Lists and Chores

Excerpt from Book 4 of 40 Something, coming out in November 2016

Rose

copy-of-40something-6To Do List

  • Coffee with the girls at 11
  • School meeting at 1
  • Grocery shopping
  • Pick up Aiden and Jessica at 3
  • Make a roast for dinner
  • Put on a load of towels
  • Pay the bills

I bite on the end of the pen and twirl it along my lips. I know I’m forgetting something. I reach for the oversized calendar, where all the kid’s appointments are written out in different colours. It is filled with words; pink one’s for Alexis, red ones for Isabella, blue ones for Aiden and the odd purple word for Jessica.

I find today’s date and … Why I don’t check the calendar, before making my daily to do, list is beyond me. Isabella has a dentist appointment after school and Aiden has a football game at a school in the next town over. I scratch out picking him up at 3 and text Jessica to tell her I won’t be able to pick her up from school. I add pick up Isabella and take her to the dentist for 3:30 onto the list, then, pick Aiden up at 6 from the school.

If I throw the sauce together now and dump it in the slow cooker, I’ll only need to make the pasta when I get home. I text all the kids and Gus, Dinner @ 7.

Having dinner, as a family, every day is important.

As if on cue Alexis texts, I have a class tonight. I slam my thumbs onto the letters as I text back, why isn’t it on the calendar? She answers back with a quick, why does it matter? I respond with It just does.

I don’t expect her to respond, and she doesn’t.

I reach for a pile of different coloured pads of paper. A different colour for each of the children and Gus’ Honey Do List. I divide up the various chores between the children and make notes about those things that need to be brought to their attention, like Isabella not picking up her clothes off the bathroom floor – again – or Aiden leaving his skateboard at the bottom of the stairs – again. One day these messages will get through those thick skulls.

I look at the items on the lists. All the mundane chores, which I know I’ll end up doing because they are all too busy to help out. The excuses are endless: Too tired. Have too much homework. Have to be somewhere else. Forgot to do it. They always have a reason why they don’t complete their tasks and the work falls to me.

Over the years I’ve tried different incentive and punishment ideas to get the kids to do their chores. It lasts for all of a week, if I’m really lucky, then it’s back to me doing everything again. When I think about the planning, keeping track, and cost associated with each failed idea, I cringe. It’s so much easier to do the work myself, than to try to get them to do any of it.

Anger descends onto my shoulders and I clench my teeth. There is so much to do and no matter how much I run around cleaning up after everyone, when I turn around, it looks like I’ve done nothing. Absolutely nothing. Most times when I look behind me, the mess is bigger than the one I’d just cleaned up. I look at the pad’s of paper with the lists laid out in front of me, each item yelling to be completed first. Why do I even bother? I know I’m going to end up doing every chore on those lists. Still, maybe one day, hell will freeze over and God willing, they will complete one item written out. I keep hoping.

Maybe I should go on strike.

An image of garbage flowing out of the windows and doors, flashes in my mind’s eye. Piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and stuff strewn around the place becoming the stuff of horror movies. I feel overwhelmed by the thought and all energy drains away, leaving a deep tiredness behind.

I don’t have time to be tired.

I get up. Best to keep moving. I have to deal with the pile of dirty dishes on the counter. Who was supposed to empty and fill the dishwasher last night? I glance at yesterday’s chore lists as I open the dishwasher and proceed to empty it of clean dishes to make way for the dirty ones. Aiden. I don’t think that boy knows how to empty the dishwasher, let alone fill it.

My phone’s alarm starts beeping, interrupting me. It’s ten thirty and I need to be leaving the house in 10 minutes. I quickly finish up and start the dishwasher before heading out the door.

Always so much to do and nothing ever gets done.

Read More Excerpts

Ebooks                                             Paperback

copy-of-40something-2 copy-of-40something-7 copy-of-40something-5                           copy-of-40something-6

 

Birthday party

Click image for Pirate Birthday Invitations

Purpose of this Blog

This blog is a look at the characters in a new novel about being a 40+ year old woman in today’s world. The novel, like all literature, draws from real life but embellishes it, changes it, and merges it together with fantasy. You won’t find a 100% true story on the blog or in the novel. I welcomes any parenting or dating stories you would like to share for the book, but please understand the story will only be a jump off point as I’m not about to publish anything exactly as it happened. Email her today at Shannonpeel01[ at ]gmail [.com]

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website. www.shannonpeel.com

Fallout of Feminism

If you are a member of the X generation, in your forties and early fifties, you are experiencing the fall out of feminism. The generations before us fought hard so that women of our generation and our daughters would be equal in this world.

Someone forgot to write the manual

Our generation is defining what equality looks like, what it means and how we can be truly equal, however, we are victims of our upbringing. The girls of our generation grew up being told that we could have both a career and a family. We were given a torch that had no manual and few models to show us the way. The boys grew up watching their fathers and learning what it was to be a man. Their message didn’t change, stereotypically, mom did the house work, dad did the work outside. Mom took care of the kids and dad drank beer.

The result?

We have a generation of women trying to have it all and not enough time or energy. They are tired, stressed, and have little left to give to their husbands, who still need their attention. Men feel the demands of having to help out, do more of what they were taught was woman’s work. They changed a few diapers, made a few meals, and took care of the kids a little more than their fathers ever had. For that, parents patted them on the backs, congratulated them on a job well done, and told the women, see you have equality.

As women, we picked up the slack. We strived to be everything. We felt the guilt of not being there full time with our children. We felt the pressure of not giving enough time to careers. We felt our husbands slip from our grasps and move away from us.

Is it no wonder the divorce rate is so high?

Will gender roles change?

Society has a long way to go before we are truly equal and the ideology of what is men’s work and what is women’s work in the home changes.

I applaud the men who stayed home to raise the children and care for the family. It is not a choice society embraces, yet as equal partners, men should be able to make the choice to stay home.

There is hope that men and women will figure out how to work together in this new reality. A world where what it means to be a man includes childcare, housework, and laundry.  Until men and women can truly break free of traditional gender stereotypes and models, relationships will continue to strain to the breaking point.

 

A letter from a father to a daughter about what lessons she learned from him regarding woman’s work and how sorry he was.

 

Purpose of this Blog

This blog is a look at the characters in a new novel about being a 40+ year old woman in today’s world. The novel, like all literature, draws from real life but embellishes it, changes it, and merges it together with fantasy. You won’t find a 100% true story on the blog or in the novel. I welcome any parenting or dating stories you would like to share for the book, but please understand the story will only be a jump off point as I’m not about to publish anything exactly as it happened. Email me today at Shannonpeel01[ at ]gmail [.com]

And yes…. Dating stories about women behaving badly are welcome too, as my characters are flawed and handicapped when it comes to dating.

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is the author of THIRTEEN a book about a boy and his mom caught behind enemy lines when soldiers attack their North American hometown. The story asks the question, what if it happened here?

For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com

Am I a Man Hater?

Is it better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all? 

My friends love men and find themselves hurt by them on a regular basis. Almost daily my phone rings with stories of betrayal, insecurity, and miscommunication. I listen, offer comfort, and give advice. Some of their stories about the selfish men they date make me furious and I encourage them to move on.

I know, dating is hard and loneliness can hurt, but it’s better
to be alone than with a selfish, uncaring, person man or woman. 

I have seen love. 

I know good men, men who love the woman in their lives. They protect, provide, and care for their woman. They support, champion, and scream out to the world about how wonderful she is. And she is. The women I know who are loved by a man, are amazing women. They are supportive, caring, and respectful of their man. They are his cheerleader, his confident, and his best friend.

I have seen love modelled my whole life, in my grandparents’, my parents’, my uncle’s, my aunt’s, my cousins’, and my brother’s relationships. They have a partnership, which makes both people stronger.

Am I a man hater?

I am scared of men hurting me. I’ll admit that.

I am angry at how some single men behave and how they don’t care about whom they hurt. Their bad behaviour is how the idea for the series 40 Something came about.

Do I hate all men?
No, just the single middle aged ones. 😉

No, I do not hate them. I struggle to understand them. I know there are some  who don’t care about women beyond the physical and don’t care whom they hurt as long as they get what they are after.

There are plenty of women who behave badly too.

There are very few single middle aged men who treat a woman like a lady. However, many weren’t brought up to and women have punished them if they even tried to be chivalrous. The sexual revolution and feminism have freed women to behave like men and now men find what they want so easily, they don’t have to behave, love, or even commit.

I get it. Doesn’t mean I have to put up with it. After all, online dating sites have lots of men and maybe one will know how to treat a lady properly. Until them …

I chose to be single.

Does that make me a man hater?


The Man Hater in 40 Something 

copy-of-40something-6The character Charlie, in my series 40 Something, is a man hater. She’s been hurt and overlooked because she believes she doesn’t fit the young, good looking, image media says successful men are drawn to and she blames men for her plight. Is it the fault of men or her own insecurities?

Men Suck, I hate them All

I’ve paired her with Lindsay, a woman who loves men for who they are, short comings and all.

I’ve created male characters who love their wives and are ‘good’ to woman. Gus is the perfect husband, the provider, and protector. His brother Gary is in touch with women’s pain and offers his help whenever it is needed, however, he does not see his wife who is too introverted to voice her needs.

I want 40 Something to be a reflection of being a 40 something person in the 21st Century and that includes man haters, man lovers, and men themselves.

Read Excerpts of 40 Something

Ebooks

 

Paperback – Includes Ebooks 1-5

copy-of-40something-6

Shannon Peel (6)

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is the author of 40 Something, Captive, and  THIRTEEN. For more information check out her website.www.shannonpeel.com