March 10, 2010...7:57 am

And the guilty one is…

I feel guilty about 80% of the time.  The other 20% is spent sleeping.  My guilt has become my friend, texting me every so often to update me with my inadequacies.  But always with a friendly emoticon. When I leave crap around the apartment or race to pay my student loans last minute online I get my little text reminders, “Hey girl!  You really are too old to be living like an undisciplined child.  TTYL :)

My little texts reinforce my unresolved ambition to be a rock star in all facets of my life.  Robyn is right.  Claire Huxtable is a beautiful lie.  As I sit here and think about everyone I know, I can’t come up with one woman who is a real life Mrs. H.  Some are better at keeping a tidy house than others, some are more satisfied career-wise and some are having really great sex.  But, I don’t know one woman who has reached such a profound level of accomplishment as Claire. We’re talking the ultimate American checklist here, people.  Lawyer, loving and supportive wife and mother (5 children!) and a brownstone in Brooklyn.  All without a nanny or maid.  Way to go Claire!  Now, that’s what I call a woman.

So, I carry on.  We all carry on.   Time to get real and think about a cleaning service and automatic bill pay.


Cathleen Carr


  • Wow. You guys are really hard on yourselves… Yeah, I do things at the last minute, but then I notice how efficiently I work when I am under that sort of pressure, so it works for me. In fact, in grad school I had an epiphany guided by a professor. I was apologizing to him about not having my paper far enough along to do the study thing we were doing at class, and he understood and told me, “That is just your work style and it seems to work for you.” I was a straight A student, so he was right. I think people who get started on assignments right away have a bit of a screw loose. Don’t they need to marinate their ideas in their head for awhile? I need my bits of stuff/clutter around me because it helps me marinate my ideas…

    It’s kind of a pain to try to be the best at everything. Maybe just try to be happy? I think the thing to emulate about the Huxtables is not the pretty brownstone and fabulous career with beautiful handknit sweaters, , but a family that supports each other, spends time trying to have fun, and delights in each other’s achievements. Oh, and let the husband go ahead and handle the kids in his own way.

    • That’s a great point. As much as we are all individuals so are our working/cleaning/organizing styles. I have spent my life trying to live outside the box, if you will. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t need to live by unrealistic standards. Thank you!

  • The last two posts have been about doing it all, keeping a clean house, feeling guilty, etc.

    My question, to what extent does having a husband that either supports you, or at least the lion’s share of the household expenses play into this guilt and pressure to do it all? If you both work, but the woman brings in more bread, does she still feel the need to bake it as well?

    • Good question! I don’t make as much money as my husband so I think your instincts are dead on. Bottom line: I feel uncomfortable being economically dependent on someone else. Like I failed at feminism…

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