my breath, or to try and make like a tree, and bend and sway with the wind.

  91. I had a favorite high school teacher (eons ago!) who, when students would complain about their workload, would say “Just keep plugging away!” I’ve carried it with me since and an old high school girlfriend and I say it to one another when we feel like things are piling up.

  92. I often say “On me like white on rice.” sometimes I need space to think, think, think. Honestly, though, with the exception of grabbing the vino, I do often think of the serenity prayer that is used in AA.

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    I struggle with the acceptance and the wisdom parts!

  93. I like the herding cats, but we always use “it’s like herding chickens”. Watching our son’s soccer coach trying to wrangle a bunch of 8-yr old boys after they’ve held it together for a long day at school would give you the picture!

  94. My friend has a sign that says ‘Motherhood is like being pecked by chickens.’ That’s what it feels like sometimes. Nothing really big or awful, just the same little things over and over again. The same bickering, whining, and activities.

  95. “just keep swimming” from Finding Nemo or from a Christmas classic, “just put one foot in front of the other” (I sometimes sing this to myself at the end of a long run too)

  96. When I’ve got all those little stresses and little people and I lose it, I end up feeling “lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.” (Thanks, Louis L’Amour for that one!) runner_girl5k at yahoo dot com

  97. Oh, lots come to mind!
    -Just staying afloat
    -Running around like a chicken with my head cut off
    -Juggling or trying to keep all the balls in the air (my personal favorite right now)

    Some favorites from growing up…
    -If it can go wrong, it will
    -This too shall pass
    -That which does not kill you will make you stronger

    And one even my four-year-old knows…”Too bad, so sad”

    (And I love the Dory from Nemo one “Just keep swimming, swimming”…that’s one of my running mantras!)

  98. When things get busy like now, I shake my head and mutter into my umpteenth glass of tea, ” I am busier than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.”
    When people gripe, ” Even a broken watch is right twice a day”
    When a little person whines at me, ” Do you want some cheese with that whine?”

  99. I usually think, “this too will pass” It’s hard to realize it the midst of the annoying antics of whatever my boys are doing is just a phase but I always try to put it in the bigger picture and know that I’ll look back and think they were easy kids to deal with at every phase.

  100. well, when it comes to the overwhelming, attention-grabbing antics of my 13 son and 12 year old step-daughter the analogy that springs to mind is: “it’s like adding gasoline to fire…” for my life as a stay-at-home mom of two boys as well as a full-time step-mom to 4 girls it would be summed up in a poem I wrote several years ago…it’s funny how things come full circle…

    There is something, somebody, someone
    Who is aching to be heard
    To break all chains attached to her
    And run full force in her own direction
    Reeling with anguish and pain
    and happiness and hope
    Needing and wanting
    Yet rebelling against all dependency
    Knowing this is the first step
    The second step will be as if I’ve fallen off the moon

  101. When times get tough I always think of something I heard a long time ago that makes me giggle but makes perfect sense … Even a blind squirrel will find a nut eventually!

    Or of course, when life gives you lemons, just add vodka!

  102. One thing that helps me when my kids are “bugging” me is that they aren’t trying to get on my nerves. I just need to relax and realize that they’re little and they need me.

  103. I do feel like I’m “running around like a headless chicken” alot but a new one that better describes how I feel is “trying to put mascara on while riding a roller coaster…” My life is so hectic and busy lately I just can’t seem to slow down to even make myself look like I have most of it together!!

  104. When things get overwhelming in our household, my 16-year-old daughter sums it up perfectly: “Really? WOW.” And when someone complains about the chaos, we all say: “That’s a cool story.”

    Lately, I find myself wondering, and saying aloud, “Who cast me in this soap opera? And where’s my first paycheck?”

  105. I always feel like “it takes a village”. I’m a single mom with one daughter and when I have to travel for work, I feel like I have everyone working for me….. one to drop off, one to pick up and drop off at after school activities, another one who is good with bedtimes on school nights and another who gives good hugs for a little girl missing her mom.

  106. I always feel like I’m “fighting fires” all day every day. I also say, “it is what is is” and “just keep swimming, just keep swimming” on a daily basis. My 5 year old asked me the other day if i needed some alone time. Yes please!

  107. With three under the age of 4 each day is full of chaos and adventure…Keeping up w/ them and getting us around definitely makes me feel like “a chicken w/ my head cut off”…and at the end of the day “Happy wife, happy life” is one my husband and I tease about when the kids have gone to bed and the house is turned upside down…My husband is learning to take the last one pretty seriously. LOL

    Love Kellie’s “organized Chaos”…that one applies here as well πŸ™‚

  108. In” Finding Nemo” when Nemo goes into the fishing net where Dory is caught and he tells the group of fish to swim downward to break the net. When I feel like I am caught in a net I remind myself to just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

  109. I remind myself every day to enjoy this season of life and to “not sweat the small stuff!” With 2 boys under 5, most days I wish I was an octopus!! How amazing would it be to have 8 arms! Think of all you could accomplish!!
    Love the tees! πŸ™‚

  110. I often use the phrase- like herding cats- when referring to getting my 2 boys ( 5 &8) organized and ready. As for myself when I’m feeling absolutely overwhelmed my all the things I have to do I just remind myself to just start, do one thing at a time and if it doesn’t get done- well there is always tomorrow.

  111. The busier life is the easier it is to get distracted so I like to focus really hard on staying present and not get caught up in the have to and need to’s of the future. I also know that someone, somewhere has it worse off and that my troubles are probably self-inflicted over-scheduling. I could be stressing about how to pay for my next meal instead of stressing about what to cook for dinner.

  112. My favorite has always been the one that several people have mentioned already “Cleaning with small kids in the house is like shoveling the driveway while it’s still snowing!”

  113. My mantra lately is “it is what it is.”. If you want a true analogy, when my life is too busy, it’s like a porta-a-potty on the race course–the s**t keeps on piling up!

    I’d love one of those shirts for my 11/6 race! I can’t afford the $35 right now.

  114. My mother-in-law is great for these, two of my favorites: “We’re off like a herd of turtles!” and “You have to eat a pound of dirt!” She’s also a great running partner!

  115. I always hear the voice of a veterinarian I used to work for when it got super busy: “It’s all assholes and elbows around here!”

  116. My dad always calls something that looks like it will be simple but winds up being a major production either a “Mickey Mouse project” or a “4-H project.”

  117. I have a sign at home and when I feel inundated I quote it to the kids “Who are these kids and why are they calling me Mom??!!” It’s a family joke but honestly I feel so tremendously blessed to have our 13 children – 8 still at home. They know they can do afternoon runs with me “Go hard or stay home!!”, ride bikes alongside or kick back at the house, watch for me and cheer me in. Either way, my kids know when the run is over, I’m all theirs

  118. Only x more hours and then my kids are in bed! Or when it is life in general it’s “Every once in a while people have a bad week, this is mine and will pass soon.”

  119. “It’s all good,” is a mantra that was instilled to me when traveling overseas. There are always unexpected bumps in the road and life can seem overwhelming, but a deep breath and this phrase can go a long way in calming the spirit and gaining perspective.

  120. I’m concerned for myself that the first analogy that comes to my mind is ‘like flies on s&@t’. That’s what my life with three crazy boys feels like sometimes because I can’t get out from under it all and I seem to draw the craziness like no ones business. I like the phrase ‘like herding wild cats’ too. Either way, even a quick run makes me feel like a new woman every time (if only for a moment or two until it all starts again).

  121. Like running in a hamster ball (or how I imagine it would feel to run in a hamster ball, as I’ve never done it!) You can see where you need to go, but you just keep running into things, having to change directions, and once you get there, you’re still stuck in the ball, unable to do anything but keep on running.

  122. Yay for long-sleeve tees, especially this time of year!! Thanks for adding them!

    I had a hard time thinking of an analogy, but several phrases my mom and grandma used to say spring to mind when thinking about life getting overwhelming… for one, I can totally relate to “the hurrier up I go, the behinder I get!!” and always good for a giggle, “Cleaning the house while the children are growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing!” Realistically, though, I just try to remind myself… “This, too, shall pass.” Thanks for the chance to win! πŸ™‚

  123. When my boys are being crazy and full of energy for some reason the phrase “Release the Hounds”
    always come to my mind. I think it started when the used to stand inside the garage and when I
    hit the button to open the garage door I would always say “release the hounds”.

    These posts were great to read. There are many I need to commit to memory and use.

  124. When the heat is on, I feel as though I am my own Firefighter. Fighting fires, diverting others from potential danger, saving lives, and doing it in record time.

  125. “Not my monkey. Not my circus.” I think of this great quote from a friend when I start to get involved in or bothered by things that are either a)out of my control b)none of my business or c)too crazy to even give attention to. Also a good one to use for the kids when they are nagging and whining and tattling etc.

  126. Anne Lamott “left foot, right foot, left foot, breathe.” Take one step at a time and remember to breathe. I’ve been using it for years. πŸ™‚

  127. I use this for my accident prone two year old, and the rest of my life. “She just runs faster than her little legs can carry her!!!”

  128. Sometimes when I just have so much to do and don’t know where to start, I find myself just wandering around. What comes to mind is that I’m so lost and confused that I “don’t know if I lost my horse or found a rope”!

  129. I always tell my kids – It is what it is and I can’t change that. I just remember that someone in the world is probably having a worse moment than I am, even when I was going through some of my most difficult times.

  130. I feel like a pot of boiling water at the point where the water’s about to boil over the top. Someone needs to remove me from the burner until the water subsides.

  131. When life demands get to be too much I feel like a bee stuck in a hot car with no way out, who keeps flying into the window over and over without success.

    These were so fun to read! What a fantastic new shirt! Great give away!

  132. I feel like a wild mustang that is being corralled — kicking and bucking. I may cave in to life’s demands, but always keep my unfettered spirit alive through it all. I am that proud mustang.

  133. I think of potty training a lo twhen I am having a hard time running or training. In my experience, having to potty train my 2 boys has been one of the most challenging experiences I have ever had in my life. It takes forever… you suffer through the process, get dirty… but at the end onf the day when it happens… it so much worth it, AND this is a process that has to be teken in ONE day at a time, like running… some days are wonderful, others not so much, but if you take it one day at a time, you will succeed… there will be set backs (injuries) but it will happen…

  134. I would have to say that I use ‘Running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off” a lot!! Or if I am in a really bad mood- I tell myself off…I know not the best idea, but it works:)

  135. Sometimes I feel like a ball on one of those cheap paddle ball things with the rubber band. No matter how much I think I get done, I am harshly pulled back and hit again. Sometimes I break free and have a few minutes to myself but the I am stapled back on with a shorter rubber band…..but it’s worth it.
    Have a great day mothers

  136. I think I’m stealing this from something I’ve read long ago, but for me, keeping up with my 5 and all their “accessories” is like shoveling during a snowstorm. It seems kind of ridiculous, since it keeps on coming, but then again, if you don’t keep at it, you’ll end up under a pile that will crush you.

  137. I always say it’s “like herding cats” when things get out of control! The other is a Far Side cartoon where a student says “May I be excused? My brain is full.”

  138. Stop bringing me this noise, it is NOT on my diet plan! The mommy train has left the building. What did i do to you to deserve this? Or my usual go to…Just Do It.

  139. We use “herding cats” a LOT around here too! And when it comes to household chores, I often refer to my house as having “vomitted on itself”…this time of year ALWAYS makes me crazy.

  140. I try to remember what it was like to not have anyone grabbing for my attention and how lonely that was at the time. Then I sort of laugh. That is, if I don’t start crying. It’s that choice – either laugh and join in or cry and everyone is sad. So, really, it is “if you cannot beat them, join them!”

  141. I’m a ‘plates in the air’ girl. You know like the acrobats who twirl them up on a stick and they never come crashing down? Riiiiight!
    It’s been especially challenging this week as I’ve been sequestered as part of a jury (watch the world as my hubby/kids know it grind to a halt when mommy is out of commission). Thankfully for all of us, I’ve been dismissed!

  142. I found a card recently that said “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” I laughed because as a new mom of twins, living in this chaos has made me forget what a comfort zone feels like!
    When I am specifically feeling like everyone needs something from me I will often say “my boat is full” as if one more thing may sink the ship.

  143. I have two that I think of, and both are from cartoon movies. Can you tell I have three children?

    The first is from Finding Nemo. I think of Dory saying, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.” It reminds me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    The second is from Madacasgar. It is when the ship is pulling away and the penguin tells the other penguins on the deck, “Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave.” This reminds me not to show my frustration or anger.

  144. Either “when it rains, it pours” — which can apply to both the crazy stuff AND the good stuff — or “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I use the latter a LOT!

  145. Can’t believe “herding cats” has already been used–that describes my life with five children under six years old just about perfectly.

  146. Sometimes I feel like “I’m just trying to stay afloat” which is kind of funny because I’m actually a great swimmer! My running friends always say to each other “what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger” that goes for running and life in general!! Love the new long sleeve tee!

  147. To me it feels like I’m back in high school with different music blasting from everywhere. You can’t make out most of the songs because there are too many at once and all you really want is a little peace and quiet. 5 minutes with no noise would be nice.

  148. I’m in a boat (picture a canoe) and it’s filled with theoretical children, husband, work, family demands, etc etc etc and it’s full. One more drop of water and I’m going under.

  149. I often think doing anything with a toddler is like ‘herding cats’. My other mantra over the last 18 months has been “it’s just a phase”!

  150. I chose a MASH quote, “I am going to live through this even if it kills me.” — Klinger. I often feel like I have been dropped into a crazy triage room with no training. But, I just need take a deep breath and beleive that somehow I will get the job done…even when someone just peed all over the floor…again.

  151. When life gets overwhelming I say it’s like watching a season of reality tv in 10 minutes.,.all the drama, craziness, and stress all hitting you at once. Have your pick of Jersey Shore, Keeping up with the Kardashians, or The equivalent πŸ™‚

  152. Its two fold … there are times with you feel touched out and smothered by all the clamoring. But then there are those times when I would not rather be doing anything else in the world than trying to divide my attention between these 2 crazy toddler climbing all over me. Mmmmm love it!

  153. I’ve always loved the Alanis Morissette song “Ironic”. Some days are like “ten thousand spoons when all ya need is a knife!”. This seems to be my life – I am endlessly searching for ‘stuff’: missing iPhones, missing glasses, missing homework, the missing jar of ketchup, my missing sports bra, etc, etc, etc.

  154. “It’s like herding cats” is also very popular in my house but lately I find myself saying “Who hijacked my calendar when I wasn’t looking?!” or “The inmates are running the asylum again!” – pretty much sums up the chaos in my house!

    (Love the new shirt!)

  155. “Just keep swimming” a la Finding Nemo. I feel like I am swimming in one of those endless lap pools. I just keep swimming, but I don’t ever get where I am going. But with 5 kids and a husband working 70+ hours a week I expect it these days.

  156. When I get overwhelmed, my standby question to myself is, “How do you eat an elephant?” I’d never want to eat one, but if I HAD to, well, you eat it just one bite at a time. I don’t know why but that silly question helps me to focus and take the situation one step at a time.

  157. My current favorites are “it is what it is”, “you win some, you learn some”, and “seriously”, but my all time favorite because it covers everything is “shut the front door” and really means nothing!

  158. I can totally relate to having that “kind of week” right now! I am totally swamped as I try to tie up loose ends while managing our family of 4 kids, work and get out of town tomorrow for NWM!

    With my now 17 month old crawling all over me and literally hanging on my back (especially while I try to eat dinner) I think of the “monkeys on my back.”

  159. I know it’s been used before, but the herding cats thing is definitely how I feel most days. And I can liken my days to being on a roller coaster too.

  160. I use 2: “herding cats” to describe the chaos outside of me, and “like a chicken with its head cut off” to describe me. That makes a pretty picture if it’s all going on at the same time, doesn’t it? A headless chicken running around trying to herd cats!

  161. I always say that my “calendar looks like a rainbow threw up on it”. With 4 kids, home schooling, military life and one smelly dog, trying to find time for me to do anything much less go for a run takes an act of Congress and a ton of organization.

  162. For me, life with my three little boys sometimes feels ovewhelming. I sometimes say that I feel like I’m barely treading water. I’m doing it, I’m keeping my head above water, but just barely, and I’m REALLY tired! Wouldn’t trade it for anything, but now, more than ever, I NEED my runs!!!

  163. I also use the standard “running around like a chicken with its head cut off”. It perfectly describes what I feel like when I’m overwhelmed. Love the new shirts!!

    1. I’m with you on this…”Just Keep Swimming, swimming, swimming..” as Dorie said so well in Finding Nemo. I used the mantra during my first sprint triathlon in the ocean and it really did pull me through. It also applies so well to daily life…. keep swimming through all the stuff we need to do.. and remember to take a breath along the way to enjoy the ride.

  164. I have 4 boys (aged 1 – 10) which generates all kinds of comments from random strangers. I feel like “I must have done something really good or really bad in a previous life. I’m not sure which.” and my mom, who visits from England for 3 weeks at a time, says it “like a gin without the tonic”.

    But it has been incredible practice for the mental toughness of distance running – if I can labor for 14 hours, if I can raise a baby, if I can parent & shuttle 4 boys with a traveling husband, and family on another continent, I can run & finish this marathon. I am a Mother Runner!

  165. Back in the 90’s Garth Brooks had a song called “Fever” about bull riding. The lyrics said “It’s really kind of simple, just keep your mind in the middle while your butt spins round and round”

  166. My latest saying is “Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.” That about sums up the way things in my life are going with the husband, the kids, the running, the job, the bills … everything. I can’t win with them all, but I will not just quit trying because it gets hard.

  167. First, your running model is GORGEOUS and so confident- I would pick her out of the crowd as a runner girl any day. Second, when my days are like this, which is quite often, I usually tell my husband either “It’s like I’ve been corralling cats all day” or “My hamster wheel is spinning WAY too fast!” πŸ™‚ Even if I don’t win, one of those fab long sleeves will end up in my collection!
    Cheers & happy trails.

  168. Now when I feel and say “I don’t want to be the Mom anymore” I think of something I just learned from a cancer patient who started a web site called…”Someone is always worse off than me and has a better attitude about it”.

  169. For me, it’s like being in the midst of cattle — makes you want to stand still, throw your head back and “MOOOO” as loud as possible. Believe me, I actually have done that a time or two. I get some crazy looks, but usually get a bunch of laughs instead πŸ™‚

  170. I hear the wonder pets “the phone, the phone is ringing! There’s an animal in trouble somewhere”. I used to have clever sayings but that was quickly replaced by diapers, bottles and child chaos.

  171. We get what we get and we don’t throw a fit. While I usually use it to my kids (in relation to dinner, for example), I am finding it more and more useful myself.

    Oh, do I love CJ’s herding cats…..makes me giggle πŸ™‚

  172. I use the herding cats analogy (someone else mentioned it above)–and there is a great South African wine called Herding Cats, by the way.

    Also: like nailing Jell-o to a tree.

  173. I live by “if this is the worst that happens” to remind myself that things could always be much worse. Two kids and husband that works evenings gets frustrating and I need the slap of perspective.

  174. As my mom would say: “who’s running this goat rodeo, anyway?” I’ve never seen a goat rodeo, if they even exist, but can only imagine they’d be chaotic to the point of being comical, which is how life is now between family and work.

  175. Sometimes I feel like “no good deed goes unpunished.” It sounds awfully pessimistic but there are times when my efforts to make my family happy either go unnoticed or completely backfire in my face.

  176. I often say I am trying to herd cats….getting the people at work to work together, getting the kids/husband to work together, and then I have my running partners who always ask “Who’s leading this wolf pack today?” So apparently animal analogies are my thing πŸ™‚

  177. Being overwhelmed by the demands of others to me feels like “the crush of an ocean wave. ” Isn’t it funny how many of us associate the feeling to be related to water!? Cool symbolism with the element of water and emotions there!

  178. It certainly isn’t original, but at this time of the year, I often find myself thinking (or saying) that I am “barely keeping my head above water.”

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