Thursday, June 28, 2012


I have a genuine love-hate relationship with this whole stay at home Mom thing.  If you have been reading for a while you know that I find challenge and sarcasm in the daily tasks required of me.  I get depressed and frustrated and honestly I really hate it sometimes.

I don't like being here all the time. I don't enjoy serving my children and taking care of their every need. I don't like having to squeeze a few minutes, usually after bedtime, out of the day for myself so I can write this blog or regain my sanity.  It's difficult for me.  I'm sure it's difficult for a lot of people.

A few weeks ago I grabbed a beer and told my children to not harm one another, but most importantly not to come talk to me for at least five minutes while I sat on the driveway and drank and escaped for a few minutes.

I was told by my friend Sabra that I look mean in this photo. 
She's right.
Sidenote:  It's challenging for me to finish a whole beer anymore.  Why are they so fizzy? 

I am visibly shaking at 5:00 sometimes, unable to handle another fight over Legos or tears over the unexplainable, and desperate to have a husband that doesn't work from before the kids are awake until well after they are in bed, leaving me to tackle everything here alone.

This is probably why I look like this while driving to work once a week.

I am so excited to get out an just be away from them for a few hours.  It doesn't hurt that I can drool over pretty jewelry and pretend that I have fun places to wear them. 

Sidenote:  Here are my current obsessions.  You can find them here.

I'm developing a serious accessories condition....but it's so fun.

Before you think I'm a completely awful person for thinking I'd rather hang with jewelry than my own children, please know that I feel guilty about being so weighed down by all this.  I feel inadequate as a Mom.  Surely I should be giggling  and smothering my children in kisses while folding laundry, cleaning the dog pee, containing a screaming child, and fixing dinner.  Surely.

I don't giggle enough.  I don't smother anyone in kisses all that often.  I feel overwhelmed and angry and then I just feel guilty about it all.  It's a super healthy and successful attitude.

I often think that God is trying to give me an opportunity to rise above it all, to find gratitude in the chaos....which every so often I do.  I am not very consistent though and this is probably why God is still working on me.  I have much, much to learn. 

There is a lot to be grateful for around here. 
Yesterday, while taking a moment's break to breathe away from my kids, I read a blog post by one of my favorite bloggers, Anna from An Inch of Grey.   Anna lost her 12 year old son last fall in a flash flood and I have clung to her every word since that tragic day.  I love the way she honestly expresses the heartbreak, the ridiculous, the ironic, and the very real pain of it all.  To be truthful, I often think of her loss when I am ready to lose my mind with my own three, searching for the gratitude that I know I should have because I simply have them here to be annoyed by everyday.

I tend to think of Anna's perspective in even the smallest of challenges as forever changed, that after losing her son, she has now elevated above me in her existence somehow.  Her profound tragedy must surely give her a never ending supply of gratitude for her daughter whom is still with her, and the simple joys of just being alive. 

For some reason, selfishly, this post of hers from earlier in the month gave me so much grace.

Please read it here.

Maybe I'm not a bad person for feeling annoyed by it all from time to time, maybe it just makes me a person.  That isn't to say that I shouldn't keep working on finding peace in the chaos, but maybe I shouldn't be adding profound guilt on top of it all too?


lcarp51 said...

Oh that is a good one. I have major tunnel vision sometimes. I need a better perspective, too.

Today I read about that 6 year old girl they found in Utah. Sexually assaulted and murdered. Left in a culvert or something. I almost threw up thinking about it while I looked at my two girls. Then later this afternoon I pitched a major fit because My Littlest Girl couldn't make the letter K. Again.

Thanks for posting honestly so I don't feel like such a putz. And thanks for the link. It's good to find balance somewhere.

And PS, I have replied to some of your emails but don't get a response. I don't know if blocked or busy. Just wanted you to know.

Cynthia Meents said...

Honey, being a stay-at-home mom is tough! Anyone who acts like all she ever does is giggle and cuddle is lying--either to you or herself or both. It doesn't mean you don't love your kids or that you're a bad mom. The toddler years will pass, and it will get better, but they'll make you nuts in different ways until they move out -- and even then. I had plenty of days when I didn't want to get out of bed and some days when I just didn't. But it really does get better, and I can look back and see all the happy times clearly from this vantage point. Oh, and feeling guilty is part of being a mom. It's just what we do.

Mel said...

That's an absolutely phenomenal post to inspire you. As another mother who has lost a child, I can tell you that I, too, get bogged down in the tasks of day-to-day and forget how quickly it could all be gone.
The other thing is this: my husband and I work opposite of one another in terms of our hours. This means, essentially, that each of us is a single parent. I don't like it. I love the days when we are together at night and I can get a few moments to myself by letting him take over or vice versa (and we both work and are away from the kid full time!). I can only imagine how hard it is to have 3 kids all day every day ALONE!! You should certainly not feel guilty. Instead, put on that super hero cape, girl, 'cause your job is NOT easy.
A true single mom friend of mine hires a sitter every Wednesday evening so she can just do what she wants for a couple of hours (Starbucks, anyone?). Perhaps this would be something you could try and work into your schedule for rejuvination?
Also, you are awesome to share the struggle because it really does help all of us out there feel okay about struggling sometimes, too.

Mary @ A Teachable Mom said...

Thanks for this honest post. I know I "should" enjoy my girls and the chaos more often than I do and that pressure on myself keeps me stuck. Here's to grace and a few deep breaths/laughs today for sanity!

AudreyN said...

Lately I have been feeling like you have. Annoyed with staying home and caring for these tiny dictators. Maybe its my lack of sleep with a new baby. But being a stay at home mom is one of the toughest jobs in the world. And yes I also feel like a bad mom for just wanting a few minutes away from them. To just calm and be alone. I think its normal to feel like you just need a break. Even if its 5 minutes to sip on a beer.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

It is human to feel the way you do, and my personal belief? We have to accept that we feel overwhelmed at times. It is okay to feel this way, and yet still think of others who are hurting and wish for that overwhelmed feeling. Yep, years of counseling...right there!

Mary said...

Thanks for posting your piece and An Inch of Gray. Wow. I appreciated that. When my daughter was almost 2 and my husband worked long hours much like yours does I decided to videotape ten minutes of every day for an entire year. Just the daily everyday stuff. I watched all of it recently. My kid is now 11 and what struck me was how exhausted and overwhelmed I looked. My kid was so incredibly adorable and I kept thinking, what's wrong with me that I didn't want to hug and kiss her 24/7. But that's just it, when you're in motherland, you don't see it. It took me videotaping just ten minutes and looking at it years later to see it from a more objective place. And honestly I still don't want some of that back. The endless park days that were so BORING! No chance of an intellectual conversation for hours on end. It was hard. But I'm so glad I have those tapes. Even if I look like crap. Don't feel bad. We're in this together. And thanks again.

DGMommy Tamara said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I totally get you and appreciate your honesty. I had 3 in five years too! It's getting easier, in a way, now that they're 7, almost 6 and almost 3, but every day is still full of stress, some anger (getting better there) and a desperate wish for wine at 5pm. I'm a married single mom with a part time husband, though hopefully we'll fix that soon. You are not and never alone in this. Thank goodness for blogs. We can at least feel some unison in this isolating journey of motherhood.

momnextdoor said...

I'm not a SAHM and I thank God for that every day. For my sanity and my children's lives, it's best that I'm not.

I haven't clicked on the link to the other post because I don't like crying at work and I have a feeling I would be a sobbing mess. Since my sister died 12 years ago (12 years!!) I can't read any story about someone losing a child. Just can't do it. So forgive me for skipping that part but just know that you are an awesome lady no matter how many times you have to go out and drink beers on the driveway!

Sommer Howser said...

Being a mom is the hardest job in the world. I am always thankful to read your blog and know that I'm not alone in this crazy adventure. Dealing with the death of children on semi-consistent basis gives me perspective to try to smile through the chaos but it's still tough.

Drink on dear friend all by your lonesome. I won't judge and you aren't alone.

Tricia said...

We put so much pressure on ourselves to enjoy every moment. It's a lovely goal but it's also ok to not enjoy them all and to feel frustrated. Parenting is so hard, we all need a break sometimes.

January Dawn said...

Oh Leslie...I fully feel your pain. I try very hard to enjoy the little moments - which is the reason why I blog about them, it's to remind me that I love and cherish my children dearly (most of the time.) But holy eff. Parenting - is HARD. And then when you're with them basically 24/7 and feel like you can't get away - it's suffocating. I get it. We get it. It's okay to feel like that - I do too. And you made me feel SO much better for writing about it. AND that post of Anna's I read a couple weeks ago and it made me feel much better as well. She's a treasure to read. As are you!

Dawn B said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!!
I am not a stay at home mom but can sooo appreciate the challenges and the guilt for feeling challenged and I love your honesty.

Emmy said...

Girl you are so not the only one. Lately I have just been wanting to run and hide and have a day off-- and then I just feel guilty and wonder why I am not fun anymore.

I do pray everyday that I can remember what is important- but it scares me to pray for that too as I don't want something to happen to make me really realize what is important-- so trying to get there on my own.

Crystal said...

I was thinking about you yesterday while I was doing laundry. Yes, laundry invokes visions of a Texas mom, who makes me laugh, and feel like I'm not the only one with a little crazy inside her. I teach part-time. So I get out of the house. And I didn't realize how great that was, until I embarked upon the coveted teachers' summer vacation, and I have the "priviledge" of being home all day, every day, with my 5 year old daughter and 3 year old busy son. Let's just say, vacation isn't turning out to be full of fun and relaxation. As I'm home with my kids, it makes me FEEL for you Leslie. You do it everyday, 365 days, 8 hours+ a day! This is tough shit. And you're still alive, and able to create coherent speech. Therefore, I declare you, a hero.