Monday, August 8, 2011

Low, Low, Moments in Mothering

I am having a rough day. My post yesterday about my new found joy in the schedule and Vegas is gone.  I can't even imagine it. I am absent of joy right now.  I am absent of almost all my emotions.  I just feel empty.

It's time to vent.

I have been hit today.  Two of my children have tried to bite me.  I have been disrespected, ignored, and abused.  I have cried....oh I have cried.

I feel inadequate as a parent.  I feel like I can't figure out what to do for my kids that will make one bit of difference to change all this.  I feel overwhelmed.  I feel like I am falling short.  I'm failing.

I feel like I have too many kids.  I feel like I have ignored my limits.  I feel like I am drowning.

I want to leave.  I want no part of this.  It's too much right now. 

I know it's probably just a bad day.  It's probably just a combination of a few overwhelming situations. They aren't bad kids, I'm not a bad Mom, but we sure are all jacked up today.  We are jacked up too often lately. 

I need today to be Thursday.  I need to be on a plane escaping.  I need something different right now.  I'm sick of trying to figure out the solution to this seemingly endless string of challenges.

I want to breathe.  I want to feel like I can exist and function without such great fear of tipping one of my children in the direction of horror. 

I want to do this be not have this low of a moment as a mother.  I want to feel as confident as I feel cracking a joke or making an amazing dinner or writing a thank you note.  I can write the hell out of a thank you note.  I just can't figure out what the hell I should do for my kids. 

I need my efforts and plans to be less of a climb with setbacks and more of an elevator to parenting success.  I know my role involves a million moments, I know this day is not the sum total of my efforts as a mother, but I hate this.  I hate this.

I am watching The Bachelor Pad in between Cole coming out and crying about his inability to sleep alone, sleep in the dark, sleep without a toy, sleep without an adult, sleep without drinking a full cup of water.  I do not talk to him.  I carry him back to bed. 

I do this a million times....and in between I watch crappy reality TV and think about the pain of tomorrow with an exhausted child, again.  I rack my brain for solutions, for strategy, for previous Super Nanny episodes, and I only find sadness.  I feel apathetic.  I feel like I have given up, at least for tonight.

I feel fine with that, because no matter what, I have to do this all over again tomorrow. 

I have to figure out how to do better.  I owe them better.  I owe myself better.


lcarp51 said...

Bummer. Sorry. Hope you don't mind if I pray for you. Sometimes it's my only link to sanity.

Cheryl said...

Sigh... I completely understand... You are not alone in feeling empty. Sometimes being a mother is so difficult, there really aren't words to describe it. On days like that, when I just want to scream and run away, I sit in my bathroom, cry and pray. I pray about my inadequacy, my frustration, my anger, my heartache and my desire to be better for them. Motherhood has made me cling to Jesus more than I ever have in my life. It's made me struggle through my faith, getting to the heart of what I believe - that the joy of the Lord is my strength, that His strength is made perfect in my weakness, that His grace is sufficient.
I'm right there with you, Leslie. And you know you'll feel better in the morning.

Prudently Painted Vintage said...

Sorry you are having a bad day :(

You're not alone though, we all have days like this. Tomorrow will be better :)

I missed bachelor pad. Darn it!

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

deleted a bunch of stupid platitudinous crap-you don’t need that.

i don’t know what to say-words fail me about your situation.


Courtney said...

I'm sorry you're having a bad day, but know that you are not alone. And, please know that the messages you post make a difference in others' lives.I am so thankful for them. It usually provides a much-needed chuckle, inspiration (you inspired me to 'Super Nanny' my youngest to stay in bed. It does work...stick with it if you can) and reassurance that us moms are not alone in how we feel sometimes! Hang in there...tomorrow will be better.

hyzymom said...

I've never posted before, but your blog breaks my heart. All I can say is you just keep hanging on... you keep doing the best you can, you keep trying to navigate even though you have no idea where you are going, you keep crying, you keep laughing, you keep feeling inadequate, you keep felling like you are not doing anything right, you keep worrying that you'll never be good at anything again, you keep worrying that your child is a sociopathic habitual liar and will live in jail when they grow up and you keep loving them. Then one day you blink, one day you turn around and you find you have a beautiful, amazing, thoughtful (mostly), helpful (mostly), 18 year-old who is leaving for college and it makes you sad because she's turned into someone you would choose to be friends with! I PROMISE! If it can happen to can happen to you! Please hang in there, don't give up. Right now in the thick of it it seems like it's never-ending, but it will end, you will feel better and your kids will be wonderful!

The Mommy Therapy said...

Oh you people are so wonderful. Thank you for your kind words, your thoughts and yes your prayers...pray Leah!

I wanted to tell you each thank you personally, but a lot of you have your email set to private or something so I can't email you back (check your blogger or google profile).

The light of a new day is helping me feel better. I promise to post less heart wrenching stuff later today.

Thank you for your support though. It's amazing and it does help, truly.

Lorilynne said...

Reading your blog this morning made me cry a little because I have been feeling like this so much lately. I had a similar day yesterday and mine ended much the same. My biggest hurdle lately is meal time, any meal time. I dread sitting down at the table with my kids because I know how it's going to go and I'm so sick of having the same arguments with them every day and having them yell and cry and just plain old disrespect me. As heartbreaking as this post was, it made me feel a little better that I'm not the only one that goes through this. I feel so guilty for feeling the way I do, it's a comfort to know that I'm not alone and that motherhood just isn't easy. I'll be praying for you :) I'm hoping you find your balance and enjoy your vacation to Vegas. I would give anything to get away for a few days!

ALI said...

Sending you huge hugs & prayers...

This could have been written by me last night, and I only have 1 child. And I sometimes worry I'm totally screwing up the most important part of my life. In the moments he's crying & not wanting to do what I ask. The moments when he is kicking & biting me. In the moments where solid parenting skillz leave & I'm left wondering how to simply make it stop.

I don't want to be my son's best friend, but I also don't want to be the bad guy all.the.freaking.time. I just want to be his mom & him to be the child who listens & follows directions.

And I have to admit, after having a weekend away from him in early June, I came back feeling refreshed & put back together so I could face the challeneges he would present to me.

Have a great vacation... Relax & recharge.

Anyone who ever said motherhood was easy is someone who never had kids.

Rachel said...

Vent all you want! We've all felt that way at one time or another. Hopefully today is a better day for you and the kiddos.

Kelli @ RTSM said...

I love your honesty! I can't tell you how many nights I have drowned my sorrows of failing at motherhood in a bucket of chocolate ice cream! I constantly wonder what and how I could do things better. I hope you get a break from the crazies soon....if not go pick up some ice cream:)

mama_pez said...

*hugs* You are doing the best you can - and that is all anyone can expect from you. The bedtime thing sucks, the only thing that has worked for me is making the punishment for getting out of bed so painful (ie. no favorite toy next day or siblings get a treat the non-sleeper doesn't, etc) that it just isn't worth it for them to get out of bed. (short of going to the bathroom - I will always let them do that lol) I walk mine back to bed with mega-stern look on my face and tell them what the consequence is, and then I tell them how much worse it gets if they get out of bed again. No matter their excuse, I tell them I don't care - get back in bed - you just lost xyz, whatever motivates them. That is what works for us anyway.

Amanda I said...

Sorry to hear you're having a hard time. But good on you for posting about it - sometimes it helps just to see you're not alone. We all have our days and I know I feel bad when I complain about being a mom, even though I LOVE my kids to the ends of the earth I still feel like "what the hell was I thinking?".
Hopefully you're trip to Vegas will help you unwind and get some of it out of your system.
I love reading your blog and hope you're good days are coming soon.

newtotown said...

You are not alone. You are not failing. You are doing everything that has to be done. unfortunately, you have to keep doing it over & over & over & over.... That's the bad thing about being a good mom: you do everything continuously and feel like nothing you are doing is helping/working at all. You "hear" all the people tell you that you are doing a "great job' and to just "keep it up". But, you don't believe them. You feel completly worthless/ineffective. you can't see any improvement in the kids actions/behaviors. You can't see any impact of your efforts on the problem. You feel like you're banging your head against a brick wall. You feel like a bad mom.

But, those "other people" are right. You are a good mom. You are doing the right things. You are making a difference (even though you won't see the effect of your influence for some time. Which totally sucks). You have to keep trying, even though you can't see any immediate results. It's way worse than trying to lose weight, 'cause it's a lot harder than eating right & exercising everyday. As a mom, you have to to make all the effort and sacrifices, but you also have to try to thicken your skin to the thoughts that your kids don't respect you, you're not doing anything right and no matter what you do you'll never be good enough to raise those little ones into being the kinds of wonderful people you want them to be. That kind of psychological pressure is way tougher to deal with than making yourself go to the gym.

But that's motherhood. You carry the weight of the world on your shoulders even though you feel like you aren't capable of carrying even a little rock. But you are way stronger than you know. You are moving a mountain with every step. You don't see it happening 'cause you're right in the middle of it all. But, you are doing it. You are making a huge difference. You are a good mom, because you keep trying.

Every day you get up and tell yourself that you're going to do better today. And you keep trying and pushing and prodding and correcting and cleaning keep doing everything. You feel exhausted because you're working your rear off. You feel defeated 'cause you actually have an unrealistic image of how motherhood should be. You think you should be able to set the example and channel Donna Reed, Mrs. Cunningham, Mrs. Huxtible (I've been watching too much classic tv) and all those other perfect TV moms.

But, the fact is that every REAL and GOOD mom that ever lived, did the same things you are doing and felt the same way you are feeling. You have to live in hope that all the effort you are putting in will be rewarded when you can sit down with your kids as adults and really like the people they have become. And you know what? You will. your kids are good kids and you're a good mom and they will be good people. You'll see. Just keep taking those deep breaths (but don't hyperventilate) and keep getting up each morning and trying to make it through another day while you try to do what's right even while you don't see any changes. That's all any real mom can hope to do.

And if you still aren't sure, go find the best mom you know. Go ask her if she ever felt like she was a complete failure. My bet is she will say "yes, all the time". But, then she got up and did it again the next day, and the next day, and the next day...

You are a good mom. Just cut yourself a break. Go enjoy your vacation and when you get back you can keep moving that mountain.

Emmy said...

Someday well miss this, some day will long for these "simple" "little" problems. That is what I tell myself when I just want to scream and give up. It is hard some days just really suck. You enjoy the heck out of your vacation.

Mommy Inconsistent said...

One of the reasons I love blogging and reading other people's blogs is because motherhood is truly universal. I think every mother has felt as you did this day. I know I have and a lot more than just one day and then I feel the guilt for even feeling it because really I wouldn't want to change a thing. (well, you know, a "couple" of things maybe) I try to remember when I have my low mommy moments how much I wanted this life when I was single...sometimes it helps...sometimes it doesn't. We just need to go easy on ourselves. You seem like a great mom to me.

Stacy said...

Thank you for posting this. It's so easy to look at other moms and assume you're the only one who feels this way. Your blog makes the rest of us feel normal.

Kimberly said...

Everyone has days like this! I'm sorry it's been rough, but it WILL get better. Thinking of you and hoping today is better!

Crystal said...

This is the first time I've read your blog, and it will NOT be my last! This may sound weird, but . . . that post was AWESOME! Only because so few women are willing to share their true, deep down struggles with motherhood. I have a few close friends I call while sitting on the front steps holding the phone with the door closed behind me, and the children running wild indoors. I always feel better when I cry to them. Then there's my sister, who laughs hysterically at my crazy mistakes, which helps me put them in perspective. My favourite tactic, when I want to go crazy, is to stop what I'm doing and announce, "Mommy needs a TIME OUT!" Then I stomp up the stairs and close my bedroom door. Sometimes, when I can't handle a situation, I'll sneak into my walk-in closet with the door closed and the light off. I hide for a few minutes until I've composed myself. My favourite to get through the day is to play hide-n-seek, hiding in a new place that's really hard to find, while eating the chocolate bar I put in my pocket, until the kids manage to find me. I wish I knew the secret to survival. All I know is, I look at women whos multiple children are grown, and I think, "Well. They survived it. Maybe I will too!" Thanks for sharing your heart!